The Outer Banks is a 200-mile-long stretch of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina. It is best known as a summertime destination due to its pristine beaches and laid back lifestyle. The Outer Banks is home to the Wright Brothers first flight at Kitty Hawk, delicious seafood restaurants, and miles of National Seashore just waiting to be explored. However, the Outer Banks has more to offer than beaches and restaurants, it is also home to countless activities for people who love the great outdoors. Whether you have a weekend in the Outer Banks or the entire summer you will never run out of things to do.
Here are five of my favorite things to do outdoors in the Outer Banks.
Scenic Biplane Flight Over OBX
If you’re a drone enthusiast like myself you’ll have a hard time finding a legal place to fly in the Outer Banks but that doesn’t mean you can’t get airborne. OBX Biplanes offers incredible open cockpit scenic flights over OBX. You and a friend sit up front while the pilot navigates the skies from behind you with the wind in your hair.
This was my first time flying in an open cockpit but it won’t be my last. It was a really unique flying experience and one of my favorite things to do in the Outer Banks.
Horseback Riding on the Beaches of Hatteras Island
I’ve only been horseback riding riding a few times in my life but it is always a good time. Horseback riding in the Outer Banks was truly unique due to the proximity to the beach and the ability to ride along the shoreline.
Equine Adventures offers beach rides on Hatteras Island. An experienced guide will lead you through the Maritime forest of Frisco, past a distant Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and on to the beach. Whether you are an experienced rider that wants to gallop down the beach or you prefer a nice leisurely ride it is completely up to you. I had a great time on this ride and highly recommend it in the Outer Banks.
Private Sunset Sail
There is no better way to get out on the water than on your own private sailboat. The Outer Banks offers wonderful private sailing charters with your own captain. You can take up to six friends and set sail for a few hours and enjoy a few snacks with a bottle of wine. What you bring is completely up to you. You can find additional information about private charters in OBX on Sail Outer Banks.
Exploring the Lighthouses of OBX
I’ve always loved lighthouses since I was a kid growing up in New England and the Outer Banks has no shortage of historic and beautiful lighthouses. I recommend climbing to the top of at least one lighthouse and if you only have time for one make it Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The view from the top is amazing on a clear day.
However, Bodie Island Lighthouse shouldn’t be missed either. It is a great first stop when driving down the Outer Banks as well. Be sure to take the boardwalk for another perspective of Bodie Island Lighthouse.
Kiteboarding in the Outer Banks
On Cape Hatteras you’ll find perfect weather for kiteboarding. Even if you have never stepped foot on a kiteboard this is the ideal place to learn. REAL Watersports and Watermen’s Retreat (where I stayed) offer the perfect combo for accommodation and daily activities. Even if you don’t want to kiteboard you can watch the pros in action as the sun goes down.