Where Can You Ride Horses on the Beach in NC?

North Carolina is home to hundreds of miles of shoreline, and what better way to explore it than on the back of a horse? Horses are allowed on most North Carolina beaches for limited periods during the year.

The best place you can ride horses on the beaches of North Carolina is in the Outer Banks. The Currituck Outer Banks are known for their miles of undeveloped beaches, where riders can enjoy the sounds of the waves and striking views of standing marsh grasses and maritime forests.

Whether you are into competitive horse riding or just leisurely trotting on the beach, there is a place for you here.

Can You Ride Your Horse on the Beach in North Carolina?

You can ride horses on the beach of North Carolina, but horse riding facilities are only available at car access points. This means you’ll need to begin your horseback riding journey from the south end of the Outer Banks. Leave your car in the parking area, and walk across the road to the beach.

That’s because driving on the beach is only permitted in the southernmost North Carolina counties – Currituck, Dare, Hyde, and Carteret – and on Cape Lookout National Seashore.

According to the city of Outer Banks, horseback riding is prohibited on beach dunes, so riders are allowed only on the beaches.

Additionally, the northern part of the Outer Banks is a designated wilderness area. While there are areas where you can ride horses on the beach, horses are not allowed in designated wilderness areas.

Where Is the Best Place to Ride Horses on the Beach in NC?

ride horses on the beach

The best place you can ride horses on the beaches of North Carolina is in the Outer Banks. The charming scenery of the Outer Banks is the ideal backdrop for horseback riding. Take a ride on the beach and enjoy views of marsh grass, maritime forest, and the calming sound of the waves.

With its expansive landscape, the Outer Banks offers many opportunities for horseback riding. So get your camera ready and enjoy your ride!

Horseback Riding Tours in NC

With the popularity of horseback riding at the Outer Banks in North Carolina, several riding tours offer horseback riding on the beach and many other activities.

While a great way to explore the beaches of the Outer Banks is to ride horses on the beach, there are many other activities that you can enjoy. Horseback riding tours in the Outer Banks offer much more after your ride along the sand. Riding tours include:

  • Photography Tours
  • Arts & Crafts

This means you can enjoy a full day on the beach and horseback. Riding tours provide all equipment. There is no need to bring anything!

Best Beach Riding Tours in Nags Head, Outer Banks, NC

Here are the top riding tours that you can enjoy in Nags Head, Outer Banks, North Carolina where you can ride horses on the beach.

1. Equine Adventures

With a stunning 5 out 5 reviews on trip advisor, this riding tour company offers trails and beach rides that you won’t regret!

You will enjoy your time while you take a relaxing and fun tour through the Buxton Maritime Forest out to the pristine beaches of Hatteras Island. Equine Adventures offer 2-hour horse tours every day of the week! They are located at 52173 Piney Ridge Rd, Frisco, Hatteras Island, NC 27936.

2. Outer Banks Horseback

Carpe diem and enjoy how you can amazingly ride horses on the beach! This riding tour offers horseback tours along miles of oceanfront beaches. You will be stunned by the natural beauty of the Outer Banks beaches and enjoy a relaxing day on horseback!

Catch some attractions such as the Bodie Island Lighthouse and Coquina Beach. Outer Banks Horseback Tours are located at Bodie Island Lighthouse Rd. & NC-12, Nags Head, NC 27959.

They offer an hour-long beach ride that is perfect for first-time riders and experienced equestrians alike.

3. Outer Banks Riding Stables

ride horses on the beach

The Cedar Island Stables offers 60-minute beach trail rides. You can explore the shallow creeks of saltwater marshes and the wild horses that roam among the dunes.

Unlike other riding tours, the Outer Banks Riding Stables offers a motel for their fellow equestrians. You can stay and enjoy the beach without worrying about transportation after your ride.

Here, aside from you can ride horses on the beach, you will enjoy the Pamlico Sound in the distance, the sound of the ocean spray, and breathtaking views of wild horses. Outer Banks Riding Stables is located at 120 Driftwood Drive, Cedar Island, NC 28520.

They also offer longer riding tours of 2-3 hours.

4. Lighthouse Horse Ride

The Lighthouse Horse Ride offers cart/wagon rides along trails on the beach. The ride is perfect for young children.

The goal of the Lighthouse Horse Ride is to provide an experience for the whole family. You can book their cart/wagon and enjoy a family ride across the beach.

They also provide exclusive tours for celebrations such as weddings, family gatherings, and birthday parties. The Lighthouse Horse Ride is located at Hatteras Island, NC. For their riding tour, they offer 2-3 hour excursions for their guests.

5. C&C Farm

Away from the shore, C&C Farm offers the best service for beginner horseback riders. You can ride horses on the beach and enjoy a one-hour trail ride that is suitable for young riders. They also provide exclusive lessons for adults and cater to riders at any level.

C&C Farm is also available for celebrations and events such as birthday parties and weddings.

The C&C Farm is located at 1399 MC Wilder Rd, Louisburg, NC 27549-8782.

If you plan to consider these five riding tours in your bucket list, I recommend staying in these five rental properties:

Starlights 22 bedrooms, 1 bathroom
Sandcastle Cottage3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
Hyde & Sleep2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
Island Time1 bedroom, 1 bathroom
Turtle Mist Farm3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

What Beach in NC Has Wild Horses?


You can spot wild horses in Crystal Coast NC, Shackleford Banks NC, Rachel Carson Reserve NC. The wild horses in North Carolina are feral horses that are native to the area.

At Crystal Coast NC, you can spot a total of 100 wild horses. The horses are descendants of the domesticated animals brought over by European colonists. They thrived over time and began to avoid humans.

The Shackleford Banks horses are believed to be the descendants of the famous Spanish mustangs that once roamed freely in Florida. They are known for their unique coloring and high spirit.

Rachel Carson Reserve NC has around 35 feral wild horses that you can spot at any time. Rachel Carson Reserve is located on an intricate small island between Beaufort and Newport Island. As per the State of North Carolina and NC Coastal Reserve, these horses are formerly domestic animals and become wild as time passes by.

Final Thoughts

Horseback riding is a fun activity that families can enjoy. Although there are many places to ride a horse in North Carolina, there is no comparison to the beach. You can enjoy a relaxing day and ride horses on the beach while exploring the beautiful beaches of North Carolina.

You can ride horses on the beach for an hour, two to three hours, or even a whole day if you like. There are riding tours to accommodate everyone’s needs and budget, including beginner riders and young children.

The Outer Banks has the best beach horses in the whole state of North Carolina. The area is surrounded by beautiful beaches and shallow creeks that are perfect for trail riding.

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