Outer Banks, NC  - Vacation Travel Guide

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Outer Banks Area Features

Playing at the Beach

Cooling off in the water, lying in the sun, and getting sand between the toes can take all your worries away and leave the body and mind tranquil and relaxed. Of course, the beach can also be full of exhilarating and active sports and games. Looking for some suggestions? We have a few game ideas for you! Some may require equipment that can be purchased at local stores if you don’t already have it at home. Use one of Sunny Day's money-saving coupons if you would like to add a game to your beach-fun collection!

  • Paddleball: How many rallies can you and your partner do?
  • Beach Volleyball: A classic beach game that is so popular, courts in the sand can usually be found along the beach.
  • Sand Soccer: Though you can buy a ball specifically for the beach, it’s not really necessary for an informal match. Start a pickup game and see how many people come to play!
  • Games of accuracy: Horseshoes are too dangerous to play on crowded beaches and are sometimes prohibited. However, there are a number of games that can be played with a similar objective. Fortunately, they are safer to play and most are easily transported to the beach.
  • Cornhole: The boards can be a bit cumbersome but this game is hugely popular on the sand.
  • Ladder Toss: The objective is to throw a rope from a distance and get it wound around the rungs of the vertical ladder. 
  • Ring Toss: Much like horseshoes, but with soft foam, rope or inflatable rings. Some sets include inflatable animal targets like a shark or a flamingo for playtime in the pool!
  • Disc Game: It’s all about how accurately you can throw a disc. Try to get it through the slots for points!
  • Toss a Football or Frisbee: An affordable and fun way for friends to play in both the sand and surf.

Of course, there are also free activities on the beach!

  • Sandcastle Building: Work together to build the seaside palace of your dreams! No buckets and shovels required—just a great imagination!
  • Seashell hunting: Empty shells make great souvenirs. When you get home, immerse them in boiling water or bleach water (though it may strip color) or even use toothpaste and a toothbrush to clean them up. A light coat of mineral oil will make them lustrous!
  • Body Surfing: Catch a wave and ride it in on your stomach!

While playing, don’t forget that the beach can be potentially dangerous. Some tips to keep you safe include:

  • Lifeguards: Swim on patrolled beaches and pay attention to their flags and warnings. See our list of Lifeguard Locations.
  • Rip Currents: Make sure everyone knows that if you get caught in one, don’t panic, and swim parallel to the shoreline. These natural currents can be fatal if you exert too much energy trying to swim directly back to shore. Find out more about rip currents.
  • Burying each other in the sand: Many lifeguards will say that this activity is is extremely dangerous. Do Not Do This. After one exhales, the sand can collapse further onto the rib cage and its pressure can prohibit the intake of oxygen and suffocate the “buried” individual.
  • Lightning: At the first sign of stormy weather, go inside. The beach is a wide open, flat space and humans can make perfect lightning rods.
  • Sunscreen: Don’t forget to reapply! No one wants to feel the burn hours after enjoying a great beach day.
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