Where to stay in Kitty Hawk

Vacation rental homes are the most popular way to stay in the Outer Banks. Rental homes are available in Kitty Hawk from:

The town of Kitty Hawk is a unique combination of all things Outer Banks. This relatively small town is the first OBX village that northern vacationers will encounter as they cross over the Wright Memorial Bridge, and despite its relatively small size, the Kitty Hawk vacation rental scene genuinely has something for everyone.

In Kitty Hawk, visitors can find quiet accommodations tucked along the soundside, decadent oceanfront vacation homes with a host of amenities, and plenty of scenic beaches to explore. Natural maritime forests, golf courses, shopping plazas, and acclaimed restaurants are all part of the Kitty Hawk landscape, and newcomers will soon discover they can enjoy a vacation that is as secluded or as boisterous as they'd like, depending on what part of Kitty Hawk they choose to stay.

For a sample of everything that makes the Outer Banks a premier beach vacation destination, a stay in Kitty Hawk is a great way to get your toes wet in this world-renowned beach scene. With vacation rentals that can accommodate parties of all sizes and styles, Kitty Hawk is a perfect testament to what an Outer Banks vacation is all about.

The Kitty Hawk Beach Scene

Kitty Hawk is certainly the easiest town to get to for northern OBX visitors, as its town borders end at the Albemarle Sound and the entrance of the Wright Memorial Bridge. The town stretches from the soundfront to the beaches, and is bordered by Kill Devil Hills to the north, and the town of Southern Shores to the south. There is no break in development in these regions, so without paying attention to the signs and prominent town water towers, it can be tricky to sometimes tell where one town ends and another begins.

Nevertheless, Kitty Hawk has a unique culture and "feel" all its own, with collections of classic beach cottages and upscale soundside properties, and visitors looking for a laid-back retreat or an upscale secluded vacation home will be able to find exactly what they are looking for within the town.

To say that the geography in Kitty Hawk is diverse would be an understatement. Kitty Hawk is a unique collection of maritime forests, huge shopping centers, and quiet beaches, and a quick drive around town will allow visitors to glide from one unique neighborhood to another.

Like the other towns that comprise the central Outer Banks regions, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head, the vacation rentals in Kitty Hawk are divided into three distinct regions, determined by their location in relation to the two major roads that cut through the town: the 4 lane beach bypass, also known as US 158, and the lesser-used original "Beach Road" that borders the oceanfront shoreline. Newcomers who are looking for Kitty Hawk rental homes will therefore see the terms "oceanside," "between the highways," (or located in between the bypass and the Beach Road), and "soundside," and each of these regions has a distinctively unique feel and landscape.

On the soundside, Kitty Hawk visitors can visit the naturally undeveloped Kitty Hawk Woods Nature Preserve, an incredible parcel of land that has been carefully preserved and serves as a habitat for hundreds of migrating species of birds, local mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, and which also features several walking trails and boat ramps for soundside explorers.

Bordering the reserve, and located along the soundside, visitors will also find several extensive golf courses which have become popular destinations for North Carolina links lovers. The Sea Scape Golf Course and Duck Woods Country Club are both located either within or close to Kitty Hawk's quiet soundside residential areas, and visitors in need of a secluded escape or a day on the greens will find ample peace and quiet, and will appreciate both the courses and the serene wooded neighborhoods that surround them.

Ironically, the small side roads that wind through the quiet soundside neighborhoods of Kitty Hawk eventually lead out to several major shopping plazas, which include two big box retail and home improvement stores, a chain grocery store, and a multitude of smaller shops and restaurants. For many Kitty Hawk vacationers, this is a benefit as while the soundside neighborhoods are quiet, shaded by greenery and secluded, it's only a five minute drive at most to access the larger amenities of the town.

The "between the highways" region essentially begins as visitors head onto the barrier island, near the Aycock Brown Welcome Center, and this region is a collection of small and large beach cottages that feature easy walking distance to the beach. The oceanfront offers more vacation rental homes, as well as an RV park, several restaurants and beach shops, and even a major hotel with its own private pier for both patrons and event attendees.

When it comes to beaches, the shoreline of Kitty Hawk has been the subject of many debates over the past few years. In 2003, Hurricane Isabel plowed through the central Outer Banks region, taking a large portion of the Kitty Hawk shoreline with her, and as a result many of the beaches of Kitty Hawk are relatively narrow, with small dune lines and even older beach homes located just a few feet away from the ocean wash. While the beach erosion has caused headaches for many local politicians, vacationers benefit from the easy coastal access, with boardwalks and public parking areas regularly located along the beach road, providing vacationers with a quick hop across the dunes to the ocean shoreline.

The town of Kitty Hawk has eight lifeguarded beaches, which are located next to popular community beach access ramps and public parking areas, and the beaches, despite their narrow nature, are generally unpopulated with plenty of room for families to spread out with all their gear. There is no beach driving allowed along the beaches, and town littering and pet rules are regularly enforced, making the beaches a safe and fun environment for all beach vacationers.

