Rainy Day Fun – OBX Style

Rain, rain go away!

Wishful thinking. The forecast is not looking good for this weekend and if you’re visiting from out of town you’re probably a little disappointed that your beach plans have been washed out. But don’t worry! There’s still a ton to do on the Outer Banks when the weather is less than cooperative.


Museums and Natural History

The Outer Banks has history – both human and natural, in droves.

Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. The maritime history of the Outer Banks is full of things you normally only hear about in books – pirates, war, and shipwrecks! Check out their calendar of events for daily chats, films, and highlighted artifacts.

Frisco Native American Museum. Explore the rich history of Native Americans on Hatteras Island. This museum is filled with incredible artifacts and the gift shop boasts unique, hand-made crafts. Easily accessiblefrom Highway 12 in Frisco.  

NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island. See the largest collection of sharks in the state, explore the sea turtle rescue center, and even touch stingrays! A classic Outer Banks rainy day institution. Right outside Manteo.

Outer Banks History Center and Roanoke Island Festival Park. The archives in the history center are only open during the week, but the Gallery is open seven days a week. And while many of the attractions at Festival Park are outdoors, the Roanoke Adventure Museum is a must-see. There are even hands-on activities for kids! Located on the sound in Manteo.

The Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education. This state-of-the-art center features 5000 sq ft of displays and artifacts that interpret the rich natural history of Northeastern North Carolina. Exhibits include an 8000 gallon aquarium, a decoy collection, and a life-size diorama of a duck blind. Proceeds from gift shop sales support conservation, education projects, and programs. Adjacent to the Whalehead Club in Corolla.

Movies, Bowling, and Arcades

Rainy days on the Outer Banks are the perfect excuse to remember the good old days. Who doesn’t love a good game of pinball?

R/C Movie Theaters in Kill Devil Hills and Corolla. First run movies!

OBX Bowling Center. Bowling, pinball, pool, and pizza! There’s something for everyone here – an affordable good time for the whole family. Milepost 10 off the bypass in Nags Head.

Avalon Pier. Built in 1958, the Avalon Pier is a Kill Devil Hills institution. There’s an arcade inside and – bonus – the ocean views are SPECTACULAR right now. Milepost 6 on the beach road.


Shopping on the Outer Banks is always in season! There are lots of covered shopping centers that offer refuge from the rain and a wide assortment of unique items.

Kitty Hawk Kites. More than just a retail store – Kitty Hawk Kites is an adventure! With locations up and down the Outer Banks, chances are you’re close to one right now. Go in and look at hundreds of fun, colorful kites, play with innovative toys, and check out the cool apparel and gifts. The Nags Head location at milepost 12 ½ is right across from Jockey’s Ridge.file000369268986

Scarborough Faire. Nestled among the pines and live oaks in Duck, this collection of boutique shops offers something for everyone. Local art and jewelry, apparel, books, OBX souvenirs, toys, coffee, and dining are just a few of the things you’ll find in this shopping center.

Tanger Outlets. The outlets are located in south Nags Head, right on the bypass. There are 23 stores featuring great deals on the season’s latest fashions, home goods, and accessories. Coach, J. Crew, and Nine West are just a few of the outlets you’ll find here.

The Christmas Shop and Island Art Gallery. Not just a Christmas shop! Here you’ll find art, novelties, and home decor. Wander through the many rooms filled with Christmas ornaments, check out the Halloween Shop, and browse local art. Located in Manteo – just look for the sign. It’s a magical place.


YMCA. The Outer Banks Family YMCA offers guest passes to use its facility – the first visit is free! Take advantage of the indoor pool and gym. Summer rates are valid through September 30. Located in Nags Head at milepost 11 on the bypass.

Spa at Sanderling. Recognized by Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards as the #3 spa in the United States! Pamper yourself.

Gallery Row Arts District. You may need an umbrella to go from shop to shop but it’s well worth it! Located in Nags Head north of Bonnett Street, Gallery Row is a vibrant community of artists and craftspeople. Browse galleries, gift shops, antiques, and more. There are great places to eat too.

Remember to be safe if you hit the roads this weekend. Don’t drive through any standing water, use your headlights, and take it slow!

For the latest road conditions, visit NCDOT’s Facebook page. As of Friday at noon there are no closures in place anywhere on N.C. 12. You can find traffic cameras and more information about road closures here.

For up to the minute ferry information, NCDOT’s Twitter page is your best option. There have been some changes to ferry schedules so it would be wise to check before you head out.

Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head Fishing Pier, and Avalon Pier have webcams where you can see current weather and surf conditions. Pretty cool!

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for other cancellations. 

Don’t let a little (okay a LOT) of rain ruin your OBX weekend!


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