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How to Enjoy the Outer Banks in 2021

a close up of a pier next to a body of water

Did you know the COVID-19 pandemic set the international travel industry back a whopping 30 years?

During the year 2020, international tourism declined 70%. While some people opted for staycations close to home, curfews, closures, and widespread outbreaks of the virus forced many people to simply stay home and skip their vacation.

North Carolina has been gradually lifting its COVID restrictions, and by summer 2021, you can begin to enjoy the Outer Banks with your family.

While some international travel is still off the table, for now, you can safely take a beach vacation and enjoy a couples-only or family-friendly getaway.

No matter what your comfort level is when it comes to staying within your bubble or mixing with others, you can enjoy yourself with confidence on the Outer Banks this summer.

Read on for more information on things to do!

Stay Up-to-Date on COVID Safe Information

Before you make it to the Outer Banks, it is important that you understand and comply with the safety regulations for North Carolina and the area itself. Restrictions officially eased on April 30, but you should be aware that things can change and may differ since you last looked on the website.

While it is unlikely that things will become stricter, thanks to the vaccine rollout, you should be prepared for any possibility. Remember that you will be required to wear masks indoors if the facility cannot properly social distance guests. As such, bring your masks everywhere you go so that you’re not caught without one.

You should also be aware that many locations are not operating at 100% capacity. As such, don’t get frustrated if you’re turned away from a restaurant or other venue that looks like it has many seats still available. This is for everyone’s protection.

Now, let’s get into what you can do while you’re in the Outer Banks!

Visit a Museum

If you’re a history buff, you’re certainly in the right place at the Outer Banks. There are over 13 museums dealing in local history, and all of them are open to full capacity, as long as you wear your face covering.

Visit museums about everything from moonshine to the mysterious Roanoke Lost Colony of settlers. At the Roanoke Island Festival Park, you can take a look at a replica of one of the ships the first settlers came over on, as well as learn about Algonquin culture.

Flight enthusiasts can visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial, where they can learn about the Wilbur and Orville Wright and have a look at a reproduction of the airplane that made its first flight: the 1903 Wright Flyer.


If you love hiking, nature, and wildlife, you’ll definitely have a great time making your way through Pea Island National Wildlife Preserve and Jockey’s Ridge State Park. If you’re not completely confident going indoors just yet, hiking is the perfect way to socially distance and still enjoy your vacation. Stay with your bubble as you marvel at nature and the wildlife that calls the Outer Banks home.

The Outer Banks are also ripe for bird watching, and many tourists come to take a gander at the over 400 species of birds who call the area home.


Another great activity that can be done while social distancing, fishing, which is a great way to relax and unwind. On the Outer Banks, you can fish on the pier, or you can charter a boat to go out to sea and catch what you can. The Outer Banks is known as The Billfish Capital of the World, and it’s the perfect spot for beginner and seasoned fishermen.

Water Sports

Luckily, you can still participate in water sports and activities while remaining socially distant. At the Outer Banks, you can do everything from windsurfing to canoeing. You can also try your hand at surfing and stand-up paddle boarding, all of which can be done in your bubble or far away from other tourists.

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can also try windsurfing or kiteboarding. Or, if you’re a fan of going a little bit deeper beneath the surface, diving is also an option to view the marine life up close and personally. As an added bonus, it’s a completely COVID-safe activity.

Hit the Beach

You can’t go to the Outer Banks without hitting the beach. While we’ve discussed fishing and water sports, there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned day on the sand. Bring a picnic or get takeout from one of the nearby restaurants and sit with your bubble while enjoying the sand and surf. Nothing says family memories quite like building sandcastles, tossing a volleyball on the sand, or jumping into the ocean for a swim.

We offer you the option of a beach umbrella set-up so that you don’t have to worry about carrying bulky equipment to the beach. Instead, bring your towel, bathing suit, gear for a good time, and let us set up for you.

Enjoying the Outer Banks

Here at Farmdog Beach Services, we also offer a private cabana that can fit six chairs, with more available upon request. With a commercial-grade shelter, you won’t have to worry if there’s an afternoon rainstorm, or you can take complete shelter from the sun while you’re eating your lunch or dinner.

Let us take care of the hard work for you to enjoy your COVID safe 2021 Outer Banks vacation. Click here for more information on how to rent and enjoy a commercial-grade cabana.

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