Winter in the Outer Banks is wonderful. The crowds have gone, the weather is cooler and there is much to do! Winters still boast a temperate climate with highs in the low to mid-50’s, and rarely will you see snow or the mercury dip below the 30’s. It’s the perfect time to plan a needed getaway full of adventure, good eats and holiday cheer!
Explore Jockey’s Ridge State Park
Venture out on 427 acres with your adventure partner at Jockey’s Ridge State Park, the tallest active sand dunes in the eastern US. This State Park is one of the most visited parks in North Carolina and for good reason. The park is great for flying kites, taking hang-gliding lessons, walking on the 360-foot boardwalk, having a picnic and exploring nature. From the top of the dunes is an incredible view of the sound and ocean.
Insider Tip: Visit at sunset for spectacular views!
Enjoy Exceptional Dining Near Manteo
There is a preconceived notion that everything in the Outer Banks closes down in the winter and that is simply not true. There are plenty of restaurants to enjoy around OBX year-round. Below we have a few of our favorites that you must try!
- Blue Water Grill & Raw Bar in Manteo, NC
- The Colington Cafe in Kill Devil Hills, NC
- JK’s Restaurant in Kill Devil Hills, NC
- Ocean Boulevard Bistro and Martini Bar in Kitty Hawk, NC
Illuminate Your Spirits with the Winter Lights at Elizabethan Gardens
This incredible Outer Banks holiday tradition is a must! If you are visiting the end of November through mid-January, you must take a stroll through the ten acres of illuminated gardens. The grounds are magical and guests enjoy shopping, an open-air fire, a huge outdoor holiday movie and live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. You must purchase tickets to gain entrance to this must-do event.
Mark Your Calendars for Christmas in Downtown Manteo
Experience the magic of Christmas time in Manteo December 2nd through the 4th. The weekend is full of festive holiday activities including Santa’s Sleigh Ride, Tree Lighting, Cookie Decorating, the Christmas Parade & more. View the full schedule and get ready for some holiday cheer!
Get Your Holiday Shopping Done in the Outer Banks
Finish your holiday shopping while treating yourself to a much needed getaway. There are wonderful gift shops, boutiques and outlet malls in the Outer Banks. Below are some of our favorite shopping options in OBX.
- Tanger Outlets – there is something for everyone. Located in Nags Head, NC.
- The Christmas Shop – 25,000 square feet of unique gifts! Located in Manteo, NC.
- The Cotton Gin – “Selling fine gifts, beachware & souvenirs since 1929”. Located in Nags Head, NC.
- The Waterfront Shops – explore over 27+ unique, boutique shops & restaurants. Located in Duck, NC.
- The Christmas Mouse – bring Christmas home with you! Multiple locations in both Nags Head & Duck, NC.
- Downtown Manteo – everything from handpicked fashion and shell art, to furniture, floral & more. Located in Manteo, NC.
Experience the Lighthouses in the Winter
There is something mystical and serene about the lighthouses of the Outer Banks. Pack a lunch, hop in the car and explore the top five Outer Banks lighthouses.
- Bodie Island Lighthouse (pictured above) in Nags Head, NC.
- Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla, NC. Originally built in 1875 and is only open through Thanksgiving.
- Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in Buxton, NC.
- Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse in Manteo, NC is the only river lighthouse in Dave County.
- Ocracoke Lighthouse in Ocracoke, NC stands 75′ tall.
Of note, most lighthouses do not allow you to climb them in the winter but still make for a lovely outing.
Go Tasting at our Famous OBX Breweries & Distilleries
The Outer Banks is home to some incredible breweries and distilleries. These establishments are open in the winter and are perfect after a day of exploring. Check out some of our favorite places to wet your whistle.
- Lost Colony Brewery and Cafe in Manteo, NC – A local treasure with great food and even better brews.
- Outer Banks Brewing Station in Kill Devil Hills, NC – Patrons can enjoy brewery tours, events and great food.
- Outer Banks Distilling in Manteo, NC – The rum is flowing at this incredible distillery! Pop in for a sample and some great stories.
- Swells’ a Brewery in Kill Devil Hills, NC – This beautiful and inviting taproom is open daily to taste their fantastic beer.
Stargaze on the Sand
With over 100 miles of shoreline, a winter getaway on the Outer Banks would not be complete without visiting one of the many beautiful beaches. Stargaze from the sand, create the perfect sand angel, or comb the beach for buried treasure!
Insider Tip: Add on our Picnic Takeaway for Two or Romance Duo indulgences to make the most of your trip to the beach.
Make it an Unforgettable Getaway at a Cozy B&B
There is nothing more perfect after a day of winter fun than relaxing in a cozy room, sitting by the fire, and warming up in a spa tub or under a hydro-massage shower. The White Doe Inn is a top-rated Outer Banks bed and breakfast located in Manteo, right in the heart of it all. There are nine lovely rooms and suites to choose from, two of which are pet-friendly so your furry friend can join you on your winter getaway to remember.
We cannot wait to host you for the most unique and incredible winter getaway in the Outer Banks.Book Now