Spring Break in the Outer Banks: What You Need to Know

After a long winter cooped up indoors, spring break is a welcome site for many weary parents. Ready for warmer temperatures and fun in the sun, they find themselves in search of their next getaway.

You don’t need to ask Google where the best place for families to spend spring break is. The answer is easy. All destinations for family fun point to the Outer Banks, North Carolina. From aquatic adventures to wild horses to endless historical sites, including four iconic lighthouses, the OBX has it all – did we mention the miles and miles of endless sandy beaches?

All you’ve got to do is book your First Flight vacation rental. We’ve got everything else you need to know about spending your spring break beach vacation on the Outer Banks right here in this handy guide.

When is Spring Break in the OBX

Photo Credit: jamila nicole randall

While the timing of spring break can vary depending on your child’s school district, spring break in the Carolinas usually falls between mid-March through April.

Just like the blooming flowers, the Outer Banks awakens during this time with lots of festivals celebrating spring. You’ll find events ranging from culinary festivals to surfing competitions there’s plenty to do in the OBX in the spring.

A few you might want to check out include:

Spring Weather in the OBX

Spring brings pleasant, milder temperatures to the OBX. Daytime temperatures typically range from mid 60s to low 70s (Fahrenheit). The evenings are a bit cooler but still pleasant and perfect for strolling on the beach under the stars.

While the water might be a bit chilly, that doesn’t stop most children from jumping right into the ocean. The shoreline may be a lot calmer in the spring due to milder temperatures, but you’ll still see beachgoers spread out in the sun and sand castles decorating the beach.

The temperatures also make it the perfect time to explore all the outdoor activities the OBX has to offer without fighting the blazing heat of the summer months. You can enjoy the day leisurely, exploring an outdoor attraction without even breaking a sweat! You’ll also have the added benefit of witnessing springs return firsthand as the lush landscape slowly returns to the Outer Banks after a long winter.

Spring Break Activities in the OBX

The best thing about the OBX is the endless array of adventures you can find along its shores. From iconic lighthouses to wild horses to national historic monuments, you’ll never be bored here on the Outer Banks.

Revel in the Beauty of the Beaches

Photo Credit: JuneJ

One thing the Outer Banks has no shortage of is sprawling sandy beaches. This string of barrier islands boasts over 200 miles of shoreline along the coast of North Carolina.

From the quiet shores of Ocracoke to the bustling beaches of Nags Head, there’s an oceanfront vibe suitable for everybody. Nature lovers may enjoy spending the day exploring the 70 mile stretch of the Cape Hatteras Seashore. Surfers might find the perfect wave off the coast of Avon. The Outer Banks offers it all and easily has some of the best beaches on the East Coast.

Take a Wild Horse Tour

Photo Credit: aceshot1

From wild horses to mighty black bears, you can encounter a diverse array of species on your visit to the Outer Banks. Having an animal encounter in the OBX can be as simple as stepping outside of your vacation rental.

If you’re in an oceanfront home, keep watch for dolphins splashing around in the surf. You’ll see seagulls and herons scavenging the shores for crabs, and if you’re extra lucky, you might even encounter sea turtles during nesting season. When you’re searching for wild horses, head to Corolla.

Here, you can book a wild horse tour and cruise the beaches and Dunes of Carova in search of Spanish Mustangs.

If you’re more into alligators and bears, you can book an airboat tour and explore the marshes of Alligator River National Wildlife Park.

Enjoy Watersports: Parasailing, Hang Gliding, and Jet Skiing

Photo Credit: Eli Christman via Flickr CC2.0

If water sports are your idea of fun, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for adrenaline packed activities on the water.

You can soar above the water and take in the view while hang gliding in Jockey’s Ridge or test your strength while taking in views on a parasailing adventure with Kitty Hawk Kites. If you’re looking to test your skills and strengths, give kiteboarding a try. Or set off on the ultimate high speed adventure as you race across the white caps in a jet ski.

If calmer adventures on the water are more your speed, there are plenty of places where you can rent a kayak or canoe. You’ll also find guided tours available if you prefer to go out with a group.

Visit One of the Iconic Lighthouses

Photo Credit: Pi-Lens

Perhaps one of the most famous features of the Outer Banks is the stately lighthouses scattered across the barrier island. Each one of these iconic landmarks has a unique appearance and history.

The Outer Banks is home to the tallest brick lighthouse in America. At 210 feet tall, the historic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is recognizable by its distinctive black and white stripes. The nearby Bodie Island Lighthouse also boasts black and white stripes; however, its stripes are horizontal, unlike Hatteras’s diagonal stripes.

You can find Ocracoke Island Lighthouse on the southern tip of the barrier islands. This quaint lighthouse is shorter than the rest and distinguished by its white-washed brick appearance. Its neighbor to the far North of the islands is the Currituck Lighthouse. This red brick lighthouse uses a special Fresnel lens that can be spotted up to 18 miles away.

Soak Up History

Photo Credit: wayfarerlife

If you’re a history buff, you’ll find plenty to do at the Outer Banks.

You can explore the mystery of the lost colony of Roanoke and learn about colonial life at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo. Not too far away from here, you’ll find The Island Farm, a living history site that depicts what life was like on Roanoke Island in the 1840s.

If you’re interested in the history of flight, you can learn about the pioneers of modern aviation at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. This national park is home to a museum and many impressive statues depicting the historic first flight.

Spring Break Activities

Photo Credit: Sun Realty via Flickr CC2.0

In addition to all the attractions and activities found on the Outer Banks year round, you’ll also find several fun seasonal events during the springtime.

The St. Patrick’s Day parade in Nags Head is an annual event that draws thousands of visitors. A Run with the Leprechauns Marathon is typically held the day before the parade. Both events are a fun way to kick off spring and celebrate Irish heritage with the scenic backdrop of the OBX beaches.

The Elizabethan Gardens and Jockey’s Ridge State Park both host annual Easter Eggstravaganzas. These festive events are great for families with young kids. Activities include Easter Egg hunts, Easter Bunny visits, and more Easter fun!

For information on other seasonal events, be sure to check out the Outer Banks events page.

Stay in the OBX for Spring Break

With cooler temperatures and the return of lush green landscapes, springtime is the perfect time of year to visit the Outer Banks. So book your vacation home and start planning your spring break vacation today! Even during the off season, you’ll never run out of adventure in the OBX!

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