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DISCOVER A BETTER WAY TO GET TO THE OUTER BANKS

OUTER BANKS AVIATION

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OBX AVIATION

Change the Way You Think About Travel to the Outer Banks

What's the easiest way to get to the Outer Banks? By flying with Outer Banks Aviation, of course. With no major commercial carriers offering scheduled flights to the Outer Banks, we are truly the fastest and easiest way to travel to, or from the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

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Private Charters

Private air charters for vacations, business trips, emergencies and more

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OBX Air Tours

See the Outer Banks like never before - from up above!

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Specialized Concierge Services

Special request? No problem. You name it, and, chances are, we can do it.

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Aircraft Services

Need aircraft maintenance or hanger space? We've got you covered.

Flying with us is easy

Spend more time enjoying the Outer Banks and less time worrying about getting there. Southern hospitality combined with our attention to every detail make it easy to choose OBXA for your air travel needs.

Request a Flight

Send us a request for a flight. We’ll get a notification email showing your request and check our availability. We typically reply within 24 hours.

Receive Confirmation

We’ll contact you by email or phone to discuss details and any special requests you might have . We’ll set up payment arrangements and confirm your booking. 

Pack your bags

Start packing. relax and enjoy knowing that your comfort and  safety is our top priority.  we look forward to serving you..

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THE CHOICE IS YOURS

Obxa private air charters vs. traditional travel..

It's easy to see why flying with OBXA is the preferred method of travel to the Outer Banks. 

Dealing with bridge traffic

Long lines & security checks, need to arrive hours before your flight, flight leaves without you, lost luggage & headaches, hassle-free trips customized to you, see the outer banks like never before, wild horses, lighthouses, marine life, local history.

BUILD YOUR OWN

Custom Tour

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TESTIMONIALS

What our customer's have to say.

Flew back from Cape May today with OBX Aviation and we were back in 1.5 hours!! The pilots (Sam and Andy) were very professional, friendly, and had great knowledge of the area. No driving stress, no traffic and easy to arrange. It was my mate's 1st time in a small plane and she had a great time!! I would HIGHLY recommend these guys!!

- CHARLES G.

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Flew back from Cape May today with OBX Aviation and we were back in 1.5 hours!! The pilots (Sam and Alex) were very professional, friendly, and had great knowledge of the area. No driving stress, no traffic and easy to arrange. It was my mate's 1st time in a small plane and she had a great time!! I would HIGHLY recommend these guys!!

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Let's get flying

Whatever your travel, tour or air service needs are… we can help.

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THE 5 BEST Outer Banks Air Tours

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OBX Air Tour Adventures

As if an air tour over the Outer Banks isn't exciting enough, OBX Air Tour Adventures takes it even further by offering a variety of unique aircraft for their tours. With this company you can choose to soar over the beautiful barrier islands and waters in a helicopter, an open-cockpit biplane or a vintage WWII T-6 Texan.  Their air-conditioned Robinson R-44 helicopter gives three passengers an unparalleled view from their seats in the sky – every seat in the glass-enclosed helicopter is a window seat! The open-cockpit biplane looks like an antique, but you'll be glad to know that it is modern, manufactured in 1990 with all the safety amenities that will put your mind at ease. Or take the flight of a lifetime in one of the most important aircraft in aviation history, the T6 Texan Sweet Sophia. Don your flying helmet (goggles and long scarf optional) and enjoy a flight over the natural scenic beauty of the OBX. The biplane can take up to two passengers (including young children if they're accompanied by an adult), and the T6 accommodates one passenger. Aerobatics are optional in both aircraft.  There are tour options for every budget;  even the shortest tour gets you out to the ocean, and the longer ones give you the chance to see shipwrecks, lighthouses, sea life and more. Custom charters are available.

Featured for Your Visit

Scott Lawlor Yoga

Scott Lawlor Yoga

Scott Lawlor is a highly trained E-RYT 500 YACEP yoga teacher based on the Outer Banks. Scott is a founder and co-creator of Kind Yoga in Kill Devil Hills, where he teaches weekly hot and cool yoga classes. He also can be found on the schedule at Outer Banks Yoga in Kitty Hawk and at studios and locations all around the Outer Banks and beyond teaching his signature Grateful Yoga, Yoga Jam, private classes, yoga workshops and much more. His high-energy, interactive teaching blending humor, honesty and attention to yoga lineage and Sanskrit is popular with all ages and levels of practitioners. He's available for private classes, corporate retreats, bachelorette parties and many more occasions.

