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.

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.

Sea Scape Golf Links

Northeast NC Golf Trail

Northeast North Carolina may be best known for its miles of uncluttered beaches, farm land, and assortment of seafood restaurants and charming local shops, but for golfers, the Northeast NC can be an ideal and serene golfing retreat. While neighboring vacation destinations, like Myrtle beach, SC, may boast dozens of golf courses clustered together, Northeast North Carolina's courses are scattered throughout the Outer Banks, the Currituck mainland and nearby towns just a short drive away.

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.

Outer Banks Resorts

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.

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.

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.

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.

Salvo, NC

Salvo, NC

Salvo is another one of the Outer Banks' hidden gems, a small town located on the southern end of the locally-named "Tri-Villages" of Rodanthe, Waves and Salvo. This coastal town has a small collection of tackle stores and variety stores, but not much else, and Salvo vacationers love it that way.

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.

Kiteboarding

Kiteboarding

Spring and fall visitors will notice the popularity of kiteboarding on the Outer Banks the moment they ride down a stretch of soundfront highway. In the off-season months, it's not unusual to spot dozens if not hundreds of multi-colored kites lining the skies over the Outer Banks' miles of sound waters.

Southern Shores, NC

Southern Shores, NC

Southern Shores has all the secluded charm of the neighboring Northern Outer Banks villages of Duck and Corolla, but with easy (and even walking-distance) access to the busy central Outer Banks' treasure trove of restaurants, shops and attractions. A combination of rich maritime forests, quiet residential beaches, and a handful of restaurants and shops, Southern Shores is an ideal vacation locale for families who want to be away from it all, but still remain close to the big Outer Banks attractions.

Hatteras Village, NC

Hatteras Village, NC

Hatteras Island's Southernmost community, Hatteras village is best known for fishing, tourism, history and its remote, pristine beaches. But if you had to define Hatteras village in a word, it would be "fishing." It started out that way, back in the 1700s when the first settlers relied on the abundance of one of the largest estuarine systems in the world for their sustenance. Eventually the small fishing village evolved into a major sports fishing destination and is now known as the "blue marlin capital of he world." Only 15 miles from the Gulf Stream, the area offers some of the best charter fishing off the North Carolina Coast.

Whalehead in Historic Corolla

Whalehead in Historic Corolla

The prestigious Whalehead in Historic Corolla has been a dominant attraction to Corolla visitors since it was renovated and opened to the public in 2002. As part of the Historic Corolla Park, the Whalehead in Historic Corolla serves as a northern Outer Banks icon, and a living testament to Corolla and Duck's heyday as a secluded oceanfront retreat for the country's wealthy hunters and conservationists.

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.

Manteo, NC

Manteo, NC

Manteo may seem like a typical North Carolina coastal town, but the area is as rich in attractions and fun as it is local history. The area is home to one of the world's greatest mysteries, the birthplace of English colonization in American, (literally), and a collection of Outer Banks attractions that have wowed vacationers for generations.

Top 10 Things to do in Duck & Corolla, NC

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.

Top 10 Things to do on the Outer Banks

Top 10 Things to do on the Outer Banks

Every vacation destination has its own unique draw to potential visitors, whether it's a national monument, a fantastic shopping or dining scene, or an exotic locale that's meant for total relaxation. Many newcomers to the Outer Banks are surprised to learn that this destination has all of these attributes and more, and it can be hard to narrow down the overflowing list of "must-sees" or "must-dos" that have to be squeezed into a 1-2 week OBX vacation.

Outer Banks Marathon and Half Marathon

Outer Banks Marathon and Half Marathon

Nov 11, 2016

  • Kitty Hawk

The OBX is a beauty of a place and a beauty of a race. I discover new things every Year. And I've made some good friends from the Outer Banks. It is a lot of fun to catch up on the news each year when I visit. It's especially nice to be remembered and welcomed back each year.

