If you know me or my family at all, then you know we vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina several times each year. I will preface this by saying NO, the real place is nothing like the Netflix series shows it. As we vacationed, we figured out the best things to do, the places to see, and the best places to eat (my favorite part). The OBX is my second home, so here are some activity recommendations from an (almost) local!
1. See the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
The lighthouse has a lot of history. They converted the old keeper's houses into historical museums that teach about the island and the lighthouse. You can also climb the lighthouse (heat index permitting) but be prepared for the 12-story climb. It's a long way up, but the view at the top is well worth it.
2. Take the ferry to Ocracoke Island for the day
Ocracoke Island has a bit of a different vibe than the main island. It's a lot more small shops and restaurants, but they have some of our favorite spots on the island. The ferry takes about 30 minutes to an hour between the islands but looking out at the water is very calming.
3. Eat at Bro’shungry burger GIF by SpongeBob SquarePants Giphy
Bro's Burger Shack has what have been called the "best burgers in America", and they live up to that status. If burgers aren't your thing, they do have salads, wings, and some other odds and ends things that are certain to be crowd pleasers.
4. Uncle Eddy’s Frozen Custard and Mini GolfSpongebob Squarepants Movie GIF Giphy
Nothing beats ice cream at the beach, and mini golf is a beach staple. If you need a break from the sand and sea, head over to Uncle Eddy's for some custard and a round of mini golf with your crew!
5. Lighthouse Sports Bar
Lighthouse is a more recent find of ours. They mostly serve typical bar food, but they make something called a Hatteras flat. The restaurant that created these has since closed down, but they have replicated it perfectly. The best way I can describe it is an inside out quesadilla pizza. Overall, it's a must visit if you're near Buxton.
6. Farmers Market and Art Show
Local artist mural at the Gingerbread House in Buxton.
Hatteras Island has a Farmer's Market and Art Show that travels up and down the island every week. We like to go see the new artists and one's we've befriended as well as pick up fresh fruits and veggies for the house!
7. Wild Horseshorses run free GIF Giphy
If you're in Corolla (or don't mind a little drive) you can make a day trip to go on a wild horse tour. Horses used to roam the island, and Corolla may be the only place where they are still truly wild. I've never been, but the people who have say that it's a magical experience.
8. Offshore fishingfishing marlin GIF by The Telegraph Giphy
I am in no way a fisherman, but my dad and my brother certainly are. Each trip, they take a day on a charter fishing boat. While it can be VERY pricey, you keep a lot of the fish you bring in, and it sounds like a fun day if you like to fish!
9. Go see the sunrise at Old Lighthouse beach in Avon
Since the 2018 and 2019 hurricanes, the old lighthouse base at the Hatteras Lighthouse has been getting more and more exposed (which I find super cool). If you're willing to get up early, seeing a sunrise by the old lighthouse debris is absolutely beautiful.
10. Order pizza from Nino’spizza GIF Giphy
Nino's has New York style pizza, and it's our night one tradition when we go to the beach. If you're in the Avon area, definitely stop in!
11. Go down to the beach (duh)!
I mean, that's why you're there, right?