Scott Lawlor is a highly trained E-RYT 500 YACEP yoga teacher based on the Outer Banks. Scott is a founder and co-creator of Kind Yoga in Kill Devil Hills, where he teaches weekly hot and cool yoga classes. He also can be found on the schedule at Outer Banks Yoga in Kitty Hawk and at studios and locations all around the Outer Banks and beyond... read more

Scott Lawlor is a highly trained E-RYT 500 YACEP yoga teacher based on the Outer... read more

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Corolla Water Sports

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We are the only certified Tourist Airboat on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and in Virginia.  Our Captains, Airboat, and EcoTour  certifications assure you a  ​safe and  pleasant   journey. Our exceptional knowledge of North Carolina and Virginia's amazing waterways and natural resources will add to your adventure and memorable moments.

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-Stephanie, Norfolk, VA

"Absolutely  Beautiful!" ​

-Jay, Williamsburg, VA

Outer Banks Adventures offers Air Boat rides, Eco-tours, SUP tours, Lessons,

sales of SUPATX Paddle Boards & More.

We book EVERYTHING BY APPOINTMENT to ensure a private & personal experience.

 Outer Banks Adventures

Our Passion

"Fantastic! 

COVID-19 UPDATE:  We are open for tours!   We operate in accordance with CDC guidelines to ensure a safe and fun adventure!

Our waterway, home and history are our passions.  Come see the historical lighthouses and landscape that  the Algonquin Indians called "the land of great provision." Our North Carolina Headquarters is just minutes from Nags Head or Manteo and our Virginia location is just 7 miles from I64, come see why we were are one of the "Best Adventures" in either location.

​I couldn't stop smiling!"

Reserve Your Adventure Today!

Home of North Carolina's  "Best Airboat Adventure"

Chesapeake Bay & Outer Banks Adventures invites you, your family or company retreat to come experience an incredible adventure for all ages.

The amazing view and relaxing  breeze will invigorate your senses and remind you why the waterways in North Carolina and Virginia are known for their beauty.

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Outer Banks Cessna Air Tours

Seating up to THREE PASSENGERS, our high wing aircraft offers you 30 minute or one hour flights with an unforgettable view of Roanoke Island, the Wright Brothers National Memorial, Jockey’s Ridge State Park, and lighthouses, all with the breathtaking view of North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Prices are subject to change without notice.

Maximum Combined Weight Limit 575 Pounds

covers 1 to 3 people

Wright Brother’s Monument Jockey’s Ridge Bodie Island Lighthouse Beaches

Fly to North of Duck then down the coast to North of Rodanthe. You get to see things like the Wright Brothers Monument, Jockeys Ridge, Oregon Inlet, Bodie Island Lighthouse, and Historic Manteo!

Call us today to reserve your seat in the sky (252) 473-4247

From our customers.

“Plane ride” Fun day. Talked the whole family on going up. They loved it. We will visit again next time we are in the area. Reviewed February 21, 2016 Trip Advisor

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Bi-Plane Tours

Book online, pick a date range that best matches your visit.

Select a start AND end date. Select the same date twice to choose only one day

Selected Dates

Call 1-877-359-8447 to Reserve over the phone.

$150-$350 per flight, tour pricing per flight (up to 2 passengers).

  • Discovery (~8 min) - $150 per flight
  • Standard (~20 min) - $250 per flight
  • Expanded (~35 min) - $350 per flight

Location(s)

Dare county airport – kmqi.

2 passengers may ride per flight.

Weight Restrictions: Maximum combined Weight is 400 lbs per flight

If a passenger weighs more than 200-225 lbs only a smaller passenger would be able to ride with her/him (for instance parent and child) or the participant can ride by them-self for comfort and safety

Bench/Seat Width: keep in mind that the seat is a bench that is approximately 3 feet wide.

