5 Historic Shops and Restaurants on the Outer Banks


historic-outer-banks-restaurantsThere local business landscape of the Outer Banks is ever changing. For every shop or restaurant that closes its doors, there is a new one opening. While the seasonal nature of doing business on our beach can make things quite tricky for business owners, there are a select few who have withstood the test of time. Learn about a few of the area’s most historic restaurants and shops to visit during your Outer Banks vacation below!

Owens’ Restaurant

2015 will mark Owens’ 69th season here on the Outer Banks! This landmark is the oldest restaurant on the beach that is still owned by its founding family. The secret to Owens’ success is their gourmet seafood and steak dishes served with a smile in an elegant atmosphere. If you want to experience the best local Outer Banks seafood dishes available, make sure you head into Owens’ Restaurant. You can find Owens’ Restaurant at Milepost 16 on the northern end of Whalebone Junction.

The Dunes

Quite possibly the Outer Banks’ most famous breakfast buffet, The Dunes has been serving up hungry Nags Head visitors and locals for 28 years. Their breakfast buffet is a staple for those who visit the area frequently. Top notch southern biscuits, breakfast meats, eggs, and an incredible fruit bar have made the restaurant famous. However, The Dunes’ dinner menu features amazing comfort food such as their famous chicken and pastry as well as local seafood dishes that will remind you that you’re at the beach! Come see why The Dunes has been at milepost 16 for almost 3 decades when staying in a Nags Head vacation rental!

Sam & Omies

Since opening its doors at Whalebone Junction in 1971, Sam & Omie’s has been serving excellent meals to fishermen, locals, and visitors. To this day, Sam & Omie’s is a popular breakfast spot for those who rise early to get out on the water. This casual restaurant might not look fancy from the outside, but they know how to cook up a fantastic seafood dish as well as anyone on the beach! Stop in for a classic fried flounder, fried shrimp, or a breakfast meal that will have you coming back for more.

Whalebone Surf Shop

The most historic locally owned surf shop on the Outer Banks. Since opening their original location’s doors at Whalebone Junction in 1975, this Outer Banks icon made a home in the Outer Banks Mall, and eventually moved to their current location in northern Nags Head. No matter why type of surf apparel or equipment you need for the beach, Whalebone Surf Shop will have it! If you aren’t looking for anything in particular, stop in for an awesome surf Outer Banks surf story from decades ago!

Gray’s

The Outer Banks original department store for both men and women. They specialize in sportswear, headwear, accessories, and have a great selection of gifts to take back home! Since 1948, Gray’s has been outfitting Outer Banks locals as well and its visitors with awesome fashions that represent their coastal surroundings. Stop by one of their 5 locations from Kitty Hawk to Corolla and find something for yourself!

The Outer Banks is full of historic businesses offering excellent food, clothing, gifts, and everything in between. Get a taste for what the beach was like decades ago by visiting one of these amazing local businesses.