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19 Oct 2023
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Events & Holidays

Thanksgiving on the Outer Banks

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to gather together with family and there's no better place for a family celebration than the beach! When you rent from Seaside Vacations, you are guaranteed to have a wonderful holiday while enjoying an awesome vacation! Here are 4 reasons to spend Thanksgiving on the Outer Banks:



4 Reasons to Spend Thanksgiving on the Outer Banks

dining with a view for thanksgiving on the obx

1. Hassle-Free Relaxation.

Bring the family together for a coastal holiday celebration everyone will love with a vacay in an Outer Banks vacation rental home. From large, well-equipped kitchens, perfect for preparing a savory feast, to dining rooms where conversations seem to linger, to miles of pristine empty beaches perfect for that post-dinner stroll, creating unforgettable Thanksgiving memories is easy in an Outer Banks vacation home.

fishing on the obx


The temperature around Thanksgiving usually stays in the high 50’s (sometimes higher, sometimes lower – it’s all up to Mother Nature). The weather makes the perfect setting for a post-Thanksgiving dinner OBX stroll. It’s also amazing for the abundant fishing opportunities this time of the year, as well as some of these OBX events: Gobbler 5K, Fun Runs, Kites with Lights (thrown by Kitty Hawk Kites), and Grand Illumination ceremonies around the island.

obx seafood and festivals


You can cook a delicious traditional Thanksgiving dinner in your rental home, or try some coastal-inspired side dishes, such as seafood stuffing, Hatteras-Style clam chowder, or baked crab dip. The options are endless. Another option – don’t cook at all! You can have Club Seaside partner, Clambake OBX, or one of our local restaurants (such as Ten O Six in Kill Devil Hills) cater your turkey day feast, or you can dine-in at one of the many restaurants that are open that day.

Duck Waterfront Shops


Christmas IS right around the corner after all. There are so many specialty shops on the Outer Banks that you’re bound to find a unique gift for your loved ones (or yourself). PLUS – it’s the best time of the year to score deals. Visit the Duck Waterfront Shops, Kitty Hawk Kites, and one of the island’s surf shops, art gallerias, and consignment stores on the beach to score amazing one-of-a-kind treasures made by one of the many talented artists on the OBX.


Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for friends and family to celebrate everything they are thankful for… and there are plenty of reasons to be thankful if you’re spending Thanksgiving on the Outer Banks! If you’re planning to visit the OBX during Thanksgiving week 2023, we’ve compiled a handy list of great holiday events you may be interested in attending as well as a list of restaurants serving up a delicious Thanksgiving meal!

*We will continue to update this page as we learn about more events and dining options!




Tipsy Turkey Beer Mile

On Wednesday, November 22nd at 11 AM, head to the Outer Banks Brewing Station to celebrate and participate in their annual Tipsy Turkey Beer Mile! This 21+ event hosted by the OBX Running Company is all about fun. Runners compete in a run-drink-run-drink-run-drink style race in quarter-mile intervals and are encouraged to wear costumes (there will be prizes awarded to the most creative!) At the conclusion of the race, there will be a backyard party at the Brewing Station! Register online here for $40.00. Walk-up registration is available up to 15 minutes before the race begins but there are only 100 spots open so register early to guarantee your participation!




Hangin’ With Santa & Kites with Lights is a 2-day event perfect for getting in the Christmas mood. On Friday, November 24th and Saturday, November 25th, take the kids to Kitty Hawk Kites at Jockey’s Ridge Crossing in Nags Head for a chance to meet Santa! After getting their picture taken, your kids can hang out with a few of Santa’s elves while trying out some classic toys. Plus, there will be excellent holiday sales so you can start Christmas shopping early!



Kites With Lights

On November 25th from 4:00 - 7:00 pm, you won't want to miss this annual holiday light show that will brighten up the sky over the dunes of Jockey's Ridge! Come out to Kites With Lights, presented by Kitty Hawk Kites, and celebrate with an impressive display of huge 19 to 30-foot kites completely decorated for the season! Kids and adults will relish in the sight and will also enjoy the lighting of the Jockey's Ridge State Park Solar Christmas Tree! Plus, baked goods and warm beverages will be available across the street (Jockey's Ridge Crossing). Although the event is free, donations are welcome and benefit The Friends of Jockey's Ridge, a nonprofit organization created to support, maintain and enhance the park.




For a little post-Thanksgiving fun to really bring out the holiday spirit, visit the Elizabethan Gardens beginning November 27th for select dates through December 30. Kids from “one to ninety-two” will love this enchanted display of festive holiday lights. As you wander through the paths around the garden, you’ll experience the magic of a true winter wonderland with Christmas trees, holiday décor and thousands upon thousands of glowing lights. Little ones under 2 get in free! Tickets can be purchased in advance online or at the door. The final tickets of the night are sold at 8:15 PM and since this display is outside, it is subject to weather cancellations. Even if you’ve been in the past, this is a display that you should see year after year! 





Red Sky Cafe

Red Sky Café is a wonderful café in Duck that serves a delicious Thanksgiving meal every year! To start 2023’s Thanksgiving Bounty, enjoy coffee, tea, local craft brews and fall-themed cocktails. The main dish options include fire-roasted turkey, Virginia ham, shrimp & grits, Wagyu sirloin, Fried Oysters, and more! There are plenty of sides too, of course, ranging from Caesar salad and candied sweet potatoes to mac & cheese, and redskin potatoes. Don't forget a homemade dessert prepared by Holly’s Creative Confections! The cost for adults is $48 and $16 for kids 12 & under. Lunch is served from 10:40 AM to 3:00 PM and reservations are recommended by texting (631) 601-7538.



