Reserve Your Thanksgiving Family Vacation and Receive a Free Turkey! Book Now

logo ×

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

The Outer Banks is a major vacation destination in North Carolina, receiving upwards of five million visitors every year. It’s an island chain stretching nearly 200 miles, creating a barrier from the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors can enjoy lots of fun Outer Banks activities to spend time in the great outdoors. It’s a place designed for tourism with lots of beaches, restaurants, and accommodations. Let’s check out some of the best things to do in the Outer Banks.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Visit Cape Hatteras National Seashore to see one of the best-preserved natural regions of the Outer Banks. This stretch of undeveloped land features impressive shorelines of sandy beaches and rolling dunes. One of the most iconic landmarks on Hatteras Island is the Cape Hatteras Light Station. Visitors can climb to the top for sweeping views of the island.

Visit the Beach

Spending time at the beach is one of the main attractions on Hatteras Island. It’s one of the popular Outer Banks activities that draws lots of families and vacationers during the holidays. Hatteras Island has some of the best beaches in North Carolina. You can sunbathe on the sandy shores of Cape Hatteras Beach and go for a refreshing swim in the warm, clear waters. 


Did you know that the Outer Banks ranks among the top surf spots on the East Coast? The waves rolling in from the Atlantic are perfect for surfers of all experience levels—beginners and professionals. Hatteras Island has excellent surfing conditions all year round. It’s a great place to learn how to surf. You’ll also see people enjoying kite surfing and windsurfing. 


There are fantastic seafood restaurants in the Outer Banks, thanks to the major fishing industry. Fishing is one of the top Outer Banks activities for leisure or business. During your visit, charter a boat and fish the waters off the coast of Hatteras Island. There are several companies offering fishing tours that take you out for a fun day of catching fish.

OBX Air Tour

The Outer Banks is a picturesque region in North Carolina from any perspective. Consider getting a bird’s-eye view of the area to truly appreciate its beauty. Several companies provide air tours over the Outer Banks—you’ll fly from Avon, Buxton, circle around Hatteras Island, and more. It’s a unique perspective where you’ll see an aerial view of the Cape Hatteras Light Station and even sunken ships in the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.”

Planning an exciting vacation to enjoy these Outer Banks activities and more? The good news is that you’ll find lots of vacation rentals for the perfect accommodation. Shore Details is a premier vacation rental company based in Hatteras Island that offers incredible deals on local homes. You’ll have an authentic local stay at a comfortable waterfront home.

Call 252-357-7121 today to find the perfect vacation home for your Outer Banks getaway.

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

Hatteras Island is no longer a secret destination for romance-craved couples in need of a healthy dose of relaxation, intimacy, and seduction, thanks to Nicholas Sparks’ beloved 2002 novel, Nights in Rodanthe. Six years later, Richard Gere and Diane Lane effectively pulled at our heartstrings in the film adaptation, mostly shot here on sunny Hatteras Island. Ever since, sweethearts cannot resist the allure of this peaceful, remote, and undeniably beautiful isle. With the “Month of Love” only days away, we couldn’t think of a better excuse to embark on a well-deserved romantic escape to the Outer Banks, a remote island paradise.

Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary, a honeymoon, or Valentine’s Day, you’ll both quickly fall in love with Hatteras Island’s idyllic blend of offerings, including its natural beauty, invigorating mid-day pursuits, and oceanfront vacation homes, managed flawlessly by Shore Details. After all, a fairy-tale getaway is a perfect way to say, “I love you.”

Exciting, Tantalizing Island Adventures

There’s never an off-season for romance in the Outer Banks, primarily because Hatteras Island boasts approximately 50 miles of sandy beaches. Greet each day with an Atlantic Ocean sunrise, where the horizon transforms into a kaleidoscope of color, including vibrant hues of amber, canary yellow, mauve, and baby blue (especially when a few clouds momentarily capture the color combinations).

Photo of the Cape Hatteras Light Station, a Must-See During a Romantic Getaway in the Outer Banks.During the daytime, couples typically stroll the beach in search of seashells and sea glass before or after a picnic, an hour of kite flying, and a light beach jog. In the afternoon, climb aboard a majestic steed and gallop along the Atlantic’s sandy shoreline on a guided excursion led by Equine Adventures. Enjoy a flight of craft beer at 1718 Brewing, relish a couple’s massage at In Touch, explore the lush terrain near the Cape Hatteras Light Station, walk through Buxton Woods, and observe thought-provoking local art at Pea Island, Sandcastles, and Sweet Art. Don’t forget to visit Hatteras Landing at dusk to watch a genuinely awe-inspiring Pamlico Sound sunset.

Hatteras Island Vacation Rentals: Waterfront Romance

Photo of a Row of Pamlico Sound Homes at Dawn. Hatteras Island is the Perfect Place for a Outer Banks Romantic Getaway.Shore Details manages the area’s finest selection of waterfront rentals on Hatteras Island, ranging from Daddy Mac’s Beach Shack to End of the Line and The Crab Shack. Most vacation rentals feature ocean (or sound) views, private pools, outdoor hot tubs, spacious decks, full kitchens, distinctive decor, flat-screen televisions, and instant beach access. Homes, cottages, and condos include discounts on 4×4 rentals, the best way to explore the island! Shore Details also has the region’s premier private chef, Nicole Oden, on-call. Let Oden craft a masterful gourmet meal while you bask on your private deck with a glass of wine in hand.

To book a well-deserved romantic getaway to the Outer Banks, please call us directly at 252-357-7121 (or check availability online).