Outer Banks Vacation Rentals

Vacation Rentals

Outer Banks newcomers are often surprised at the number and variety of weekly vacation rentals throughout the beaches, from Carova to Ocracoke Island. Vacation rentals are, in fact, the predominant accommodations available to vacationers, and visitors will find that the sheer number of rentals available allows them to find an ideal retreat to fit their Outer Banks crew, from quiet condo complexes to brightly colored oceanfront sand castles.

Outer Banks Activities

Activities

The Outer Banks isn't just a fantastic beach vacation destination. The barrier islands that comprise this treasured North Carolina destination, from Carova to Ocracoke, are filled with a number of attractions that have been drawing visitors for decades. From incredible historical sites, such as the Wright Brothers Memorial and the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site to special one-of-a-kind destinations like The Elizabethan Gardens or the North Carolina Aquarium, families will find plenty to explore both on and off the beach. The Outer Banks, after all, has had centuries of history and national events take place on its shores, from the original English settlers of the late 1500s to the first flight more than 300 years later. In addition, the fragile barrier islands combine to create one of the most unique environments on the East Coast, paving the way for exceptional birding, nature hikes, and endless watersports explorations. With 4 historic lighthouses dotting the islands, incredible cultural landmarks, and a collection of museums, natural preserves and refuges, every visitor should take a day or two to explore the innumerable attractions that surround the beaches. Whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, or just want to scope out something new, the Outer Banks has dozens of attractions that will surely wow and inspire everyone in the family.

Outer Banks Hotels

Hotels

For postcard-perfect long weekends, or full week stays that have exceptional access to indoor and outdoor pools, restaurants, and amenities, there's nothing quite like the convenience of a stay at a local Outer Banks hotel or motel. A number of hotels on the Outer Banks have been welcoming guests for decades, and as a result, vacationers have come back year after year for the fantastic service and the mile-high oceanfront or soundfront views.

Outer Banks Restaurants

Restaurants

Dining out is a key ingredient to any fantastic vacation, and on the Outer Banks, where fresh seafood is offered in abundance, going out to eat at least once during your stay is practically a requirement. Visitors will be delighted to find that when it comes to restaurant options, there are plenty to choose from on the beach. From casual cafes and sandwich shops to fine dining establishments and ethnic cuisine, the Outer Banks is covered with some of the best eateries on the North Carolina coastline. It's no wonder that Food Network legend Guy Fieri decided to visit and feature nearly a dozen Outer Banks restaurants on his show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, which aired in 2012 and 2013.

Outer Banks Shopping

Shopping

Many visitors love to incorporate a little retail therapy into a relaxing vacation, and on the Outer Banks, visitors will find plenty of avenues to explore to enjoy a long, leisurely day of shopping. From beach plazas and outlet centers to oceanside boutiques and hidden art galleries, the Outer Banks features a world of shops with their doors wide open to potential patrons. Load up on those Outer Banks T-Shirts and souvenirs for the folks back home, or delve into the beach style with a trip to a local surf shop or charming boutique. The Outer Banks also features a number of gift shops, jewelry stores, specialty shops, and art galleries to pick up a few completely unique pieces to serve as long lasting reminders of a fabulous vacation. From the basics to the beautiful, visitors will be happy to find that every stretch of these barrier islands offer their own unique collections of shops and galleries to explore.

Outer Banks Coupons

Coupons

We've got one of the most complete lists of deals and offers in the Outer Banks. View money saving offers from local restaurants, tour companies, boutique shops, activity companies, and more. New offers are added weekly, so make sure to check back often.

YMCA

Outer Banks Swimming Guide

Swimming is a local sport that never goes out of style on the Outer Banks, and with literally miles of ocean and sound waters to paddle around, there's no shortage of refreshing locales to enjoy a dip. Vacationers will find they have their choice of swimming destinations, from the fun and challenging ocean waves, to the shallow splashing waters of the sound, to the assortment of public and community pools found all along the islands.

Corolla Wild Horse Tours

Top 10 Things to do in Duck & Corolla, NC

Check out our picks for the top 10 things to do in the towns of Duck and Corolla! Climb a lighthouse, relax on the beach, stroll through a park, dine on fresh fare, go boutique shopping, watch the sun set and more.

Bob's Wild Horse Tours

Top Attractions

It might seem tricky to fit in all the attractions, historical sites, and fun activities off the beach into an Outer Banks vacation, and still have plenty of time left over to just lounge on the sand. That said, there are a number of attractions up and down the North Carolina coastline that any new visitor would be remiss to miss.

