Our favorite things to do:
Ask ten people what their favorite part of the Outer Banks is and you’re likely to get 10 different answers. Outdoor adventurers love to parasail,
charter a fishing boat, kayak the bay or take a day four-wheeling on the secluded northern beaches. Others simply can’t get enough of the sun and sand
outside their cottage door. Still others are here for the spas, outlet shopping and boutiques. History buffs are intrigued by new discoveries related
to the Graveyard of the Atlantic as details related to the USS monitor and other shipwrecks dating back to the 16th century are still emerging.
Kids’ are turned on to history as they experience it through the tales of Black Beard, the Lost Colony and Spanish Mustangs. Of course, everyone loves to see the hard work and ingenuity of past generations come to life at Jockey’s Ridge State Park and the Wright Brothers Memorial. Perhaps the highlight of the Outer Banks are its beautiful beaches. Or the lighthouses, some with histories so engaging, they’ve been featured in National Geographic. A rainy day or two doesn’t even damper the excitement—go bowling, catch a newly released movie, explore the aquarium, or dodge the raindrops between the art galleries in Duck.
Take a morning to visit the
Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk
- Visit the Wright Brother's Memorial. Make certain to be there for the great lecture on the Wright Flyer at 10 AM, 12 Noon, 2 PM, and 4 PM. The docent will demonstrate the innovations that the Wright Brother's perfected in 1903 on a $1.5M replica of the Wright Flyer.http://www.nps.gov/wrbr/index.htm
- Pack a picnic to enjoy nearby Jockey’s ridge. Lose your shoes to go hiking, dune climbing, & dune sledding (bring an strong trash bag or inflatable tube.www.jockeysridgestatepark.com
- Finish off the afternoon shopping across the street at Kitty Hawk Kites—toys for kids of all ages.
- For the more adventurous, try hang gliding lessons, wind sailing, kite boarding, kayaking, jet boating, and more. Arrange through Kitty Hawk Kites.http://www.kittyhawk.com.
Take a day trip to Ocracoke
- On the drive down to the ferry, enjoy the
Cape Hattaras National Seashore which extends more than
70 miles from South Nags Head to Ocracoke Inlet, and boasts the
first National Seashore, lighthouses and lifesaving
- Take the free 40 minute car ferry across
to Ocracoke Island 1-800-BY-FERRY
- Shop and walk around Ocracoke, a charming
fishing village and tourist retreat.
Plan a day trip to Manteo
and the fishing village in Wanchese on
Visit an authentic working fishing village in Wanchese (pronounced Wancheese)
- Visit the NC Aquarium
or (252) 473-3493
- Glimpse into the fishing life at Mike Keller’s Rope Store. Specializing in commercial fishing gear, Mike Keller outfits both commercial, sport and casual fishers. Find gloves, traps, nets and the best in foul weather gear for both kids and adults in top brands like Sperry, Extratuf, Gurdens Gage and the Muck Boot Company. We always stock up on their knives, buoys… and ropes of course. Our insider tip, pick up the red Victorinox knives at the counter for $6. 416 Russell Twiford Road. http://www.mikekellerltd.com/ or (800) 638-8464.
- Walk and shop in the historic Manteo
- "Dig for Blackbeard’s treasure" in the
- Simon’s Pirate Adventure! ARRG! Bring your bawdy crew to this swashbuckling young-pirate adventure to be dressed like a pirate, talk like a pirate and act like a pirate. This event coincides with The Queen’s Fairy Quest so the whole family can choose their adventure. June 16 - August 11th on Thursdays at 3PM. 48-hour advance reservations required. http://www.thelostcolony.org/pirate_adventure.htm
- Pirate Cruise, a place where children come to experience the magic of sailing away in search of buried treasure. Sailing six times a day. Opens Memorial Day. http://www.piratesobx.com/home/homeindex.html
- Explore the Roanoke Island Festival Park
http://www.roanokeisland.com or (252) 475-1500
- Stroll through the Elizabethan Gardenshttp://www.elizabethangardens.org or (252) 473-3234.
- End the day at under the stars unraveling
the mystery of The Lost Colony www.thelostcolony.org or
- O'Neal's Sea Harvest located at The Wanchese Seafood Industrial Park (not as bad as it sounds) has the highest rated fresh and frozen seafood. O'Neal's is located at 622 Harbor Rd., Wanchese, NC 27981, (252) 473-4535.
At the main wharf (not the
Wanchese Seafood Industrial Park) you can find the
Wanchese Fish Company at 4683 Mill Landing Road,
Wanchese, NC 27981, (252) 473-5001.
Their retail store is located next door at
They also own the adjacent
Fisherman's Wharf Restaurant,
- Just before you get to the main wharf on your left is Gray Beard's Fish at 4315 Mill Landing Road, Wanchese, NC 27981, (252) 475-9888
- If you're a beachcomber, you may enjoy visiting Stetson's Shells at 3763 Mill Landing Road, Wanchese NC 27981. (252) 473-2976. They have a wholesale business but their retail store is next door. Our kids loved looking through the great range of shells.
Spend a morning in Corolla:
- Tour the house and grounds of the
Whalehead Club in Corolla (252) 453-9040
- Climb to the top of the Currituck
lighthouse (the last time we checked, your children must
be 42” tall. Call to confirm this.)
Kayak or watch the sunset on
Explore the quieter side of the Outer Banks. Southern Shores boasts three lovely marina entrances for the sound. All are great places to watch the sunset or enjoy a picnic. With less waterside drop off, more shallow areas, and fewer waves, the sound is an ideal place for kids.
Complimentary entrance and parking is available at the marina for Dolphin Inn Guests. Display the Southern Shores Civic Association Parking placard in your windshield, available on the top level fridge. This placard parking permit also grants access to the Sea Oats playground the tennis courts, and several parking spots near the beach. Lost parking passes are deducted from guest deposit. $50.
Here’s how to find our favorite marina spot: make a left out of the driveway. Make the first left at the traffic light onto East Dogwood Trail. Turn left at the T onto North Dogwood Trail. The first entrance to the marina is within a few hundred feet on the right. Look for a marina symbol on the sign.
To get to the other side of the marina, continue on North Dogwood Trail and then make a right on Sassafras Lane (the first street after crossing the canal). Bear right on the dirt road when you get to the circle at the end of the street.
Kayaks are available for rent at Ocean Atlantic Rentals in Duck (252-261-4346). Launch directly into the sound from behind the rental location and kayak 2.5 miles south to the marina. Take your cell phone in a waterproof pouch, water, sunscreen, and a decent map. If you get to the causeway bridge, you've gone 2.5 miles too far. To get your bearings, we recommend driving to the marina before setting out. When you are kayaking south, the marina is directly due East (i.e., to the left of) the Peninsula.
Below are some of our
favorite restaurants (from North to South)
Duck. Our Favorite: Duck Deli (252) 261-3354
owned by the same folks for over 20 years.
If you're looking for a fine dining experience try
the Left Bank at the Sanderling
Also, The Blue Point
Southern Shores - Our Favorites: Cosmo's Pizza by the Food Lion, (252) 261-8388.http://www.cosmospizzaobx.com/.
Fresh donuts made fresh at Duck Donuts in Kitty Hawk
across the street from the Hilton
Our Favorites: Happy Hour (10
cent shrimp and 25 cent wings) at Hurricane Mo's (E.
Kitty Hawk Road, just off the Beach Road, MP 4,
Kitty Hawk (252) 255-0215, 3 - 5 in the summer, 3 -
6 at other times of the year). La Fogata, MP 4
Kill Devil Hills
Our Favorites: Henry's family restaurant for
breakfast MP 5.5, Mama Kwans for lunch
www.jksfoods.com, Saltwater's Grill (1216 S
Virginia Dare Trail), Five Guys Burgers & Fries, MP
9 (252) 255-0006
The Kill Devil Grill is a classic Outer Banks establishment. It is one of only 6 diners in the national registry of historic buildings. It is located at MP 9 3/4 on the Beach Road. Well worth the wait. www.thekilldevilgrill.com.
Nags Head. Our Favorites: Owens' Restaurant www.owensrestaurant.com, Basnight's Lone Cedar Cafe www.lonecedarcafe.com.
Manteo. Our Favorite: Otega'z Restaurant www.ortegaz.com.
Ocracoke Island - Howard's Pub
Visit the rebuilt Jennette's Pier
On Saturday, May 21, 2011, the new 1,000-foot concrete pier and 16,000-square-foot pier house was christened and reopened to the public. Originally built in 1939, Jennette’s is the oldest fishing pier on the Outer Banks. Battered by storms and rebuilt many times throughout its seventy-year life, Jennette’s was knocked down by Hurricane Isabel in 2003, just after the pier and its five-acre tract were purchased by the NC Aquarium Society. Now, after years of planning and twenty-four months of construction, Jennette’s remerged in 2011 as a one-of-a-kind educational ocean pier. The Aquarium-operated complex features educational classrooms and programs, alternative energy demonstrations, live animal exhibits, meeting facilities, a snack bar and tackle shop, and a host of other displays and features for good family fun… with great fishing too!
Visit a nearby Vineyard
Guided tours in season, self-guided off season.
The tasting room is in the nearby Cotton Gin in
Jarvisburg, NC. (252) 491-2387
Golfing in and near the Outer Banks
The Dolphin Inn is a member of the Kilmarlic Golf Club. Guests of the Dolphin Inn receive K-Club members' rates. Click for K-Club info.
Visit the 10 screen multiplex to see
the latest movies at the R/C Movie Theaters, 1803 N.
Croatan Highway, Kill Devil Hills (252) 441-5630
There are six courses within 15 miles of the Dolphin Inn and there are nine courses within a 20 miles.
We’ve tried to capture the pertinent information from the
Golf Courses’ websites and added the distances for your
benefit. We’ve also split them into Outer Banks vs.
Mainland Golf Courses and sorted them by distance to the
|Golf on the Outer Banks|
||Miles to Dolphin Inn
|Duck Woods Country Club||An excellent golf course, the Duck Woods Country Club, is located just a few minute drive from the Dolphin Inn. The Duck Woods Country Club is a private, membership organization. In 2005 they completed their new club house. Some public golf play is permitted with fees for greens and cart use. Try to reserve your tee time at least 10 days in advance. ||50 S. Dogwood Trail, Southern Shores, NC 27949||1.28 miles||http://www.duckwoodscc.com
|Sea Scape Golf Links||Located one block from the ocean in beautiful Kitty Hawk, Sea Scape Golf Links truly represents the diverse nature of the Outer Banks.||300 Eckner Street, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949||3.9 miles||http://www.seascapegolf.com/
$30 - $105
|The Currituck Club||At The Currituck Club, Rees Jones has brought to life his philosophy of golf course design to create an environment for the game of golf that is challenging, fair and aesthetically pleasing, using as his canvas the type of land where golf began. ||620 Currituck Clubhouse Drive, Corolla, NC 27927. ||12.9 miles||http://www.thecurrituckgolfclub.com/
$40 - $165
|Nags Head Golf Links||At Nags Head Golf Links, you'll discover a true Scottish links style championship course nestled into the natural, windswept environment of the Outer Banks. Where sand dunes, wild sea grasses and rugged coastline create holes that Golf Digest calls "Among the most beautiful in the eastern United States."||5615 S. Seachase Drive, Nags Head, NC 27959. ||16 miles||http://www.nagsheadgolflinks.com/
$45 - $120
|Golf nearby on the mainland (generally less expensive and most are easy to get to)|
|Holly Ridge Golf Course||Holly Ridge is under the management of Wright Flight Golf, including PGA professional Danny Miller. The front nine winds through a peaceful forest of native trees and picturesque ponds, while the more open back nine are affected by winds||8818 Caratoke Hwy (Rt 158), Harbinger, NC, 27941. ||10 miles||
$10 - $60
|Kilmarlic Golf Club||Sits among 605 acres of maritime forest and sprawling wetlands.||215 West Side Lane, Powells Point, NC 27966||12.5 miles||http://www.kilmarlicgolfclub.com/
Dolphin Inn Guests receive K-Club members rates $30 - $79 including golf fees and cart fees. Tee Times
|The Pointe Golf Club||The Pointe Golf Club is recognized as one of the most player-friendly golf courses on the Outer Banks and a "must play" on any Outer Banks vacation. Groomed for the pro but available to the public.||308 Pointe Golf Club Dr, Powells Point, NC 27966||12.5 miles||http://www.thepointegolfclub.com/
$35 - $99
|Mill Run||The classic Mill Run Golf Club conveniently located fifteen minutes from Chesapeake Virginia (Hampton Roads) and forty-five minutes from OBX - Outer Banks of North Carolina in the community of Eagle Creek just East of Moyock, North Carolina off Hwy 168. ||109 Green View Rd, Moyock, NC 27958||47 miles||http://www.millrungolfclub.us/golf/proto/millrungolfclub/|
$20 - $40
|Goose Creek Golf & Country Club||Good golf at an affordable price||6562 Caratoke Hwy (Rt 158), Grandy, NC 27939||19.32 miles||http://www.obxgolfgoosecreek.com/
(252) 453-4008 or (800) 443-4008
$15 - $50
