Are you ready to swap out freezing cold temperatures up north for mild weather during the winter season? Well, there are plenty of things to do during the Outer Banks off-season that make a trip to our coastal paradise the place to be while your friends struggle to stay warm back home. Whether you want to explore our fascinating history, immerse yourself in a local event, or cast your line in the ocean, you’ll find something to do for everyone in your party.
For more information on how to make the most of your off-season retreat to the Outer Banks, be sure to download our complimentary Vacation Guide!
Everything You Need to Know to Plan an Outer Banks Off-Season Getaway
When Is the Outer Banks Off-Season?
Naturally, fewer people visit the beach during the colder months. The Outer Banks off-season typically runs from about mid-November to mid-March. Depending on when you choose to visit, you could see temperatures as high as the mid-60s during the day and as low as the mid-30s at night.
What Should I Pack?
The weather during the off-season isn’t exactly bathing suit season. We recommend light clothes like jeans and a light jacket or sweater for the day and a heavier jacket or coat for the chillier evenings.
What Are the Best Activities During the Outer Banks Off-Season?
Explore Outer Banks History
Some of the best Outer Banks winter activities 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 nearby Bodie Island Lighthouse in Nags Head. All of these attractions are great for both adults and kids.
Book a Fishing Charter
Casting a line out on a charter fishing boat is one of our favorite winter activities 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. Spend the day casting your line in during an inshore or offshore excursion before heading back to your Pirate’s Cove rental.
Savor a Taste of the Outer Banks
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.
What Events Happen During the Off-Season?
Editor’s Note: Due to COVID-19, some events may be canceled or postponed. Be sure to check ahead of time before making your plans.
Kites with Lights
Nags Head kicks off the Holiday season the Saturday after Thanksgiving with a light display you probably haven’t seen before! The event features 19 to 30-foot kites decorated in lights for the Holiday hence the name Kites with Lights. It takes place at Jockey’s Ridge State Park where they first light the Solar Christmas Tree on the dunes directly across from Jockey’s Ridge Crossing. The event is free but takes donations for the Friends of Jockey’s Ridge.
Poulos Family Christmas
The Poulos Family Christmas is a gorgeous holiday light display that is one of the most beloved Christmas traditions in the Outer Banks. This famous Kill Devil Hills event takes place throughout November and December.
Celebration of Wright Brothers First Flight
The name of this event says it all! Head to the Wright Brother National Memorial on December 17 to commemorate the launch site of the first flight where a variety of activities and aviation exhibits tell the story of this important event in American history.
Hatteras Village Waterfowl Festival
Celebrate the diverse waterfowl that call OBX home with this weekend-long festival held each February. Hatteras Village Waterfowl Festival features carvers, artists, vendors, and demonstrations like a live raptor show, historical bus tours of the village, a bird-watching cruise, an interactive duck exhibit, and more!
OBX St Patrick’s Day Weekend Beer Mile
This St. Patrick’s-themed event is a fun and quirky favorite among locals. This is how the OBX St Patrick’s Day Weekend Beer Mile works. Participants drink a 10-oz beer, run 1/4 of a mile, and repeat that until they reach one mile. Only 100 people can participate in the run but the afterparty at Outer Banks Brewing Station in Kill Devil Hills welcomes everyone.
Is Everything Open During the Outer Banks Off-Season?
Some businesses close for the winter and off-season. If you plan on visiting an attraction or eatery, be sure to check their website or give them a call to ensure they are open for the season. However, because the winter weather is fairly mild, you won’t have any problems finding new and exciting things to do during the OBX off-season.
Plan Your Off-Season Vacation in OBX
Are you searching for the ultimate home away from home? Well, Pirate’s Cove has everything you need for an incredible visit to the Outer Banks. We have a collection of home and condo rentals in downtown Manteo, Shallowbag Bay, Pirate’s Cove Resort, and several other locations on the island. Each area provides a unique experience for guests, whether it’s within walking distance of shops or a private gated community. We even have pet-friendly rentals!
Browse through our rental properties and find the one that fits your group! We look forward to welcoming you to the Pirate’s Cove family.