Vacationing along the Outer Banks is not only exhilarating, but it can be affordable as well. These islands are home to many historical sites, breathtaking scenery and engaging attractions that are either free or relatively inexpensive. Exploring and vacationing along the Outer Banks does not have to break the bank, and many local attractions are comparably priced to that of a movie admission.
Whether you are looking to climb to the top of a lighthouse, tumble down the largest living sand dune on the east coast, or relax in a rented kayak, vacationing within your budget with Sun Realty is easy with affordable vacation homes and these reasonably-priced attractions.
You will find wide-open beaches of Carova where a Wild Horse Tour can be booked, live music festivals within the towns of Corolla and Duck, 4th of July firework displays, pier fishing, bird watching, history-seeking and leisurely boardwalk strolls. There is always something for everyone and every budget while vacationing along the OBX.
We invite you to explore these inexpensive and fun ways to treat your family during your vacation so that you can get the most out of your time and budget. Should you have any questions as to what to do and where to go, our knowledgeable Vacation Specialist are happy to assist you seven-days a week at 888-853-7770.
Nestled at the most northern part of the OBX lies Carova and its miles of undeveloped beaches. While in this area, you can reserve a seat on a Wild Horse Tour or spend the day driving between the winding sand paths that create the roads of Carova.
Historic Corolla Village
Historic Corolla Village, located next to the Whalehead Club in Corolla, is home to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, the Corolla Chapel and the Corolla Schoolhouse. The past and present mingle amongst the live oaks and restored buildings and make for a great day of exploring.
The Whalehead Club
In the spring, summer and fall months, the Whalehead Club in Corolla offers live music, wine tastings, art festivals, an area for crabbing and fishing, picnic spots, as well as the annual 4th of July fireworks for the northern beaches.
Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education
Located in Currituck Heritage Park in Corolla, the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education offers free admission and a variety of fun activities for children and adults. Wildlife photography, eco-kayaking, nature walks and beach explorations are just a few of the activities on their calendar.
The Town of Duck Summer Music Series
Visit the charming Village of Duck on Tuesday and Thursday evenings during the summer months for live, local music. Enjoy everything from Blue Grass to Jazz at the Duck Town Park gazebo.
The Town of Duck’s 4th of July Parade
Come out and see local floats or decorate your own vehicle and be a part of the parade! The parade route runs through all of Duck, so make sure to grab a coffee nearby and watch the duck-themed floats pass you by.
Duck’s Town Park & Boardwalk
Situated on 11-acres, the Town of Duck offers a soundside boardwalk that hugs the curves of the shore within the maritime forest and offers visitors stunning sunset views, public kayak launches, picnic areas and a playground.
Outer Banks Fishing Piers
Along the central and southern beaches of the Outer Banks, fishing piers can be found within every town and village. From Kitty Hawk to Hatteras Village, a day or evening pass to fish is inexpensive fun and a great way to save on dinner with your fresh catch.
The Wright Brothers National Memorial
Located in the heart of Kill Devil Hills, this memorial is packed with tons of information that made modern flight possible. At this site, visitors are able to retrace the steps that the brothers took to construct their first plane, and visit the famous monument erected in their name atop Kill Devil Hill.
Jockey’s Ridge State Park
Located in Nags Head, these sand dunes can’t be missed! Positioned between the Albemarle Sound and the Atlantic Ocean, Jockey’s Ridge State Park is the largest living sand dune on the East Coast and is a great place to fly kites, tumble down large dunes or take wonderful sunrise and sunset pictures to share with your friends.
Roanoke Island Festival Park
This 25-acre history-filled island park is located in downtown Manteo on Roanoke Island. Families can explore a replica of one of the first English ships, meet English interpreters and tour the museum. During the spring and summer months, live music is also offered at this venue and walking the quaint town of Manteo afterwards offers art galleries, small restaurants and boutique shopping.
Fort Raleigh and the Elizabethan Gardens
Also located on Roanoke Island, the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site preserves known portions of England’s first New World Settlements. The gorgeous Elizabethan Gardens were built in honor of Queen Elizabeth during her reign. Both areas are located on the same grounds and admission costs are very low.
The Lost Colony
America’s longest running outdoor drama, The Lost Colony, is located at Manteo’s Waterside Theater on Roanoke Island. The performance retells the story of the first English settlers to land in the New World and is sure to delight kids and adults of all ages with its captivating presentation.
The NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island
From live animal encounters and ecological displays, to the largest shark collection in the state, this inexpensive afternoon will amuse all members of your group and is a great way to start your day on Roanoke Island.
The Outer Banks National Scenic Byway
The Outer Banks National Scenic Byway starts at Whalebone Junction in Nags Head and leads south to Cape Hatteras and its National Seashore. Along this artery, the Atlantic Ocean flanks the road to the east while the Pamlico Sound approaches the road from the west. The natural beauty to be found in these miles of undeveloped landscape make this scenic drive an attraction in itself.
Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
From bird watching to canoe tours, the 13-mile stretch of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge offers visitors a relaxing getaway within the solitude of a natural OBX setting.
With five lighthouses located on the Outer Banks, why not get out and explore them all? Some are open to the public for climbing during the summer months; while others you may only walk the grounds. Either way, make sure to explore the importance that these structures have had on passing ships and seafarers for so many decades and how they have helped saved so many lives with their warning.
The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum
Located at the southern-most point on Cape Hatteras, this museum recounts the history of the treacherous waters that lay off the coast of NC and the many ships that have fallen victim to the area known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic. The museum offers a great range of the area’s maritime heritage, with exhibits containing artifacts and revealing information about the pirate lifestyle, lighthouses and warfare through the 20th century.
Additional Affordable OBX Activities
The best ways to explore the islands of the Outer Banks are by land or by sea. Make sure to rent kayaks and bikes, if they are not already provided at your vacation home, to see the areas from a different perspective.
Crabbing or fishing within the calm waters of the sound is great way to start a new and inexpensive hobby. If you are bringing a dog along with you on vacation, the waters in the sound offer a safe place where he or she can swim and splash around.
Island hop while you are on vacation! After driving along the Outer Banks National Scenic Byway and exploring the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, take a short ferry ride to Ocracoke Island. This small island has great charm, with incredible locally-owned restaurants and retail shops, and also hosts numerous events during the spring and fall seasons.