Most people know that the Outer Banks is known for its wide natural beaches and southern hospitality. But it's the Outer Banks' rustic and untamed side that beckons guests to get out and explore. From hang gliding to kayaking to offshore fishing, you’ll find a remarkable array of outdoor activities - by land, sea or air.
Below are seven different activities perfect for the adventurous types.
DAY 1: HANG GLIDING AT JOCKEY'S RIDGE
Nags Head is home to Jockey's Ridge State Park - the largest sand dune on the east coast. And high atop Jockey's Ridge, you can find dune hang gliding lessons.
Since 1974, Kitty Hawk Kites has been teaching people to fly. They routinely instruct people of varying ages (4-92) and fitness levels. Aspiring hangglider pilots come here from all over the world to learn to instruct, fly, and perfect their skills. Kitty Hawk Kites has taught more people to fly (over300,000 and counting) than any other Hang Gliding School in the world. They offer kids, beginner, intermediate and advanced instruction.
Kitty Hawk Kites
3933 N. Croatan Highway (the Bypass, MP 13)
DAY 2: KAYAKING
You haven’t seen the Outer Banks until you’ve seen it from the water, and kayaking is the perfect answer.
Coastal Kayak offers trips to four different areas of the Outer Banks: Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary (between Corolla and Duck), Kitty Hawk Woods, PeaIsland National Wildlife Refuge on Hatteras Island and the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge on the Dare County mainland. The Pine Island trip, onthe Currituck Sound, is the closest to Corolla. Tours last two to three hours. The guides offer kayaking instruction if you need it, plus they narrateabout the local history and ecology along the way. Single and tandem kayaks are available. Children are welcome as long they are at least 30 pounds, butcertain trips are better for kids than others. Reservations are required.
Coastal Kayak Touring Company
North Beach Outfitters Waterfront Shops, Duck
(252) 261-6262 or (252) 441-3393
DAY 3: SURFING
One of the best reasons for coming to the Outer Banks is the fact that we have some of the best surf on the entire east coast. With over 100 miles of coastline, you're sure to have the time of your life.
Farmdog Surf School, based at the Outer Banks Boarding Company, offers surf lesssons for beginner to intermediate surfers of all ages. Robert "Farmdog" Farmer is an NSSIA and CPR Certified Surf Instructor who has been helping surfers young and old get their feet under themselves on the Outer Banks since 1997. In addition to the Farmdog, staff members include local pro surfers Jesse Hines, Chris McDonald and Noah Snyder as well as long time surfer/shaper and local legend Lynn Shell.
Farmdog Surf School
103 Morning View Place
DAY 4: OFFSHORE FISHING
From the ocean to the sound, fishing piers to offshore charters, you’ll find an unparalleled array of catch on the Outer Banks. However, a true Outer Banks adventurer will find thrills approximately 40 miles offshore - fishing for tuna, dolphin, wahoo and billfish. Often called “The Billfish Capital of the World," the International Game Fish Association lists 92 world records for fish caught on the Outer Banks.
Offshore fishing charters are provided by two local marinas - Oregon Inlet Fishing Center and Pirates Cove Yacht Club. Trips are booked year-round withexperienced captains and mates (weather permitting). Anglers go for a variety of species depending on the season including marlin, tuna, dolphin, kingmackerel, stripers, drum, bluefish and cobia. All tackle and bait are provided but you will need to bring your own food.
Pirate’s Cove Yacht Club
2000 Sailfish Drive (off the Nags Head/Manteo Causeway)
(252) 473-3906, (800) 367-4728
Oregon Inlet Fishing Center
98 N.C. Highway 1 (Bodie Island just before the Oregon Inlet Bridge)
DAY 5: SUNSET CRUISE ON THE CURRITUCK SOUND
After a full day offshore fishing, relax and enjoy a sunset cruise on the Currituck Sound.
North Beach Watersports offers sunset cruises on the Sound in one of their spacious pontoon boats. They also rent waverunners, kayaks and more! North beach Watersports is located just behind the Inn at Corolla Light.North Beach Watersports
1066 Ocean Trail
Corolla, NC 27927
(252)455-9977 or (252)597-1928
DAY 6: SEGWAY TOUR
The Segway looks like so much fun that when you see people gliding around on them, you’ll want to try one too! The Segway is a self-balancing, two-wheeledelectric vehicle built for one. You stand on a small platform to ride, and the Segway responds to your movements. Simply shifting your weight forward makesit go, standing straight up puts the brakes on, and leaning back makes you go backward. Turning the handle left or right controls your turns.
At Segway of the Outer Banks located in Back Country Outfitters, they’ll take you through a short certification course, and it only takes a few minutes toget comfortable. After you’re acclimated, they offer a gliding tour of Historic Corolla Village. The tour lasts about two to two-and-a-half hours, andyou’ll view landmarks listed on the National Historic Register, including the 1875 Lighthouse, the Whalehead Club and the old Corolla Schoolhouse. Glidethrough the past on the future of short transportation, and learn about life on the Outer Banks at the turn of the century.
If you’re looking for real thrills and adventure, you’ll want to try the Mustang Trail Segway Safari. This off-road Segway tour begins with a short Segcertification course. Then you head out off-roading on a custom Safari Cruiser journey up 12 miles of beach to the private Spanish Mustang Reserve whereyou’ll ride the fat tire Segway XT, an all-terrain version of the city Seg. As you ride through miles of sand trails and switchbacks within the maritimeforest, you’ll feel like you’re on a 2-wheeled ATV. Not for the faint of heart, this combination off-road 4x4 and Segway tour runs about three hours-plusand reservations are necessary.
Segway of the Outer Banks at Back Country Outfitters and Guides
107 Austin Street, Corolla Light Town Center
DAY 7: BIPLANE TOUR
Before you leave the Outer Banks, experience the beautiful panoramic views of the Outer Banks that only a biplane tour can offer.
Barrier Island Aviation offers tours in a 1942 open-cockpit biplane. Relive the romance and adventure of the Golden Age of Aviation. Step back in time; strap on your flying helmet, climb up on the wing and into the front seat of their beautiful biplane, for memories that will last a lifetime.
Barrier Island Aviation
407 Airport Road
Manteo, NC 27954