Wild Horse Adventure Tours

Corolla's Wild Horses

Visitors to the 4WD accessible beaches just north of Carova may experience a truly remarkable encounter with the area's oldest and most beloved residents, the Wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs. Stranded on the Outer Banks for centuries, but still enjoying the laid-back beach lifestyle, these feral and wild creatures are tolerant of the visitors who visit their beaches for the warm sun, cool waves, and miles of space.

Ocean Atlantic Rentals

Activities for Kids

The Outer Banks is considered one of the best family vacation destinations on the East Coast, and the wide-open natural setting of sand, surf and sun lends itself easily to fun activities for "kids" of all ages. While rival vacation destinations may have more diversions, bars, and beach boardwalks, it's easy for vacationing families to stay simply entertained on the Outer Banks, particularly the younger ones in the group.

Nags Head Dolphin Watch

Outer Banks Dolphin Guide

Like an unexpected gift, the sighting of dolphins along the Outer Banks delights and amuses many summer visitors. Many people view these chance encounters as a treasured highlight to a relaxing vacation and will happily spend hours observing the dolphins' antics. What few people realize is that they are likely viewing the same group of dolphins, day after day and summer after summer. Some bottlenose dolphins will spend their summers in the waters of the Outer Banks and then migrate south for the winter only to return again in the early summer the next year. This early migration has led some people to call them the "Retirees of the Sea."

Northbeach Watersports

Parasailing

On the Outer Banks, most all parasailing excursions are conducted first with a boat ride into the open water. As the small boat find an ideal "launching" point, the rider is hooked to both a harness connected to the boat, and a giant parachute that will allow them to be carried up into the atmosphere. En route, a professional is on hand to offer helpful tips and guidance on what to do once propelled mid-air, and parasailing patrons will have two options of how to fly. They can ride solo and enjoy the ride by themselves, or they can ride in tandem, with two parasailers sitting side by side and connected to the same parachute. Newcomers may want to bring along a friend to take the fear out of the first lift-off, although solo riders will find plenty of peace and quiet while hovering over the bustling Outer Banks beaches.

Beachwoods Resort

Outer Banks Resorts

OuterBanks.com would like to thank Beachwoods Resort for their contributions to this guide. Beachwoods offers four seasons of fun with indoor and outdoor water parks, a stocked lake, paddleboats, tennis, health spa, private beach parking, and fully renovated 1-4 bedroom accommodations. Hotel-style stays are available, as well as partial ownership opportunities. Beachwoods is conveniently located in Kitty Hawk, not far from the Wright Memorial Bridge. Learn more and book your stay.

Back Beach Wild Horse Tours

Driving on the Beach

One of the reasons so many vacationers flock to the Outer Banks is the thrill of driving on the beach, a rare privilege that few East Coast beach vacation destinations can offer. On the Outer Banks, beach driving enthusiasts will find miles of shoreline to explore, from the uninhabited shoreline along Ocracoke Island to the solely 4WD accessible beaches of Carova, north of Corolla.

Elizabeth II

Elizabeth II

Anyone with a fascination of history and America's European roots will love a day exploring the Elizabeth II, a historic 16th century sailing vessel that is docked along the borders of the Roanoke Island Festival Park. This ship can be admired by virtually anyone who takes a stroll along the downtown Manteo waterfront, as it sticks out like a sore thumb amidst the modern day sail boats, yachts, and fishing boats that are docked nearby. The wooden exterior and brightly colored Tudor flags sail in the breeze, and the sight of the resting ship certainly feels like a step back in time.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, with its black and white candy-cane stripes, is one of the most famous and recognizable lighthouses in the world. Protecting one of the most treacherous stretches of the Outer Banks, with a beam of light that spans 20 miles into the ocean, the lighthouse is also the world's tallest brick lighthouse at a staggering 208' ft. tall.

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

Explore Hatteras Island at its natural best with a visit to the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Covering 13 miles of Cape Hatteras National Seashore land, this attraction is hard to miss, although there aren't many giant signs, hotels or businesses to point the way. Instead, visitors will find a completely undeveloped parcel of land, that's well-stocked with gorgeous views and serene nature trails that are ideal for off-the-beaten path excursions.

