Outer Banks Travel Guide

USA  #1 in Best Family Beach Vacations in the U.S.
Credit

Courtesy of VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm/Getty Images

Best Times to Visit Outer Banks

The best time to visit the Outer Banks is March to May or September to November, when rates drop and crowds dissipate. Most locals and out-of-towners arrive during the summer months when the temperatures are the warmest. Similar to other parts of the Southeast, the temperatures stay relatively warm and humid – with average highs hitting the upper 80s in the summer – until the winter months, when the weather dips into the 40s and 50s. Keep in mind that during the offseason some attractions, as well as restaurants and shops, may close or operate under more limited hours. 

Weather in Outer Banks

Switch to Celsius/MM
Average Temperature (°F)
53
40
54
41
60
46
67
54
74
62
81
69
85
74
85
73
81
69
73
60
64
52
57
44
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Average Precipitation (in)
0.21
0.14
0.18
0.13
0.14
0.16
0.17
0.21
0.18
0.19
0.19
0.17
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

March-May

Temperatures begin to warm up, and hotel rates are still pretty low from their offseason winter dip. What's more, there are a variety of events around the islands, including several food and music festivals. The only downside? Families on their spring break vacations can crowd the beaches.

Key Events:

June-August

Finding an affordable hotel in the peak season is a challenge; accommodations are booked solid, so plan your summer visit at least three or four months in advance. The event schedule booms in the summer to take advantage of the warm, 80-degree temperatures. But it can get hot and humid, so don't forget to hydrate. 

Key Events:

September-November

Highs swing from the low 80s to the mid-60s during these months. Now that school is back in session, expect fewer crowds at the beach and on the roads. Another perk? Prices have dropped considerably from the summer rates.

Key Events: 

December-February

If you're looking for some peace and quiet, winter is the time to visit. Most of OBX's top things to do are outdoor activities; still they're also open year-round. Better yet, hotel rates are more affordable this time of year (some vacation rentals are known to cut their prices in half). However, some small shops and restaurants do close for the season. You'll also want to pack your coat as temperatures dip into the low 40s.

Key Events:

Popular Times to Visit Outer Banks

Average Tourist Volumes

Tourism volume is estimated based on in-market destination search query interest from Google and on travel.usnews.com in 2015-2016. Hotel prices are sourced from a sample of U.S. News Best Hotels rates through 2015-2016.

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