What to Do in the Outer Banks in July

Long Live Summer

The Outer Banks in July is what summer dreams are made of. The ocean water temperature in July is 79° on average, and the weather is perfect for the beach. With an average high of 86°, long days are spent on the beach, eating watermelon and basking in the hot sun. Hot, humid evenings, with an average low of 73°, are made for grilling out with family and friends before taking a bike ride to watch a gorgeous sunset on the sound. The cool sand beneath your feet and the sound of the waves lapping the shore make night beach walks extra special. Watch ghost crabs scurry along the beach or look up for some of the best stargazing on the entire East Coast. There’s plenty to do on the OBX in July – we’re in full swing and celebrating the summer season that we love so dearly.

july 4 parade

4th of July on the OBX

We may be biased, but we think the Outer Banks is the ideal place to celebrate Independence Day. Whether you’re looking for an epic fireworks show, a small-town parade, or a beer run, you’ll have an amazing 4th of July on the Outer Banks.

outer banks in july fireworks
Dowdy Park Farmers Market Outer Banks in July

Visit a Local Farmers Market

Outer Banks Farmers Markets are an eclectic collection of vendors, from eastern NC fruits and veggies to locally handcrafted jewelry and everything in between. Summer’s bounty is available at multiple locations throughout the Outer Banks in July. Support local NC agriculture and score some amazing edible goodies to enjoy during your vacation. Take home a one-of-a-kind souvenir created by a hardworking OBX local. 

Avalon Pier Outer Banks in July night

Go Pier Fishing on the Outer Banks in July

Outer Banks piers each offer something different depending on what type of experience you’re looking for. There is a fantastic collection of great fishing piers on the OBX. Pier fishing is a family-friendly activity and a great way to introduce kids to fishing. Each pier offers its own local flavor and amenities. Jennette’s Pier offers a family fishing class that includes instruction, equipment, bait, and the fishing fee for those who are new to pier fishing. Grab a beer at the bar at Avalon Pier and play video games or head outside to the top deck and listen to live music. FishHeads Bar & Grill, located at the base of the Outer Banks Fishing Pier in South Nags Head, is another great place to grab a beer and listen to live music after a day of fishing. The Pier House Restaurant on Nags Head Fishing Pier offers an amazing breakfast with an ocean view for you to fuel up before your day of fishing.

2024 Sunset Festivals Kitty Hawk Kites

Watch the Sunset

Each Monday through Friday in July, Kitty Hawk Kites hosts a Sunset Festival from 7:00 pm until sunset at their Jockey’s Ridge Crossing location in Nags Head. Each evening of the week has a different special theme or activity. Watch the sky change colors as the sun dips behind the dunes, or stroll across the crosswalk to climb the giant sand dunes at Jockey’s Ridge State Park to watch the sunset on the sound.

If you aren’t staying close to Nags Head, there are other great places to watch the sunset on the Outer Banks. Explore Historic Corolla Park and watch the sunset from the grounds of The Whalehead Club. Take a walk on the Town of Duck’s soundside boardwalk and get an unobstructed view of the sun setting on the sound. There are many other public sound access points along the Outer Banks, no matter which town you find yourself in.

Groove to Live Music on the Outer Banks in July

If live music is something that you enjoy, the Outer Banks in summer is the place to be. Live music can be found almost every evening, from Corolla to Ocracoke. Free live music can be found at many local restaurants, bars, and, on some evenings, at town parks.

VusicOBX presents ticketed music events that feature bigger-name musicians at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo, all with the laid-back beach town vibe that you’re used to on the Outer Banks.

7/13/24: Zoso The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience with Funkamongus

7/20/24: OBX Is For Lovers with Motion City Soundtrack, Hawthorne Heights, Less Than Jake, Thursday, Armor for Sleep, This Wild Life

7/27/24: Iration: Daytrippin’ in Paradise Summer Tour with Pepper


mermaid sandcastle

Build An Epic Sandcastle

Building sandcastles isn’t just for the kids! We’ve seen some pretty amazing sand creations. The best part about making sandcastles is that very little equipment is needed. Grab a sand pail or two and use your imagination to create something special. We have a few tips for successful sandcastle-ing:

  • Build your sandcastle near the high tide mark. The sand in this area is generally more hard-packed and contains more moisture than the finer sand closer to the dune line.
  • Fill your bucket with water to use for details as needed. Or put some sand into that bucket of water and see how tall of a drip castle you can make. 
  • Get the entire family involved for a little healthy competition, complete with champion sandcastle bragging rights. 
  • Fill all holes in before leaving the beach for the day. This is very important, as sand holes can be hazards for emergency vehicles, nesting sea turtles, and beach walkers. 
  • NEVER crawl through a sand tunnel. Sand is unstable by nature and sand tunnels will collapse as sand under the surface dries. 
Wright Kite Festival

Fly a Kite at the Site of the First Flight

The 46th Annual Wright Kite Festival offers the opportunity to fly a kite or simply watch the large 30 to 100-foot kites flying high at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Learn to fly a stunt kite, bring the kids to the kite-making station, and get some memorable vacation photos with the kites flying in the background. While you’re there, be sure to explore the grounds, walk up Kill Devil Hill to the monument, and visit the onsite museum to learn more about the Wright Brothers’ legacy on the Outer Banks.

First Flight Track Club

Race to the Finish Line with First Flight Track Club

For runners who simply want to run, check out the Summer Sunset Race Series presented by First Flight Track Club. The casual “old school” races are held at the First Flight track in Kill Devil Hills on select Thursday evenings throughout the summer. Hand-timed race events include 100M, 200M, 800M, 1600M, and 2 miles and are donation-based, benefitting middle and high school running sports on the Outer Banks. Lace-up your running shoes and try to keep up with (or outrun!) local OBX runners. Races will be held on July 11th and 25th; registration begins at 7:30 pm. Results will be posted online, offering the competitive folks in your group OBX vacation bragging rights.

For more fun things to do on the Outer Banks, many of the things to do on the OBX in June and August things to do are also available throughout July. 

Courtney Wisecarver

Courtney Wisecarver

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