July is probably the most popular month for the Outer Banks. There are years when there is no vacancy at vacation rental cottages, hotels and motels. Most years, July is the hottest month of the year too. It’s that period of time when cold fronts rarely make it this far south and the Bermuda high pressure gives us those afternoon cooler breezes off the sound. There are best times of year for different Outer Banks activities. Here’s our Outer Banks Bucketlist for July items.
Snorkel an Outer Banks Shipwreck
You likely know that the coast of the Outer Banks is often called the Graveyard of the Atlantic. That’s because there have been hundreds of shipwrecks on these islands over the last five hundred or so years. During the middle of the summer, conditions can become optimal for viewing some of these wrecks near the shore. Usually in July or early August there’s a week or two period of very light winds and small waves. During this time the ocean gets crystal clear and the water is above 70 degrees. Snorkeling is the least time consuming and least expensive way to get up close and personal with one of these wrecks. Check out five Outer Banks shipwrecks that are close enough to the beach to snorkel to here.
Visit the Outer Banks History Museum
If you spent any time on the Outer Banks, then you are likely familiar with the Wright Brothers, the Lost Colony and maybe a few of the other firsts in history associated with the Outer Banks. The history of locals gets skipped over as a result of these big historical events. For example, there’s a strong boat building, fishing and lifesaving history here.
The Roanoke Island Festival Park has a history museum dedicated to this local history. In the museum you can see exhibits on this local history. There are also outside exhibits on Outer Banks Native Americans and a replica of the lost colonists’ ship. That’s the ship that the first colonists arrived on Roanoke Island on. If you have had enough of the beach then learning about local history at the Roanoke Island Festival Park is a great afternoon trip.
Take a Surfing Lesson
Among East Coast surfers, the Outer Banks is known for its consistent good waves. The continental shelf is closer to the beach here than just about any other East Coast location. That deep water near shore keeps the waves from losing most of their energy before they get to the beach. There are many times during the year when the ocean along the Outer Banks is too rough for beginners. July’s waves are almost always smaller, and the water is usually warm enough to surf without a wetsuit.
The best way to learn to surf is contact one of the many local surf schools. Surfing is not as easy as it looks. It helps to have the right board, to find the right spot and learn some of the physical aspects of surfing. These surf schools have the equipment, the know-how and where the best places to learn are. One tip they may not tell you is it’s best to look at the weather and tides for the optimum time to go. It’s best with lighter winds and closer to low tide. Days with a morning low tide are best because that’s when winds are usually the lightest.
Spending time near or in the ocean is an easy choice the Outer Banks Bucketlist for July. There’s no shortage of fun things to do all over the beach this time of year. We hope you are able to make the most of things to do here this month!