Jockey's Ridge State Park (Nags Head)
Sand dunes are by far one of the coolest bumps on Earth. Learn to hang-glide, sand-board, or go explore the hidden remains of an abandoned putt-putt castle. That's right, these sand dunes are perfect for picture backdrops, but they supposedly hide both an old hotel and putt-putt place. Curious? Yep, I was too. Here's some info that you might enjoy.
The Lost Colony (Manteo)
There is no mystery quite like the Roanoke Colony. Explore the narrative of the lost colony through this stage production that has run 82 seasons. Enjoy the outdoor stage, surrounding land, and the show itself all with the beautiful backdrop of the setting sun. Also, I think their website is really cool, too.
Roanoke Island Maritime Museum (Manteo)
Okay, I love boats. The Roanoke Island Maritime Museum is so cool. Learn to sail, hang out for a boat show, or just look through the actual shops. For more information click here.
Downtown Books (Manteo)
A gorgeous little downtown area complete with a quaint bookstore. What more could a person ask for? Here's their website to browse.
Camping (Various Places)
Need a cheap place to stay or up for an adventure? Check out the OBX campgrounds. Plus, some places let you drive your truck/car on the beach which just makes you feel cool.
Sam & Omies (Nags Head)
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Sam & Omies is a perfect local stop no matter the time! If you check out their website, you can learn about how they started and have lasted over 70 years!
My favorite seafood restaurant, period. My family always stops here to eat. We don't even ask if anyone wants to, it's already written into the agenda that Darrell's is a must. It's reasonably priced plus they sell the best t-shirts.
Poor Richard's Sandwich Shop (Manteo)
The food here is amazing. Plus, it's pirate-themed. You can sit outside next to the water or inside with the AC. Either way, their sandwiches are killer. Do not skip this restaurant if you're in the OBX!
Fat Boyz (Nags Head)
Ice cream at the beach. Do I even need to go on?
7-Eleven (Anywhere and Everywhere)
Okay, so maybe you're like, "I have a 7-Eleven by my house. Why would I go there while I'm on vacation?" Well, let me tell you. I am convinced that a coke slurpee tastes about 1,000,000x better at the beach while you're driving with your friends, windows down, and music blaring. The heat mixed with the salty air begs combined with the sweetness of a slurpee is a straight-up perfect recipe. Don't believe me? Test it out next time.
Lighthouses (Various Places Throughout the OBX)
Take your pick from Ocracoke, Cape Hatteras, Bodie, or Currituk. Seriously, is there anything cooler than hiking up like a thousand stairs to get to the top of a lighthouse? And the view is gorgeous!
The Christmas Shop (Manteo)
Okay, so Christmas-lovers, this store is for you! Basically, the walls bleed Christmas ornaments. It's almost magical walking in from the summer heat and being surrounded by Christmas trees, stockings, and photos. They are also connected to a General Store if that's more your speed!
Jeanette's Pier (Nags Head)
Whether you love fishing or sunsets, Jeanette's Pier has you covered.
The North Carolina Aquarium (Roanoke Island/Manteo)
I LOVE the turtle section in this aquarium. Not only do you get to be super close to the turtles in the tanks, but there are workers who explain which turtles are being released and when. Like I said, this section is so fun! You don't want to skip by this spot! Just in case you want to look at some pictures of the most adorable sea turtles ever, here's the link.
Go Surf! (Pretty Much Anywhere You're On An Island)
Is there any way to channel your inner pogue quite like surfing? No board? No problem. There are loads of places all over the OBX where you can rent a surfboard, take lessons, or (if you're really committed) buy your own board. Maybe you'll pick up a really sick VW bus while you're at it!
In case you need a more specific breakdown, here's where the locals suggest. (link)
*Be sure you check each business's schedule due to COVID-19.
**Also, Manteo is my favorite in case you couldn't tell!