christmas tree on the beach

How to Make the Most of Christmas in the Outer Banks

10/16/2020 | by Joseph Mitchell | Outer Banks Holidays and Special Occasions

Whether you enjoy relaxing with your family or escaping to experience new traditions during the holiday season, most will agree on one thing: the winter season is always full of magic and wonder! You’ll discover a handful of fantastic Outer Banks Christmas celebrations and activities that everyone in your family can enjoy togetherSo, are you ready to create new memories that will last a lifetime? 

If you want to discover more ways to make the most of your winter trip to the Outer Banks, be sure to download our complimentary Vacation Guide! 

The Best Outer Banks Christmas Activities and Celebrations 


Revel in the Rich History of the Outer Banks 

Some of the best activities to explore during the Christmas season in the Outer Banks revolve around our coastal area’s extensive history. Museums like the Roanoke Maritime Museum in Manteo and the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum offer an in-depth look into the rich nautical tradition of the Outer Banks. The Wright Brothers National Memorial has an indoor museum with a collection of planes and other artifacts commemorating the first flight near Kitty Hawk. You can also explore a few of the famous Outer Banks lighthouses, like the nearby Bodie Island Lighthouse in Nags Head. 

Cozy Up to Delicious Outer Banks Cuisine 

No trip to the North Carolina coast is complete without grabbing a bite to eat while watching the sunset dip below the coastline. We compiled lists of our favorite Outer Banks restaurants, from Nags Head to Kill Devil Hills to Roanoke Island.  Several restaurants in the Outer Banks also host Christmas dinners if you don’t feel like cooking for the family!

I Got Your Crabs Seafood Market & Steam Bar is normally open on Christmas Eve and provides guests with some of the best seafood. Located in Kill Devil Hills, Captain George’s Seafood buffet has specials throughout December and is also usually open on Christmas Eve. Jolly Roger in Kill Devils Hills is also open Christmas Eve & Christmas Day with Christmas-flavoured specials. Check their website to learn more!

Cast Your Fishing Line 

Trade the sleds and snow for a fishing rod and water this year while you visit the Outer Banks around Christmas time. Casting a line out on a charter fishing boat is one of the most unique ways to enjoy Christmas in the Outer Banks. Roanoke Island is home to a bevy of charter fishing boats, both in Manteo and Wanchese. Pirate’s Cove Marina and Wanchese Marina both offer an array of guided fishing tours that are among the best in the area

Although the winter is considered the Outer Banks’ offseason, reelers from all over the country venture here to enjoy some of the best fishing in the area. Learn more about the Pirate’s Cove Marina and stay in one of our many vacation rentals during your fishing trip!

Christmas Events in the Outer Banks 

Winter Lights 

The Winter Lights showcase in the Elizabethan Gardens is one of the best ways to celebrate Christmas in the Outer Banks. Stroll along the beautiful paths of this scenic Manteo garden and soak in the festive light display with the entire family. 

The Anniversary of Powered Flight 

The Anniversary of Powered Flight celebrates Orville and Wilbur Wright’s first flight in Kitty Hawk! This annual event takes place the week before Christmas and features unique aircraft on display in addition to a flyover (weather dependent). It’s also free to the public! 

Kites with Lights 

Jockey’s Ridge State Park is one of the top places to fly kites in the Outer Banks, and that doesn’t change in the winter months. You can ring in the Christmas season early at Kites with Lites! As the sun begins to set, you and your family can participate and watch tons of kites flying through the sky with lights attached to the strings! It’s a beautiful sight that’s also fun for everyone in your group. 

Manteo Christmas Tree Lighting and Parade 

If you’re staying at one of our Pirate’s Cove properties, the Manteo Christmas Tree Lighting and Parade is a can’t-miss event. You and your family can enjoy seasonal tunes, a festive parade, and of course, the lighting of the Christmas tree in town! 

Book Your Outer Banks Getaway Shallowbag Bay aerial view

Pirate’s Cove Realty has the ideal vacation rental for you and your family. We offer condos and homes at a variety of locations around Roanoke Island, including our private gated community and Shallowbag Bay Resort. We even have properties in downtown Manteo that are steps away from the lighthouse!  

Start planning your Outer Banks getaway by booking one of our accommodations. We look forward to welcoming you to our coastal oasis.