Things to do on the Outer Banks During the Shoulder Season

The shoulder season on the Outer Banks is defined as the time after the high traffic weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Many vacationers actually feel it is the best time of year to visit the OBX because of the amazing weather, smaller crowds and cheaper rates. Here are a few ways to spend the beautiful days of the shoulder season enjoying all that the Outer Banks has to offer.


Even in the fall, the weather on the Outer Banks is amazing. The pleasant days and warm water still make the beach a top OBX attraction. You will find that the crowds are gone and you have room to actually spread out and enjoy the peace and quiet. Set up a volleyball or cornhole game without having to worry about hitting other beachgoers and take advantage of your own personal piece of Outer Banks Heaven! Smaller crowds also mean that beach combing for shells and sea glass will be more productive, too, as you will have less fellow hunters out there to compete with!


The shoulder season is also known as one of the best wedding seasons here on the Outer Banks. It is very common to see ceremonies on the beach throughout the fall months as the OBX has become one of the most popular places to get married in the country. You already love the Outer Banks, so why not make it part of the most special day in your life?  Vacation homes that specialize in hosting weddings can be found all the way from the northern beaches of Carova down south to Ocracoke.


The calm waters of the sounds of the Outer Banks make kayaking or Stand Up Paddleboarding great activities to try just about any time of year. The bays and marshes of the sound are excellent places to explore, fish, or bird watch, too. The Outer Banks is known for having amazing sunsets but you haven’t truly experienced one until you have seen it from across the water in the fall and winter months! Even more adventurous people could head up to the four wheel drive area and see the Corolla wild horses from the water. Can you imagine paddling through the Carova Canals or the sound and have a Colonial Spanish Mustang walking through the water beside you?


Finally, during the beginning of the shoulder season, the water is still warm and the waves tend to be bigger…both creating excellent conditions for a seasoned surfer, or even a novice looking to improve their skills. Surfing spots abound from Carova and the Duck Pier in the north, to the “Laundromats” in Kitty Hawk, Jeanette’s Pier in Nags Head, the “S Curves” in Rodanthe, and Ocracoke Island further to the south.

These are just a few ideas to help you weather the shoulder season on the Outer Banks in your own unique, beautiful way, and to fully experience all of what this area has to offer.