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Explore Nature on the Outer Banks

The temperatures are dropping into the high 70's and 60's this month! This is the perfect time of year to go outdoors and take in Mother Nature's splendor on the Outer Banks.

Nags Head Woods Preserve

Nags Head Woods Preserve
Take in over 1,400 acres of perfectly pristine maritime forest and other soundside ecosystems. An unusual habitat on any barrier island, the Nags Head Woods Preserve is even more special as not only is it home to a diversity of plant and animal life. From the mid-1800s until the 1930s, the area was a well-established local village with 13 home sites, two churches, a store, a school, and outlying farms. Careful observant visitors can find small remnants of this long-gone community via small gravesites in the woods, old brick foundations, or other signs of the forests' former human inhabitants.

Learn more about Nags Head Woods Preserve here.

Parking is located at:
701 West Ocean Acres Drive
Kill Devil Hills, NC

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
Visit this tiny piece of barrier island small in size, but huge in popularity among both wildlife and people! Pea Island offers visitors the opportunity to experience spectacular flocks of ducks, swans, and other waterfowl, and explore dynamic beaches and dunes. Visitors can stop by the Visitor Center, hike one of the refuge trails, dip a fishing line in the surf or the sound, or relax by the beach.

View Activities at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

14500 NC Highway 12
Rodanthe, NC 27968

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
From a multi-refuge Visitor Center full of exciting exhibits to the possibility of seeing charismatic mega-fauna like red wolves and black bears, Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge offers year-round opportunities for learning and adventuring. The refuge is open year-round during daylight hours. They have great paddling trails, a wildlife drive, and two walking trails where you can learn about refuge wildlife and habitats.

View Facility Activities

100 Conservation Way
Manteo, NC 27954

Kayak/SUP Tours
Coastal Explorations Outer Banks

Coastal Explorations
Take in the sights of the abundant wildlife along the quiet, calm waters that the sound side offers. The cooler weather is a refreshing opportunity to explore a different side of the Outer Banks. You can rent your own equipment or book a sunrise, daytime, sunset, twilight, experienced or kid-friendly tour.

View tours and equipment rentals

Gardens & Wildlife
Elizabethan Gardens Outer Banks

Elizabethan Gardens
Bask in the serenity among the seasonal blooms and statues. Fanciful and elaborate gardens were designed to entertain Queen Elizabeth I during her reign. The Elizabethan garden was created for your enjoyment, and as a living memorial to the time when Sir Walter Raleigh’s lost colonists lived in this very place over 400 years ago.

Be sure to check out the seasonal events list!

1411 National Park DriveManteo, NC 27954

Outer Banks Wild Horse Tours

Wild Horses
The Wild Spanish Mustangs are unique to Corolla and Currituck counties, and you won’t find them in any other part of the world. The only remaining wild herd left in the world, these horses are a must-see when visiting the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The wild horses were originally brought here in the 1500s on Spanish ships. The shallow nature of the coast off of Corolla and the unpredictable sandbars have caused the area to be known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic and caused many a shipwreck. It is believed that the horses survived such occasions to swim to shore, making a new home for themselves, and they’ve been here ever since.

You can view the horses on the 4x4 beaches yourself or book a wild horse tour

Roanoke Island Aquarium on the Outer Banks

Roanoke Island Aquarium
In addition to the indoor exhibits featuring the beautiful sea creatures that call the Outer Banks their home, be sure to check out the outdoor exhibits and experiences at the North Carolina Aquarium. Stroll the nature trail, walk the soundside pier, and sign-up for an outdoor adventure.

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