Where are the Outer Banks?

Geographical Location of the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks is a long string of narrow barrier islands located off the coast of North Carolina and southeastern Virginia in the United States. The islands are separated from the mainland by a series of sounds and estuaries, including the Albemarle Sound to the north and the Pamlico Sound to the south. The Outer Banks stretch over 200 miles from the Virginia state line to Cape Lookout in North Carolina.

The islands are divided into three regions: the Northern Beaches, Hatteras Island, and Roanoke Island. The Northern Beaches, which include towns like Duck, Corolla, and Kitty Hawk, are located in the northernmost section of the islands. Hatteras Island is located in the central section and includes the towns of Rodanthe, Avon, Buxton, and Hatteras Village. Roanoke Island is located in the northern section and is home to the town of Manteo.

The Outer Banks are known for their stunning beaches, rolling sand dunes, and historic lighthouses. Visitors can explore the islands by car or on foot via the multi-use paths that run throughout the region. With a mix of natural beauty, history, and adventure, the Outer Banks offer something for everyone.

Climate and Weather in the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks has a humid subtropical climate, which means that it experiences hot and humid summers and mild winters. The average temperature in the summer months, from June to August, is around 80-85°F, while in the winter months, from December to February, the average temperature is around 50-55°F.

One of the defining features of the climate in the Outer Banks is its susceptibility to hurricanes and tropical storms. The hurricane season runs from June to November, and visitors should be aware of the potential for severe weather during this time. However, the Outer Banks is equipped to deal with hurricanes, and local authorities will issue evacuation orders if necessary.

Overall, the weather in the Outer Banks is mild and pleasant, making it an ideal destination for beachgoers and outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy swimming, fishing, surfing, and other activities throughout most of the year, although the water temperature may be too chilly for swimming in the winter months.

Things to Do and See in the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks offers a wealth of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. Here are some of the top things to do and see in the region:

  1. Visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial: Located in Kill Devil Hills, this memorial pays tribute to the Wright brothers’ first flight in 1903.

  2. Explore Cape Hatteras National Seashore: This stunning natural area stretches over 70 miles and includes beaches, dunes, and historic lighthouses.

  3. Visit the North Carolina Aquarium: Located on Roanoke Island, this aquarium offers visitors the chance to see a wide variety of marine life, including sea turtles, sharks, and rays.

  4. Go fishing: The Outer Banks is known for its excellent fishing opportunities, with options for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

  5. Take a wild horse tour: The Outer Banks is home to a herd of wild horses that can be seen on the beaches of Corolla and Carova.

  6. Visit the Lost Colony: Located on Roanoke Island, this outdoor drama tells the story of the first English colonists who settled in the area in the late 16th century.

  7. Go surfing: The Outer Banks is a popular destination for surfers of all skill levels, with waves that are ideal for beginners and experienced surfers alike.

These are just a few of the many things to see and do in the Outer Banks. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or adventure, you’ll find plenty to explore in this beautiful region.

Tips for Traveling to the Outer Banks

Here are some tips to keep in mind when traveling to the Outer Banks:

  1. Plan ahead: The Outer Banks is a popular destination, especially during the summer months, so it’s a good idea to make reservations for accommodations and activities well in advance.

  2. Pack for the beach: You’ll want to bring plenty of sunscreen, beach towels, and swimsuits for your trip to the Outer Banks.

  3. Rent a car: While there is some public transportation available, renting a car will give you the freedom to explore the region at your own pace.

  4. Bring insect repellent: Mosquitoes and other insects can be a nuisance in the Outer Banks, especially during the summer months.

  5. Be prepared for the weather: As mentioned earlier, the Outer Banks is susceptible to hurricanes and tropical storms, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared for any potential storms.

  6. Respect the wildlife: The Outer Banks is home to a variety of wildlife, including wild horses and sea turtles. Visitors should be respectful of these animals and avoid feeding or harassing them.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your trip to the Outer Banks is enjoyable and hassle-free.


The Outer Banks is a beautiful and unique region of the United States that offers visitors a wide range of activities and attractions. From exploring historic sites like the Wright Brothers National Memorial and the Lost Colony to enjoying outdoor activities like fishing, surfing, and swimming, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this stunning region.

Visitors to the Outer Banks should be aware of the region’s climate and weather patterns, as well as the potential for hurricanes and tropical storms. However, with proper planning and preparation, travelers can enjoy a safe and enjoyable trip to this beautiful part of the country.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an adventure-filled trip, the Outer Banks is a destination that should not be missed. With its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and unique culture, the Outer Banks is truly a one-of-a-kind destination that is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits.

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