Outer Banks Top 10 Tours | Things To Do

Exploring and savoring ALL of the Outer Banks can be quite a daunting task, and quite frankly impossible.  There are dozens of guided and non-guided Outer Banks tours you can partake in to experience some of the best things on the Outer Banks.  From the air to on the water, on your feet or in a boat, the tours on the beach here are quite extensive and you would be happy you went on many down here.  I have gone ahead and done you the favor of sifting out some of the best ones to try for a nice, well rounded take on the area.  If you are familiar with the Outer Banks TOP 10 series, you know that these are in no particular order or paid to be here, just me looking out for you and your vacation!  🙂

Bioluminescent Outer Banks Kayak Tour

Did you know, that some of what’s down below, has a tendency to glow?  All rhyming aside – you need to check this out!  Our friends at Kitty Hawk Kites offer a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience with their bioluminescent kayak tour!  This isn’t your typical paddling trip!  There are tiny micro-organisms that live in the ocean, and intercoastal waterways around the Outer Banks, that when agitated by movement, emit a brilliant light that’s visible at night.  The tour sets sail not far from Southern Shores Realty, and will be one to talk about and remember for years to come!

Alligator River Red Wolf Howling Tour

This one is for those looking to take a walk on the wild side!  Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is home to hundreds of species of wildlife; including the endangered Red Wolf.  An Outer Banks tour that has to be experienced once in your life is the Red Wolf Howlings held here.  The Red Wolf recovery program, in an effort to educate the public, has been offering these tours for years.  Not only do you get a great evening walk through the refuge, you get the chance to actually “howl” with the Red Wolves that live in the refuge.  While wild Red Wolves still remain, the recovery program is continually attempting to save and protect the species and some remain in captivity.  For more information on the howling tour, click here.

Outer Banks Restaurant Tour

Photo taken by Terry Moore for Southern Shores Realty.Water and wildlife tours are fantastic, but let’s not forget about our stomachs!  Some of the best experiences on the Outer Banks include discovering new and fantastic places to eat.  With so many great restaurants on the Outer Banks this may seem like a intimidating task.  Rest assured, there’s a tour designed with you in mind!  There are several different Outer Banks restaurant tours available, including those in our Guest Rewards Outer Banks discounts program!  If food is your fancy, you will be delighted with your experience on these excursions.  You get 1-on-1 meetings with local owners and chefs, the inside scoop on how they work, and of course a generous sampling of fantastic local fare!

Outback Adventures Corolla Wild Horse Tour

corolla-wild-horses-outer-banks-horse-seeing-tourYou’ve heard by now.  Corolla is world famous for it’s population of wild Spanish Mustangs – descendants of those brought over by sailing expeditions.  This wild horse tour is your chance to hit the sand where the beach road ends, and take in some of the natural beauty of the Outer Banks!  Our friends at Corolla Outback Adventures have been in business since 1962; when there was no paved road to Duck and phone numbers had only 4 digits!  Judging by this experience, you know you will be experiencing the best there is.  You and your family will not soon forget the entire experience on a 4×4 tour seeing the horses in Corolla!

Bodie Island Lighthouse Tour

 

The Outer Banks is rich in maritime history, and one of the best ways to enjoy it is to take a tour of a lighthouse.  On April 18, 2013 Bodie Island Lighthouse officially opened for public touring!  We have an exclusive first look photo and video collection from the very first tour on opening day!  You and your family need to go and experience this firsthand.  Seeing photographs and driving by these magnificent and historical structures are not enough to really experience them!  Take advantage of the grand opening of Bodie Island Lighthouse and experience first hand the awesome history that exists there (plus get an amazing view from the top)!

