Life can get busy, so it’s important to take time out to cherish simple pleasures. Treasured family vacations. Favorite traditions. Conversations that linger. Giggles galore. Whether it’s playing in the waves, savoring our coastal cuisine, exploring our maritime forests, or just soaking up the sun, it’s the experiences that bring us together and keep us coming back to the Outer Banks. It’s the little moments that make life big.
Kitty Hawk visitors will be overwhelmed with possibilities, from amazing shopping to quiet soundside hikes. The following Kitty Hawk activities are popular and most always in season for Outer Banks vacationers.
Hiking/walking - Visitors will find a network of hiking trails through Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Reserve, which can be altered from .5 mile excursions of full 5 mile loops. Access points and parking can be found throughout the soundside, from behind the Wal-Mart shopping complex to the small residential communities off of The Woods Road.
Biking - The trails throughout Kitty Hawk Woods are ideal for biking, and the Beach Road which runs parallel to the oceanfront also boasts a small lane designated for bikers and pedestrians. Visitors can also check out the collection of side roads on the southern edge of Duck Woods Country Club in neighboring Southern Shores for family-friendly rides through small, undeveloped streets.
Kayaking - Kayaking has a cult following in the Kitty Hawk Woods Reserve, and popular trails include long paddles along the soundside's Jean Guite Creek, High Bridge Creek, or Ginguite Creek. Paddlers can launch via the parking lot of Kitty Hawk Kayaks, or the public boat launch on Bob Perry Road, which can be found off the intersection of US Highway 158 and Kitty Hawk Road.
Birding - Head to the 1,800+ acres of Kitty Hawk Woods for exceptional birding in the maritime forest and adjacent marshes and estuaries. Scope out the hiking trails off of The Woods Road, or head to the edge of Bob Perry Road for soundfront views that extend to Hog Island and Stove Island.
Surfing - Surfing is big in Kitty Hawk, and surfers flock to this town when off-season nor'easters or offshore summer hurricanes pass by. Surfers will want to watch for red flags along the beaches, which are posted when swimming and surfing conditions are hazardous. Swimming and surfing is prohibited when flags are posted. Also, all surfers must attach a surfing leash, per Town of Kitty Hawk regulations.
Lighthouses - Kitty Hawk is about 20 miles away from the Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla, and about 20-25 miles away from the Bodie Island Lighthouse, located south of Nags Head. Both lighthouses are seasonally open for climbers, generally from April until mid-October.
Fishing - Anglers can head to the oceanfront beaches for decent surf fishing, or check out the Kitty Hawk Pier, which offers weekly and yearly fishing passes via the adjacent Hilton Garden Inn, or the Avalon Pier in Kill Devil Hills. On the soundside, check out the waters and creeks adjacent to Kitty Hawk Bayfor exceptional fishing, clamming, and even crabbing.
Beaches - Kitty Hawk beaches are protected by the town's Ocean Rescue, and feature fixed lifeguarded stations in the summer months at Byrd Street, Eckner Street, and adjacent to the Kitty Hawk Bath House. Public beach accesses that also have public parking can be found at the following locales:
- Balchen Street
- Bennett Street
- Bleriot Street
- Fonck Street
- Hawks Street
- Lillian Street
- Maynard Street
- Wilkins Street
Wildlife Viewing - At the Kitty Hawk Woods Reserve, visitors can enjoy some of the best birding and wildlife viewing in the Outer Banks, as the region features maritime deciduous forest, maritime swamp forest, marshes and creeks. Park at the David Paul Pruitt Park or the Sandy Run Park for easy access.
Swimming - The ocean is typically warm enough for swimming from Memorial Day through Mid-September, and Kitty Hawk has three fixed lifeguarded stations as well as a roving patrol. On a rainy day, visitors can head south, to Nags Head's YMCA, where an expansive community indoor pool can be enjoyed with a guest membership.
