We Go Places: 6 family-friendly activities in OBX

Kiteboarding at Waves Village
Kiteboarding at Waves Village Sara Kendall

There’s no doubt that the Outer Banks is a fabulous choice for your summer vacation. Last week, we checked out three favorite spots to stay while visiting OBX. Now, it’s time to hear about all of the fun things you can do while visiting these one-of-a-kind islands on North Carolina’s coast. From Duck to Avon, here are six family-friendly activities bound to pique an interest in every member of your family.

1 - Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills

Wright Brothers Natl Memorial by Sara Kendall
Wright Brothers National Memorial Sara Kendall

Steady winds and tall sand dunes brought Wilbur and Orville Wright to the Outer Banks, helping them achieve their dream of flight. Stop by the Outer Banks’ most popular attraction to explore a small museum, walk the grounds, and stand where these famous brothers took their first flight.

Step into the visitor’s center to see how the Wright Brothers dramatically changed our world. Examine replicas of their flyers, see actual tools and machines used by the brothers. On the grounds, kids can climb onto a life-sized sculpture of the first flight, which provides a great photo opp.

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2 - Go Hang Gliding at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head

Hang   Gliding at Jockey's Ridge State Park
Hang gliding at Jockey’s Ridge State Park Josh Maready

Feel the spirit of the Wright Brothers by taking flight in a hang glider over this 426-acre park, which is the tallest and largest natural sand dune on the East Coast. Take your kids kite flying, hike around on two self-guided trails, and bring a picnic to refuel from your day’s activities. A 360- foot boardwalk provides guests a shorter walk without getting all sandy.

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3 - Climb the Hatteras Lighthouse in Buxton

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse by Sara Kendall
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Sara Kendall

Built in 1870, using North Carolina bricks and granite, this black and white swirled lighthouse has remained an iconic symbol of the Outer Banks and the State of North Carolina. As the tallest brick lighthouse in North America, it will take you 257 steps, the equivalent of a 12-story building to reach the top. You will need to pace yourself and take breaks on the landings, but visiting this piece of N.C. history coupled with the view is well worth it.

In 1999, for fear of losing it to the encroaching rise of the ocean, it was moved from its original location. Now, it stands 1,500 feet from the waves, which is the original distance it stood when opened back in 1870. Once you reach the top, you’ll have a bird’s eye view of the path of this historic move.

Consider a full moon night climb during the summer season. It is the same ticket price as a regular climb. Just be sure to sign up sooner than later.

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4 - Water Sports Fun in Duck

Nor'banks  Sailing & Watersports in Duck
Nor’banks Sailing & Waterports Sara Kendall

Has your kid always wanted to learn how to sail or if you are the one itching to set sail, then you have come to the right place. According to Jon Britt, owner of Nor’Banks Sailing & Watersports, we focus more on sailing than other outfits in the Outer Banks. Sign up for a personalized private lesson with one of their pros. If you’re an experienced sailor, you can take one of their sailing vessels for a day out on the water.

For vacationers looking for some high-octane fun, then jump on a jet ski, soar in the sky with a parasail, or hit the waves on water skis. An excellent way to give the whole family a fun time on the water is tubing. This is where you hop in an inner tube, with handles of course, and a boat pulls you along at top speed for an exciting ride.

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5 - Try Kiteboarding in Rodanthe

Kiteboarding at Waves Village in Rodanthe
Kiteboarding at Waves Village Sara Kendall

Never tried kiteboarding or unsure of what this sport is about? A kiteboarder uses the power of the wind with a kite to propel them across the water on a kiteboard, which is similar to a wakeboard or surfboard. As Christopher Nygard, Wind & Waves Concierge of Waves Village Watersports Resort says, “Right here are the best kiteboarding conditions in the world due to the consistent winds and shallow sounds.” The shallow waters extend a quarter mile out, so Rodanthe is the perfect opportunity to try this sport. Every Wednesday until Labor Day, Free Kiteboarding Demo Days allow vacationers to try kiteboarding.

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6 - Indulge at Koru Village Spa in Avon

Ready to get pampered? Of course you are, you deserve it! You are on vacation and after kite boarding and climbing the Hatteras Lighthouse, this is the perfect time to unwind and get renewed. At this organic spa, the professional staff offers a variety of treatments from facials to massages to pedicures. Call ahead to make an appointment for some me time during your vacation.

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Also, browse for more information on OBX.

UP NEXT: More Things To Do in the Outer Banks

Sara Kendall has traveled halfway across the globe with her kids and lived to tell about it. Stay tuned to hear about family destinations around Charlotte and beyond. Check out more of Sara’s travel at her website or email her at