20 Things To Do When It Rains On the Outer Banks

outer-banks-when-it-rainsJust like everywhere else, it does rain on the Outer Banks, but don’t let that ruin your vacation here!  We have far more to offer than just sun and beaches.  When it does rain here are a few things to do on the Outer Banks (in no particular order).



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  1. Go catch a movie!

    On the Outer Banks we have two great theaters to pick from: R/C Theatre 10 in Kill Devil Hills or the Pioneer Theatre in Manteo.

  2. Stay at your Outer Banks Rental and rent a movie.

    There are many Redbox movie rental locations to choose from on the Outer Banks (click here for a detailed map of locations).

  3. Go shopping.

    There are many fantastic places to shop here, but not as many that have good covering for you to go from store to store without getting wet. A few of my favorites are:

    • Christmas Shop & Island Art Gallery in Manteo is HUGE!  You could easily spend half a day in here (I’m not exaggerating). As the name implies, there are Christmas and art galleries to shop through, but there is so much more.  They also have toys, candy and fudge (and other local treats), jewelry, a great Halloween section, antiques, books (including a great kids section), etc.
    • Tanger Outlets in Nags Head is a great place to go shopping, with over 20 stores, and even though you will have to go outside to venture from store to store they conveniently have a covering to protect you from the rain on their walkways.
    • Jockey’s Ridge Crossing in Nags Head has Kitty Hawk Kites which is a great store for clothing, shoes, gadgets, toys, jewelry, eye wear, home decor, and more. And they are pet-friendly!  In the complex there is also Scoops Ice-cream, which in my opinion has some of the best tasting ice cream on the beach, Life on a Sandbar & Hair Wraps, Outer Banks Bear Factory, Miss Kitty’s Old Time Photo, Salty Paws Biscuits (a great place for pets), and the Fudgery.  Very close by, but to get there you might get a little bit of rain on you, is Kitty Hawk Surf Co., Sooey’s BBQ and Rib Shack, and Life is Good.
    • Scarborough Lane in Duck has more than 15 shops including one of our favorites, Birthday Suits.
  4. Go bowling.

    OBX Bowling (formly Nags Head Bowling) is our local bowling alley.  The people who run it are great and will take good care of you!

  5. Go play laser tag.

    You can find laser tag at the Outer Banks Gearworks or Destination Fun. Both also have an arcade section.

  6. Stay at your Outer Banks Vacation Rental and play a board game or card game.

    If you didn’t bring any there are plenty of stores that supply the games your familiar with.  But for some unique games try out the selection at Kitty Hawk Kites with multiple locations all over the Outer Banks. Also try Puzzles, Pranks, and Games in Kitty Hawk at the Buccaneer Walk Shops.

  7. Go to a book store.

    There is a good number of local book shops (see map to the right).

  8. Visit the rock wall at Kitty Hawk Kites.

    Inside the Kitty Hawk Kites store in Nags Head there is a rock wall.  There is a waiver that has to be filled out.  Anyone under the age of 18 will need their legal parent or a court appointed guardian to fill out the waiver for them.

  9. Go to the aquarium.

    The North Carolina Aquarium in Manteo is awesome!  If you enjoy aquatic wildlife you could easily spend hours here.

  10. Stay at your Outer Banks Rental and put together a puzzle as a family.

  11. Go to an Art Gallery.

    There are a lot of these around the Outer Banks, but one of our favorite, who we gave an OBX Oscar to, is the Yellowhouse Art Gallery.

  12. Go to the indoor swimming pool at the YMCA.

    Go to the YMCA website for their admission prices and information.

  13. Go enjoy a water sport like Jet Skiing.

    Of course, this is for when it’s not storming and only raining, because you’re going to get wet anyway!  Why not get a great deal on jet skis and watersports at our rewards partner: Nor’Banks Sailing?

  14. Splurge on a long lunch or dinner.

    On the Outer Banks there are TONS of good spots to go enjoy a great meal, but some of our favorites include: Bacchus Wine & Cheese, Coastal Provisions Market, The Good Life Gourmet, and JK’s Restaurant which have all earned an OBX Oscar from us.

  15. Stay at your Outer Banks Vacation Rental and bake some cookies or your favorite sweets!

  16. Visit a Spa.

    Now this is what I call vacationing!  What better way to relax than to be pampered?! Check out Aqua Restaurant & Spa, Awesome Massage & Body Work, Lotus Day Spa & Boutique, or The Sanderling.

  17. the-comedy-club-of-theGo to the Comedy Club.

    The Comedy Club of the Outer Banks is located in Nags Head and Corolla.  Check out their website for what comedians will be in town.  Use the code “srg15” for $5 off all tickets!  You can thank us later.

  18. Visit a historical site.

    The Outer Banks is known for it’s history, after all the first colony was on Roanoke Island (today’s Manteo & Wanchese), we’re also the birth place for aviation.  But that’s not all.  There is also history here from pirates to lighthouses to ghost stories.  Here are a few sites to visit that are indoor: the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site (Manteo), the Whalehead Club (Corolla), or the Wright Brothers National Memorial (Kill Devil Hills).

  19. Go to the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education.

    From 9am-5pm, Monday thru Saturday, the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education has over 5,000 square feet of displays and artifacts. Exhibits include an 8,000-gallon aquarium stocked with native fish of Currituck Sound, a special decoy gallery with more than 250 antique waterfowl decoys, and a life-size diorama of a duck blind in a salt marsh.

  20. Check out an arcade!

    Arcades are still a source of entertainment, and for those of us that are old it’s rather nostalgic.  Check out the Avalon Pier (Kill Devil Hills), OBX Bowling, or Sal’s Pizza (Kill Devil Hills).

BONUS: Also keep informed on what’s happening on the Outer Banks by checking out our other articles and see if anything is going on this week that is rainy day friendly.  We’re always trying to keep you up to date on the best events!