Get a bird’s eye view of the incredible coastline and treasures that The Outer Banks offers with an air plane tour. Your point of departure is the Dare County airport on Roanoke Island (next to the aquarium). Click here to see our map.

Take an 8-minute discovery flight around the town of Manteo and over the Elizabeth II – a replica of a 16th-century sailing vessel – in an original WWII bi-plane trainer.

Alternatively, fly a bit longer with 20-minute and 35-minute flights that provide the opportunity to see sites such as the Wright Brothers Monument, Jockey’s Ridge, Oregon Inlet or even the Bodie Island Lighthouse in the open-air cockpit bi-plane. The plane can accommodate up to 2 people.

Manteo Airport

Get a bird’s eye view of the incredible coastline and all the treasures that the Outer Banks offers with an airplane tour. Your point of departure is the Dare County airport on Roanoke Island (next to the aquarium).

Call 1-877-FLY-THIS (359-8447) or reserve online by clicking on the packages below!

Expanded Bi-Plane Tour

$350 per flight | duration 35 minutes.

This is an extended flight of about 35 minutes. Choose between a flight from Manteo to the Bodie Island lighthouse, Oregon Inlet, and the coastline OR a flight from Manteo to Kitty Hawk, the Wright Memorial, the coastline, and then Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Flights are in an original WWII bi-plane trainer. Flights are for one or two people.

Check Availability

Standard Bi-Plane Tour

$250 per flight | duration 20 minutes.

Our standard flight around the town of Manteo and over the Elizabeth II – a replica of a 16th-century sailing vessel – to the Wright Memorial, over the beach, over Jockey’s Ridge State Park, then back to Manteo in an original WWII bi-plane trainer. Flights are for one or two people. Check Availability

Discovery Bi-Plane Tour

$150 per flight | duration 5 to 8 minutes.

A discovery flight around the town of Manteo and over the Elizabeth II – a replica of a 16th-century sailing vessel – in an original WWII bi-plane trainer. Flights are for one or two people. Check Availability

Outer Banks Adventures

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  Hi! We are Steph and Larry Ihle, two people who love flying, and we love sharing the joy!  Flying is in our blood… Larry’s father flew B-25’s and B-26’s in WWII then was a captain with Eastern Airlines for many years after the war. Larry’s brother and daughter are both private pilots and his mother met his father while she was a flight attendant for Eastern Airlines. Steph’s dad also loved to fly but was not quite as traditional; he was known for ‘buzzing’ his boating friends in his amphibious ultralight over the waters around Ocracoke Island.

  Larry got his fixed wing flying license in 1981 at the age of 20 and has enjoyed flying airplane tours and helicopter tours  over the Outer Banks ever since. After a fantastic trip to New Zealand (and several helicopter flights), he became hooked on helicopters and soon after obtained his rotor wing rating.

  We really take pride and feel so privileged to be able to share the gift of flight.  Our goal is to give you the experience of a lifetime, while providing you with the most exceptional customer service, and unparalleled safety. We are 100% positive that the world would be a better place if everyone spent a portion of their day in the air!

Please check out the ‘Trip Advisor’ link below to see what our customers are saying!

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2024 Hatteras Air Tours Guide

Kitty Hawk Kites

Kitty Hawk Kites

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Kitty Hawk Kites has been Teaching the World to Fly since 1974 and is home to the world’s largest hang gliding school. As the Outer Banks leader in quality outdoor recreation and adventure, Kitty Hawk Kites offers more than 30 activities to choose from, so get out that pen and start crossing things off your OBX bucket list today! Visit...

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Northern Beaches

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Events & Family Fun

  • Artrageous Kids Art Festival May 11th, 2024 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • Annual Nags Head Woods 5K Run May 11th, 2024 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
  • Hatteras Village Offshore Open May 14th, 2024 - May 18th, 2024

Historic Corolla Park

Historic Corolla Park

Most all visitors to Corolla will spend at least a sunny afternoon or two at the Historic Corolla Park. This 39 acre site is home to three of the Northern Outer Banks' biggest attractions, the Whalehead in Historic Corolla, the Currituck Beach Lighthouse and the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, as well as plenty of gorgeous soundfront grounds that are wide open for visitors to explore.

