Running parallel to the coastline for almost 100 miles, North Carolina’s Outer Banks is a system of fragile and shifting sand bars, islands and waterways. Dotted with characterful towns, protected national shoreline and linked by bridges and ferries, this is a unique landscape that’s just begging to be explored.
Being a long series of coastline islands, the Outer Banks are constantly affected by weather, with four very distinct seasons. However, the Gulf Stream keeps things mild here, and with something to do or see every day of the year, no matter what the weather, there is no bad time to visit.
Shops and restaurants begin opening after Easter gearing up for the summer high season, which is by far the busiest. You’ll pay a premium for flights and accommodation at this time but there’s plenty of space, so it rarely feels too crowded.
Many locals will tell you that fall is the best time to visit, with fewer tourists, great fishing and plenty of outdoor fun to be had.
You can narrow your search for flights to Outer Banks using the filter options, including searching for specific airlines or departure times.
To find cheaper flights it helps to be flexible about when and how you travel. If you are able to fly from more than one airport, click the ‘Nearby airports’ button under the search bears to see what’s available. You can also see more options for different dates by selecting ‘Show flexible dates’. With flights often being cheaper on certain days of the week, this can help you to find bargain flights to the Outer Banks.
There are cheap flights to the Outer Banks available from a number of departure points across the US, including:
The Outer banks is accessible from two major airports. Of the two, the closest is Norfolk International (ORF), located around 82 miles to the north. Norfolk serves around 3.2 million passengers a year and is predominantly used by Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines.
Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) is your other choice, located a little further away at around 192 miles to the west of the Outer Banks. With about 11.5 million passengers using the airport each year, it is the bigger of the two. Rental cars are available from both airports to make the scenic onward drive to your destination.
A choice of major airlines offers regular flights to the Outer Banks from around the US.
Flying in to either of the main airports, the easiest way to make your way to the Outer Banks is by rental car. However, there are public bus and private transfer options available. Or you can book a private air charter to take you directly to the islands.
By road, you will need to find a bridge connection or ferry to get you to your destination. There are several regular ferry routes, including the Hatteras to Ocracoke Ferry, the Cedar Island to Ocracoke Ferry and the new Ocracoke Express.
When on the islands, there is a good choice of taxi and shuttle services linking most of the main towns and tourist attractions.
The Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a nature preserve and lighthouse with excellent boating and windsurfing options. This thin strand of islands extends out into the Atlantic, exposed to the elements but possesses incredible natural beauty. Another of the Outer Banks main lighthouses can be found on Bodie Island. Built in 1848, this tall and elegant building is still in operation today.
Visit the first English settlement of the New World, at Roanoke Colony. There is a museum detailing how and why the English landed here. Or if you’re simply looking to hit the beach and relax, then try Coquina Beach, a vast stretch of sand bordered by sand dunes and sea grasses.
The Outer Banks runs on Eastern time with seasonal variations for Daylight Savings.
*Savings based on all package bookings with Flight + Hotel made on Orbitz.com from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018 as compared to the price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.
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