Very few places compare to vacationing in the Outer Banks. The only little hiccup that you might run into during your stay here is an afternoon of rain. Rainy days can make a day feel lost, but don’t worry!
Rest assured that there’s still plenty to see and do on a rainy day in the Outer Banks! In fact, an occasional afternoon rain shower is often a welcomed reprieve during the dog days of summer.
Here are a few of our personal favorite Outer Banks rainy day activities — pencil in a few in case you encounter a stormy morning or afternoon showers.
Located on the northern-most stretch of the Outer Banks, Corolla is known for a bustling shopping, dining, and entertainment scene, in addition to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse and the popular wildlife museum
Cozy up at The Island Bookstore
Whether you’re seeking an old favorite to re-read on a rainy day or an exciting new novel to discover for the first time, Island Bookstore is the Outer Banks’ go-to local bookshop. This cozy, family-friendly book store carries a variety of genres for any interest and reading level, including many books by local OBX authors. Island Bookstore also hosts seasonal events and offers a charming gift shop with items like handmade journals, local jewelry, hand-drawn cards, board games, and much more.
Center for Wildlife Education
Located within the grounds of the Historic Corolla Park, the Center for Wildlife Education offers an indoor reprieve featuring a wide array of intriguing exhibits. The museum focuses on local wildlife history, like the area’s rich duck hunting heritage, and hosts exciting events throughout the year. Don’t forget to say ‘hi’ to Banks the Bear on your way out! And, head next door to check out the Currituck Lighthouse.
Known for beautiful beaches, exciting annual events, and the popular Duck Donuts chain, here are a few rainy day activities to enjoy in Duck.
Relax and Rejuvenate at AQUA Spa
It wouldn’t be a true vacation without a little rest and relaxation, and AQUA Spa in Duck is just the place to let your worries melt away. This high-end day spa offers a wide array of professional services for any concern, including massages, facial services, manicures and pedicures, and full packages. Kick back, relax, and enjoy a spa day at this OBX gem!
Reconnect with a Yoga Class
Whether you’re seeking a high-energy sweat session or a zen yin yoga class, Outer Banks Yoga has a class for you! This intimate local studio offers everything from power flow and pilates to gentle yoga and meditation, exploring the full spectrum of yoga. Drop-in classes are only $18 and mat rental are available. The schedule varies daily, so be sure to check their website for an up-to-date schedule.
Visit the Original Duck Donuts
Duck Donuts might be a popular regional chain now, but you can’t beat the original OBX location in Duck, North Carolina! This DIY donut design shop allows you to customize your own donut creation with their famous cake donut as the base. From there, select whatever icing, toppings, and drizzles your heart desires! It truly wouldn’t be a trip to OBX without Duck Donuts! evening
Enchanting Rain in Kitty Hawk & Kill Devil Hills
The heart of OBX, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills offers no shortage of rainy day activities and entertainment. Here are just a few of the top indoor and rainy day attractions.
Settle in for a Movie Day
There are other things to do in the Outer Banks rainy day in Kill Devil Hills, which is to simply go to the R/C Movies 10 Theater. You can enjoy a movie or two with your entire family without really worrying about the rain. Now, you may have to take an umbrella to make sure you stay dry when you walk to your car.
Take An Art Class
Embrace your creative side and get a little dirty at an OBX Art Studio class. This charming local studio hosts a variety of hands-on classes throughout the week and is a great activity for the whole family. Popular mediums include pottery, canvas painting, and jewelry making. Each class is guided by a professional instructor and the class price includes all supplies needed to create a one-of-a-kind artwork.
Sip and Savor Local Rum it Up
There are only a few things more interesting than watching professional rum-makers make their rum. You might not think that you can do this in the rain, but the Outer Banks Distilling Company opens its doors for visitors like you. They allow you to not only see the entire process in front of your eyes but also sample the finished product!
Laugh The Night Away at an OBX Comedy Club
There’s nothing like a night out on the town—Outer Banks style—and it wouldn’t be a true OBX adventure without a trip to the famous OBX comedy club. Located in the heart of Kill Devil Hills, this seasonal club offers live shows from touring comedians throughout the week. With 25 years of history and a solid track record of attracting top comedy talent, this lively comedy club is a ‘must’ for entertainment enthusiasts!
Peruse Local Art Galleries
Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills are home to several charming local art galleries. A few notable favorites include Muse Originals, OBX Art Studio, and Seaside Art Gallery—to name just a few. Depending on the gallery, you’ll be able to view local art, participate in art events, meet local artists, and even take home your very own one-of-a-kind creation.
