Book Early Fall & Save 10%! Browse Homes

logo ×

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

North Carolina’s Outer Banks offer plenty of things to do during spring’s inevitable arrival, including relaxing beach days, wildlife adventures, and even exciting nightlife options. The beach provides plenty of cost-effective activities that the entire family will enjoy. Adventure enthusiasts can also try various water sports, horseback riding, and even hang gliding. Let us explore some of the most popular things to do in the Outer Banks together.

1. Relax on the Beaches

One of the most popular things to do in the Outer Banks is to relax on the beach. The best part about this destination is the 100 miles of beaches that stretch along the barrier islands. There are many different beaches, and all of them are clean and family-friendly. If you are interested in water sports, check out our 4×4 rentals for an exciting day driving along the sandy shoreline. There are also some dog-friendly beaches here, so don’t leave your pet at home!

2. Pea Island Wildlife Refuge

The Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge spans many acres of land, making it one of the most impressive natural areas in the state. There is a wide variety of wildlife here, including over 400 bird species, white-tailed deer, and red wolves. Visitors can indulge in hiking, fishing, and kayaking.

3. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

For over a century Cape Hatteras Lighthouse has protected ships from one of the most hazardous sections of the Outer Banks Atlantic Coast. This stunning structure has endured several renovations over the past several decades, proudly donning its trademark white and black stripes. Visit this coastal landmark to learn more about its fascinating history. Don’t forget to pack a camera so that you can take several photos of the spectacular view from the top of this lighthouse. 

Now that we have had a look at some of the best things to do in the Outer Banks, you can look for a place to stay. For a family vacation to Outer Banks, look no further than Shore Details. We have beautiful vacation homes throughout the region, including Avon, Frisco, and Buxton. Just one look at these spectacular homes and it will take your breath away. To book, please check availability online.

The multi-talented team at Shore Details is proud to present some of our favorite Hatteras Island recipes, all of which are utterly delicious and totally Carolinian. Each of our luxurious, meticulously-maintained Hatteras Island vacation rentals features a spacious, fully-equipped kitchen, complete with all necessary utensils, dishware, and appliances. Some of our finest kitchens can be found inside Ocean Dream, Sea Smoke, and End of the Rainbow.

There’s nothing quite like devouring a plate of Southern cookin’ on a private deck that overlooks the vast Atlantic Ocean, especially when it’s classic seafood fare, such as crab cakes, tuna steaks, and shrimp kabobs. Seven members of our staff have hand-selected their favorite North Carolina recipes. Please share your creations with us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Bon appétit!

Hatteras-Style Crab Cakes

  1. Combine the eggs, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, Tabasco sauce, mustard, mayonnaise, parsley, and onion in a bowl. Mix to combine well.
  2. Gently fold in the crab meat. Mix by hand, trying to keep as many of the lumps of crab meat together. Form into 4–6 crab cakes and place on wax paper.
  3. Broil crab cakes for 5–6 minutes per side. 
  4. Patties can be fried, sauteed, or broiled.

Jennifer Paddock

Shrimp Kabobs

  1. Marinate large, deveined shrimp for no more than 20 minutes. Otherwise, the acidity will start to make the shrimp mushy.
  2. Skewer and place on a hot grill.
  3. Watch carefully and cook for only 2–3 minutes on each side until pink and opaque.
  4. Top with parsley and lemon wedges.
  5. Serve with corn on the cob and your favorite avocado summer salad.

Pam & Rene Stoffel

Shrimp and Sea Scallops in Baking Shells

  1. Use thick clamshells.
  2. Devein shrimp. Place in a bowl with lemon, chili powder, and fresh garlic (or Old Bay Seasoning).
  3. Add scallops to shrimp. Stir around to coat and let sit while you prepare the clamshells.
  4. Partially cook enough bacon to place 1 piece in each clamshell.
  5. Place clamshells on a sturdy baking sheet.
  6. Place 1 scallop and 2 shrimp (if they fit) in a baking shell.
  7. Weave 1 strip of bacon between scallop and shrimp.
  8. Sprinkle with a pinch of chili powder.
  9. Grate Asiago cheese over all baking shells and drizzle with butter.
  10. Bake in a 350-degree oven until the juice runs clear. Approximately 7 minutes.
  11. Baking shells are oven and dishwasher safe.
  12. They stay hot longer than ceramic and wash up great in the dishwasher.

Sherry Smith

Seafood Boil

  1. Begin with the biggest pot you can find and fill it with water.
  2. Add to pot: small red potatoes, corn on the cob, and sausage of your choice
  3. Let this cook until your potatoes, corn, and sausage are halfway cooked.
  4. Add your king crab legs, scallops, and, finally, your fresh local shrimp.
  5. Season with Old Bay Seasoning and voilà!
  6. As a side note: Our friends and family especially enjoy our boil cooked over an open fire.

Erica Stephens

Hatteras-Style Drum

  1. In a large pot, boil 2 quarts of water and add the potatoes with salt and butter.
  2. Boil for 8 minutes (or until soft).
  3. When they’re done, remove the potatoes from the boiling water with a slotted spoon.
  4. You’ll need the boiling water for the fish.
  5. In the meantime, fry the bacon in a large skillet until crispy.
  6. Once crispy, drain the bacon and reserve the grease for later use.
  7. Sauté the onions in the same pan that you used for the bacon.
  8. Add the fish to the boiling water and cook for about 6 minutes, just until white and flaky. Try not to overcook. Drain. 
  9. To serve, on each plate, lightly mash 2 to 3 potatoes with a fork.
  10. Add three to four cubes of fish and lightly mash into the potatoes.
  11. Top with a sprinkling of onions and bacon. Drizzle with a tablespoon of hot bacon grease. Add salt and pepper.

Ericka Meekins

Seared Tuna Steaks

  1. Sear each side for two minutes in a hot cast-iron skillet—they will be pink inside.

Kim Peele

Hush Puppies

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt. 
  2. Whisk the egg, milk, and onion.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients until combined.
  4. In a cast-iron skillet (or dutch oven, frying pan, or electric skillet), heat oil to 365 degrees.
  5. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls into the oil. 
  6. Fry until golden brown, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.
  7. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm.

Beth Henson