If you are seeking for a relaxing getaway filled with sunshine, sand, and sea, you’ve come to the right place. With its stunning beaches, vibrant local culture, and abundance of outdoor activities, Rodanthe, located in Dare county has something for everyone.
So, what are some of the must-see attractions and activities in Rodanthe? Start your day with a stroll along the beach, taking in the spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and the nearby sand dunes.
To get a sense of local culture, head to the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Historic Site and Museum. Here, you can learn about the fascinating history of the Outer Banks and the heroic efforts of the life-saving crews who patrolled these waters in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Searching for some wildlife sightings? Take a short drive to Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, a 13-mile stretch of protected coastline that’s home to a wide variety of birds, including pelicans, herons, and eagles. Keep an eye out for sea turtles and dolphins, too!
Finally, no trip to Rodanthe would be complete without a visit to the famous “Serendipity” house, featured in the hit movie “Nights in Rodanthe” starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane. Take a photo in front of this iconic landmark, and feel the romance of the Outer Banks come to life.
Let’s explore some of these best things to do in Rodanthe NC!
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1. Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Historic Site & Museum
If you’re interested in a fascinating slice of Outer Banks history, look no further than the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Historic Site and Museum. This museum, housed in the beautifully restored 1874 station, narrates the story of the brave men who risked their lives to rescue shipwrecked sailors along the treacherous North Carolina coast.
Step inside the station and you’ll be transported back in time to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the life-saving crews patrolled the coast in search of ships in distress. Learn about the ingenious devices they used to signal for help, such as the famous “breeches buoy,” which was used to rescue stranded sailors from the water.
The museum also has displays on the history of the Outer Banks and its residents, from the Native American tribes that first settled here to the modern-day beach communities that attract visitors from all over the world. Once you visit here, you’ll get a taste of the region’s rich cultural legacy, as well as the struggles and achievements of coastal life.
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2. Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
Situated on the eastern coast of North Carolina lies a nature lover’s paradise – the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. This 13-mile stretch of protected coastline is home to an incredible variety of wildlife, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the natural world.
As you wander the trails of the refuge, you’ll be surrounded by a stunning range of birds, including pelicans, herons, and egrets. The refuge is a vital stopover for migratory birds, which makes it an ideal spot for birdwatchers looking to add some rare species to their lists.
Anyone who wants to explore the refuge up close, there are a variety of activities to choose from. Take a guided kayak tour through the marshes, spotting wildlife as you glide through the tranquil waters. Or rent a bike and pedal along the refuge’s scenic trails, taking in the sights and sounds of the coastal ecosystem.
3. Rodanthe Pier
The Rodanthe Pier is a landmark on the Outer Banks, stretching out into the Atlantic Ocean like a beckoning finger. For anglers and surfers alike, it’s a must-visit spot, offering stunning views of the ocean and plenty of opportunities for fishing, strolling, and soaking up the sun.
Take a leisurely stroll along the pier, admiring the views of the ocean and the nearby dunes. Watch the surfers catching waves just beyond the pier’s reach, or simply sit on one of the benches and soak up the sun and sea breeze. And if you’re feeling peckish, be sure to stop by the pier’s restaurant, which offers a variety of delicious seafood dishes and cold drinks. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a fresh seafood meal while watching the waves roll in.
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4. The Inn At Rodanthe
Made famous by the movie “Nights in Rodanthe,” the inn is a popular destination for couples looking for a romantic getaway. As you approach the inn, you’ll immediately notice its charming and distinctive architecture, which features a wraparound porch and a bright blue exterior. Enter the place and you’ll be transported back in time, as the interior is outfitted with vintage furnishings and décor from a bygone era.
Today, the inn serves as a tribute to the film and to the idea that love can be found in even the most unexpected places. Visitors can stroll the same hallways and admire the same ocean views that Richard Gere and Diane Lane did in the film.
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5. Sandbar Dreams, LLC
Sandbar Dreams, LLC is a one-of-a-kind beach boutique located in the middle of Rodanthe, NC. The store is the brainchild of a local entrepreneur who dreamed of creating a space that embodies the laid-back, beachy vibe of the Outer Banks.
