Where to stay in Rodanthe

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

The small village of Rodanthe has garnered a romantic reputation in recent years, and newcomers will easily see why within moments of visiting this small but beautiful area of Hatteras Island.

The small town is home to some of Hatteras Island's first premier vacation accommodations, built in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and featuring multiple levels of balconies and "widows' walks" to admire the incoming waves. While some of these homes have even been moved to new locations to protect them from oncoming surf, and certainly many more vacation rentals have been built in the years following, Rodanthe remains a scenic beach retreat with just enough ocean or sound-oriented amenities to keep water lovers busy.

Granted, while most of the action will be found along the beaches in some of the most honored surfing and kiteboarding locales on the Outer Banks, Rodanthe is still an entertaining town for all guests, almost precariously located next to the sea, and home to some of the biggest and most famous vacation rentals on the OBX. Visitors flock here for a multitude of reasons, including great surf, quiet beaches, and romantic surroundings, but regardless of taste and vacation-style, virtually everyone leaves the area a dedicated Hatteras Island and Outer Banks fan. Head to Rodanthe, and enjoy the fantastic beaches, the accommodating rental homes, and the romantic and rustic atmosphere that is strengthened with every sea breeze.

The Rodanthe Beach Scene

Newcomers will recognize Rodanthe as the backdrop to both a Nicholas Sparks novel and a subsequent 2008 movie of the same name, "Nights in Rodanthe." Certainly, the publicity from both the book and the movie has shined a spotlight on an otherwise quiet beach town, but Rodanthe was always steeped in legendary fame, and has always had a distinctive mark on the Outer Banks landscape as a home to daring rescues and beachside escapades.

The Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station, which is one of Hatteras Island's most visited landmarks, is one of the most distinguished and celebrated lifesaving stations on the East Coast. It is also the most decorated, as six of the original crewmen were awarded the Gold Life-Saving Medal from the U.S. Treasury Department for the 1918 rescue of the British Tanker the Mirlo, the highest honor bestowed on any lifesaving station at the time. The lifesaving station facilities are seasonally open for visitors to explore, and are one of the best kept lifesaving stations on the East Coast. Many Rodanthe visitors will have easy access to the premises, with the lifesaving station located just a quick stroll away from the majority of vacation rental home communities.

The geography of Rodanthe is equally unique and impressive. To the north lies the 13 miles of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, while the towns of Waves and Salvo are located at its southern borders. The town is essentially cut in two by the two-lane NC Highway 12, which winds through the entire village, and creates distinctive "soundside" and "oceanside" communities of vacation rental homes.

That said, any home or location in Rodanthe is never too far from the ocean or sound waters, as the region is noticeably narrow, with a width of 1/2 mile at the very most, and many neighborhoods boasting views of both the ocean and sound from multiple levels of decks. In recent years, this has become a bit of a problem during storm season, as certain regions of the island, particularly the northern regions, have been known to "wash out" and take swaths of the highway with them, with an incoming storm surge. While plans are formulated to build up Rodanthe's beaches and keep certain sections from washing away altogether, in the meantime, vacationers will enjoy spectacular easy-to-access beaches on both sides of the village.

The soundside is quiet and scenic, with patches of sandy soundside beaches, and ideal grounds for bird watching, as thousands of species make their way to and from the neighboring wildlife refuge. A collection of grassy beaches and marshy terrain, the soundside has provided to be an exceptional location for launching small skiffs, kayaks, windsurfing and kiteboarding rigs, and stand up paddle boards, and sound-based watersports have taken the Rodanthe region by storm.

On the oceanside, Rodanthe has always been known for its exceptional surfing conditions, and on a good day it's not unusual to spot dozens of cars parked alongside the "S-Curves," the stretch of beach that lies just outside the town's northern borders. There's also a fishing pier nearby, as well as several renowned tackle stores that sell fresh bait and custom rigs, designed for the Rodanthe surf conditions.

The beaches themselves are narrower than the other regions of the Outer Banks, an attribute that most vacationers appreciate, as this means it takes a minute or two to hit beach from the majority of oceanfront vacation rentals. The shells here are decent, with small whelks, olive shells, and colorful scallops washing up in piles, especially after a summer or fall storm. With hundreds of shipwrecks lying just off-shore, visitors with a dusty metal detector are encouraged to bring it along, as there's no telling what can be found from the last hurricane, or from the hurricanes of a century ago.

As for town attractions, Rodanthe has a large convenience store which doubles as a small grocery store, several gift shops and beach shops, a handful of restaurants, and not too much else. This suits the majority of vacationers just fine, as the allure or the ocean wash and the quiet beachscape requires is really Rodanthe's star attraction.

