• WiFi *
    • Keyless Entry *
    • Fully Equipped Kitchen *
    • Cook & Tableware *
    • Coffee Maker *
    • Outdoor Grill *
    • Sheets & Towels *
    • Signature Welcome Package *
    * All houses include these items.

    Visiting the Outer Banks in the Off Season

    If you miss the beach too much to wait, want to skip the summer heat and crowds, or just want to try something new, we’re here to help you plan your off-season visit to the Outer Banks. 

    The off-season is usually mid-November to mid-March, though we do get a bigger share of visitors during the holiday periods. If you’re looking for the most quiet time to visit, any time in January and February would be ideal. 

    The Weather

    Obviously, the first thing you’d probably want to know is what the weather is like. It does get cold, but, on average, not incredibly so. Lows in the 30s and highs in the 50s make it possible to get outdoors. 

    (Source: NOAA) 

    It does rain, and we have the occasional snowfall, too, so bring your galoshes but not your snow tubes.  

    If you intend to have a lot of cozy time indoors, you may want to plan ahead and find a home that includes a fireplace. Many of our vacation rental homes have them so just check with us before you book. You can contact us, and we’ll help you find one. 


    We encourage you to check out our vacation rentals — the off-season is a great time of year to get a spacious home for a great weekly rate. Since you may be indoors more than you would in summer months, a little extra luxury will make your stay more relaxed…and relaxing is a big reason people visit beach towns. 

    With options ranging from 4 to 30 bedrooms, we provide the perfect setting for visits ranging from cozy stays to large family gatherings.

    The Beach 

    “While you may not want to get into the water — unless you are one of those daring polar plungers — the beach is still incredible.” With fewer people to watch and watch out for, a long walk along the shore is peaceful and therapeutic. You’ll experience the relaxing, rhythmic sounds of the ocean, skipping potentially being subjected to neighboring beachgoers’ wireless speaker song choices.

    During your walk, you can more easily enjoy beachcombing and shelling if that’s your thing. One of our resident shelling experts gave this tip, too. “Time your beach stroll with the tides for the best luck finding treasures from the sea. Low tide provides the best opportunities, especially when it coincides with early morning before other shell hunters have had a look.” 

    And maybe you want to pick up the pace and go for a jog — even easier when the beach is nearly vacant. 


    The Outer Banks is home to more than 50 species of birds, many of which can be spotted during the winter, too. With the right attire and equipment, you could spend all day spotting unique species. We know some have spotted more than 40 species in a single day.

    And if it’s not squawking birds you’re looking for, you might get the chance to see whales or seals. If you want to improve your chances of seeing more wildlife, head over to the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge for the chance to see wolves, bears, bobcats, and alligators. 

    Food & Drink

    After a prolonged beach visit, little follows it better than food and drink. While some places close during the off-season, our local staff handpicked the spots they visit on their way to work, during lunch, or for something delicious after their shift. Here are some of their favorites. 

    For breakfast, you can’t miss Duck Donuts or Stack’em High. For lunch, The Black Pelican and the Blue Moon Beach Grill and of course, dinner recommendations include The Blue Point, Ocean Boulevard Bistro & Martini Bar and JK’s Restaurant. 

    History & Museums

    If you’ve done any research on the Outer Banks, you know there’s some great history and museums to explore. From first flights to tall lights, the off-season is a perfect time to slow down and learn a bit more about this special area. 

    We have a comprehensive guide to the history of the Outer Banks, however, a few historic spots we encourage checking out include:

    The Wright Brother’s National Memorial is the site of the first-ever powered flight, and offers a visitor center, Wilbur and Orville Wright’s reconstructed camp buildings, a walking path to the iconic Wright Brothers Monument, a life-size sculpture depicting their historic first flight, and more.

    The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, located in Hatteras Village, while compact in size, has an abundance of exhibits. Found just beyond the Ocracoke Ferry Terminal, this museum stands as an essential highlight for anyone exploring the Outer Banks.

    The Whalehead Club, the Currituck Maritime Museum, and Currituck Beach Light are located right in the same area in Corolla so you can park and walk to both. 

    Other popular spots include Outer Banks History Center at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo, Island Farm in Manteo and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site in Manteo (Lost Colony).

    Outdoor Adventure

    Kayaking, windsurfing, kiteboarding, aerial tours, horseback riding, and bike rides are the most popular activities but brave souls might also skydive. Again, it’s winter time so bring the proper gear — don’t let the colder winds off the ocean slow you down. 


    We’ve singled this outdoor activity out because, well, it’s fishing, one of the most popular ocean activities since humans discovered water. (It’s believed that humans fished as far back as 30,000 B.C.) It’s still a popular pastime even during the off-season.

    Not every fishing charter stays open year-round, so between the demand and availability, if you’re coming to fish, plan well ahead of time. If you get out, you’ll likely be looking for King Mackerel, Red Drum, Striped Bass, and quite possibly, Tuna if you get all the way out to the Gulf Stream. Don’t forget the sound side either for a less bumpy fishing expedition. 


    Ok, we lied and said we were only singling out fishing; golfing is a popular Outer Banks off-season activity worth highlighting. We have golf courses that are open year-round and are great for experienced players and beginners alike. If you’re just getting started or just don’t want your golf game to get rusty — plan a golf outing while you’re here (or plan a few — it’s not like you’ll be sitting on a beach chair all day). Some of our vacation rentals come with golf privileges, too. 

    We’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions people have when considering a visit to the Outer Banks in the off-season. If you’re looking for in-depth advice on visiting any time of year, we have a comprehensive Travel Guide to help you with almost anything you can think of asking. Our friendly, local reservationists are also standing by year-round to help you with your Outer Banks vacation questions.

    While the Outer Banks is an obvious destination for vacationers during the warmer months, there’s plenty to enjoy about our barrier island when the weather is cool and the crowds are gone.