The Outer Banks Winter Chill

There is something magical about visiting the beach during the winter months. Grab yourself a cup of hot cocoa, pack your sand sled, head to the east coast and cruise down highway 12 until you run out of land. Guaranteed you'll find a cool, salty breeze and a secluded beach left for you to explore. 

Winter-OBXmasHolidays & Festivals

More than ever, families are looking to spend their holidays on the Outer Banks. Take part this winter in beach celebrations, yuletide cheer and unbelievable holiday shopping. The Poulos Family Christmas is a tradition you can’t miss with 12 weeks of setup and $3500 in electricity bills. Old Christmas, OBXmas Weekends, and Winter Lights at Elizabethan Gardens take center stage in exemplifying the past, present and yet to come on this beautiful stretch of eastern beach.

Winter-vacation rentalDiscounted Rates

January is a big reservation month for vacation rental homes, which make up about 80% of the lodging on the Outer Banks. Rental homes can see huge discounts and be rented for half the price compared to peak season dates. Experience winter’s first snowfall in an oceanfront home and escape the modern world hustle and bustle. Enjoy crisp, wintry walks on the beach as you relish life at a slower pace. Want a fire without the sand? Many vacation homes offer a fireplace ‘filter’ when selecting your perfect getaway. Fully equipped kitchens in these houses allow ease of preparation for large holiday feasts OR consume hearty meals with fast service at the flurry of restaurants that remain open through the season.


Humans love change and there is no transformation more beautiful than the colors of the Outer Banks in the wintry months. While the reds and yellow remain during sunrises and sunsets, blues and whites blanket the night sky. Unrefined, intensely clear nights create a pristine environment for stargazing. Starry Nights, Romance Under the Stars, and portable planetariums celebrate the dark skies and tapestry of the Milky Way unblemished by big city lights.

beach finds-winterBeachcombing

Starry treasures by night, and funky beach finds by day. The less crowded beaches and change in prevailing winds increase your chances of finding the perfect seashore treasure. Beach combing is something that pretty much everyone does either by walking and picking up sea glass or sifting through the tidal remnants to see what shells washed up the night before. The one thing about sea glass on the Outer Banks that makes it special, is that there were no factories here. All our glass comes from another part of the world. Whether it’s red, blue, green or yellow, producing a particular color originates from a specific part of the world.


Awaken the sleeping stories hibernating in the Outer Banks at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. The Graveyard of the Atlantic is a region just offshore where some 3,000 shipwrecks decorate the depths from Kitty Hawk south to Ocracoke. This region of the North Carolina coast once claimed many ships and their crews, due to the treacherous shoals and underwater sandbars that are said to have never sat still for any map. Today, you can view some of these wrecks from shore or in this area fit for scuba diving. The span of crafts ranges from the first colonial ships of the 1500’s, to the Civil War and both World Wars, including the most German U-boats sunk off any state coast in America.