The Outer Banks: Our Favorite Things to Do and Places to Eat

The Outer Banks of North Carolina, with its picturesque coastline and iconic lighthouses, is a captivating destination for travelers seeking a mix of history, natural beauty, and outdoor adventure. This blog will guide you on an exciting journey from the Outer Banks to Cape Hatteras, exploring the famous lighthouses and discovering the best activities along the way.

The Outer Banks: Adventure Beckons

Outer Banks, situated along the stunning North Carolina coast, is a paradise renowned for its harmonious mix of natural beauty and recreational possibilities. This charming coastal community presents a wide variety of experiences for adventurers and those in pursuit of relaxation.

Things to Do in the Outer Banks:

  • Jockey’s Ridge State Park: One of the standout attractions in Nags Head is Jockey’s Ridge State Park, where visitors can marvel at the massive sand dunes, go hang gliding, or simply take in the awe-inspiring sunset views over the sound.
Jockey's Ridge OBX


  • Wright Brothers National Memorial: History buffs will appreciate the nearby Wright Brothers National Memorial, which commemorates the historic first flight by the Wright brothers in 1903. Here, you can explore a museum filled with aviation artifacts and even stand on the very spot where flight history was made.


  • Bodie Island Lighthouse: Additionally, Nags Head boasts the stunning Bodie Island Lighthouse, where you can climb to the top for panoramic vistas of the coast, offering a perfect start to your journey of exploring the Outer Banks’ iconic lighthouses.


Places to Eat in the Outer Banks:


  • Basnight’s Lone Cedar: The Lone Cedar is one of our favorite restaurants on the Outer Banks and for good reasons. They have great food and outstanding service. Savor fresh OBX seafood and coastal cuisine while dining and enjoying a picturesque waterfront view over the sound.


  • Kill Devil Grill: A local favorite serving, lunch, dinner, and amazing specials. With the friendly atmosphere, you can’t go wrong eating here. Our choice is the Southern Fried Chicken salad, it is simply delicious.


  • The Blue Moon Beach Grill: From mouthwatering seafood to savory burgers and tacos, Blue Moon Beach Grill offers a diverse range of flavors to please every palate. Whether you’re in the mood for a refreshing cocktail, a hearty meal, or a sweet treat, Blue Moon Beach Grill offers a “Once in a Blue Moon experience” which is why it is one of our top OBX restaurants.


Along the iconic Highway 12 that winds through the Outer Banks, the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is an essential stop on your vacation. This pristine refuge is a sanctuary for wildlife and a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Explore this unique coastal ecosystem, where expansive marshes, pristine beaches, and intricate waterways come together in harmony. Birdwatchers will be captivated by the diverse bird species that call this refuge home, including shorebirds, waterfowl, and raptors. Stroll along the boardwalks and trails that meander through the refuge, offering a chance to observe the beauty of this coastal wilderness up close. Whether you’re a dedicated birdwatcher or simply seeking a peaceful interlude amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the Outer Banks, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.


Continuing south, you’ll reach Cape Hatteras, home to the world-famous Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.


Cape Hatteras: Iconic Landmarks


Hatteras Island, nestled along the North Carolina coast, is a natural wonderland that beckons adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. This barrier island, part of the Outer Banks, is a haven for those seeking unspoiled beauty and outdoor exploration. At Cape Hatteras National Seashore, miles of pristine beaches stretch as far as the eye can see, inviting beachcombers, swimmers, and picnickers to revel in the coastal splendor.

Things to Do in Hatteras:


  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore: This protected stretch of coastline offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in unspoiled beauty, with miles of pristine beaches, rolling sand dunes, and shimmering ocean waters. Beyond its stunning landscapes, the seashore is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, inviting beachcombers, surfers, birdwatchers, and stargazers to revel in the wonders of nature.


  • Cape Hatteras Lighthouse: With its striking black and white stripes, this lighthouse stands as a symbol of the Outer Banks’ maritime heritage. The lighthouse’s picturesque setting amidst the coastal landscape offers excellent photo opportunities, and its surrounding area invites exploration and appreciation of its maritime history.


Where to Stay in the Outer Banks:


In the Outer Banks, the choice of accommodations plays a pivotal role in shaping your vacation experience. Whether you’re drawn to the historic charm of First Colony Inn, the affordability and oceanfront location of See Sea Motel, or the angler-friendly atmosphere of Tar Heel Motel, each option provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the coastal allure of the Outer Banks.

  • First Colony Inn: A stay at First Colony Inn is a journey into classic Southern hospitality and seaside elegance. Nestled in the heart of Nags Head, this charming inn transports guests to a bygone era with its meticulously maintained historic architecture, lush gardens, and inviting porches. Its gracious rooms and suites feature a blend of modern amenities and timeless decor, creating an ambiance of understated luxury. First Colony Inn’s renowned complimentary breakfasts, afternoon tea, and proximity to the beach make it an ideal choice for those yearning for a tranquil retreat with a touch of historic charm.


  • See Sea Motel: For travelers seeking a budget-friendly option that doesn’t skimp on comfort, See Sea Motel in Kill Devil Hills provides an inviting stay with a family-friendly atmosphere. Guests can relish the salty sea breeze from private balconies or lounge by the outdoor pool. Its convenient location ensures easy access to the beach, local attractions, and dining, making it a practical choice for those wanting to maximize their beach vacation without breaking the bank.

  • Tar Heel Motel: Located in the Nags Head, the Tar Heel Motel is a haven for fishing enthusiasts and nature lovers. The motel’s welcoming staff, well-appointed rooms, and proximity to some of the Outer Banks’ best fishing spots make it a haven for anglers. The motel is close to Jeanette’s Pier and the Outer Banks Pier. With its relaxed atmosphere and scenic surroundings, Tar Heel Motel is also a great choice for families and couples seeking a peaceful retreat where the sounds of the sea and seagulls create the perfect backdrop for relaxation.
Tar Heel Motel


From the captivating landscapes to the rich wildlife, the region offers a unique blend of tranquility and adventure. As you reflect on the experiences shared in this blog, remember that the Outer Banks has so much more to offer than can be captured in words. It’s a place where natural beauty, outdoor exploration, and cherished moments with loved ones converge. We hope this guide has inspired you to embark on your own unforgettable adventure and discover the many treasures that await on this remarkable stretch of coastline. The Outer Banks invites you to return, time and again, for new discoveries and cherished memories that will last a lifetime.