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20% OFF  DINNER FOR ALL MEMBERS OF YOUR PARTY

20% OFF DINNER FOR ALL MEMBERS OF YOUR PARTY

Must be seated by 5pm. Dinner only. Excludes salads, sandwiches and children's menu. Not valid with any other offer. Must present coupon upon ordering - VG

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Crystal Coast Aviation

Welcome to crystal coast aviation.

Located on the southern tip of the Outer Banks in Beaufort, the third oldest town in North Carolina, is the Michael J. Smith Airport. Come experience hospitality at its finest while flying over the beautiful Crystal Coast.

Our Services Include

Air Tours   //   Aircraft-Rentals   // Pilot-Training  //  Car-Rentals   // Fuel

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Enjoy an Outer Banks Wild Horse Tour

The Outer Banks is a chain of islands located off the coast of North Carolina, which are popular for their pristine beauty. One of the most thrilling experiences in the area is spotting wild horses that roam freely among the sand dunes. As the wild horse tour ends and you reluctantly bid farewell to the untamed beauty of the Outer Banks, you carry memories that will last a lifetime. Find the best places to stay in the Outer Banks with Atlantic Realty . You can choose from various Outer Banks vacation rentals featuring amenities like private pools, oceanfront views, and theater rooms that will be perfect for a memorable stay.

air tours outer banks nc

  • Wild Horse Adventure Tours: Their custom-designed open-air Hummer H1s allow you to explore three unique ecosystems filled with wildlife. They obtained exclusive rights to the Wild Horse Sanctuary in Swan Beach to view horses in their natural environment. Boasting a 4.8-star rating from over 2225 Google reviews, this is a top-notch Outer Banks wild horse tour company.
  • Bob's Wild Horse Tours: Their friendly and knowledgeable staff will accompany you on a two-hour tour of the four-wheel drive beaches of Corolla. You can hear about the history of the Outer Banks, local folklore, and interesting facts about the wild horses. Take an unforgettable wild horse tour at this Outer Banks company with a 4.5-star rating from over 289 Google reviews.
  • Corolla Wild Horse Tours: This company offers wild horse tours on a 15-passenger open-air safari-style truck with a 4.6-star rating from over 521 Google reviews. The two-hour tours cover 25 miles of off-road cruising behind the dunes into the neighborhoods where the horses graze. Currently, around 100 horses roam freely in groups of 3-6 on Carova Beach.
  • Kitty Hawk Kites: This Outer Banks wild horse tour has a 4.6-star rating from over 1604 Google reviews and will take you on an unforgettable 2-hour journey that covers 20 miles with breathtaking scenery, rich history, and folklore. A knowledgeable guide will take you to Wild Horse Conservation Easement and other areas only accessible to them in a custom ten-passenger four-wheel-drive vehicle.

Corolla Jeep Adventures: Explore Outer Banks on a 25-mile off-road tour in a custom safari truck to spot wild horses at this company, rated 4.5 stars from 415 Google reviews. Your guide will take you to climb Penny's Hill, the highest point in Corolla, and show you the local ecology. Or, cruise through Corolla's 4x4 area in a safari jeep or paddle to a private waterway with your guide.

Back Country Safari Tours: Back Country Safari Tours has offered tours to view Colonial Spanish Mustangs on the 4x4 North Beach since 1993. They have a 4.9-star rating from over 525 Google reviews. Their Corolla Wild Horse Safari Tour includes a local guide for safety, knowledge, and laughter.

Shackleford Wild Horse and Shelling Safari: Take a 15-minute ferry ride to Shackleford Banks and see the Wild Horses descended from horses brought here 400 years ago with this local tour company with a 4.8-star rating from 57 Google reviews. Track them with a guide, then head to one of the best shelling beaches in NC after your Outer Banks wild horse tour.

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This Is the Most Affordable Vacation Destination in the U.S. — and It Has Pristine Beaches

Travel more for less when visiting the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

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Getting out and exploring the world shouldn't have to clear out your bank account. Yes, there are plenty of first-rate five-star destinations out there that are worth saving up to visit one day, but while you stack that cash, you could always go visit one of America's most affordable destinations, too. And OptimosTravel has done all the hard work of figuring out just where those destinations are for you. 

