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Outer Banks Day Trips

The Outer Banks of North Carolina is known for its coastal charm, history, romantic spots, and family-friendly activities. Each year thousands flock to the 100-mile stretch of golden sand for rest and rejuvenation. 

While the OBX provides a host of overnight rentals and hotels, the area also serves as a wonderful day trip destination with coastal fun to keep you entertained all day long. We’ve compiled a list of our top 4 Outer Banks day trip ideas for visitors of all ages and interests. Pack up the car…your daycation awaits!

For A History-Filled Outer Banks Day Trip…

The Outer Banks has a fascinating history. It was the first English settlement and was also where the Wright Brothers developed powered flight! Visitors can explore historical treasures like the Wright Brothers National Memorial, Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station, the U.S. Weather Bureau Station, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. Immerse yourself in little pieces of OBX history and discover the past brought to life. 

For A Romantic Outer Banks Day Trip…

Recently voted as one of the 10 most romantic towns in NC, Manteo is a quaint town located in the heart of OBX, full of independently owned shops and eateries. Couples can enjoy dining on the Manteo waterfront and finish things off with a coastal sunset. 

Speaking of sunsets, we love the breathtaking views from Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Home to the largest living dunes on the East Coast, it offers up spectacular vistas over both the sand and water. For those wanting that extra bit of luxury, reservations can be made at the Sanderling Spa where couples can enjoy treatments like a Sea Stone massage or the signature Island Oasis treatment featuring full body care. 

For a Family-Friendly Outer Banks Day Trip…

Consistently ranked as one of the best family beach vacations, the Outer Banks offers families a wonderful outlet to escape the hustle and bustle of life. Complicated school and work schedules? No problem! OBX offers a variety of family beach fun that can easily be packed into a day trip. 

Book a water tour for the kiddos and get the most out of the intricate seascape with expert guides. For a trip out of the sun, the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is a must-see for littles, featuring a wide selection of sea creatures. For little fishers, check out fishing opportunities for the whole family. Whether you prefer fishing inshore, along the beach, casting a line from the piers, taking a charter to the sound, or booking a half-day trip offshore, OBX has everything you need to make your littlest angler’s dreams come true.

For An Outdoorsy Outer Banks Day Trip…

Wanting to reconnect with the outdoors for a day? The Outer Banks offers outdoor enthusiasts a perfect place to explore without the commitment of an overnight stay. Spend the morning at Jockey’s Ridge State Park and enjoy the variety of self-guided trails. For an afternoon adventure, explore the Bodie Island Lighthouse grounds and hike their surrounding trails to end the evening. Feeling adventurous? Try your hand at hang gliding and enjoy some of the best views from an aerial perspective.

Whether you want to bring the whole family together for a memorable day adventure or escape the monotony of life with your special person, the Outer Banks has something for everyone to enjoy. Clear the schedule and plan your day trip, you won’t regret it!