Kitty Hawk is an especially unique Outer Banks vacation destination in that the town encompasses a number of different coastal environments. From upscale golfing communities to classic beach cottage neighborhoods and busy shopping centers, a stay in Kitty Hawk can be easily adapted to virtually any type of vacationer. Enjoy a sample of all things Outer Banks, and consider a Kitty Hawk vacation for a convenient Outer Banks retreat that offers all the highlights of a fantastic OBX vacation.

Types of Rentals Available

As to be expected with a beach town as diverse as Kitty Hawk, the vacation rentals in the area are completely unique, with homes ranging from 2-bedroom cottages to exquisite 6-8 bedroom soundfront or soundside retreats.

While Kitty Hawk does have a major hotel, and several small condo complexes, the majority of accommodations available to visitors are vacation rental homes, and visitors will find plenty of options in all sizes and styles.

Vacationers in search of the classic Outer Banks getaway will find lots of properties located both on the oceanfront and in the "between the highways" communities that are within easy walking distance of the beach. Many of these smaller 2-4 bedroom homes were built during the Outer Banks' development boom of the 1970s and 1980s, and as a result, feature all the charm of a typical Outer Banks beach retreat. Located on pilings, with wide decks and screened porches, outdoor showers, and even hot tubs or community pool access, these properties are perfect for small families who simply need an accommodating place to stay in between Outer Banks excursions. The best aspect of these properties is their proximity to the beach, as well as Beach Road shops and restaurants, and visitors who stay here will find that there are plenty of great natural and commercial attractions located just a quick stroll away.

On the soundside, visitors will find more elite retreats bordering the local sound, Kitty Hawk Woods Wildlife Refuge, and golf course. These properties are shaded, secluded and altogether stunning, with multiple master bedrooms, elite decor, and scenic exclusive neighborhoods that are ideal for walking, biking, and enjoying life in the great outdoors. As a bonus, many of these properties offer exceptional golf course views and access, so visitors can enjoy a stunning view of the greens with their morning cup of coffee. For visitors who require a quiet respite, and don't necessarily have to be located a stone's throw away from the beach, these properties are ideal retreats.

Of course, Kitty Hawk vacationers can find properties that suit just about every party size - from large families who want to stay next to the sound to couples who want a quiet vacation on the oceanfront, Kitty Hawk delivers. Essentially, all a potential Kitty Hawk vacationer has to do is choose a style, a location, and simply take their pick. With a world of different locations, sizes, and amenities available, Kitty Hawk vacation rentals are a diverse collection of properties that can accommodate virtually any Outer Banks vacationer.

Benefits of Kitty Hawk Vacation Rentals

If variety is the spice of life, then Kitty Hawk is quite an appetizing place to vacation on the Outer Banks. The best aspect of a Kitty Hawk vacation rental is arguably its convenience to virtually everything. A Kitty Hawk vacationer is close to national landmarks like the Wright Brothers Memorial, close to several golf courses, watersports complexes, (like the Promenade adjacent to the Wright Memorial Bridge), shopping centers, wildlife retreats, and especially, close to great beaches.

In fact, vacationers who stay oceanfront or oceanside will most likely be closer to the beach than anywhere else along the Outer Banks. The Kitty Hawk shoreline is narrow, but this allows oceanfront and oceanview renters to have unparalleled access to the shore, with the ocean wash located just steps away from their front door.

In addition, Kitty Hawk is home to some fantastic stores and restaurants. Visitors can head to the big box stores and shopping plazas that are located close to the Wright Memorial Bridge, clearly, but the beach road has its own unique collection of shops, bistros and cafes to explore as well. Several of these restaurants have even garnered national acclaim, thanks to their appearance on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and as result, Kitty Hawk visitors will typically find themselves within walking distance of a world famous restaurant or two.

The accommodations in Kitty Hawk are also quite desirable, with laid-back coastal charm or elite soundside elegance, and because of this diversity, Kitty Hawk vacationers can always find a property that suits their Outer Banks vacation expectations. Remote yet populated with amenities, Kitty Hawk is a fantastic destination for newcomers who simply want a slice of the Outer Banks beach life.

Considerations of Kitty Hawk Vacation Rentals

Kitty Hawk vacationers should be advised that while the town certainly boasts more than its fair share of secluded destinations, on the whole, the area is a fairly popular beach community. Visitors who are looking for a secluded beach retreat with limited beach traffic, two-lane roads, and virtually no one else to share their shoreline should consider the northern Outer Banks and Hatteras and Ocracoke Island regions for more seclusion. Kitty Hawk certainly accommodates a large portion of Outer Banks beach traffic, specifically along the US 158 beach bypass, and vacationers who truly want to escape to an island environment may want to head further north, or further south,

With this fact in mind, visitors staying on the "soundside" or "westside" of US 158 should remember that the ocean is a good walk away, and a short driving trip to the local public beach access may be necessary to enjoy the Atlantic shoreline. Luckily, Kitty Hawk and the central Outer Banks in general features plenty of public parking areas that are located just yards away from a lifeguarded beach, making it easy for visitors to hit the shoreline, regardless of where they stay.