|The Carolina Club||The Carolina Club is one of the "Locals' Choice" for great golf on the Outer Banks. Groomed for the pro but available to the public, this magnificent 7,000 yard, par 72 championship golf course may well be the highlight of your stay on the Outer Banks.||127 Carolina Club Dr, Grandy, NC 27939.||20.2 miles||http://www.thecarolinaclub.com/
$35 - $98
|Knobbs Creek||Knobbs Creek Par-3 Golf Course is a 9-hole par 3 golf course in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. This 3 par layout provides for a fun golf experience for golfers of all skill levels. "||200 E Ward St, Elizabeth City, North Carolina 27909"||48 miles||
|The Pines at Elizabeth City||The Pines Country Club is an 18-hole regulation length golf course in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. This championship layout has 3 sets of teeboxes for a fun, but challenging golfing experience||1525 N Rd St, Elizabeth City, North Carolina, 27909||50 miles||http://www.thepinesatelizabethcity.com/
$30 - $50
|Matthew Creek||Matthew Creek Par 3 is a 9-hole par 3 golf course in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. This 3 par layout provides for a fun golf experience for golfers of all skill levels.||733 Dry Ridge Rd, Elizabeth City, NC 27909||59 miles||
|The Sound Golf Links at Albemarle Plantation||This masterpiece on the shores of Albemarle Sound in historic Hertford, North Carolina features plush fairways and immaculate greens that run along age-old marshes and through cypress groves draped in Spanish Moss. ||101 Club House Dr Hertford, NC 27944. ||75 miles||http://albemarleplantation.com/index.php/amenities/golf
(252) 426-5555 or 1-800-535-0704.
Go Deep Sea Fishing
Visit the US Corps of
Engineers Field Research Facility in Duck
The Field Research Facility (FRF) is an internationally recognized coastal observatory. Instruments at the facility constantly record the changing waves, winds, tides, and currents. Central to the facility is a 560m (1840 ft) long pier and specialized vehicles.
Located North of Duck on Hwy. 12, the entrance gate is open between 9:30 and 10AM
Admission is free. Sixty-minute walking tours are offered mid-June through mid-August at 10AM Monday - Friday.
(252) 261-6840 ext. 401
Visit the Sanderling Spa
Spa is open from 8:00am - 8:00pm Monday through Saturday
and 9:00am - 6:00pm on Sundays. We recommend that you
make your reservation at the Sanderling Spa as soon as
possible to avoid disappointment. Please
mention the Dolphin Inn when you make your reservation.
Kids getting restless?
Night at the Multiplex
Go Bowling with the Dolphin Inn membership
The Dolphin Inn has a membership at the Outer Banks Bowling Center at MP 10, (252) 255-1187. Show the Dolphin Inn membership card and get $2 off weekday rates and $1 off weekend rates + $1 savings for shoe rentals. Valid for everyone staying at the Dolphin Inn. The Outer Banks Bowling Center just had a $225,000 upgrade in 2013. Fun for the whole family. http://obxbowlingcenter.com/
Visit a nearby Vineyard
Guided tours in season, self-guided off season.
The tasting room is in the nearby Cotton Gin in
Jarvisburg, NC. (252) 491-2387
Still need more?
Fly to and From the Outer
- Fly to Norfolk Airport (ORF) on a commercial
flight. The Norfolk airport is 90 miles from the Outer Banks. The
airport is served by American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, Southwest, United Express and US Airways. http://www.norfolkairport.com/
- To fly closer to the Outer Banks, try the Linear Air charter service.
Call 1-877-254-6327. http://www.linearair.com/obx
- Duck United Methodist Church, Duck
- All Saints Episcopal, 40 Pintail Tr. (off
S. Dogwood) 441-6674
- First Baptist Church of Kitty Hawk, MP 4,
US 158 261-3516
- Holy Redeemer Catholic Parish, 301 W.
Kitty Hawk Rd. 261-1168
- Kitty Hawk United Methodist Church, 803 W.
Kitty Hawk Rd. 261-2062
- Lighthouse Christian Fellowship, MP 4.5
For a complete list see:
Outer Banks Web Cams
Field Research Facility (Duck)
Avalon Fishing Pier Webcam -
Nags Head Fishing Pier Webcam -
Jockey's Ridge Statepark Webcam -
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Webcam -
WITNTV Hatteras Webcam -
Town of Nags Head
New East Cam,
Bigger West Image
Teach's Lair Marina (Hatteras Island) Webcam -
SurfLine Surf Report / Webcam -
Kill Devil Hills,
the Dolphin Inn