Captain George's Seafood Restaurant

Captain George’s in Kill Devil Hills is no stranger to offering luxurious buffets. However, their annual Thanksgiving buffet is one that will certainly appease any palette. They offer traditional Thanksgiving food like turkey and ham in addition to seafood favorites like crab legs, steamed shrimp, oysters, and more! They also have homemade desserts, vegetables, sides, soups and salads! The restaurant will open at 11:30 AM on Thanksgiving Day and serve through 8:30 PM.  Reservations are available between 11:30 AM and 1:00 PM. The feast will cost guests $49.99.



Jolly Roger Thanksgiving Feast

Jolly Roger in Kill Devil Hills is once again hosting a wonderful annual Thanksgiving feast! The cost is just $34.95 per person and you can even take home your leftovers starting at $9.99 per pound. Dinner starts at 1:00 PM (restaurant open regular hours for breakfast) and you can make reservations ahead of time. They will be offering traditional Roasted Turkey and Honey Glazed Ham along with She Crab Soup, Mashed Potatoes, Traditional Dressing, Fresh Homemade Rolls, Collard Greens, Seasonal Pies, Apple Dumplings & more!




Mulligan’s Grille in Nags Head is another local favorite offering a delicious Thanksgiving meal! New this year is their “Better Than a Buffet” dine-in or carry-out dinner plates. Plates include turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, sweet potato casserole, collards, cranberry sauce and cornbread! You can also choose a dessert for your plate with options like bread pudding, pecan pie, and pumpkin pie. They also have a variety of plate add-ons like beef tenderloin, baked rockfish, lump crab cakes, clam chowder, hushpuppies, and more. Dinner plates are $28.99 per person. Kids 12 & under are $15.99. Reservations for dine-in or carry-out can be accepted up to 48 hours in advance by calling (252) 480-2000.



owen's restaurant obx thanksgiving menu

Owen’s Restaurant is offering a dine-in menu for Thanksgiving, available between Noon and 8:00 PM. Meals range from Turkey & Ham with gravy, dressing and potatoes to Rockfish & Shrimp with sweet potato crunch, mac & cheese, and collards. Side orders, salads, soups and desserts are also available for purchase. Their Southern Coastal Cuisine A la Carte menu includes soups, salads, desserts, surf and turf platters, and more with a range in prices. There is even a menu for kids that includes chicken fingers, local fish, cheeseburgers, turkey and ham with a side!


Here is a list of other local OBX restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day! (Note: hours and menus are subject to change. Check with individual restaurants for additional details).

    • Andy's Pancake & Grill - AM ONLY
    • Angelo's Pizzeria
    • Barrier Island Bagels
    • Basnight's Lone Cedar Cafe
    • Beachcomber's Wood Fired Grille & Tiki Hut - Limited Hours & Menu
    • Beachside Bistro
    • Cafe Pamlico
    • Chilli Peppers
    • China King
    • Chinatown
    • Coastal Creamery
    • Cookshack Fried Chicken
    • Diamond Shoals Restaurant & Sushi Bar
    • Dirty Dick's Crabhouse
    • Duck Cottage Coffee & Bookshop
    • Duck Donuts
    • Dunkin' Donuts
    • The Froggy Dog Restaurant & Bar
    • Front Porch Cafe - TIL NOON
    • Grits Grill
    • Good Winds Restaurant
    • Goombay's Grille & Raw Bar
    • Higher Grounds Coffee & Ice Cream Co. - TIL 1PM
    • Lifesaving Station Restaurant
    • Little Caesars Pizza
    • Muffins & Scones
    • New China Buffet
    • New York Bagels
    • NC Coast Grill & Bar
    • Orange Blossom Bakery & Cafe
    • Player's Grille
    • Roadside Bar & Grill
    • Sal's New York Pizza
    • Sonic Drive-In - AFTER 5PM
    • Stack'em High Pancakes and So Forth
    • Starbucks Coffee
    • Subway
    • Sunrise Seafood Market - AM ONLY
    • Sweet T's Coffee, Beer, & Wine
    • Ten O Six - TIL NOON
    • Thai Room
    • T.L.'s Family Restaurant
    • Tommy's Natural Food Market - AM ONLY
    • Tullio's Baker
    • Uglie Mugs Coffee Shop
    • Vilai Thai Kitchen
    • The Wreck


Outer Banks Clambake

Outer Banks Clambake is the perfect solution for those who don't want to get the whole family ready to go out to a restaurant this holiday season. Instead, let the feast come to you! OBX Clambake will come right to your rental home, bring the ingredients, cook the meal, and clean up afterward! Plus, Seaside Vacations guests are eligible for discounts through Club Seaside! Contact Outer Banks Clam Bake directly to work out a menu, confirm guest total, and arrange other details.

Book Your Thanksgiving Rental on the Outer Banks 

November is considered part of the "off-season" on the Outer Banks and it's the perfect time of year to save a TON of money on a rental home. Seriously, you can save well over 50% on most Outer Banks rentals compared to peak-season (mid-summer) prices. Book your Outer Banks rental home today!