Kitty Hawk, NC

Kitty Hawk, NC

Many visitors remark on the unusual town names to be found on the Outer Banks, and one of the names that causes the most head-scratching is Kitty Hawk. A small but popular vacation town in the busy central Outer Banks, Kitty Hawk was originally deemed "Chickahawk" by its original Native American residents, meaning a "place to hunt geese." Over the generations, the name changed slightly, the area became more developed, and the town became the popular tourist destination it is today.

Frisco, NC

Frisco, NC

The small town of Frisco located at the southern end of Hatteras Island, is a paradise for beach lovers who want to relax away from all the activity and noise of the mainland, and settle into coastal life. The town is small, and the northern end covers a wide section of Buxton and Frisco Woods, while the southern end is a thin stretch of Barrier Island where from a breezy deck, it's possible to enjoy an ocean sunrise and a sound sunset. With a few well-loved restaurants, convenience stores, and a variety of inviting yet secluded accommodations, Frisco may be the perfect destination for Outer Banks vacationers who want to leave all the clutter behind, and simply enjoy a vacation on the beach.

Bodie Island Lighthouse

Bodie Island Lighthouse

The Bodie Island Lighthouse, (pronounced "Body") is located just south of the town of Nags Head and Whalebone Junction, where Highway 158, Highway 64, and NC Highway 12 intersect. Visitors travelling towards Hatteras Island can't help but notice the black and white horizontal striped structure, peaking out over a line of dense cedar trees on the soundside.

Ocracoke Island Lighthouse

Ocracoke Island Lighthouse

The Ocracoke Island Lighthouse may not be the most imposing of the Outer Banks lighthouses, but as North Carolina's oldest lighthouse in operation, (and the second oldest in the United States), it is certainly one of the most beloved. At just 65' ft. tall, it is by far the smallest lighthouse on the Outer Banks, but it still towers over the 4 square miles of Ocracoke Village, and its beacon can be spotted up to 14 miles into the Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.

Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse

Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse

The Roanoke Marshes lighthouse is often one of the most overlooked of the Outer Banks lighthouses, simply because of its small stature, limited visibility and remote location tucked away at the quiet east end of the Manteo waterfront.

Waves, NC

Waves, NC

While driving along NC Highway, it may be difficult to identify the little town of Waves. The village is sandwiched in between Salvo and Rodanthe, and the area in its entirety is known to locals as the "Tri-Villages," with no undeveloped gaps or markers to distinguish one small vacation town from the other.

Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education

Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education

Corolla, North Carolina is a must see nautical village scented with the spray of the salty sea. It's located on NC Highway 12 along a thin strip of land bordered on the east by the tempestuous Atlantic Ocean, and on the west by the inland waterway of Currituck Sound. Corolla is home to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, whose beacon first beckoned to sailors at sea in 1875, and to art noveau Whalehead Club, a turn of the century hunt club for sportsmen. The quaint village is also home to one of North Carolina's natural history gems called the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education. The center, which opened in 2006, is an impressive and marvelous 22,000 square foot interpretive center for young and old alike to explore the history and vast diversity of North Carolina's wildlife.

Scenic Spots on the Outer Banks

Scenic Spots on the Outer Banks

There's a reason why so many aspiring and professional photographers flock to the Outer Banks. Ocean sunrises, sound sunsets, and miles of quiet wildlife in between create some breathtaking landscapes, ideal for photographers, painters, or plain-old vacationers who love an astounding view.

Windsurfing the Outer Banks

Windsurfing the Outer Banks

While several of the Outer Banks' most popular sports seemingly flew onto the scene in the past decade or two, like kiteboarding or stand up paddle boarding (SUP), windsurfing has been drawing water sports lovers to the North Carolina coast for nearly fifty years. In essence, windsurfing can pride itself as being the Outer Bank's oldest, and one of its most beloved sound-based sports, and everyone from seasoned riders to windsurfing newcomers can catch an exceptional ride.

Outer Banks Triathalon

Outer Banks Triathalon

Sep 17, 2016 - Sep 18, 2016

  • Manteo

Triathletes train for months to achieve their dream.Come to the Outer Banks Triathlon and experience the enthusiam, inspiration and skill! The Sprint Triathlon distance is perfect for those beginner triathletes. Move up to the Olympic Triathlon distance or choose the Half Triathlon distance and see if you have what it takes!

