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

Find Flight and Hotel Deals

FLIGHTS
HOTELS

Press the down arrow key to interact with the calendar and select a date. Press the question mark key to get the keyboard shortcuts for changing dates.

Press the down arrow key to interact with the calendar and select a date. Press the question mark key to get the keyboard shortcuts for changing dates.

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.

Explore More of Outer Banks

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

14 Top Jigsaw Puzzles, Games and Books to Keep Travelers Entertained

Even though you're stuck at home, you can still indulge your wanderlust with these activities.

15 Top Cookbooks to Buy

Travel to far-flung destinations and enjoy international food without leaving home.

The 12 Best Language-Learning Apps, Programs and Online Courses

Now is the perfect time to learn a new skill.

The 13 Best Sedona Tours

Get lost in the magic of Sedona's red rocks on these top adventures.

What is an Ecolodge? 21 Top Eco Resorts and Eco Hotels Around the World

Luxury meets environmental welfare at these top-notch ecolodges.

The 12 Best Puerto Rico Tours

Experience island living at its best on one of these guided trips.

I Went On a Cruise During the Coronavirus Pandemic. This Is What Happened.

Coronavirus concerns, itinerary changes and uncertainty lead to an unusual vacation.

5 Travel-Themed Activities to Do at Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Use these suggestions to fill the travel void amid the pandemic.

Cancel For Any Reason Travel Insurance: What You Need to Know

If you are rescheduling a vacation or booking a future trip, consider purchasing an insurance policy with the CFAR benefit.

The 21 Best Costa Rica Tours

Dive into this natural paradise on these exceptional excursions.