The travel company released its list of the most affordable vacation destinations in America, analyzing more than 100 well-known spots. To determine which ones rank as the most affordable for solo travelers, the team assessed each location on daily meal expenses, public transportation costs, accommodation rates, and attraction fees.

After looking at all the data, the team determined that the Outer Banks, North Carolina , is indeed the least expensive vacation destination, where solo travelers can spend an entire day there for $177, making a 7-day family vacation possible for about $3,247.90.

"We ranked Outer Banks as the least expensive destination, where the allure of the Atlantic meets affordability," the company shared in its findings via email. "With the lowest accommodation costs at $91.44, combined with meals at $60 and attractions adding up to $11.27, the daily cost per person stands at a mere $177. A week-long stay here ... for a family of four [comes out] at just $3,247.90, proving that paradise doesn't have to cost a fortune." 

Joining the Outer Banks is another southern favorite, Charleston, West Virginia, coming at No. 2. Its daily cost breakdown came to just $177 as well but came with a slightly higher weekly cost of $1,242 per person due to a higher cost for accommodation and a $2,926.30 cost for a family of four.

These two are followed by two Georgia downs, Helen and Tybee Island in third and fourth, respectively, and Gatlinburg, Tennessee rounding out the top 5.

A few big-name destinations also made the list, with Sedona, Arizona; Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Bend, Oregon; in the sixth through ninth spot. Monument Valley, Utah, completed the list, coming in at 10th place with an average daily cost of $218 per person.

Want to go even further? Check out 13 of the most affordable destinations in Europe to visit right now. 

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OBX with Kids: 25 Things To Do in the Outer Banks, NC

T he Outer Banks, NC is a favorite summer getaway for DC families that's well worth the six-hour drive. The Outer Banks (also referred to as the OBX) is a series of beautiful barrier islands, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the calm Pamlico Sound on the other. My family has been traveling to the Outer Banks every summer for over 40 years, and it’s the perfect laid-back family vacation. From the gorgeous beaches to the amazing wildlife (sea turtles and dolphins!), fresh seafood, and fun activities, there is something for everyone to enjoy at a wide range of prices.

Here are 25 great things to do with kids in the OBX, including water sports, lighthouses, and delicious local seafood restaurants. For other great family vacations at beaches near DC, check out our list of family-friendly beaches near DC , including our guides to Virginia Beach and the Delaware beaches .

Relax on miles and miles of beautiful OBX coastline. Photo courtesy of Visit Raleigh

Best Outdoor Things To Do in the Outer Banks, NC with Kids

1. hit the beach.

The miles and miles of gorgeous beaches are the main reason families flock to the Outer Banks, NC, and they all have something unique to offer. Corolla Beach 's calm waters are perfect for swimming, wading, and kayaking. The beaches in Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills have bigger waves and are near plentiful restaurants and shops. Duck Beach  is pet-friendly, and kids love the 3,000-gallon aquarium on Jennette's Pier at Nags Head Beach .

Our family especially loves the Cape Hatteras National Seashore in the southern part of the OBX. It's been protected from development, so there are no boardwalks—just beautiful, wide sandy beaches bordered by dunes. Build a sandcastle, go boogie boarding, look for sea turtle nests roped off by rangers, and splash in a tide pool. Just keep a close eye on kids in the surf—there are rip tides in the Outer Banks and no lifeguards in most areas of the beach.

2. Jockey's Ridge State Park — Nags Head

This state park is home to the tallest living sand dune system on the east coast, and it’s the perfect place to fly a kite. For older kids and adults looking for more adventure, Jockey’s Ridge also offers hang gliding and sandboarding. Visitors can also go hiking, paddling, kiteboarding, or windsurfing on the Roanoke Sound.

RELATED: Top 10 North Carolina Beaches for Families

Share the sand with some wild horses. Photo by Don Sniegowski, via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

3. See Wild Horses on Carova Beach

There are approximately 100 wild mustangs that live on the northern end of the Outer Banks at Carova Beach. Anyone with a four-wheel-drive vehicle may drive along the beach to look for wild horses, but the speed limit is 30 mph and people must keep their distance from the horses. There are also outfitters in Corolla that offer wild horse tours, such as Back Country Safari Tours and Wild Horse Adventure Tours .

