Outer Banks, NC  - Vacation Travel Guide

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Outer Banks Area Features

Off-Season Getaways

The summer’s sunny days and warm temperatures create an ideal time to visit the Outer Banks. However, between Labor Day and Memorial Day, the area is still alive with activities, festivals and attractions. There is also less congestion, which means shorter lines and more chances to fully experience the Outer Banks while temperatures are still agreeable enough to enjoy the outdoors. And even on the off-chance that it snows, the beauty of a snow-covered beach is a wonderful sight to behold.

Locals recommend visiting in the fall to book fishing charters when the prices are lower or to go surf-fishing when the beaches are empty. Plus, hauling in your catch is no hassle when you’re staying nearby. Rental companies offer great deals on beach houses as early as September. Beachgoers are seen in the waters as late as November and as early as March. Surfers in particular like the waves during the off-season. With better waves and fewer people to maneuver around, a more pleasurable surfing experience is almost guaranteed.

Perhaps getting a steal of a deal is something you enjoy. If so, the local shops typically have great sales in the off-season. Add a new bathing suit to your wardrobe or replace a worn beach towel when the prices are at their lowest. Maybe even do some holiday shopping! After all, the winter holidays are a beautiful time to visit the oceanfront. In December, head down to Manteo to tour historic homes decorated for the holidays and participate in the annual Christmas celebration. You can bring home a cherished memento of your vacation—a holiday ornament from the OBX!

Festivals and shows are also extremely popular during the off-season. Depending on when you’re in town, try the Day at the Docks Festival in Hatteras Village in September; the Roanoke Island Maritime Museum Wooden Boat Show in October; the Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in March; Outer Banks Bike Week in April; or the Annual Hang Gliding Spectacular and Air Show in May.

Taste of the Beach is an annual event that is always met with great anticipation. For four days in March, food and beverage specials and events are available throughout the entire Outer Banks. Try 3 or 4 courses during a themed dinner that specializes in local seafood, or maybe take a cooking class and learn an easy cooking technique. Breweries and wineries typically offer special events and tours of their facilities. There are even restaurant and pub “crawls” that take eager diners to a few different places to get a wider perspective on Outer Banks food. And most of these events are reasonably priced so it’s easier to take advantage of this celebration of local food.

Sanctuary Vineyards hosts two popular festivals on its grounds every year. In the fall, locals and visitors look forward to the Big Curri-Shuck. At this event, patrons can eat all the oysters they want while sipping wine and listening to live music. In March, the flavor of New Orleans comes to the vineyards with the Cajun Occasion festival. Celebrate Mardi Gras with wine, music, jambalaya, and other delicious Cajun foods.

After enjoying all of these activities outside, it’s nice to come in and warm up. Many area restaurants stay open—the Outer Banks never truly shuts down—but there are fewer people, shorter wait times, and you’ll often receive better, less-rushed service during the slower months. Hotels, too, usually have discounted winter rates and more availability leading to a great getaway… perfect for snuggling with a loved one.

So come on back to the Outer Banks in the off-season. There’s a lot to experience in a more relaxing atmosphere. Visit sunnydayobx.com/events to find out what’s happening while you’re in town.


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