The Outer Banks is stocked with a number of Bed and Breakfasts, ranging from the homey and inviting to the decadent and elite. Vacationers who want a romantic spin on a typical OBX vacation would be well advised to look into the local Bed and Breakfast scene for ample peace and quiet, dreamy surroundings, and a world of first class amenities available right outside your door.
Many of the Bed and Breakfasts also come with their own unique slice of Outer Banks character and history, with several establishments even dating back to the 1930s and 1940s. Run by local families who have deep Outer Banks roots that span for generations, or laid-back newcomers who simply fell in love with the area, visitors will also find the local B&B owners a treat as well. On the Outer Banks, "Southern Hospitality" is always in full swing, and there's no area of the beach life where this is more evident than at a local Bed and Breakfast. At these establishments, guests will find that the majority of owners and innkeepers will bend over backwards to ensure all those little vacation details are covered.
Interested in what a Bed and Breakfast vacation entails, and how it stacks up against a vacation rental home or local hotel? Then review the following FAQ list for an overview of the local Outer Banks B&B scene. Still have questions? Contact your local favorites for more information on individual accommodations. Chances are, the owners will be happy to fill you in on their lodgings, the area, and practically everything Outer Banks.
How do I book a room at a Bed and Breakfast?
Due to a clientele of guests that come from all over the East Coast, many Bed and Breakfasts have extensive websites that include photos of the accommodations, the grounds, and the local area attractions. This makes it easy for guests to obtain a full portrait of what the B&B has to offer, without a scouting trip to the North Carolina beaches.
Many Bed and Breakfasts also have online booking engines, so guests can check availability, book, and pay for their stay right from their home computer. For those that don't feature online booking, staff are always on hand during business hours and well into the evening, and a quick phone call can easily secure a room.
Many visitors find that booking a Bed and Breakfast is an easier endeavor than a vacation rental home or condo, as there is no extra paperwork involved. Like a hotel or motel, a credit card is usually required to hold the reservation, but once that's accomplished the reservation is secure.
Guests should be advised that many Bed and Breakfasts require a full weekend stay in the prime summer weeks, for both Friday and Saturday nights. (Although in the perfect summer weather, most guests are more than happy to extend their stay from 1 night to 2.)
When is the best time to book a Bed and Breakfast stay?
Unlike a vacation rental home or condo which can fill up quickly and up to a year in advance, Bed and Breakfast lodgers have a little more time to reserve their accommodations. For prime summer weekends in June, July, and August, it's still best to reserve as far in advance as possible, such as in the winter months when the next year's rates are announced, and planning a summer vacation sounds like a wonderful escape from the cold. Shoulder seasons don't fill up as quickly, however B&Bs that are popular wedding destinations may have less spring and fall availabilities than others that do not generally cater to special events.
Last minute accommodations can also be relatively easy to find, particularly during the winter months, or for weekday stays from Monday until Thursday. Guests should be advised that while a number of Bed and Breakfasts stay open year round on the Outer Banks, a handful close up shop for the winter, generally from Thanksgiving until March.
Where are the Outer Banks Bed and Breakfasts located?
Guests will be delighted to discover that Outer Banks Bed and Breakfasts can be found in virtually every region of the coast, from the quiet wooded locales of Duck and Kitty Hawk to the busy harbor front streets along Ocracoke. Essentially, wherever you choose to stay on the OBX, there's a Bed and Breakfast nearby that showcases the local area's best features.
For a bit of history added into a romantic coastal vacation, vacationers should check out the large number of "Inner Banks" B&Bs that run parallel to the barrier islands of the Outer Banks. Small coastal towns like Edenton and Elizabeth City have a selection of historic plantation homes, dating back to the late 1700s or early 1800s, that have been impeccably preserved and showcase regional NC history at its finest.
