Exploring the Outer Banks by Dune Buggy

Known for its long, sandy beaches, the Outer Banks is the perfect place for people looking to take a break from their everyday life. 

But OBX offers more than watching the sunset behind the Historic Corolla Park as you sip your drink of choice on an isolated beach. 

Besides swimming and checking out old shipwrecks, you can explore the entire Outer Banks by dune buggy. Renting one is super easy and is the perfect way to get the most out of your short OBX visit.

Here are a couple of tips on the best places to rent an OBX dune buggy and recommendations on where to go once you rent one.

Best Outer Banks Dune Buggy Rentals

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Many car rentals offer buggies for rent in the Outer Banks, so you should have no problem finding one just by taking a quick stroll. 

Even if you don’t have time for exploring, you can set it up with the rental to have the buggy delivered to you. 

There are more car rentals in the north part of the Outer Banks. If you’re staying close to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, just south of Duck, you can check Corolla Jeep Adventures. If you have a vacation rental close to Wright Memorial Bridge, you can check out Good Vibrations Beach Buggies.

Further south, there’s also Outer Banks Jeep Rentals next to our First Flight Rental office.

Dune buggies in OBX come in all shapes and sizes. If you’re visiting with just your loved one, you can go with a smaller one. But if you’re visiting with your family or friends, you can rent a buggy with four or even five seats.

After you settle on your Outer Banks dune buggy of choice, the next thing to do is decide where you want to go. 

First, you should check with the rental where you’re legally allowed to drive a buggy. After, you’re ready to see the best that the Outer Banks of North Carolina has to offer.  

Best Things to Do in Outer Banks with a Dune Buggy

The most obvious thing to do is to drive from north to south of the Outer Banks coast. The beaches stretch for around 100 miles of the eastern coast of North Carolina.

Every single beach offers something different. Kill Devil Hills beach is a famous swimming beach, while northern shores offer more extreme water sports activities. 

Besides driving around, there are other activities you can combine with your buggy driving.

The Five Lighthouses in OBX

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There are five lighthouses in total that stretch across the OBX coast. You can check all five, starting from Currituck Beach Lighthouse in the north to Ocracoke Island Lighthouse in the south. 

Remember that you need to get an Off-Road Vehicle Permit from the Ocracoke Island Visitors Center.

Search for Wild Horses in OBX

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Another thing to do is look for the wild horses of the Outer Banks. Although you need to make sure you don’t disturb them, you can find herds in Corolla or roaming the beaches.

Since most of the horses are on the northernmost beaches, you’ll probably have to leave your sand buggy at one point, continuing by foot. 

You can even combine checking wild horses with the lighthouse tour. The Ocracoke Pony Pen is just south of Ocracoke ferry docks.

Dare County Camping and Wildlife

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If you want to combine driving a buggy with camping, you need to go west to Dare County Mainland.

There are many campgrounds on the Dare County Mainland, south of the small town of Manteo. Dare County has many forests and marshes, so it’s the number one place to check Outer Banks’ wildlife. Plus, there’s the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge there. A must-see if you want to see the prehistoric creatures. 

Sand Adventures in Jockey’s Ridge State Park

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Finally, although you can’t drive a dune buggy directly in the park, you might want to check Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Home to the tallest dunes on the Atlantic coast, you can replace one sand adventure with another. 

Park your sand buggy, climb the dunes, and go hang gliding. Places like Kitty Hawk Kites in Nags Head offer gliding lessons so you can master the glider in a couple of minutes.  


No matter where you drive your dune buggy in OBX, you’re bound to have a great time. Allow yourself to enjoy the wind in your hair as you explore the beaches and wildlife.

Dune buggy rentals are on every corner in OBX, so grab one and let the adventure begin.

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