“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” — RACHEL CARSON, SILENT SPRING

The seasons bring natural changes that make this place a wonderful area to explore and experience year round. From kite boarding, surfing, swimming and shelling to duck hunting, hiking and bird watching, these communities offer outdoor adventures beyond compare. For those who wish to watch beautiful sunsets and explore night skies, to those who want to ride the waves, catch the big fish, or kayak through the marsh grass for new discoveries, this is a place for you.

The “great outdoors” is no greater anywhere than along the Outer Banks of North Carolina; its fragile barrier island system and its sound side maritime forests provide unequaled opportunities for those who long for a place to explore the natural world.

The Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge bird list boasts more than 365 species, with concentrations of ducks, geese, swans, wading birds, shore birds, raptors, neotropical migrants seasonally abundant.
  • Item thumbnail

    Fox Watersports - With Audio

    Fox Watersports offers surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, and SUP gear and rentals, as well as kayak and wetsuit rentals. Fox was founded in 1968 in Florida by Ted James. Drawn to Hatteras Island’s world class waves and fishing, James moved to the island full time by 1976. He was inducted into the East Coast Surfing Hall of […]

  • Item thumbnail

    Ride the Wind

    Ride the Wind has provided guided kayak tours of the waters surrounding Ocracoke Village since 1985.  Our tours combine the history and culture of the area with hands-on experiences in the marsh and open water where participants see shellfish, flora and fauna, and the wildlife that make up this unique eco-system.  We also offer kayak […]

    486 Irvin Garrish Hwy., Ocracoke, NC
  • Item thumbnail

    OceanAir Sports

    OceanAir Sports has been the headquarters for watersports on Hatteras Island since 1987.  Our customers travel to this area to take advantage of our natural resources – Wind and Water!  We are located on Pamlico Sound and offer lessons, rentals, tours, kids camps and on-site water access.  We specialize in windsurfing, kiteboarding, stand up paddle […]

    39450 Hwy. 12, Avon, NC
  • Item thumbnail

    Shackleford Banks

    Shackleford Banks, the southern-most barrier island in Cape Lookout National Seashore, is home to more than 100 wild horses. Venture out by boat or passenger ferry to enjoy the rare privilege of watching horses that live without the help of man. Appreciate the horses’ tenacity and watch their social behaviors. Respectfully stay far enough away […]

  • Item thumbnail

    Down East Kayaks and Tackle Company

    Chadwick Bros. Marine, doing business as Down East Kayaks and Tackle Company, has been a family-owned business since 1941 when Ira Chadwick opened a feed and grocery store.  Since then it has been a service station and outboard marine repair shop and is now owned by a fourth generation grandson, Christopher Miller, who operates it […]

    1604 Harkers Island Rd, Straits, NC
  • Item thumbnail

    Core Banks

    Named after the Coree tribe, these barrier islands extend from Ocracoke Inlet to Cape Lookout, and consist of two low relief narrow islands and two smaller islands. New Drum Inlet, Old Drum Inlet and Ophelia Inlet separate the islands. The Core Banks are now uninhabited; however, Portsmouth, at the north end of the North Core […]

  • Item thumbnail

    Cape Lookout National Seashore

    Cape Lookout National Seashore consists of 56 miles of undeveloped beach stretched over 3 to 4 barrier islands from Ocracoke Inlet on the northeast to Beaufort Inlet on the southeast. A wealth and variety of activities awaits you at Cape Lookout National Seashore. From birding, to camping, to fishing, to learning about the rich history […]

  • Item thumbnail

    Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge

    Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge is on the end of a peninsula marking the southern end of Pamlico Sound. The Refuge provides numerous recreation opportunities to thousands of visitors every year. People enjoy viewing the unique geology and diverse wildlife, whether boating, driving or hiking. Established in 1964, the refuge consists of approximately 11,000 acres of […]

  • Item thumbnail

    Springer's Point Preserve

    The Coastal Land Trust’s Springer’s Point Preserve on Ocracoke Island, part of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, is the perfect spot to spend the morning bird watching or the afternoon hiking and sitting on the beach overlooking the Pamlico Sound. This tranquil Preserve, which encompasses more than 120 acres of maritime forest, tidal red cedar forest, […]

    Entrance on Loop Road, Ocracoke, Nc
  • Item thumbnail

    Hammock Hills Nature Trail

    The Hammock Hills Nature Trail starts on the west side of NC Hwy.12 just across from the National Park Service campground. The trail begins its 0.8-mile journey to the marshy grass-lined edge of Pamlico Sound and back in a scrub thicket woodland. It crosses a boardwalk and splits into its loop just past a small, […]