Other than location concerns, however, visitors will find the vacation rentals in Kitty Hawk perfectly accommodating, inviting, and perfect examples of what an Outer Banks beach vacation is all about.

Tips and Tricks for Kitty Hawk Vacation Rentals

  • Some vacation rentals in Kitty Hawk, specifically those located close to the soundside and golf courses, may offer golfing passes or discounts as an amenity. Visitors who are eager to hit the links should check with their local property management company to see what package deals, amenities, or discounts are available for Kitty Hawk renters.
  • Did you know that some of the Outer Banks' oldest rental homes are located in Kitty Hawk? Travelers along the beach road should keep an eye out for these historic properties, especially a brick and wood structure with a yellow exterior that borders the oceanfront and was originally built in 1896. A number of these properties are still available to rent for Outer Banks lovers who want to incorporate a little bit of local history into their beach vacation.
  • Visitors who want to be within a stone's throw of the ocean would be well advised to check out the Kitty Hawk vacation rental scene. A number of these homes are located on the oceanside of the sand dune barriers, which means that all a visitor has to do to enjoy the beach is simply step outside. Great for OBX fans who love nothing better than the constant sound of breaking waves, these properties are basically as oceanfront as it gets.
  • Kitty Hawk is also a great town for bargain hunters. The beach cottages located in between the highways are a 5 minute walk away from the shoreline and the town's restaurants and shops, and yet are wonderfully affordable for smaller families who simply need a couple of cozy bedrooms and great deck to enjoy the sea breezes. Remember that rental rates tend to drop with the seasons, and fall, spring and winter season visitors will enjoy even lower rates on already bargain-vacation rental homes.
  • Beach fans who hate long drives and congestion will certainly appreciate Kitty Hawk. The vacation rentals in this town are located a few miles away from the Wright Memorial Bridge at the most, so visitors who stay here will be almost home as soon as they cross the bridge.

Kitty Hawk is a great representation of all the amenities that the Outer Banks has to offer, with nationally recognized restaurants, fantastic beaches, acclaimed golf courses, and major shopping centers, and Outer Banks vacationers will find virtually everything they need in this small beach town.

With inviting beach cottages, and secluded golf-course bordering vacation estates, Kitty Hawk has everything a potential Outer Banks guest could need to feel right at home. Enjoy the diverse landscape of this conveniently located beach town, and enjoy all the qualities that have made the Outer Banks one of the East Coast's favorite vacation destinations.


Big Buck's Homemade Ice Cream

Serving our customers on the Outer Banks since 1994, Big Buck's ice Cream is dedicated serving you “The Best.” We offer a full line of super-premium ice cream products, smoothies, chocolates, and custom-made ice cream cakes! 2 locations are open all year: Duck  and Manteo, at The Waterfront Shops.


We offer a full line of Espresso Drinks from Hot Vanilla Cappuccinos and Hot Chocolate to Iced Caramel Lattes & Frozen Mochas, all made to order. Big Buck’s fresh fruit smoothies are lactose-free and made to order. Also offering lactose-free sorbets made from the best fruits available. Old time favorites are sure to please! Choose from a delicious collection of milkshakes, sundaes and banana splits.


Savor the moment with our Homemade Chocolate! Chocolates are made daily in each location. We offer a large selection from Dark to Milk to White. Milk Chocolate Oreos & Almond Toffee, Dark Chocolate Berries and Cherries Clusters & Hand-dipped Peppermint Patties with a Drizzle of White Chocolate, Extra-Dark Sea Salt Caramels & our famous homemade caramel chocolate pretzels oh & don’t forget the ever-popular caramel pecan turtle, just to name a few treats!


Belinda Pleva grew up serving ice cream out of her parent’s shop. She loved being part of what she calls “a happy business.” “I love it when people come into the shop and you hand them something, and it makes them smile,” Pleva says. “That moment when you hand an ice cream cone over to a little kid and their eyes just light up. That’s what I love about the ice cream business.”


In 1994, Pleva opened up her own ice cream and chocolate shop, Big Buck’s Ice Cream, in the brand-new Timbuk II Shopping Center in Corolla. Business was good, but something was missing.


“I was never satisfied with the ingredients in the ice creams and chocolates you could purchase back then. I wanted to serve my customers delicious flavors with ingredients they could actually pronounce,” Pleva says.


Pleva took a trip to Italy to study the gelaterias. She fell in love with the incredible flavors, and when she returned home to the Outer Banks, she began working tirelessly to perfect the flavors in her own ice cream.


Big Buck’s homemade ice cream combined the flavors of the Italian gelaterias and the richness of American ice cream. It quickly became a tourist favorite. After having the same unsatisfactory experience with the readymade chocolates she was selling, she also took a trip to Brussels to learn more about making handmade chocolates. Pleva brought the chocolate-making experience right back with her, and the result was the finest quality of chocolates on the Outer Banks.


After her huge success in the Corolla shop, Pleva was able to open up three more shops—one in Kitty Hawk, one in Manteo and one in Duck.

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Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum