Shopping and Outer Banks Fun!

Photo Courtesy of Shooters at the Beach 

The Outer Banks is known for its unique shops scattered along our shoreline and for the recreational opportunities available to residents and visitors alike.

There are over 200 retail shops in Dare and Currituck Counties and one outlet mall. The Tanger Outlet Center is a brand name outlet center offering factory direct savings on quality merchandise. TimBuckII in Corolla is the largest shopping center in the north beach area.

In addition to the traditional Belks Department Store, Wal-Mart & Kmart, many local stores offer traditional business clothing and specialty items, as well as tourism related items such as t-shirts, surf boards, lighthouse replicas, nautical items, jewelry, local photography, Christmas ornaments, artist prints, and much more. If you're looking for a special gift idea this holiday season, check out our on-line membership directory or call our Chamber office for suggestions at (252) 441-8144.

Looking for exercise, fun or adventure? The Outer Banks has a number of offerings for both the novice, experienced and even professional athlete.

The Outer Banks is made up of 409 square miles of water. This makes the area perfect for a variety of water activities including jet skiing, ocean and sound kayaking, diving, surfing, parasailing, wind surfing, kite surfing, kite boarding, skim boarding, sailing, boating, and of course, swimming.

Running has become a popular Outer Banks sport over the last few years. The Outer Banks Marathon is the premier annual event occurring annually in November. The 23 mile run begins in Kitty Hawk and completes in Downtown Manteo on Roanoke Island. A number of side races and events compliment that race including a Pirate Half-Marathon, Family Fun Run, and Race Expo.

The Outer Banks Running Club and Outer Banks Running Company sponsor a number of group runs and races throughout the year centered around holidays and special events. Races such as the Sweetheart 5K, Nags Head Woods 5K, Leprechauns 8K, and Gobbler 5K are popular with locals and guests, For information about upcoming events, search Recreation & Amusements on the Chamber site.

Bicycling is also a very popular activity throughout all of the Outer Banks.  With many bike paths and wide paved shoulders, you're sure to find an interesting adventure for the entire family, including children.  For both leisure riders and serious cyclists, the Outer Banks provide a wonderful opportunity to explore the seashore, and beyond, on two wheels.

In April of each year, motorcyclists from around the world gather on North Carolina’s Outer Banks for Bike Week. Vendors set up at various locations, restaurants host a number of special celebrations, and bikers compete in area tours, poker runs and other contests. For event information, visit

The historical ties to the Wright Brothers First Flight make air tours popular along the Outer Banks. For a list of local companies providing airplane and helicopter services in the area, visit the chamber’s on-line business directory.

Participants of all skill levels and ages participate in Outer Banks kiteboarding, hang gliding, surfing, fishing and windsurfing events each year. Events such as the Rogallo Kite Festival, Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition, Hang gliding Spectacular, Triple S International, Manteo Rockfish Rodeo, Nags Head Surf Fishing Tournament, and the Hatteras Village Offshore Open bring visitors from around the world to the area to enjoy state, regional and international competitions.

The natural beauty of the Outer Banks, the winds that always range at least 5 to 15 miles per hour, the flat lands, miles of beaches, and wide open waters make the Outer Banks region a haven for sports and recreation. For event updates, visit the chamber’s websites

Our on-line membership directory offers you a listing of businesses which offer area recreational opportunities. Refer to specific headings (such as golf, watersports, fishing, recreation, etc) when reviewing the membership directory.
The Dare County Parks & Recreation Department also offers a variety of activities for youth of the community (dance, gymnastics, theatre, soccer, baseball, basketball, etc.). You can contact Dare County Parks & Recreation offices at 473-1101 ext. 128, 441-2143, or 995-4401 for a schedule of upcoming programs. The Fessenden Youth Center on Hatteras Island can be contacted at 995-3888.

The Outer Banks Family YMCA is active in the community sponsoring a number of programs that will build strong kids, strong families & a strong community. For current programming, visit

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