What to Do in the Outer Banks in January

Start Your Year With Coastal Solitude

January may not be the first month that comes to mind when planning an Outer Banks vacation, but coastal winter solitude is a great way to kick off your year. The weather in January seems to change as quickly as the tides, with warm sunshine as well as frigid winds, sometimes occurring during the same day. While an average high temperature of 52 degrees and an average low temperature of 38 degrees may not seem cold to those north of the Outer Banks, strong Nor’easter winds can deliver some chilly winter days to the OBX. When the sun is shining and the wind is calm, the natural beauty of the Outer Banks is on full display. Whatever the weather, the striking tranquility of an empty beach is a powerful sight to behold. 

Stroll Along An Empty Beach

Beachcombing is a favorite pastime of many on the Outer Banks, and winter is a great time to stumble upon some interesting finds. Winter nor’easters ensure that new treasures wash up week after week. Intact whelk shells, beach glass, and starfish are favorite finds of OBX locals. 

You never know what you will find washed up on an Outer Banks beach in the winter, from shipwrecks to marine life to other oddities. In 2006, lucky winter beachgoers on Hatteras Island were treated to thousands of bags of Doritos, as a shipping container full of the chips washed up on the beach. 

bald eagle II shipwreck
The Bald Eagle II wrecked in the waters off of Southern Shores on 12/7/21, which included a Coast Guard rescue of four crew members. After being grounded for over a week, it was successfully towed back out to sea on 12/15/21.

Reconnect Mentally and Physically With a Yoga Class

Yoga is a great way to start fresh in the New Year. While sunrise yoga sessions on the beach may not be available in January, there are several OBX yoga studios that have offerings that will make your day. Village Yoga in Duck is a longtime local and visitor favorite, with classes suitable for all levels as well as warm classes to keep you cozy. Outer Banks Yoga in Kitty Hawk, Kind Yoga in Kill Devil Hills, and OBX Hot Yoga in Nags Head all offer in-studio classes in January. Surrender to the flow and enjoy the feeling of a rejuvenated mind and body. Namaste!

obx yoga
Ashley's espresso parlour

Have A Cup of Coffee and Catch Your Breath

The Outer Banks has an amazing selection of coffee shops run by friendly locals. Try a Mucky Duck at Duck’s Cottage, and grab a bag of their famous Coconut Crunch coffee beans to go. Ashley’s Espresso Parlour in Kill Devil Hills offers a variety of coffee blends roasted right in the shop, which hosts several local OBX artists’ work. These are just a few of our local favorites, as there are cozy coffee hangouts in each OBX town. 

raw oysters

It’s Oyster Season, Enjoy the Bounty!

Traditionally, oysters are in season during months that have an “R” in them. Nowadays, oyster farming allows for tasty oysters to be safely consumed year-round. Many OBX locals still consider oysters to be a delicacy enjoyed during colder months of the year. January is the perfect month to have an oyster roast, or head to a local restaurant to have a local chef do the oyster prep work for you.


Sightsee on the Outer Banks 

There are less visitors on the Outer Banks in January, which means less traffic, allowing you to zip around and sightsee with ease. Visit the Wright Brothers Memorial in Kill Devil Hills and see where the famous brothers’ historic first flight occurred. See how many OBX lighthouses you can snap a picture with in one day. 

OBX in January

Looking for More OBX Things to Do in January?

Winter is a truly peaceful time on the Outer Banks. There are plenty of things to do on the OBX in the winter to help you kick off your new year right. 

Courtney Wisecarver

Courtney Wisecarver

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