14 December 2022
By: Jennifer LeVine, AGM
The Outer Banks might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of where to spend Christmas, but surely it should be! There are many exciting and beautiful memories to make at the beachfront hotels in the OBX during the holidays.
You may think it's too cold for fun on the beach in December, but! that is only accurate for swimming or surfing in the ocean without a wet suit. There are still many
to do in the Outer Banks. The weather stays relatively mild, with only a light jacket needed, if at all, on most days.
Check out the Holiday Light Displays in OBX
Edward H. Johnson strung the first set of electric Christmas tree lights in 1882. Mr. Johnson, Thomas Edison's friend, and partner in Edison's Illumination Company took 80 red, white, and blue bulbs and then wrapped them around his Christmas tree.
Christmas lights are so pretty and can range from simple to extravagant. There are MANY Christmas light displays to enjoy while you
visit the Outer Banks
Elizabethan Garden Winter Lights
One of the most popular displays is in its 10th year and is the
Elizabethan Gardens Winterlights
. This event features over 40 thousand lights in different displays throughout the gardens. This outdoor event is open every day from 6 pm– 9 pm in December except Mondays, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. There is a nominal fee for this event. Your well-behaved and leashed dog can also attend this event for a nominal charge. While getting a reservation is recommended, they are not required to attend. It will surely be a fun family outing or the perfect date night. Check the
Elizabethan Garden Winter Lights
website for more information and ticket pricing.
Tacky Light Tour on The Outer Banks
There is also a "tacky" light tour on The Outer Banks. You can find the
online. The featured house of this tour is the Mennicucci house located at 206 Clamshell Drive in Kill Devil Hills. There are over 70 thousand lights timed to a local radio station and 13 Christmas songs. This local family goes all out and truly puts on a fantastic display. They ask you to bring an excellent canned donation to support our local food bank. While not required, the food bank is an integral part of our community and provides help without bias to those in our community. You can see a few during your stay, with stops along the tour not far from our hotels in OBX on the beach.
3rd Annual Christmas Stop
Close to both of our
OBX hotels on the beach
is also a family-friendly event at the Nags Head Church on
E Soundside Dr.
The event is the 3rd Annual Christmas Stop. It runs Dec 10 – 17. When you see the display from the road, you can't help but smile when you are driving by them. The display features a large light array you can walk freely through, including a train for younger visitors to enjoy. Don't miss it!
Corolla Christmas Village
Further North, in Corolla, you will find the
Corolla Christmas Village
. This event is open Fridays and Saturdays in December from 5 pm-8 pm, weather permitting. During your visit to the Outer Banks, you'll be able to walk freely amongst various spectacular Christmas displays in the historic Corolla Village. There is food and craft vendors often set up and, of course, Christmas lights to enjoy. Santa has also been known to frequent the Corolla Christmas Village on the days leading up to Christmas.
While visiting the village, make sure to stop at the historic
. Once a Presidential retreat, this hunting club is open for tours and events. Candlelight tours are also available, but you need to RESERVE EARLY as these tours fill up very quickly. Ask any one of our Front Desk clerks to provide you with
to get from our
OBX hotels on the ocean
Christmas Shopping in OBX
If shopping is on your mind for Christmas, remember to shop at our many local shops and markets. With stores like The Christmas Mouse in Nags Head and The Christmas Shop in Manteo, along with the holiday markets, you are sure to find the perfect Outer Banks-themed ornament.
The Christmas Shop
You can find ornaments that feature Outer Banks landmarks and the obligatory Santa in flip-flops and a beach chair. Sure to be a fun addition to any tree.
The Christmas Mouse
During the holiday season, there is a series of products that I personally choose each year. It is a collection of seashells with a bit of glitter added to pick up the lights of your tree or wreath. To me, they are a perfect reminder of your vacation in the Outer Banks.
First Flight Holiday Market
Also happening in December is the First Flight Holiday Market. This market runs throughout the month and features crafts, food, paintings, and more from many talented local artists. If it is something unique you are looking for, head on over to Aviation Park in Kill Devil Hills.
Extend Your Outer Banks Christmas Vacation Through The New Year
It wouldn't be Christmas in the Outer Banks without ringing in the New Year downtown Manteo. There are many things to experience for everyone, young and old. You're sure to have a good time from hot chocolate stations to yule log.
You can ring in the New Year on the waterfront while listening to music and shopping for food and crafts. After midnight, there will be a 'ball drop' and fireworks!
OBX Hotels on The Beach
Make our home your home for the holidays. Experience beautiful sunrises from the balcony of your OBX beach hotel. We offer complimentary breakfast each day while you stay with us. Our team of experts can direct you to local shops and dining around our
in the Outer Banks.
Comfort Inn On The Ocean
Located in Kill Devil Hills, this OBX hotel on the beach features a full-service restaurant and private balconies. Call
to check rates and availability for your next trip.
Comfort Inn South Oceanfront
Our Nags Head beachfront hotel also provides breathtaking views from private balconies. To make your
Wherever you choose to spend this time of giving and reflection, we wish you the happiest holidays. Safe travels, and we hope to see you soon!