For a little seclusion as well as beach proximity, vacationers should check out the northern and central Outer Banks beach towns of Duck, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head. Here, vacationers will find they have their choice of small soundfront B&Bs that are virtually hidden by swaths of maritime forests, or cheerful beachside accommodations that feature an easy walk to the ocean, and plenty of extra beach supplies available for guests to tote along.
Don't let the central location fool you. While these accommodations are close to all the big name attractions, restaurants, and shops of the Outer Banks, their grounds are generally shrouded by Live Oaks, lovely gardens, and plenty of privacy. For fantastic access to all the action, but with a quiet locale, these Bed and Breakfasts are perfect for relaxed vacationers who like to be near the bustling activity of the beach.
One of the best Outer Banks locations for Bed and Breakfasts is charming Manteo, located just off the beach across the Nags Head / Manteo causeway. This historic town is filled with classic, centuries old homes with overflowing gardens, and over the years a number of these homes have been successfully converted to popular and well-loved Bed and Breakfasts.
In Manteo, guests can choose from locally run establishments located a mile or so from the "main drag," or waterfront (or near-waterfront) B&Bs that are in the heart of the bustling but inviting historic downtown. Downtown Manteo is a collection of shops, antique stores, restaurants and attractions, all bordering the busy Manteo harbor leading out to the Roanoke and Croatan Sounds. Accommodations here generally entail scenic neighborhood or waterfront views, easy access to the area's favorite restaurants and shops, and gorgeously landscaped yards with colorful gardens and wide sunny porches.
For a bit of history, Manteo's B&Bs are also among the oldest accommodations on the Outer Banks, with several dating back to the mid-1930s. As a result, patrons will find innkeepers with a wealth of knowledge about the area, and charming bedrooms and surroundings that resemble a classic antebellum retreat.
On Hatteras Island, B&B lovers can head to the southern beaches of Buxton and Hatteras, where several Bed and Breakfasts welcome guests with classic Hatteras charm, and a number of modern amenities. Hatteras Island is renowned for its unspoiled beaches, limited development, and serene surroundings, and patrons will find that the Bed and Breakfasts here fit right into the Hatteras Island lifestyle.
On the island, guests can even find waterfront accommodations with step-outside-the-door access to the Pamlico Sound, as well as on-premise docks and launching points for the area's biggest water sports, like kiteboarding, windsurfing, kayaking and even stand-up paddle boarding. On the oceanside, several B&Bs are within an easy stroll of the Atlantic waves, making beach trips a beach.
Locales attest that the lifestyle on Hatteras Island revolves around the water, and guests will find after a relaxing long weekend at one of the area's B&Bs, whether it's enjoying a soundfront dinner or an easy jog to the oceanfront, that this sentiment is completely true.
Ocracoke Island is another Outer Banks haven for Bed and Breakfasts as the number of historic and sprawling homes, coupled with the limited development within the 4-square mile village, serves as an ideal locale for a B&B to flourish.
Visitors to Ocracoke notice right off the bat that the village has its own unique island state-of-mind, and patrons to the local bed and breakfasts will find the same. Breakfasts may be offered until noon, or even throughout the day, in case guests want to sleep in. When it's time to hit the town, many Ocracoke B&Bs have bicycles or kayaks on hand so Ocracoke visitors can have an easy time navigating their way around town.
In addition, like the village of Ocracoke itself, patrons will find that the Ocracoke B&Bs have a charm all their own. Whether they feature a long history of being a historical landmark, feature fantastic waterfront or harbor front views, or simply boast lots of porches and hammocks for quiet relaxation, all B&Bs on Ocracoke Island offer a little something extra or different that makes them special and uniquely inviting.
Clearly, the Outer Banks (and Inner Banks for that matter) have no shortage of fantastic lodgings for the Bed and Breakfast set, whether they serve as historical attractions or waterfront oasises. The best way to choose a place to stay is to pick a favorite local village, do a little research, and dive right in.
What kind of amenities does a Bed and Breakfast offer?
