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.

Outer Banks Weddings

Weddings

Weddings on the Outer Banks can be as simple or as elegant as a couple desires, from laid-back affairs that call for khakis and flip-flops, to formal events that cumulate at some of the most luxurious reception facilities the Outer Banks has to offer. Of course, the biggest attraction for barefoot brides is a beach wedding, and hundreds of couples take to the sand to recite their vows with the ocean in the background. Before running off to the shore, bear in mind that the beaches on the Outer Banks may have varying restrictions or permits required depending on the area.

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Outer Banks Lighthouses

Each of the Outer Banks five lighthouses is unique. For a beautiful view, visitors can climb Currituck Beach Light, Bodie Island Light and Cape Hatteras Lighthouse for a small fee in season. It's an unforgettable way to see the Outer Banks! Don't forget to bring your camera, as these unique structures and surrounding grounds are some of the most picturesque and iconic attractions in the area.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Outer Banks Beaches Guide

Find your perfect beach, amenities, beach guidelines, and more. The Outer Banks is unique in that every beach community along the skinny chain of barrier islands is distinctive, with its own enticing atmosphere and long list of perks. From lifeguard stations in some of the most popular spots in town, to desolate shorelines where visitors won’t see another person for miles, it’s easy to pick a beach destination along the Outer Banks that perfectly suits a family’s vacationing style.

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Ghost Crabs and Ghost Crabbing

Interested in the local Outer Banks nightlife? Head to the beach. One of the most popular after-dark activities on the OBX beaches is ghost crab hunting, and all a prospective OBX Hunter needs to participate is a flashlight and a love of the great outdoors.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

Ocracoke Wild Horses

Ocracoke Wild Horses

Seasoned visitors to Ocracoke Island love to soak in its rich heritage and culture which dates back to the 1500s, and features some legendary and longstanding residents. Some of the most popular Ocracoke locals are the Wild Ponies, which are protected in a secluded 180 acre area enclosure on the soundside of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, but can still be enjoyed by anyone passing through the island on NC Highway 12.

Kayaking

Kayaking

Recreation in the Outer Banks centers around the water, so it's no surprise that almost every town on this stretch of North Carolina coastline, from Corolla to Ocracoke, offers kayaking tours, adventures and rentals to seasonal visitors. With so many watery avenues to explore, from small marshy canals littered with wildlife, to crushing ocean waves for extreme ocean kayakers, kayaking on the Outer Banks can cater to all types of vacationers, from novices to experts.

Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station

Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station

The Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station is one of Rodanthe's greatest treasures. This historical lifesaving station has been a popular attraction for Hatteras Island visitors for decades, and stands on the very edge of the small town of Rodanthe. Over the years, this station has been battered by hurricanes, ocean and soundside flooding, and ferocious gusts of winds, and yet it is still standing, and serves as a proud reminder of Hatteras Island and the Outer Banks' rich lifesaving history.

Outer Banks Beach Guidelines

Outer Banks Beach Guidelines

The Outer Banks has its fair share of attractions for vacationers, including the Wright Brothers Memorial, 4 famous North Carolina lighthouses, the NC Aquarium, the Lost Colony, and enough shopping and dining to keep any family entertained for a week-long vacation. But the biggest attraction that draws seasoned Outer Banks vacationers back every year are the miles and miles of pristine beaches.

Outer Banks Triathalon

Outer Banks Triathalon

September 16th, 2017 - September 17th, 2017
  • 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!

The Cotton Gin

The Cotton Gin

For those traveling to the Outer Banks, The Cotton Gin is a beloved landmark with its large windmill and picturesque gardens. The Cotton Gin has stood in the same location since 1929, starting as a working cotton gin and growing to a gift store with 4 locations. Visitors are treated to a unique shopping experience in our main store in Jarvisburg, as well as our beach stores in Corolla, Duck, and Nags Head. Explore room after room filled with décor for your home and coastal fashions for both men and women. Discover the brands you really want, like, Vera Bradley, Vineyard Vines, Escapada, Simply Southern, Lindsay Phillips, Scout, Pandora, Kameleon, Brighton, Spartina, Tommy Bahama, Southern Tide and Salt Life and Old Guys Rule - all under one roof! Don’t forget the gourmet market, or shop our beautiful linens for your bedroom and bath. We also feature coastal books and fine art, or just a whimsical fun gift to bring home to family and friends. Stop by soon and don’t forget to try our estate grown wines in our stores or visit our  vineyard and winery, Sanctuary Vineyards, located adjacent to the original Cotton Gin in Jarvisburg.

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Outer Banks Milepost System

Outer Banks Milepost System

Many newcomers to the Outer Banks who are browsing the local restaurants, shops and area attractions online or in the local guide books notice an interesting addition to the standard address. Besides the typical business name, street name, street number and town, many local businesses also include a Milepost number. This may initially appear to be an odd notation to include, but on the Outer Banks, this is incredibly helpful to new visitors on the lookout for a specific restaurant or shop.

Kite Point

Kite Point

Ask any crowd of visiting kiteboarders about Kite Point, and they'll readily give you exact directions to this unmarked but internationally renowned soundside beach. Located in between Avon and Buxton villages abutting the Pamlico Sound, Kite Point literally went from deserted strip of sandy soundfront to world-class kiteboarding Mecca within the span of a decade.

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.