Corolla Wild Horse Fund

Corolla Wild Horse Fund

We are the nonprofit charity that is responsible for the care and protection of the wild horses. Do you want to see and learn about the horses and help them at the same time? When you go to see the horses with the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, you automatically become a member and will experience a two hour Trip of a Lifetime with one of our Sanctuary Patrol Officers. Also check our website for our fun children’s activities, Meet a Mustang, and Ride a Rescued Mustang at our two locations in Corolla and Duck; shop at our Museum Stores; learn about the history and future of the horses. Like us on Facebook. All proceeds go back to the care and protection of the wild horses.

(More Locations)
Donutz on a Stick

Donutz on a Stick

Stay, Play and Eat- Donuts, Ice cream and coffee treats!  Family Friendly, Duck's newest dessert shop features treats you've never tasted before!  Try their warm donutz on a stick with 35 toppings! They'll melt in your mouth!  Plus, try the 9 flavors of Tastefully Twisted soft serve.  Frozen yogurt, hand dipped and homemade ice cream flavors too.  Unique coffees and flavored-milks that will satisfy the whole family.  Mix-and-match candy and much more.  Take your picture with a 6ft Duck or show your skills on the Chalkboard Wall.  Come to Duck and bring the carnival to your mouth!

Wright Brothers National Memorial

Wright Brothers National Memorial

The Wright Brothers National Memorial is a "Must See" attraction for any Outer Banks aviation enthusiast, history lover, and virtually any Kill Devil Hills vacationer who wants an up-close look at the towering granite structure that towers over the town's landscape.

Steamers Shellfish To Go

Steamers Shellfish To Go

Options abound at Steamers regarding dining experience and food choices. They offer gourmet food to go and catering for all occasions. Or you can dine onsite including their deck that overlooks Currituck Sound. Outer Bankers love seafood, and steamer pots to go are a fun favorite. Steamers offers a variety of these including lobster, clams, mussels, snow and king crab legs. Let them know how many in your party, and they build a pot to go. All you have to do is steam and serve. All pots include corn on the cob, red bliss potatoes and yellow onions. 

Blackbeard and other Pirates

Blackbeard and other Pirates

The Southern Outer Banks, particularly Ocracoke Island, is notorious as the stomping grounds for some of history's most infamous pirates. Notable swashbucklers from Calico Jack to Anne Bonney and Mary Reed, arguably the most famous women pirates, have made a splash in this area, robbing privateers blind and making intricate, sneaky escapes in the inlets and soundside waters off of these barrier islands.

Surf or Sound Realty

Surf or Sound Realty

Surf or Sound Realty is located on Hatteras Island, part of the pristine Cape Hatteras National Seashore just south of Nags Head on The Outer Banks of North Carolina. Regularly found on Top Ten lists for the Best Beaches in America, Hatteras Island’s beaches and villages are quiet, family friendly and picturesque. Since 1978, we have offered weekly premier Hatteras Island vacation rentals from single family beach cottages to expansive oceanfront estates with a wide range of luxury amenities. We serve thousands of happy Outer Banks vacationers every year and look forward to seeing you at the beach this year! Contact us for more information about our beautiful Hatteras Island Vacation Rentals on Outer Banks, NC today!

Buxton Woods

Buxton Woods

Perhaps the reason that this area of maritime forest goes unnoticed, (an area which in fact comprises the majority of Frisco Village), is simply because the oceanfront beaches just yards away are too alluring to ignore, and garner the lion's share of vacationers' interest. This is understandable, as when most folks think of an Outer Banks vacation, they envision miles of unspoiled beaches, refreshing ocean waves, and plenty of room to spread out a beach blanket, and Frisco's beaches have all of these attributes in spades.

Outer Banks Inn

Outer Banks Inn

Nestled in Kill Devil Hills at milepost 9, Outer Banks Inn offers a welcoming and unique vacation opportunity for everyone. Our centrally located & privately owned 40-room hotel is small enough to offer extraordinary customer service…and it’s just a short walk to some of the finest dining and shopping in the area.

Wanchese, NC

Wanchese, NC

Wanchese, located well off the beaten path of the typical Outer Banks beach towns, has a charm all its own with quiet residential side streets, local grocery stores and small dives that serve up the freshest seafood, and one of the busiest marinas on the islands. Wanchese has a long history of being a fishing village, and the residents take pride in that heritage. A brief tour of the town will present a collection of local homes and businesses with impeccable maritime gardens, and crab pots and painted wooden boats serving as coastal yard decor. While located miles away from the oceanfront, Wanchese can easily be considered as home to the true character of the Outer Banks. Salty, rustic, and scenic, a trip through Wanchese allows visitors to have an up-close-and-personal view of everyday Outer Banks life.