Endless Summer: Fall on the Outer Banks
by Jessie S.
If you’ve been craving a beach vacation but you just don’t think you’ll be able to get away before summer is over, you’re in luck! Here on the Outer Banks, summer conditions last far longer than just June, July and August meaning you still have plenty of time to schedule your Outer Banks vacation! Autumn is almost a second summer to us and in fact, many people prefer to visit the Outer Banks during the fall season due to all the great benefits you won’t find in the peak months! Learn why the fall season on the Outer Banks is just an endless summer of fun.
Temperatures Are Perfect
We understand the appeal of a beach trip in the summer... there’s nothing like taking a dip in the ocean or hopping in the pool on a hot summer’s day after sitting out under the sun. But as we said, fall on the Outer Banks provides an endless summer season—one that is warm enough to sit outside in the sun and still heat up the water enough for you to swim. In September and October, the moderate temperatures range on average around the 60s-70s with highs last year remaining in the mid-80s for most of the month. Last year, there were even some 70-degree and high 60-degree days in November!
Rentals Are More Affordable
Because peak season is the busiest tourist season, rentals can be harder to find and they cost much more than they do on the off-season. For example, a gorgeous 7-bedroom oceanfront home in Southern Shores with a pool may cost around $11,000 during a busy week in July. Compared to the cost of a hotel, especially divided up per person, this truly is a great deal for large family groups! However, that same house rents for around only $3,000 during the first week of October! It will still be warm enough to sit outside (albeit you may need a light jacket in the evenings), and the ocean view is just as amazing. If you’re looking for a bargain, a fall trip is the way to go.
Towns Are Less Crowded
Compared to most popular beach destinations, the Outer Banks is far less crowded and is actually more underdeveloped than most beaches. Despite this fact, it can get pretty busy during the peak travel months. If you want to avoid the crowds and still enjoy everything the Outer Banks has to offer, you’ll love visiting during the fall! Traffic will be less of an issue during check-in day and there will be fewer cars on the road in general. You will also experience less crowds in shops, at local landmarks, and on the beach. As a bonus, you'll likely experience shorter wait times in restaurants and most popular restaurants stay open through October!
Fun Fall Events
Finding a local concert, festival, or event in the summer is not hard—the Outer Banks is literally bustling with activities through the warmer months! Luckily, as with the great weather and awesome beaches, that doesn’t end when summer is over. In fact, some of the largest and most exciting events occur during the fall months and they are events that you won’t want to miss out on! From celebrations of food, music and local culture, here are just a few fall events that you might want to check out:
- September 12, 2019: Dowdy Park Farmer’s Market
- September 13, 2019 – September 15, 2019: OBX Pridefest
- September 15, 2019 – September 21, 2019: ESA Easterns Surfing Championships
- September 26, 2019: Dowdy Park Farmer’s Market
- September 27, 2019 – September 29, 2019: 2019 OBX Jeep Jam
- September 28, 2019: The Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival
- October 4, 2019 – October 12, 2019: Fall Outer Banks Restaurant Week
- October 10, 2019: Dowdy Park Farmer’s Market
- October 12, 2019 – October 13, 2019: 2019 Duck Jazz Festival
- October 19, 2019: Annual Outer Banks Seafood Festival
Fall is Dog-Friendly
It can be hard (and expensive!) to get a pet sitter and leave your four-legged best friends behind when you come on vacation. Although dogs can be perfectly happy on a summer trip, there are stricter laws during peak travel months where dogs are only allowed on the beach during certain hours. Even if this wasn’t the case, the sand and pavement often is far too hot for your dog meaning he may be spending most of his vacation indoors. Luckily, even though the weather is warm, it cools down enough in the off-season making it great weather for exploration! Since the beaches, hiking trails and sidewalks are much less crowded, your dog will be in canine paradise!
Worried About Hurricanes?
Hurricane season technically begins June 1st but most people feel confident that their summer vacation plans will not get ruined during the early summer months. This is probably due to the fact that hurricanes tend to be more frequent in the late summer/fall months. In fact, according to NOAA, there have been 404 hurricanes in September between 1851 and 2017 with 111 of those reaching landfall, 245 in August with 80 touching land and 205 in October with 54 touching land compared to just 33 in June with 19 reaching landfall and 55 in July with 25 touching land.* Considering the odds, we understand why people are nervous about vacationing in the fall but luckily, there are some steps you can take to protect your vacation.
First and foremost, purchase trip insurance! What would you do if you had paid a few thousand dollars for a vacation rental, denied trip insurance, and then had to be evacuated two days into your trip and were unable to get your money back? That’s a reality that people face on a regular basis but it doesn’t have to be. Trip insurance is just that—insurance on the vacation you have planned and paid for and is designed to protect vacationers from losing out on the money they spent. Although each policy has specific conditions and exceptions, it doesn't exist to JUST to protect your trip from hurricanes. Travel Insurance may provide protection for a wide array of circumstances including theft, baggage delay, medical costs and cancellation due to unforeseen illness or death, job loss, deployment and damage to your primary residence. Although the cost varies per home, it is not an expensive add-on in, especially when compared to the thousands you could lose out on in the event of an unforeseen circumstance.
Tip: Don’t forget to purchase trip insurance as soon as possible, or preferably, during time of reservation. If you’re thinking you’ll keep an eye on the weather and then purchase insurance at a later date if it looks like there could be a storm, it will be too late. Trip insurance will not apply to an Atlantic weather system once it has become a named storm.
Another tip is to book later in the year if you have the flexibility to do so. In fact, booking a last-minute vacation is easier than ever when you book through Seaside Vacations. The upside to hurricanes is that although you never know what the storm will actually do until it arrives, there is plenty of warning that something might be coming so if you’re considering a last-minute fall trip, you can easily check NOAA for any potential weather on the horizon and if there is a named storm, hold off on booking a trip until the storm has passed and you know the area is open for visitors.
*The above hurricane statistics encompasses the entire Eastern Atlantic region and is not specific to North Carolina. For more information on the frequency of storms affecting North Carolina, visit NCSU’s Hurricane Statistics Page.
Find Your Outer Banks Fall Rental
With all these great benefits, who wouldn't want to enjoy the endless summer on the Outer Banks? Of course, we'd love to have you visit during the summer as well... two vacations are better than one! We have large multi-room cottages and small one bedroom condos with various views and amenities from Corolla to Nags Head making it easier than ever to find the perfect place for your family to enjoy. Plus, many of our homes now offer an Any Day Stays option where you can book a rental at a minimum of 3 nights which is perfect for those long weekend getaways! Click the button below to get started on finding your perfect Outer Banks fall rental home.
Jessie has been coming to the Outer Banks since she was just 5 years old. She loved it here so much that she finally relocated in 2018. Now her mission is to show the world that the Outer Banks is an incredible place that everyone should experience. When she isn't working, you can find Jessie hanging out with her friends, chilling at home with her awesome cat, Yoji, or discovering a new Outer Banks adventure.