4. Mini Golf

You'll find great mini golf courses all along the Outer Banks, NC. Paradise Fun Park in Kill Devil Hills offers two 18-hole courses, go-karts, bumper cars, and an arcade that's perfect for a rainy day. You can eat a sweet treat and then work it off on the mini golf course at Uncle Eddy’s Frozen Custard & Mini Golf in Buxton. And at Mutiny Bay Adventure Golf in Nags Head, enjoy a pirate-themed mini golf adventure, then head to Full Throttle Speedway next door for a go-kart race.

5. First Flight Adventure Park — Nags Head

This massive adventure park includes 14 zip lines and 50 obstacles throughout its incredible outdoor course, which features climbing structures, rings, rope bridges, and more. Kids must be at least 6 years old to participate, and there are two easier obstacle courses with low zip lines designed for younger ages and beginners.

6. Hunt for Ghost Crabs

A nighttime walk on the beach is a great adventure in the Outer Banks, NC. Be sure to bring your flashlights and go hunting for ghost crabs. These fast creatures can be hard to spot during the day, but at night, we’ve seen hundreds! You can also turn off your flashlights and go stargazing—the dark night skies over Hatteras are perfect for seeing the Milky Way and shooting stars. On some parts of the OBX, bonfires are permitted on the beach. Be sure to look up the regulations and get any required permits for your location.

7. Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge — Manteo

It’s a tradition in our family to stop at this lovely wildlife center on the Pamlico Sound and visit the turtles in the pond. You can also see lots of different birds and other wildlife on the walkways over the Sound and get a great view of the Bodie Island Lighthouse. Just be sure to use bug spray!

8. Kayaking, Paddleboarding and other Water Sports

Pamlico Sound is a great place for families to have fun on the water. Nor’Banks Sailing & Watersports is one of the most popular water sports facilities near Duck and Corolla. Visitors can go parasailing, water skiing, tubing, kayaking, and more. You can also take boat tours or rent pontoon boats and catamarans for a more relaxed excursion. Down on the southern end of the OBX in Hatteras, Family Water Adventures offers a great variety of water activities, including snorkeling, clamming, tubing, water skiing, fishing, shell hunting, and more.

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H2OBX Water Park has slides for all ages. Photo courtesy of the park

9. H2OBX Water Park — Powells Point

This giant water park is impossible to miss as you drive down Route 12. With a wave pool, kid-friendly slides for young visitors, a lazy river, and a pirate-themed water playground, this water park is perfect for all ages. For teens and adults looking for thrills, there are seven giant slides and tube rides, plus a wave rider to practice surfing. The park offers ticket deals for groups and multi-day vacation passes.

10. Dolphin Tours

Did you know that dolphins live in the waters off the Outer Banks, NC? We’ve spotted them in the ocean before, but taking a dolphin boat tour on Pamlico Sound is the best way to see them. There are many different dolphin cruise operators in the OBX. My family took a tour with Captain Johnny’s Outer Banks Dolphin Tours , and we were amazed by how many dolphins we saw. The sunset dolphin tour is especially beautiful. Paradise Cruises is also a popular dolphin tour operator in Wanchese, with knowledgeable local guides that will help you spot dolphins, osprey, and other local wildlife.

11. Elizabethan Gardens — Manteo

These gardens are a beautiful botanical park designed as a living memorial to the famous lost colony of Roanoke. Kids will particularly enjoy the Discovery Cottage and Garden, where they can climb aboard a wooden ship, explore play houses with living roofs, view specimens through microscopes, and more. Don't forget to stop by the Butterfly Garden.

12. The Lost Colony Musical— Manteo

This play about the infamous lost colony of Roanoke has been staged in the Outer Banks, NC for over 80 years. Enjoy this entertaining musical about the history of the OBX in an outdoor theater by the water. Kids 5 and under enjoy free admission, and all kids 12 and under are free on Monday nights.

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Step back in time to the 1850s at Island Farm. Photo by Amanda D.,courtesy of Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

More Things To Do in the Outer Banks, NC with Kids

13.  island farm  — manteo.

