7 best shows like Outer Banks to watch on Netflix, Max and Disney Plus

(L to R) Chase Stokes, Madelyn Cline and Carlacia Grant on a beach looking into the distance in Outer Banks season 3
(Image credit: Netflix)

By mixing teen drama with treasure hunting adventures, Outer Banks has gained a passionate following on Netflix. Romance, danger and beachy escapades — what’s not to like?

Outer Banks follows teens and their families in a coastal town in North Carolina. On one side are the local, working-class Pogues. On the other are the wealthy, seasonal residents called Kooks. After a hurricane, John B (Chase Stokes) and his Pogue pals find a clue that could lead them to a massive haul of gold from a legendary shipwreck. As they pursue the treasure, John B falls for Kook princess Sarah Cameron (Madelyn Cline), whose father Ward (Charles Esten) wants the gold for himself.

While Outer Banks season 4 is in the works, it may be some time before those episodes drop. In the meantime, here are seven shows like Outer Banks to watch while you wait.


(L to R) KJ Apa and Lili Reinhart in Riverdale

(Image credit: The CW)

Horny teens? Check. Misbehaving adults? Check. Crimes, mysteries and messy situations? Check, check and check. Riverdale (one of the best Netflix shows) and Outer Banks are basically twins, except their eponymous settings: a seemingly bucolic small town and the sandy shores of North Carolina, respectively. 

Based on the classic Archie comics, Riverdale follows a group of high schoolers whose lives change after the death of one of their own. Archie (KJ Apa) discovers a love of music and falls for new student Veronica (Camila Mendes), while his childhood best friend Betty (Lili Reinhart) pines for him. Jughead (Cole Sprouse) begins writing a novel about recent events, but soon discovers the darker side of their community.

Watch on Netflix

The O.C.

(L to R) Mischa Barton and Benjamin McKenzie in The OC

(Image credit: Maximum Film / Alamy Stock Photo)

Welcome to the O.C., bitch! That’s Orange County for the uninformed. Like Outer Banks, The O.C. is a teen drama set in a sunny, beach-adjacent locale filled with attractive people. While treasure hunting isn’t a thing in southern California, class clashes very much are. Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie) is a troubled teen from a broken home. After running afoul of the police, he’s taken in by his public defender, Sandy Cohen (Peter Gallagher).

Ryan experiences a big culture shock when he moves in with the wealthy Cohens, who live in a ritzy Newport Beach neighborhood. Despite his impoverished background, he quickly befriends the Cohens’ son Seth (Adam Brody) and strikes up a romance with the rich girl next door, Marissa (Mischa Barton).

Watch on Max or Hulu


(L, R) Miguel Herran, Ester Exposito in Elite season 1

(Image credit: Netflix)

As a soapy teen drama weaving together murder, class issues and adolescent lust, Elite may be a Spanish-language teen drama, but it has a lot in common with Outer Banks: murder, class issues and adolescent lust. 

Three working-class friends Samuel (Itzan Escamilla), Nadia (Mina El Hammani) and Christian (Miguel Herrán) get scholarships to the most exclusive private school in Madrid in their junior year. At Las Encinas, they are initially ostracized by the wealthy students, but it doesn’t take long for them to become entangled in relationships. Sparks fly between Samuel and the privileged Marina (María Pedraza) — but flashforwards reveal she winds up dead. 

Watch on Netflix

National Treasure: Edge of History

Lisette Olivera as Jess Valenzuela in National Treasure: Edge of History's poster

(Image credit: Disney)

For treasure hunting adventures like the ones on Outer Banks, check out this spinoff series based on the National Treasure film franchise. Jess Valenzuela (Lisette Olivera) is a 20-year-old DACA recipient with a savant-like knack for solving puzzles. 

One day, while cleaning out a storage unit, she follows a path that leads her to retired FBI agent Peter Sadusky (Harvey Keitel, reprising his role from the movies). She intercepts an envelope for his grandson Liam (Jake Austin Walker) bearing a clue to the location of priceless Mesoamerican treasures. Jess, Liam and friends Tasha (Zuri Reed), Ethan (Jordan Rodrigues) and Oren (Antonio Cipriano) embark on a twisting, turning journey to find priceless relics before the nefarious antiquities dealer Billie (Catherine Zeta-Jones) does. 

Watch on Disney Plus

Blood & Water

Ama Qamata as Puleng in Blood & Water

(Image credit: Netflix)

Mysteries, teen cliques and raging hormones abound in this South African teen drama. Puleng (Ama Qamata) has lived with a ghost her entire life: the sister who was abducted at birth.

While attending a party, Puleng crosses paths with Fikile Bhele (Khosi Ngema), the star swimmer at the prestigious Parkhurst College. When a new acquaintance Wade (Dillon Windvogel) points out their resemblance, Puleng suspects that Fikile may be her long-lost sister. She transfers to the school to learn more, but her investigation uncovers more secrets tightly held by family and friends.

Watch on Netflix

On My Block

The cast of On My Block pose for a group selfie

(Image credit: Netflix)

Like the Pogues, On My Block’s teens navigate socioeconomic divides, complicated family situations and dating travails. There’s even a hidden treasure plot in the first season. But more focus is put on race in this show, as the teens are all Black and brown living in South Central L.A. 

Friends Jamal (Brett Gray), Monse (Sierra Capri), Ruby (Jason Genao) and Cesar (Diego Tinoco) begin their freshman year of high school in a neighborhood where gunshots are heard daily. Monse and Cesar tiptoe around their feelings for each other, as the latter tries to avoid falling in with a gang. Meanwhile, Jamal looks for the cash from a roller rink heist in the ‘80s.

Watch on Netflix


(L, R) Kariana Karhu as Lily and Olivia Welch as Heather in Panic

(Image credit: Amazon Studios)

Danger, romance and the chance at a better life create a turbulent stew in Panic. The teen drama revolves around an underground competition in which graduating seniors take on a series of risky challenges, like crossing a highway blindfolded and being buried alive in a coffin. The winner gets $50,000, enough cash to help them escape their small town, go-nowhere existence. 

Not only are the stakes high — two kids died the previous year — local law enforcement wants to shut down the event. But the teens are determined, even if it means straining lifelong friendships. Heather (Olivia Welch) refuses to participate until she learns her mom spent her tuition money.

Watch on Prime Video

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Kelly Woo
Streaming Editor

Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.