The Blue Point

The Blue Point

For more than 20 years, The Blue Point staff has been offering coastal cuisine and southern hospitality in a warm and comfortable setting. Guests can enjoy spectacular views of the Currituck Sound while enjoying lunch and dinner menu items that are prepared with the region’s rich bounty of seafood and vegetables.

Outer Banks Swimming Guide

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.

Sun Realty

Sun Realty

The Best Selection of Vacation Rentals on the Outer Banks. Our large selection of Outer Banks rentals means you can choose from a wide range of amenities, including private swimming pools, hot tubs, theater rooms, game rooms, pet friendly lodging and more! Our properties span the entire OBX coast including Carova, Corolla, Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, and South Nags Head. On Hatteras Island, we proudly offer beach cottages in Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco, and Hatteras Village.

(More Locations)
Rainy Day Activities

Rainy Day Activities

For a quick list of local businesses that offer great rainy day activities, check our Rainy Day Listings. Most Outer Banks vacations revolve around the great outdoors, with miles of undeveloped beaches to explore, dozens of watersports, and plenty of activities that thrive under the sun. But even a sunny vacation destination like the Outer Banks experiences a rainy day every now and then, so when the weather drives you off the beach, spend a day exploring these indoor and rainy-day friendly Outer Banks activities.

Coastal Helicopters

Coastal Helicopters

Coastal Helicopters offers charter flights and scenic air tours of the spectacular Outer Banks coastline. With a reputation for high performance and reliability, Coastal’s Robinson 44 Raven II helicopter can accommodate three passengers with a smooth, safe and air-conditioned ride. Soaring over the ocean, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of its divergent sea life, often spotting schools of  dolphins, sea turtles and even whales. You’ll also be able to spot ruins of a few of the many historic shipwrecks that occurred along these once hard-to-navigate barrier islands.

Hatteras Island

Hatteras Island

Head south over the Herbert C. Bonner bridge, or take the Hatteras / Ocracoke ferry from Ocracoke Island, and you'll land on the shores of Hatteras Island.

Beachwoods Resort

Beachwoods Resort

Beachwoods Resort, formerly Barrier Island Station, offers perhaps the most unique vacation experience on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The Beachwoods property is nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Sound in the middle of a 100 acre Maritime Forest surrounded by lakes, woodlands, rolling dunes and wildlife, and lies adjacent to a 700-acre nature preserve. This sprawling Destination Resort is undergoing a $1oo Million Dollar Gold Key transformation into an exceptional four-seasons vacation experience. Today the resort has almost 3,500 owners who call Beachwoods their home away from home for their Outer Banks Adventure.

Nags Head, NC

Nags Head, NC

Nags Head is arguably one of the Outer Banks' most established tourism destinations, and the area remains popular with visitors today for its wealth of amenities, sprawling ocean and soundfront views, and classic Outer Banks style. In Nags Head, a beach-loving vacationer can find virtually anything to make an OBX vacation perfect, including some of the area's favorite restaurants, natural and historical attractions, and miles of fun. Visitors come here year after year for the fantastic Outer Banks beaches and ample entertainment, and have been doing so for generations. An ideal mix of on-the-beach relaxation and off-the-beach amusements, Nags Head remains one of the Outer Banks' most loved vacation destinations.

The Pointe Golf Club

The Pointe Golf Club

Celebrating over 20 years of great golf, The Pointe Golf Club located 3.5 miles north of the Wright Memorial Bridge in Powells Point, just minutes from the beautiful beaches of the Outer Banks. 
Voted 2014 & 2015 Outer Banks’ Best of the Beach, The Pointe Golf Club offers the Outer Banks’ most player friendly design, the area's premier course conditions, and competitive rates, making it a golfing favorite of locals and visitors alike.  The Pointe is home to the area's largest and best stocked pro shop, as well as the area's finest practice facility, boasting a 30,000 sq. ft. all natural practice tee, short game area with practice bunker, chipping greens, and practice putting green.  

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.