Outer Banks Ghost Tour & Graveyard of the Atlantic Tour

outer-banks-ghosts-tour-haunted-halloweenBy far the most popular ghost tour on the Outer Banks, take a 90 minute Wednesday night walking tour of downtown Manteo while hearing the folklore and chilling stories of  local spirits.  From sea captains to ghostly dancers, there is more to Manteo than meets the eye!  Ghost Tours of the OBX also offers a Graveyard of the Atlantic tour on Tuesdays that highlights the many Outer Banks shipwrecks, pirates, and more!  Both tours are sure to make an awesome evening and reservations are highly recommended as summer weeks fill very fast!  This isn’t your average tourist tour – these are tours for those of you interested in learning more than meets the eye when it comes to the history of the Outer Banks!

Outer Banks Dolphin Tour / Outer Banks Sunset Cruise

outer-banks-dolphin-cruise-tour-sunset-captain-johnnysThere’s something special about getting out onto the sound and cruising about in the evenings.  An Outer Banks Dolphin tour / Outer Banks Sunset cruise is one of the most relaxing tours available on your vacation.  Both dolphin tours and sunset cruises last around 2 hours, and are an inexpensive way to get the family out on a boat together!  Pirate’s Cove Marina is the port of call for the Crystal Dawn Headboat; offering both fishing excursions and evening cruises.  The evening cruise here includes commentary on the Outer Banks while cruising the Roanoke Sound.  Sights include the Elizabeth II, Jockeys Ridge, Wright Brother’s National Memorial, the home of Andy Griffith, the Lost Colony, shorebirds and wildlife.  The Manteo Waterfront is also home to several tour guides to take you and your family on a great tour!  Captain Johnny’s Outer Banks Dolphin Tours is a great choice from June – October to spot Dolphin with your group.  In 2012 alone, they managed to see dolphins on 230 out of 235 tours!  Go ahead and check out all your options, you can’t go wrong with any of these tours and you’ll be glad you tried them out!

Outer Banks Helicopter Tour

outer-banks-air-tours-helicopter-tours-plane-toursIf you think the view of the Outer Banks is gorgeous from the ground, wait until you witness it from the air!  An Outer Banks Helicopter tour is an amazing way to get out and witness the geography, sea life, scenery, and beauty on your Outer Banks Vacation. Coastal Helicopters is one of the premier providers of Outer Banks air tours.  Owner Larry Ihle has been an FAA-certified pilot since 1981, and has lived on the OBX since 1982.  Touring with someone who loves the Outer Banks and it’s beauty so much is a sure bet for a fantastic time!  Try a helicopter tour this year and don’t forget your camera! P.S. Southern Shores Realty Guests are eligible for EXCLUSIVE pricing on Helicopter Tours with Coastal Helicopters, LLC!

Outer Banks Pirates Cruise Tour

outer-banks-pirate-cruise-tour-kids-children-yarg_0If the idea of setting sail on a replica Pirate ship doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will!  Shiver me timbers, an Outer Banks Pirate Cruise is a guided tour to remember all your life.  Pirate Adventures of the Outer Banks and the “Sea Gypsy” set sail from Manteo on Roanoke Island.  This adventure is perfect for kids of all ages!  Arrive about 30 minutes early to take advantage of extra activities like full dress up before stepping aboard!  Once on the ship, your little pirates will learn about life at sea and they are given a real treasure map to find the hidden treasure each trip.  More excitement is in store, but no more secrets from me!  The Pirate Cruises start Memorial Day Weekend each year, and are a great way to spend the afternoon with the family.

Outer Banks Driving Tour

drive-outer-banksSomebody once said “You make your own best tour guide.”  Maybe I just made that up, but I think it’s true!  One of the unique geographical features of the Outer Banks is that it’s basically a curved stretch of sand, with one big (subject to opinion) road going down the middle!  One of the coolest and most liberating tours is a driving tour of the Outer Banks with you and your family as the guide!  Roads connect Corolla to Hatteras and a ferry can shuttle you and your vehicle the rest of the way to Ocracoke Island.  You could try our day trip to Ocracoke & Hatteras Islands, or be the captain of your own trip and meander the highway yourself; enjoying all the scenery, stores, and attractions along the way!  Either way you can’t go wrong.  You can rest assured, people are friendly should you get lost, but hitting the road all on your own is an amazing feeling and you’d be glad you set sail to explore on your terms!