The standard Outer Banks Bed and Breakfast offers, of course, comfortable nightly accommodations followed by a full and hearty breakfast. That said, many OBX patrons are pleasantly surprised that the local Bed and Breakfasts also offer a lot more beyond the basics.
Many local Bed and Breakfasts, particularly in areas where attractions or expansive waterfronts are right around the corner, offer a host of recreational amenities, including bicycles, kayaks, surf boards, and even stand up paddle boards. In addition, guests will generally find they have access to a number of "in-room" amenities as well, such as DVD or book libraries, coffee makers or microwaves, and an assortment of toiletries or little gadgets to make a stay away from home a bit easier (like hair dryers or even plush robes, ideal for lounging on a private soundfront deck.)
On the premises, depending on the locale, guests may find phenominal sound or waterfront access, private pools, hot tubs, hammocks and lounging areas, screened porches, and plenty of rocking-chair stocked decks, just waiting to be enjoyed.
In short, many vacationers find that the amenities at the local Outer Banks Bed and Breakfasts surpass their expectations. A little bit of online research will give you more insight as to what's available a particular establishment, and if you don't see a specific amenity, just ask - chances are, the innkeeper or owner will be more than happy to accommodate you.
Any Tips and Tricks to know before booking a Bed and Breakfast?
For truly special occasions, like a romantic getaway, a honeymoon, or just a girl's night on the Outer Banks, many local Bed and Breakfasts offer special packages to accommodate their special guests.
A romance package can include in-room flowers, champagne, and chocolates, while a girls' weekend package might entail an in-room massage or vouchers for the local spa for a beach worthy pedicure. Essentially, many local Bed and Breakfasts recognize that a number of their guests are celebrating special occasions, and therefor partner with their favorite local businesses and vendors to create a special weekend or week-long package designed with these special events in mind.
When booking your reservation, ask about any special promotions or packages available, particularly if you're celebrating a truly big event, like a treasured anniversary or a few days out and about with just the girls.
Speaking of special events, brides and grooms who are planning a small and inclusive wedding on the Outer Banks would be remiss not to research the Bed and Breakfast scene. Many local B&Bs specialize in small weddings, with historic homes, soundfront settings, or perfectly manicured gardens providing a truly romantic backdrop.
In fact, a number of local Bed and Breakfasts on the Outer Banks are experts at orchestrating picture-perfect weddings for couples who dream of an intimate and one-of-a-kind ceremony or reception. Best of all, accommodations are already available for your guests on the premises, and are occasionally offered at a discount. Bear in mind however, that an Outer Banks wedding at a B&B generally ensures quite a bit of advance notice, so be sure and call well ahead of time to ensure the grounds and accommodations are available.
Are your vacation days flexible? Then consider a mid-week stay at an Outer Banks Bed and Breakfast. The majority of local B&Bs have cheaper rates from Monday through Friday, and a mid-week stay can also ensure a that guests avoid all the weekend traffic during the height of the summer season.
Guests are also advised to look at accommodations available during the shoulder season months of spring and fall, and even the off-season months of winter. Many destinations like the central Outer Banks and Manteo have plenty of attractions and amenities still open during the winter months, and guests will find significantly deep discounts from the standard prime season weeks.
Considering a holiday getaway? Try a weekend in Manteo, where the Winter Lights festival at the Elizabethan Gardens is in full swing, and the town is decked out in holiday decor. Completely unique and different from a summer vacation, a winter or off-season weekend at a Bed and Breakfast will give vacationers an insider's look into the Outer Banks' culture and lifestyle when tourism has all but disappeared for the season.
The local Bed and Breakfasts on the Outer Banks give vacationers a respite from the typical busy tourist scene with limited and quiet accommodations, picturesque locales, and a world of amenities at their fingertips. For a romantic or relaxing getaway that allows you to enjoy the very best of the Outer Banks, from friendly local owners to treasured establishments that have been in business for decades, consider an escape to a local Bed and Breakfast. After a long rejuvenating weekend, it's a safe bet that you'll surely be back for more.