Is there anything better than the warm sandy beach, cool ocean water, clear blue sky, and your best friend by your side? Of course not. Last month, we decided to take Navy on her first ever trip to the beach. Both Mom and Dad spent their summers growing up at the beach, and unfortunately Navy was too young last summer to take her on a trip. Needless to say, we were all very excited for Navy to be able to experience a trip to the beach.


If you've never heard of the Outer Banks (OBX), it is a 200-mile-long (320 km) string of barrier islands and splits off of the coast of North Carolina and southeastern Virginia, on the east coast of the United States. During our trip this summer we visited the more tourist friendly beaches of Duck, Kitty Hawk, Nags Head, and Kill Devil Hills.

This post is organized into 3 categories:  outdoor fun, food, and lodging.  We included dog-friendly activities we got to experience with Navy, and also included our new friend (and OBX seasoned vacationer), Oliver the Dood's favorite activities as well.


Outdoor Fun:

Perhaps the best part of the Outer Banks are the incredibly dog-friendly beaches. Each beach town has their own separate rules and policies pertaining to pets. Check out the Outer Banks official website for more information. We chose to take Navy to Nags Head beach, where pets are allowed at all times as long as they are on a leash not exceeding 10 feet.



Oliver recommends checking out Jockey's Ridge State Park. Every summer he and his mom visit so he can run up and down the sand dunes. Jockey's Ridge is the largest natural sand dune on the east coast. Pets are allowed in the park, however Jockey's Ridge asks that pets be on a leash no longer than 6 feet and to clean up after your pet.


One of our favorite things to do at the beach is kayak. Last summer Mom and Dad rented stand up paddle boards from Kitty Hawk Watersports (Dad was terrible at paddleboarding). To our surprise Kitty Hawk Watersports allows dogs! Navy was a little nervous at first, but after awhile she quite enjoyed jumping from Mom's kayak and swimming to Dad's kayak. Doesn't she look adorable in her little life jacket?


Navy Kayaks

Navy Kayaks

Navy in her life jacket

Towards the end of our vacation we stumbled upon a lovely shaded, fenced in dog park (thank you Google Maps). The Satterfield Landing Road Dog Park in Nags Head offers separate large and small-dog play areas. Water and waste bags are also available. The ground is a mix of sand and mulch--so you don't have to worry about bringing home a muddy dog.


Did you know that Kitty Hawk, NC is home of the Wright Brothers National Memorial Park? Yup! The same Wright Brothers who moved from Dayton, Ohio to Kitty Hawk in 1990 found this coastal town had the ideal conditions for testing their gliders. Visitors with pets can enjoy hiking around the trail outside. We did not get a chance to visit this summer, but we will certainly go next year!



Mulligan's Grille

4005 S Croatan Highway
Nags Head, NC 27959

Almost every restaurant or bar in OBX has an outdoor patio and most are dog-friendly! However, as soon as I see a restaurant have a dog-friendly menu, I am sold! Before we checked into our house, we stopped by Mulligan's Grille for lunch. For the human diners, Mulligan's serves fresh local seafood and tasty burgers. This laid-back beach restaurant even has two separate dining patios for patrons with pets. Dogs receive complimentary bowls of water and can chose from grilled hamburger + brown rice, grilled chicken breast + brown rice, or plain brown rice. Navy gives the chicken + rice a 10/10!



Doggy Dining


Navy enjoying herself

2600 S. Virginia Dare Trail
Nags Head, NC 27959

1209 S. Croatan Hwy
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948


Ready for Dessert? Oliver and his mom recommend stopping by Booty Treats Ice Cream & Shave Ice to satisfy your sweet tooth. The outside patio is dog friendly! There are even treats by the register for you to bring outside to your pup. 



Dad's parents own a beautiful home in Nags Head, NC. We are lucky enough to be able to vacation there every summer. There are plenty of homes for rent in OBX that allow pets! Our family's home is rented through Village Realty OBX.

Have you ever vacationed or visited the Outer Banks? We would love to hear about your favorites.