Are Outer Banks Beaches Crowded?

Summer is almost here, but the pandemic still looms large over our lives.. That means you may be looking for the best beaches to enjoy the sun and stay safe at the same time. Since Outer Banks is popular among visitors across the globe, are beaches in the area too crowded? Let’s find out!

Outer Banks beaches are rarely crowded and have plenty of room to enjoy yourself. The area is pristine and unpopulated. This ensures your safety as you wander around the sandy beaches. With its endless ocean view and plenty of room for social distance, you will surely have an enjoyable stay here at Outer Banks.

Since the pandemic, I have become more cautious and conscious in every area I visit. Fortunately, after thorough research, I’ve found that Outer Banks beaches are a safe area to wander with my loved ones.

Are Outer Banks Beaches Open?

Despite the pandemic, most beaches in the Outer Banks have started to open their doors again to accommodate visitors around the world. Since COVID-19 is still a threat, it is vital to follow all the health and safety protocols imposed by the Outer Banks government. 

In addition, the organizers of each beach in the Outer Banks are doing their best to ensure the safety of their guests. They prioritize the health and safety of their visitors by constantly reminding them to wear their masks and follow the 6 ft. social distancing protocol.

Can You Drink Alcohol on Outer Banks Beaches?

Guests are free to drink any type of alcoholic beverage as they watch the ocean waves touching their feet. Please, though, avoid drinking too much alcohol. 

You’ll also need to take note of some rules you need to follow when enjoying a refreshing alcoholic drink with your friends and family. One of these regulations states that alcohol bottled in glass is not recommended, as glass can break easily. It can then be spread across the sand, causing danger to other guests.

Since glass bottles are restricted, it would be best to drink alcohol that’s been bottled in plastic containers and aluminum cans. Just make sure to avoid littering to maintain the cleanliness of the beach. Keep in mind that you are not the only person on the beach. So, be sure to think of your fellow visitors,  to avoid yourself getting in trouble.

Are There Sharks In The Outer Banks?

Yes, there are sharks in the Outer Banks beaches but the chances of encountering one are very low. Although only one out of 11.5 million people will possibly encounter a shark, it is recommended that you take steps to ensure your safety. Take note that the ocean is the natural habitat of different species of sharks.

Shark encounters usually happen between sandbars, in waters near the shore, or even in steep drop-offs where sharks usually like to feed.  In addition, splashing sounds made by surfers and swimmers can attract sharks, thinking that humans are their prey.

To keep yourself safe from sharks while on the Outer Banks beaches, here are some of the tips you should follow:

  • First thing, if you have a serious wound that bleeds a lot, keep yourself away from the water since sharks have a very strong  sense of smell.
  • Keep in mind that steep drop-offs and sandbars are the most common areas that sharks use as feeding grounds. . So avoid swimming near these places.
  • Splashing in the water with friends is great, but make sure to minimize it as splashes can attract sharks.
  • Swimming in the dark with your loved one sounds like a romantic moment. However,  it is strongly discouraged since sharks are more active during twilight hours.

Is It Safe To Swim In The Outer Banks?

Yes, swimming in the Outer Banks beaches is 100% safe. I have visited the area multiple times in a year, and I have never encountered a rough swimming day. 

One of the reasons why Outer Banks beaches attract so many visitors around the globe is because of their swimmer-friendly waves. If the waves do become rough, you will see red flags floating on public beaches.

Here are some of the rules you need to be aware of when swimming in the Outer Banks beaches:


When you encounter a backwash current, the best thing you can do is float and wait for the current to stop. Waves produced by backwash current can take you to the deeper part of the ocean, which can be very dangerous, especially if you are not a professional swimmer.

Rip Currents

Rip currents are dangerous for professional and amateur swimmers. The waves produced by rip currents can pull you out from the shore. When you notice something is wrong in the water and the waves start to look like rip currents, the best thing you can do is to keep yourself at least 15 feet away from the water.

Red Flags

When the ocean is not swimmable and it produces rough waves, you will see red flags floating on the ocean or placed at the main entrance of the beach. When you see a red flag, it means that NO SWIMMING is allowed. Follow this rule to ensure your safety from the possible risks that may happen.

What is the Least Crowded Beach in North Carolina?

North Carolina is the home of some of the most unpopulated and stunning beaches in the world. If you are looking for the least crowded beach in NC, I recommend Emerald Isle Beach.

Emerald Isle Beach is a paradise you can find in the southern part of the Outer Banks. Aside from its stunning view, this jewel is the best spot to visit during the pandemic because it is less populated. In addition to swimming, there are other things you can do in Emerald Isle Beach, including shelling and bodyboarding.

I have visited the area twice this year with my family, and I can say that their sandy and crystal clear beaches are breathtaking. The waves on this beach will take away your stress and replace it with tranquility and peace of mind.

In Conclusion

Are you planning to go for a weekend vacation on a beach but have no idea where to land? I highly recommend you to try the utmost beauty of Outer Banks’ beaches.

The beaches in this area are some of the best. These seashores are less populated as well, which made them ideal among pandemic travelers. The beaches are open to the public.  The organizers have maintained a clean and safe environment for their visitors.

Let the waves of unpopulated Outer Banks beaches give you solemnity and peace of mind in the middle of the stressful situation of the world. You can visit the area anytime you want without worrying about your health and safety.

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