Wright Brother’s National Memorial
Don’t let a little weather scare you away! The Wright Brothers Memorial is quite a sight, even in the rain! This notable monument and museum pays homage to Wilbur and Orville Wright, the famous fathers of flight. Take in the 60-foot granite wonder and then check out the visitor’s center for educational exhibits and a full gift shop.
Fun Time in Nags Head
Located along a central stretch of the Outer Banks, Nags Head is well known for beautiful beaches, fishing piers, and public parks—like Jockey Ridge State Park. If you’re staying in this popular area, check out a few of these rainy day favorites.
Go Bowling With Your Group
Bowling may be the perfect rainy-day activity that isn’t light on the fun! An ideal location to visit is the OBX Bowling Center. It is in the heart of Nags Head and is a beloved location for many who visit the OBX. Families and friends challenge each other to bowl: be as competitive as you’d like! A trip to the bowling alley is a fun and affordable way to escape an afternoon or evening shower!
Laser Trouble With Your Family
Those who are looking for something a little more exciting with a lot more action might want to go to OBX Laser Tag. This is a very popular location to take the entire family or a group of friends to enjoy a friendly laser tag game. There is no need to worry about the rain in this location, just be on the lookout for lasers!
Take A Short Coffee Break
Those looking to warm up a bit during the day might want to stop at the Front Porch Cafe, which is in the heart of Nags Head though it is also in Kill Devil Hills among other places. The coffee is so delicious that you won’t want to leave, and the pastries are definitely worth it. Catch up on your favorite book or simply savor your caffeinated treat.
Shop ‘Til You Drop at Tanger
Whether you’re seeking out the best deals along the Outer Banks or you’re just a shopping enthusiast, Tanger Outlets is a premier beach shopping destination. Known for offering rock bottom prices on some of the nation’s best and most popular brands, Tanger Outlets is the perfect shopping center to scope out great deals on everything from clothes, home decor, jewelry, shoes, souvenirs, and more!
A bustling historic seaside city, Manteo is known as the home to some of OBX’s top attractions, including the NC Aquarium, the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, and the historic downtown area, which is bustling with boutiques and cafes.
The North Carolina Aquarium
Conveniently situated in the heart of Manteo, the North Carolina Aquarium at Roanoke Island is fun for the whole family. The expansive complex offers more than 65,000 square feet of space with more than 10 exciting and interactive attractions, including the famous Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center and the popular Graveyard of the Atlantic exhibit.
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
Take a trip back in time and experience life as it was in the 1500s. The Fort Raleigh National Historic Site preserves the original location of the Roanoke Colony, which was England’s first home in the ‘new world’—which we now know as the United States. Visitors can get a first-hand look at ‘a day in the life’ of both English settlers and native Algonquin communities.
Hatteras Island Area
The Outer Banks of North Carolina is also home to Hatteras Island, opening up a whole new set of activities that you can enjoy when it is raining. The following are just a few examples that you can consider. Of course, make sure to run some of these or the aforementioned ideas by your family to make sure everyone is on the same page unless you were thinking of surprising them.
Visiting Local Graveyards
Dark clouds are associated with rain, which can make the right area quite spooky. This means that it is the perfect time to drive towards Hatteras and visit the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. You are going to enjoy learning about shipwrecks and ancient maritime history. Be sure to take loads of pictures because you are going to see sights you won’t see anywhere else.
Enjoy Storytime At The Library
There is no doubt that storytime is a very productive activity for children. They learn to use their imagination, and they get the opportunity to learn new words that you can discuss later. This makes the library in Hatteras perfect for the family since they host these kinds of events every day, including rainy days.
Indulge in Fresh, Local Seafood
Yes, there are plenty of fast-food or gran-n-go joints around town, but make the most of a rainy day by splurging on great local seafood. While you might not want to venture out to sea for a fishing day, Harbor House Seafood is a local area favorite locally sourced seafood. Pick up everything from seasonal fresh catches like tuna and mahi to fresh shrimp, handmade crab cakes, low country boil kits, and more! Or, if you prefer to let someone else do the cooking, check out a few of these great Outer Banks Restaurants to enjoy a truly decadent meal.
Frisco Native American Museum & Natural History Center
Seeking an educational opportunity during your beach getaway? If so, the Native American and Natural History Museum is the ideal option. Great for kids and history buffs alike, this historic site exhibits thousands of genuine artifacts and cultural galleries dedicated to native Indian tribes. Learn about OBX history and take a self-guided tour through the indoor exhibit and the outdoor trail system, which wooded and still quite enjoyable even with light rain.
Of course, these are just some of the things that you can do in the Outer Banks on a rainy afternoon! Pack a few puzzles, books, and board games as a starting point, and then get out and explore all that our beautiful island towns have to offer!