Outer Banks outdoor recreation parasailing

12 Outer Banks Outdoor Recreation Activities For Your Next Adventure

09/16/2021 | by Joseph Mitchell | Outer Banks Outdoor Recreation

There are many ways to enjoy your time on the North Carolina coast, and we recommend you get out and discover the breathtaking nature surrounding our area in one way or another. Choose between any watersport you can imagine or just rent a bike and feel the sea breeze on your skin as you take in as much as you can. We’ve compiled this list of the best Outer Banks outdoor recreation, so you can decide which ones to fit into your vacation!

For more ways to make the most of your trip to the OBX, be sure to request access to our complimentary Manteo, NC Travel Guide. It’s full of things to do plus all the best places to eat and shop!

What Are the Best Outer Banks Outdoor Recreation Activities?

KayakingAlligator River National Wildlife Refuge

One of the most popular watersports in the Outer Banks is kayaking. Visitors of all ages can participate in this fun activity that allows you to explore the sounds, inlets, creeks, and streams along North Carolina’s barrier islands. Don’t worry about bringing any gear along; there are plenty of places on Manteo and in Nags Head to rent kayaks! Inside the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, you’ll find the Milltail Creek Paddle Trails. They include four different routes along Milltail Creek and Sawyer Lake making up about 13 total miles. It’s a great way to get a close look at wildlife and the area’s natural beauty.


Paddleboarding, like kayaking, is a fantastic family-friendly activity that offers a relaxing way to tour Roanoke Sound. You can rent paddleboards or take a tour through most of the rental companies like Outer Banks Adventures and Nags Head Watersports.


You’ll find tons of kiteboarding enthusiasts flying up and down the coastline at many of the Outer Banks beaches. If you’re an experienced kiteboarder, you can rent from Kitty Hawk Kites, and if you’re a beginner, you can take a class at their kiteboarding school.

Jet Skiing3 people jet skiing

There’s nothing like zipping across the calm waters of Roanoke Sound on a jet ski. Rent a single or a double from Kitty Hawk Watersports for a pulse-pounding water sports adventure in the Outer Banks.


The Outer Banks is one of the best places to go surfing along the East Coast. This amazing water sports activity is a must if you’re in the area, especially with the wealth of surfing spots at many beaches in the area. Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, and Kill Devil Hills are all fantastic places to catch a wave. If you need a rental, you can get everything you need, including a wetsuit, from Banks Surf Supply.


Kids and adults of all ages can enjoy a parasailing adventure in the morning or afternoon. This thrilling adventure lets you soar above the ocean with excellent views up and down the coast for miles! Causeway Watersports offers single, double, and triple flights.


Flyboarding is one of the newest water sports trends in the Outer Banks. This unique concept combines water-propelled jet packs with surfing for a fun and exciting acrobatic experience. You can flip and fly through the air and perform tricks in front of your family and friends as you hover over the water. Kitty Hawk Surf Co. offers lessons for beginners.

Fishingperson surf fishing

Fishing is by far one of the best Outer Banks outdoor recreation activities because there are so many options! The area offers amazing surf fishing, deep sea fishing, and charter fishing guides. Deep in the waters you’ll get the chance to catch cobia, Mahi, bluefish, and more! On the surf, you can reel in spot, pompano, and kingfish in addition to a long list of other great catches.

Hiking and Scenic Walks

Just about everyone loves a relaxing walk along the ocean, and there are many places in the Outer Banks to take in the beautiful coastal landscape. The Nags Head Woods Preserve features more than eight miles of walking trails. Several of the routes allow dogs, so you can bring your furry friend along for the fun!

BikingFamily bikes near the beach

There’s nothing quite like getting on a cruiser and biking near the beach. There are miles of trails and sidewalks to ride on throughout downtown Manteo and our private gated community. The Woods Road goes directly through the Kitty Hawk Woods Reserve. It’s a beautifully shaded route great for kids with lots of nature to see along the way. Within the 2,000-acre dedicated nature preserve, there are some fun trails for riders looking for a mountain biking experience. If that’s you, The Ridge Trail provides some inclines and is rated as a moderate biking trail. Many businesses in the area offer bike rentals, so you don’t have to worry about bringing one.


Working on your swing surrounded by a coastal landscape is a great way to spend a day outside! The Outer Banks house several golf courses, and if you’re looking for some mini-golf for the kids, there are some really fun attractions in the area.

See the Wild Horses of Corolla 

It’s not exactly an outdoor recreation, but visiting the wild horses of Corolla is an outside experience unlike any other! These herds of beautiful creatures roaming the beaches originated from a deserted Spanish settlement in the 1500s that continued to breed. There are plenty of tour companies that give you a safe and up-close view of these beautiful creatures.   

Plan Your OBX AdventureBuccaneer Village 1014

Choose one of our Pirate’s Cove properties as the home base for all of your Outer Banks outdoor recreation! We offer a variety of homes and condos in multiple locations across Roanoke Island. You can pick between a quaint cottage in the heart of Manteo, a large family house bordering Roanoke Sound, or a single-family condo lying on one of the many canals in our gated community. Regardless of which property you choose, you’ll be close to all of the action on the Outer Banks. The beaches of Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills are only 10 minutes away in addition to countless activities!

What are you waiting for? Book one of our properties today and start planning your dream North Carolina beach trip! We look forward to welcoming you to the Pirate’s Cove family!