5 May 2021
People often ask us what the best times are to visit the Outer Banks, and we always recommend coming to the OBX in the spring or fall to take advantage of the lowest prices, least amount of crowds, and great weather for the area. So, when planning a visit to the area, it’s important for visitors to look at dates that fall between either March and May or September and November.
But, there are two other seasons where the OBX is still up and running, and it’s important to go over some of the attractions and pricing options that are available during these times. Below we’ve included a breakdown of everything tourists can expect during each season at the Outer Banks so they can make the best decision for their OBX vacation.
Spring is a great time of year to visit the Outer Banks because everything is starting to warm up and attractions are beginning to open.
Prices are still low from the winter, so people are more likely to find great deals on beach rentals and more. Even last-minute travelers can book rentals without breaking the bank. This is definitely the best time for great deals at the OBX.
Though it’s likely not going to be warm enough for a traditional trip to the beach, the spring in the OBX is still something to look forward to. Temperatures are starting to get warmer, so it’s typically much more comfortable to walk outside with just a light jacket.
Another reason why spring is one of the best times to visit the Outer Banks is that there are fewer tourists. This means that people can enjoy many of the seasonal events, local attractions, and more without having to wait in long lines.
Though some of the peak-season restaurants may still be closed until the summer hits, there are still plenty of places to visit that will show off the local fare.
Spring is also a great time of year to visit because of all the local events that happen in the area. From the Easter EGGstravaganza in Nags Head to the OBX Triathlon, there are plenty of things to do for everyone.
Because this is the OBX’s peak season, visitors can expect higher prices, higher temperatures, and larger crowds.
Summer is the official peak season of the Outer Banks, so everything is going to naturally be more expensive. From a rental perspective, this is the time where the prices are highest and it’s harder to find a property for a last-minute stay at an affordable price.
The weather during this time is, of course, going to be the most ideal for a true beach vacation. With very little rain in the general forecast and high temperatures, beach-goers can take advantage of the OBX’s gorgeous beaches from sunrise to sunset. The typical temperature range falls between 80 and 90 degrees with some days even going beyond that to 100 degrees or higher.
Because of the beautiful weather, the OBX draws a lot of tourists from North Carolina and beyond. These crowds will cause delays and traffic, and will most likely create longer wait times at attractions and restaurants.
Since this is peak season, all of the restaurants and local vendors will be open and ready to accept visitors. That being said, there will likely be longer wait times to partake in these local fares because of the large crowds.
Summertime at a beach town naturally means that the majority of the fun is centered around the ocean, but there are plenty of other attractions that are open during this time, like the aquarium, all of the fishing piers, local shops (complete with air conditioning!), and more.
As one of the two best times to visit the Outer Banks, fall naturally has a lot to offer visitors.
During the fall, the prices for rental properties start to drop significantly because it is the start of the off-season for our beach towns. Depending on when their vacation is planned, people can look forward to prices as low as $650 a week for a beach rental!
North Carolina weather skews warmer than many other states, so it’s not uncommon for temperatures to be warm enough to enjoy the ocean and evening temperatures are pleasant in the fall months. Temperatures stay relatively warm with average highs hitting the mid-upper 70’s. Keep in mind, however, that September is the beginning of hurricane season, so it’s important for visitors to purchase travel insurance when planning a stay here.
Because kids are going back to school and the weather gets slightly cooler, there aren’t as many people visiting the OBX during the fall. This means that there aren’t as many crowds to contend with.
Fall is the beginning of the OBX’s off-season, some restaurants and attractions begin to close up shop until the next year’s peak season. But, there are still several tourist favorites that stay open through early fall, and many local restaurants that are open all year round.
The majority of the activities visitors take advantage of in the fall are centered around the outdoors. So, people frequently fish at the local fishing piers, visit parks, take hang gliding lessons, and go golfing at the surrounding golf courses. It’s even warm enough to still spend time at the beach. There are also several Halloween activities on the Outer Banks including a horror film festival.
The winter is perhaps the least popular time to come to the Outer Banks, but there are still plenty of things to do during the cold-weather months of the off-season.
Because not many people visit the OBX during this time of year, hotel and private beach rentals are incredibly affordable. There are usually plenty of homes and hotel rooms to choose from, so last-minute travel can be easily booked.
Even though these are the coldest months of the year, North Carolina is known for having relatively mild temperatures during this time. So, people are able to explore the outdoors without being too cold while also having the luxury of heading back to their rentals and relaxing with a hot cup of cocoa.
Naturally, because this is the least popular time to come visit the beach, there are going to be way fewer crowds for people to contend with.
During the winter, many of the more popular and touristy restaurants are closed, but the majority of the local favorites are still open and waiting for locals and visitors. Some of the most popular local restaurants in the area include Blue Moon Beach Grill, The Black Pelican, Owen’s Restaurant, and The Jolly Rodger.
Wintertime is when the people who live locally get to reclaim their area, so most of the more traditional tourist options are closed during this time. But, there are a lot of recreational activities that travelers can take part in, like golfing at one of the OBX’s golf courses, visiting natural landscapes, and spending time at one of the open-air shopping centers. People can even visit nearby islands to learn the history and culture of the area.
The best time of year to go to the Outer Banks is either in the Spring or Fall, but there are reasons to travel to the area over the rest of the year as well. To find a rental property for an upcoming stay in this beautiful beach town, visit the Vacation Rental Homes page on our website!