Why Shoulder Season is the Best Time of Year on the Outer Banks



Summer on the Outer Banks brings an increased volume in traffic and people as vacationers flock to the area for the beautiful weather, warm water and incredible array of activities. But what few people know, who have never been to the Outer Banks in the Spring or the Fall, called the ‘shoulder seasons’ on the Outer Banks, is that both offer the benefits of the summer without the crowds.

June, July and August are the busiest months on the Outer Banks. If you’ve visited during that time or know someone who has, you’re probably familiar with the traffic and congestion. A new bridge proposed to Corolla should help remedy that in the coming years, but what can you do now? Visit during the Spring or Fall months! Whether you’re a permanent resident, thinking about moving here, or considering purchasing an investment property on the Outer Banks, there are a number of benefits to the shoulder seasons on the beach.


Fall on the Outer Banks is a favorite among locals. There are still some lingering tourists, but the large amount are back to the routine of school and work, leaving the roads clear and the beaches empty. The visitors on the Outer Banks during this time are typically an older crowd or new families with young children. Not only that, but most businesses that are seasonal don’t close up until late October or November, so all the favorite hang-out spots are just as lively and filled with a new, local flare. More benefits of Fall on the Outer Banks include:

  • Warm ocean water
  • Incredible fishing and tournaments along the beaches
  • Once-in-a-lifetime bird watching on Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge during annual migration
  • 4WD access on beaches opens for many places that close for the season
  • Dogs are allowed on many beaches after Labor Day
  • Less lines waiting for a ferry to other islands.
  • One of the best places and best time for surfing
  • Festivals like the Mustang Music Festival in Corolla


Like Fall, Spring on the Outer Banks is a wonderful time due to the low population of visitors and access to many businesses opening their doors for the first time of the season. While winters are mild on the Outer Banks, Spring quickly warms up people’s sprits and noticeably lifts people’s moods from hibernation. Locals are more active, excited for warm temperatures and an impending summer season. Here are some benefits to Spring on the Outer Banks:

  • Last minute stays are easier to plan and book
  • Lots of sales as stores gear up for a new summer season
  • Ideal time to see the wild horses in Corolla due to less crowds on the beach
  • Best time to take a hike at one of the many wildlife refuges, hiking trails and preserves.
  • The area is no stranger to bugs, but Spring offers a great time where bugs are not yet out and about.
  • Golfing at one of the many Outer Banks’ local championship courses.
  • While the ocean is still warming from winter months, the Sound is usually significantly warmer, therefore it’s ideal for watersports like kite boarding, kayaking and paddle boarding, among many others.

Check out more posts like this on Eillu’s Outer Banks real estate blog!

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