Some of the best things to do on the Outer Banks are just around the corner. Find the most popular watersports in Corolla, Duck, Southern Shores, or Nagshead, like: parasailing, tubing, jetski rentals, or pontoon rentals for fun-filled, outdoor activities for kids and families. Dive into a diverse culinary scene and grab a burger from an easy local favorite, Art's Place, or spruce it up a little and hit Ocean Boulevard Bistro and Martini Bar more upscale, fine dining on the Outer Banks.

Visiting during the fall or winter months and looking for the best things to do during the Outer Banks off-season? Check out some of the top festivals and annual events on the beach, like the WinterLights at the Elizabethan Gardens or the Duck Jazz Festival.

Check out five of the Best Things to Do on the Outer Banks below, and don't forget to browse Paramount Destinations' own Outer Banks Vacation Guide for tons of information on the most popular local tourist attractions on the OBX!


Discover the Top 5 Things to Do in the Outer Banks and Plan Your Perfect Trip Today

1. The OBX Culinary Scene

Enjoy many types of cuisine from Southern Shores and Kitty Hawk all the way up to Duck and Corolla. Delight in an array of locally owned eating establishments that range from lively and family friendly to quiet and refined dining experiences. Delight in the Outer Banks’ culinary scene and try succulent seafood dishes, delicious North Carolina BBQ, and more. From October to February, many restaurants have reduced hours during the off-season, so be sure to call before you make your plans! 

classic shrimp seafood boil outer banks restaurant

Corolla Eats

fine dining seafood at outer banks restaurant

Duck Dining

  • Need to curb your sweet tooth? Pick up some decadent pastries at Duck Donuts
  • Perfect for a romantic evening, Paper Canoe serves a fine-dining experience.
  • Indulge in a plate of juicy scallops or sticky ribs at the Blue Point
  • Cravings has just what you need to appease your appetite.
  • Roadside Bar & Grill is the perfect hang out spot where you can grab delicious bites


cheeseburger and fries on plate served with beer at Outer Banks restaurant

Southern Shores and Kitty Hawks Cuisine

2. Outdoor Adventures

North Carolina's Outer Banks offers a variety of fun outdoor adventures to suit anyone in your family. Choose a thrilling adventure such as parasailing, riding a Jet Ski or learning how to surf, or test your physical abilities at the new ropes course in Corolla! Others may enjoy a gentle kayak tour paddled on a coastal estuary at sunset. One of the highlights of visiting OBX is the chance to see wild horses on the beach. Whatever your taste, the adventure you choose will enrich your vacation experience even more!

Pro Tip: Our Paramount Perks program offers discounts on many OBX adventures such as eco-friendly kayak tours, parasailing, stand-up paddle, and more!

family kayaking outer banks

Wind Sports, Water Sports, and Kayak Tours

  • Kayak to Monkey Island on the Currituck Sound
  • Parasail over the Atlantic and soak in the best views of the Outer Banks
  • Cut through the waves on a Jet Ski or paddle boat
  • Rent a kite and watch the kids’ faces light up as they soar through the sky
stand up paddle boarding in the outer banks

Surfing & Stand Up Paddleboarding

  • Take private surfing lessons with local surf experts and catch some waves
  • Balance your weight on a stand up paddle board
  • Rent boogie boards, skim boards, surfboards, and more
bumper car at adventure park in the outer banks

Mini Golf & Adventure Parks

  • Challenge the whole family to a game of mini-golf
  • See who crosses the finish line first in a Go-Kart race
  • Collide with friends and families in bumper cars
  • Collect tickets while playing arcade games and ski ball
Outer Banks horses playing around on the beach

More Exciting Escapades

  • Spot fabled beach dwellers on a wild horse tour
  • Slip and slide around at H2OBX Waterpark
  • Rent some poles and tackle and go charter fishing
  • Play a few rousing rounds of golf
  • Climb through the obstacle course at Corolla Adventure Park

3. Indoor Attractions for When It’s Raining

Don’t let the weather rain on your parade! Take a break from the beach and check out some of the indoor activities that provide entertainment for the whole family. Learn about local history at a museum or peruse an art gallery for a unique souvenir to bring home. Whether you’re looking to take a fun art class, catch a new flick at a historic theater, or take the kids to the aquarium, you’ll find plenty of things to do in the Outer Banks.

painting classes in the outer banks

Crafts and Classes

local art galleries in the outer banks

Art and Theatre

woman and daughter at outer banks aquarium

History and Science

4. Events & Festivals

From pirate adventures to food tours, the Outer Banks is home to a great variety unique things to do. Celebrate with the locals at some of the best events and festivals! Foodies will enjoy various culinary-centric events. There are music festivals that range from rock to jazz and bluegrass if you prefer. Art festivals are great places for family-friendly activities or wine-tastings for adults to sample offerings from area vineyards. Active-minded vacationers can find competitive challenges and marathons that occur throughout the year to stay in shape and have lots of fun in the process.

outer banks food festival fare


colorful festival flags at outer banks festival


  • Peruse beautiful works of art at the Under the Oaks Arts Festival
  • Test your strength at the Storm the Beach obstacle course race
  • Watch fireworks at the annual 4th of July Parade & Celebration


outer banks bluegrass festival banjo player


  • Jam out at the Bluegrass Island Festival
  • Taste some of the best local seafood at the Outer Banks Seafood Festival
  • Watch your favorite horror flicks at the Halloween Film Festival
crab legs outer banks event


  • Enjoy a Candlelight Tour of the Whalehead Club after Thanksgiving or an Epicurean Hunt Evening featuring 1920's hunt club style cuisine (reservations required)
  • Sample delicious, Cajun cuisine at the Cajun Occasion at Sanctuary Vineyards


Stay with Paramount Destinations

Now that you know the best things to do in the Outer Banks, it’s time to find the perfect place to stay. Searching for a rental that meets your needs is easy with Paramount Destinations! We offer an extensive selection of Outer Banks rental homes for all types of travelers.  

When you book your vacation home through Paramount Destinations, you can expect top-notch amenities, stunning locations, and proximity to the best things to do in the Outer Banks. Our vacation rentals range from beach-front properties, gated-community homes, and houses with Sound views. Allow us to make your dream vacation a reality and book your next big getaway with us! 

Outer Banks Rental Homes