The Outer Banks are a delightful place to have a winter holiday. In the winter months, the crowds diminish, and the lodging costs decrease significantly. Although it is the off season in this community, there are many wonderful activities available locally to keep a visitor busy for quite some time. Read on to discover the top ways to experience the Outer Banks this winter.
Experience the Outer Banks this Winter
Have Tons of Winter Fun
Winter is a great time visit the Outer Banks, especially around the holiday season. The community has many festive activities planned to celebrate the holidays. Visitors will be amazed with the illuminated extravaganza at Winter Lights at Elizabethan Gardens and share holiday cheer. At the Duck Yuletide Celebration, guests can listen to music from performed by local artists and see the lighting of the Town Crab Pot Tree. The entire family will enjoy the celebration at the Holiday at the Graveyard with live puppet shows and a Winter Wonderland train display, plus much more.
Discover the Outer Banks’ History
In 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright took the first ever airplane flight in Kitty Hawk. The Wright brothers chose the Outer Banks for their flight experiments due to the area’s isolation, sand dunes, and small number of trees and buildings. Today, visitors can discover the genesis of flight at the Wright Brothers National Memorial.
Fort Raleigh was the first English settlement in America. The fort was founded in 1585 on Roanoke Island by colonists that had disappeared by 1590. To this day, the mystery of the lost colony’ still has historians baffled. The site is now preserved by the National Park Service for guests to explore this piece of early American history.
Guests can explore colonial life on Island Farm, a living history site. As you walk around and explore the historic buildings and see the work of enterprising families in the 1800s. Island Farm has many themed events occurring year round including Etheridge Homeplace Tour, and Make A Reed Ornament, that kicks off the holiday season.
Get Active Outdoors on the Outer Banks
The outdoor life in the Outer Banks in wintertime is just as exciting as the summer. At Cape Hatteras National Seashore, guests can enjoy many outdoor activities in the winter including horseback riding, birdwatching, fishing, hiking, and much more. In Rodanthe, you can view over 400 different types of birds at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. You can also have the awesome experience hang gliding the dunes with Kitty Hawk Kites, located at Jockey’s Ridge State Park.
See the Spectacular Lighthouses
One popular pastime on the Outer Banks is driving around and seeing the islands’ many historic lighthouses. The most famous is the stunning Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, which is one of the most recognized lighthouses in the world. The other notable lighthouses include Currituck Beach Lighthouse, Bodie Island Lighthouse, Ocracoke Island Lighthouse and Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse. Each lighthouse is unique from the others in regard to design and the surrounding seashore.
View the Wild Mustangs in Action
For nearly 500 years, a herd of gorgeous Spanish Mustangs have called the Outer Banks home. These horses were brought to the region in the 1500s and left behind by Spanish explorers. Corolla Wild Horse Tours offers two tours daily in the winter so tourists can see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat. The guides offer expert narration about the history of the horses while guests relax in an open safari type truck.
Rent an Amazing Oceanfront Condo or Vacation Home
The main center of the Outer Banks are in the towns of Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk and Nag’s Head. This is the best area to stay in the off season considering this is where most of the shops and restaurants are located. The winter would be the great time to have an awesome getaway in a beachfront condo when the crowds are gone and the lodging prices plummet. In January, guests can rent a vacation home for half the amount they would pay in the peak season.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com