When you go to this store, a colorful and eclectic array of beach-inspired merchandise will be awaiting you. From unique home décor and artisanal jewelry to locally-made beach towels and apparel, Sandbar Dreams has something for everyone.
But Sandbar Dreams isn’t just a store – it’s a movement. The store hosts regular events and workshops, ranging from crafting classes to beach clean-ups. Additionally, the owners have a passion for supporting local artists and artisans, therefore, the store also features a rotating selection of work from talented local creators.
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6. Angel Fritz Gallery
Tucked away in the charming coastal town of Rodanthe, NC, the Angel Fritz Gallery is a hidden gem that’s worth checking out. The gallery is the brainchild of local artist Angel Fritz, who has a passion for bringing art to life and sharing it with the world.
As you enter the gallery, you’ll be startled by the brilliant colors and powerful brushstrokes that grace the walls. Angel’s artwork is a celebration of the natural beauty of the Outer Banks, and each piece is infused with a sense of joy and wonder.
But the Angel Fritz Gallery isn’t just a place to view and purchase art, rather it’s a community. Angel is passionate about fostering a love of art and creativity in others, so she offers workshops and events for both children and adults on a regular basis.
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7. Oregon Inlet Life Saving Station
Perched on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, the Oregon Inlet Life Saving Station stands as a testament to the bravery and determination of the U.S. Life-Saving Service. Built in 1898, the station served as a crucial outpost for rescuing shipwrecked sailors and passengers along the treacherous coast of the Outer Banks.
Visitors can slip their feet into the boots of a surfman and experience the challenges of launching a rescue boat into rough seas, or learn about the innovative devices and techniques used to rescue stranded sailors from shipwrecks. And for those who want to get a taste of life as a life-saving crew member, the museum offers hands-on activities and demonstrations.
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8. Reef Beachwear
Reef Beachwear is a vibrant and stylish beachwear boutique which is located in Rodanthe, NC. You can explore an amazing collection of beach-inspired fashion and accessories at this place. From trendy swimsuits and cover-ups to beachy jewellery and sandals, Reef Beachwear has everything you need to complete your perfect beach look.
The store prides itself on carrying a wide range of sizes, so everyone can find something that makes them feel confident and beautiful. Whether you prefer bold and bright patterns or classic and understated styles, the store has something to suit your taste.
9. Hwy 12 Amusements
Located along the scenic NC Highway 12 in Rodanthe, Hwy 12 Amusements is a lively and exciting family entertainment center that promises hours of fun for visitors of all ages.
As you approach the center, you’ll be greeted by the bright lights and colorful signs that herald the many attractions within. From classic arcade games and pinball machines to modern virtual reality experiences and laser tag, Hwy 12 Amusements has something for everyone.
Kids will love the variety of rides, including a Ferris wheel, bumper cars, and a spinning teacup ride. And for the more adventurous visitors, there’s a thrilling zip line that takes you soaring over the Outer Banks landscape.
10. Someday…by the Sea
Nestled in the charming village of Rodanthe, NC, Someday…by the Sea is a unique and inspiring boutique that offers visitors a chance to escape the stresses of everyday life and indulge in a little self-care.
When you go to this beautiful bouquet, you would experience the calming scent of essential oils and the soothing sounds of gentle music. The store is filled with a carefully curated selection of natural skincare products, candles, and bath products that are designed to help you relax and unwind.
The owners of Someday…by the Sea have created a peaceful and welcoming atmosphere that feels like a haven from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The staff are warm and friendly, and they’re always ready to help you find the perfect product to suit your needs.
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Rodanthe, NC is a charming coastal village that offers visitors a wealth of exciting activities and experiences. From exploring historic landmarks and wildlife refuges to indulging in some retail therapy and fun-filled amusement park rides, there’s something for everyone in Rodanthe. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun on the beach or enjoy a little culture and entertainment, the best things to do in Rodanthe, NC promise to deliver a memorable experience. So pack your bags, and head on over to this enchanting seaside town for an unforgettable vacation.