Winter Is Wonderful On the Outer Banks

Chill out with us this winter ❄️

Visiting the beach during the winter months is truly magical and unexpected! It’s hard to describe. A winter visit offers an opportunity to observe our beautiful barrier islands in their purest form.

Free of crowds, traffic, and even the summer’s blistering heat, the Outer Banks show their wild, untamable beauty at every turn… whether you take a walk on the beach, fly a kite at Jockey’s Ridge, soak up some history at Whalehead or the Wright Brothers Museum, or just enjoy our local restaurants and events.

Oh, and did we mention the awesome deals you can find on vacation rentals this time of year? January and February offer our absolute best deals on vacation homes, often up to 75% off peak-season pricing!

For example…Can't Take It With You | Great Escapes OBX

Check out this inviting living room. Located in Duck Village, Can’t Take It With You is a 8-bedroom home that can sleep up to 18 people.

If you want to rent this home in July you will pay $9,695 for the week. But if you rent it in January or February, that price plummets to just $2,095!

Can’t you just picture an amazing girls trip reunion on the Outer Banks?

See more rentals here.

How is the weather?

Sure, it gets chilly. And wind is a factor any time of year…it’s part of beach living! But the temperate weather on the Outer Banks makes it an enjoyable destination year-round. There is no snow to shovel, although we do get the occasional flurry (it honestly just generates a lot of excitement for us Southerners). Winter means you are safe from hurricane season, too! If you are packing up for a winter trip to the OBX, just bring layers for bundling up and leave the bikini at home (unless your rental has a hot tub).

aqua restaurant obx | Great Escapes OBX

Ok. But is anything open?


You might be surprised to find out that plenty of delicious restaurants, historical tours and shopping destinations stay open year round. For fine dining, we like to go to Aqua, located in Duck. Also in Duck, try The Blue Point (and don’t miss the bar in the back!). They are open every day (except Monday) for lunch and dinner. The fabulous Fat Crabs Rib Company is open all year in Corolla…you need to try it for the quintessential Outer Banks feast. While our Lighthouses are closed for climbing in the winter, you can still visit the grounds, take some photos and enjoy their beauty.


When I think “Outer Banks” I think BEACH! What else is there to do?

Well, you can still hit the beach during the winter! It’s actually a pretty great time to look for seashells (we get all kind of storms and tides in the fall which constantly dump treasures on the beach)… with fewer people to snatch them up.

Some of the Wild Horse Tours are open all year round and actually offer discounted rates. The Wright Brothers National Memorial is open all year, as is the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island.

Now is also a great time to rent some bikes or a golf cart (check out Ocean Atlantic Rentals) and really explore the islands, marshes, sounds and beaches.


Did you know that you can try activities like Dune Hang Gliding all year round? Give Kitty Hawk Kites a call and get a three-hour lesson, ending with you soaring over Jockey’s Ridge State Park like a pro.


Some of the most fun you can have is within the walls of your vacation rental. Many come equipped with games, puzzles, well-stocked kitchens, game rooms and more. Large screen TV’s and comfy couches are ready for your family movie nights.

Here are a few upcoming events:

December 11-29, 2018 (Tue-Sat only) & January 4-19, 2019 (Fri-Sat only)

Winter Lights at the Elizabethan Gardens

(Manteo) Stroll along enchanted garden paths and discover the joy of the season with holiday lights, sights and sounds transforming The Elizabethan Gardens into an illuminated winter wonderland. The radiant glow of the gardens, traditional holiday décor and fantastical displays are a true spectacle to behold. Festive trees grace the Gatehouse and Reception Hall and a crackling open-air fire warms the Great Lawn. Seasonal gift shop and plant sales coincide.

December 11,12,13,14,15,18,19,20,21,22,26,27,28,29; January 4,5,11,12,18,19 from 6pm-9pm.

Adults $11, Youth (ages 6-17) $9, Child (5 and under) $6.

For more information, click here.

December 17, 2018

115th Anniversary of Powered Flight

(Kill Devil Hills) Wright Brothers National Memorial Park admission is free on December 17 and the Anniversary program begins at 8:30 a.m. Check out the exciting schedule! No longer a hidden figure in the history of NASA and Aviation, Mrs. Katherine Johnson will be inducted into the Paul E. Garber First Flight Society Shrine.


For more information, click here.

December 31, 2018

New Year in a New World (New Year’s Eve Party)

(Manteo) This is a family-friendly New Year’s Eve party held on the docks of Downtown Manteo! Festivities kick off at 3:30 pm with a bluegrass band and a DJ heats things up starting at 5:00. There will be an “early ball drop” for children at 8:30 pm, but if they can stay up, there are fireworks at midnight! Local food vendors will be on site, and the downtown restaurants and bars will be open late. Check and follow their Facebook page for details and updates.

Click here for the event flyer.

Try something different this year and enjoy winter on the Outer Banks. Eat like a local. Find the best shells before the summer tourists arrive. Save thousands of dollars on your vacation rental and activities. See another side of beach living. All of us at Great Escapes hope to see you soon!