Camping - RV campers can head to the Kitty Hawk RV Park, which is found close to the oceanfront and Beach Bypass attractions. Tent campers who like a rustic setting can reserve a spot at the Adventure Bound Campground in Kitty Hawk Woods. Both campgrounds are open year-round and offer a wealth of amenities including picnic areas, grills, bathrooms, recreational areas and more.
Stand Up Paddleboarding - Stand Up Paddleboarding newcomers can check out Promenade Watersports, located at the edge of the Wright Memorial Bridge, for hourly rentals, or can head to Kitty Hawk Watersports in Nags Head for lessons and equipment. Paddle boarders can also launch in the heart of Kitty Hawk Woods via Bob Perry Road for a more scenic and secluded cruise.
Golf - Kitty Hawk is home to the Sea Scape Golf Links, an 18-hole course which boasts several holes with ocean views. Golf lovers can also head a couple miles north to the Duck Woods Country Club in Southern Shores, or a few miles south to the Nags Head Golf Links. Sea Scape and Nags Head Golf Links are both semi-public courses and accept online tee time reservations
Scenic Spots - Kitty Hawk Woods has multiple scenic spots, and visitors can head to the edge of Bob Perry Road, the David Paul Pruitt Park or the Sandy Run Park for the best wooded or waterfront views. For a higher perspective, head north to the Wright Monument in Kill Devil Hills or to Jockey's Ridge in Nags Head, where sky-high views from the tops of these massive sand dunes and hills are waiting.
Boating - The NC Wildlife Resource Commission manages a public boat launch that accesses Kitty Hawk Bay , can accommodate 20 vehicles, and is found at the end of Dock Street. There's also a Dare County Public Boat Ramp at the end of Bob Perry Road which can accommodate 30 vehicles and features a picnic area. Both ramps can be popular in the summer months, so if parking is a must, arrive early.
Educational - Kitty Hawk is home to the Children at Play Museum, a fun destination for kids 10 and under. The Kitty Hawk Woods Reserve and Nags Head's Jockey's Ridge are good spots for learning about the unique coastal environment, while the Wright Brothers Memorial in neighboring Kill Devil Hills offers a wealth of National Park Service programs on both the historic First Flight and the local region.
Museums - Bring the kids to Kitty Hawk's own Children at Play Museum, or head 30 minutes north to Roanoke Island, where a number of local museums and historic sites can be found. These sites include Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, the Roanoke Island Festival Park, the Elizabeth II, and the Island Farm, and are all interactive and educational attractions, and are appropriate for visitors of all ages.
Shelling - Kitty Hawk has decent shelling after offshore hurricanes and off-season nor'easters, and frequent beachcombers report having good luck along the beaches after a low tide. Go shelling early during the summer, when the beaches are a little more crowded, and be on the lookout for scallops, coquinas, razor and quahog clams, oysters, and the occasional whelk.
Windsurfing - Windsurfers and kiteboarders can launch via the public boat launch at the end of Bob Perry Road, or can check out the Kitty Hawk Kites watersports center in Nags Head for lessons and equipment rentals. The Kitty Hawk Bayis a prime spot for both of these wind-based sports thanks to its shallow but protected waters, and plenty of high spring and fall winds.
Nightlife - There are plenty of beach bars in Kitty Hawk that stay open after-hours and provide live entertainment, DJs, or even Karaoke. Favorite night spots include Barefoot Bernie's Tropical Grill & Bar, Goombays Grille & Raw Bar, Ocean Boulevard and Hurricane Mo's Beachside Bar. Taxi service is available throughout the Outer Banks via A-1 Taxi, Coastal Cab Company and Coastal Transportation.
Crabbing - The best spot for crabbing is arguably the small creeks and open waters that surround Kitty Hawk Bay , which crabbers and mariners can access via the public boat launch at the end of Bob Perry Road. A handful of soundfront or creekfront vacation rentals also feature private docks, which are good places to drop a crab trap or two.