Outer Banks Off-Season Travel
3 Tips for Better Off Season Travel to the Outer Banks of NC
The off-season for the Outer Banks is November through March and is understandably slow. Due to a decrease in tourism, many restaurants and shops shut down for the off-season, or move to limited hours. The famous local seafood is out of season and many fishermen head to the warmer waters of Florida or the Caribbean to fish and make money in the winter. By all accounts, the Outer Banks doesn't sound ideal in the off-season, but I'm here to change that perception.
One of the best things about Outer Banks off-season travel is the phenomenal deals on vacation homes. Most of the rates for off-season travel are half or even one-quarter of what they are for a week's rental in peak season. It's also easier to get deals on stays in vacation homes for less than one week. Instead of an entire week, you can easily squeeze in a long weekend trip to the Outer Banks but stay in a beautifully appointed vacation home. If you're more of a hotel person, availability increases significantly in the off-season, but rates drop dramatically. You can easily get an oceanfront room for half of what you would pay during the summer. When it comes to your accommodations on the Outer Banks, there is no reason not to visit during the off-season.
Pro Tip: It's common for hotels or vacation homes to complete renovations during the off-season. Be sure to check ahead with your accommodations to make sure there won't be any renovation noises or other inconveniences during your stay.
Not only can you find amazing vacation rental home deals during the off-season, but you'll also find amazing retail deals as well. Everyone from the mass retailers in the outlet mall to the independently owned boutiques has sales and price cuts at the end of the summer, and the end of another fashion season comes to an end. One of the best times to shop on the Outer Banks is December. Many major retailers have their holiday sales in December. However, since there are so few people on the Outer Banks compared to the summer, holiday shopping, even Black Friday, are quite pleasant on the Outer Banks.
The Outer Banks off-season is a photographer's dream. The climate on the Outer Banks doesn't work well for hardwood trees, and with so many pine trees, the greenery and foliage of the summer and autumn don't ever disappear. Beyond the trees retaining their beauty, there's very little humidity, which eliminates the ever-present haze from the summer. With clear, crisp skies, fewer people, and gorgeous landscapes, the Outer Banks is ready for its close-up. It's easy to find hidden spots with perfect views of lighthouses, dilapidated building, wildlife, or a moored boat. You don't have to be a professional photographer to enjoy the benefits of an off-season Outer Banks visit. It's a great time to capture the perfect visual memento from your summer trip without the stress of peak-season visitors.
Growing up on the Outer Banks makes you appreciate the downtime as much as the busy time. With 35,000 year-round residents, there's plenty to keep you entertained. It can be argued that the off-season is a better time than the peak tourist season to relax and get away from everything. Next time you think about a winter-time vacation, think about visiting the Outer Banks!
About Megan Vick: Megan grew up on the Outer Banks where she developed her love of travel. When she’s not globe-trotting, you can find her spending time with her husband and family, crocheting, and running her website, ThreeStarTraveler.com
Photo by Corolla Beach Music