This living history museum portrays the real life of Roanoke Island settlers in the 1850s. Explore the Etheridge Farm built in the 1840s, see farm animals, and check out live demonstrations of blacksmithing, traditional agricultural activities, hearth cooking, weaving, wool spinning, and more.

14. North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island — Manteo

This awesome aquarium highlights the aquatic life in the waters of the Outer Banks, NC, including a variety of sharks, wetland creatures such as otters and alligators, and stingrays and other invertebrates that kids can touch. Visitors can also learn about sea turtle conservation efforts on the OBX, which is known for being a sea turtle breeding ground.

15. Wright Brothers National Memorial — Kitty Hawk

Visit the birthplace of flight, where the Wright Brothers made their first successful flight in 1903. The Wright Brothers Visitor Center and Museum includes hands-on exhibits that bring the invention of the Wright brothers to life, including a reproduction of their 1903 flyer.

16. Historic Lighthouses

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in the US and is instantly recognizable with its swirly black stripes. Visitors can explore the keepers quarters and learn about the history of the lighthouse and how it was moved in 1999. Climb all the way to the top for breathtaking views of the ocean. The Bodie Island Lighthouse is located in Nags Head on the Sound side of the island, and visitors can go inside and climb it as well. Families can also visit the red-brick Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla and the tiny Ocracroke Lighthouse on Ocracoke Island, just a ferry ride away.

17. Ride the Ferry to Ocracoke

On the far southern end of the Outer Banks, you can take the ferry for a great day trip to explore the charming island of Ocracoke. The island is small, so the best way to get around is by walking, renting a bike, or hopping on the island tram. Visit the Ocracoke Lighthouse, check out the shops and artists downtown, and enjoy some fresh seafood at a local restaurant.

18. Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station — Rodanthe

The Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station and museum teaches visitors about the early history of the US Life-Saving Service/US Coast Guard in North Carolina. Dozens of courageous rescues took place at Chicamacomico between 1874 and 1954. Visitors can see a reenactment of a beach apparatus rescue at the station during the summer.

19. Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum — Hatteras

This museum offers programming about maritime activities for all ages, including the history of the Outer Banks, boats and shipwrecks, and family-friendly scavenger hunts. Note: The museum is closed through at least the end of fall 2023 for the construction of new exhibits.

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Dig into delicious pastries, muffins, and more at Orange Blossom. Photo courtesy of the author

Delicious Outer Banks, NC Restaurants for Families

20.  orange blossom bakery & cafe  — buxton.

Orange Blossom has been serving up great pastries, cakes, pies, and more since the 1950s. This is a great stop for breakfast—be sure to try the enormous Apple Ugly, its signature item.

21. Mama Easley’s Grub Hut — Corolla

Mama Easley’s is a favorite seafood restaurant located next to the Sound. The fresh fried seafood is very popular, but the menu also offers burgers and other non-fish options. The kids menu includes fried fish sticks, mac and cheese bites, and fried shrimp.

22. Coastal Cravings — Duck

Featured on the show "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives", this popular restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a casual, kid-friendly atmosphere. Coastal Cravings specializes in fresh local seafood and offers seafood pots to go. The outdoor dining area also has live music at night.

23. Diamond Shoals Restaurant — Hatteras

Diamond Shoals is both a restaurant and seafood market, so you know the fish is fresh. Visitors recommend the clam chowder, crab cakes, and fried or broiled shrimp. Diamond Shoals also has the only sushi bar on the island.

24. Sugar Creek Soundfront Restaurant — Nags Head

This is one of our family’s favorite restaurants. With lots of outdoor seating right on the water, Sugar Creek Soundfront is very family-friendly and has a wide-ranging menu. Its Hatteras-style clam chowder is especially delicious.

25. End your day with something sweet!

Ice cream is the perfect ending to a hot day at the beach, and the OBX is bursting at the seams with great ice cream shops. Enjoy some classic beach food and frozen custard at Kill Devil’s Frozen Custard and Beach Fries . Kids will also have fun at Booty Treats in Nags Head, a pirate-themed shop with fun original flavors of shaved ice and ice cream.

OBX with Kids: 25 Things To Do in the Outer Banks, NC

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