For beach lovers, Rodanthe is a haven that offers wide open access to variety of saltwater sports, and has just enough amenities, restaurants, and shops to provide a fun distraction during the time spent out of the water. With gorgeous beaches, panoramic water views, and history in every direction, romantic Rodanthe certainly lives up to its reputation.

Types of Rentals Available

Rodanthe has one condo development that features weekly rentals, a community pool, and a wide community boardwalk. At just three stories tall, this locale feels like a private retreat, and yet provides couples and groups with enough amenities and modern lodgings to keep them entertained. The rest of the town is comprised with vacation rental homes, which range from small cottages to impressive 12 bedroom soundfront estates, with all the features to keep everyone in a large party completely entertained.

The best aspect of Rodanthe vacation rentals is proximity to the beach, regardless of where a home is located. As one of the narrowest stretches of Hatteras Island, a Rodanthe vacationer is almost always within a five minutes stroll of the ocean, and with limited dunes to cross, the excursion to the beach is even easier.

The larger of these homes boast private pools, hot tubs, game rooms, and even media rooms, ensuring guests have ample entertainment options both on and off the seashore. In addition, virtually all homes in Rodanthe feature multiple levels of decks to take advantage of the ocean and sound views, and allow guests to enjoy both ocean sunrises and sound sunsets.

Visitors with a love of nostalgia should take a good look at the classic multiple-level cottages that just a few decades ago were considered the most elite rental homes on Hatteras Island. These vacation rentals feature spiral staircases that wind up to ocean overlooks, cluttered but accommodating kitchens, and quiet bedrooms that have ample views of the open water. One of these classic homes in particular was used as the primary "Bed and Breakfast" backdrop in the "Nights in Rodanthe" movie, and is considered one of the most famous beach houses on the Outer Banks. The best part is that regardless of where a visitor stays, they will still enjoy that wild ocean landscape that made the "Nights in Rodanthe" franchise famous, and the endless ocean and / or sound views that have put Hatteras Island on the map.

Benefits of Rodanthe Vacation Rentals

For many vacationers, one of the best benefits of a Rodanthe vacation rental is proximity to the ocean. A family staying on the oceanfront can literally step outside and be on the beach within seconds, as erosion has taken its toll on the beaches, and there is little to no dune system to cross over to access the seashore. While steps are being taken to protect the beaches and create a long-term solution to provide more of a barrier for oceanfront properties, in the meantime, vacationers will enjoy ocean access that is simply unparalleled on the Outer Banks.

Many Rodanthe fans also praise the town's seclusion, and its handful of amenities that are just enough to provide vacationers with the occasional evening out on the town. Rodanthe features a shopping plaza, a locally-renowned pizza joint, a couple restaurants, a fishing pier, and several establishments that are open later for an adults-only evening out exploring the nightlife. In addition, Rodanthe is located just 20 miles away from the Roanoke Island and Nags Head attractions, making a day trip to visit a local lighthouse, the aquarium, the Elizabethan Gardens, or any of the other popular tourist attractions an easily attainable goal.

Perhaps the biggest allure for Rodanthe vacationers, however, is the privacy. The town is small and features no national chain stores to interrupt the natural landscape, and with miles of ocean, sound, and national wildlife refuge bordering the community on all sides, visitors can be completely immersed in their natural surroundings. Relaxing and revitalizing, Rodanthe is an ideal destination for Outer Banks visitors who simply need to get away from it all.

Considerations of Rodanthe Vacation Rentals

Visitors who are heading to Rodanthe during an active hurricane season should be cautious. In recent years, narrow Rodanthe has taken the bulk impact of the hurricane winds and sound and ocean over wash, with flooding that has lasted for days. If you're heading to Rodanthe in August through October, (or anywhere on the Outer Banks for that matter), look into purchasing trip insurance, which will protect your vacation investment regardless of what the weather blows in.

Newcomers should also bear in mind that Rodanthe is located well off the beaten path. Located 20 miles across the Pamlico Sound, and a good 20 miles from the more developed central Outer Banks, Rodanthe is a small town that is virtually cut off from the rest of the world. Chain grocery stores, movie theaters, major medical services, and other amenities are located at least 15 miles away n Avon, making a major shopping trip a bit of an inconvenience.

While most folks who stay in Rodanthe are well aware of these restrictions, and even select the area for its isolation, new visitors should note that it's a bit of a drive to get to the major amenities and attractions that are located nearby. (Although it should be also noted that the drive itself is a scenic one.)

Tips and Tricks for Rodanthe Vacation Rentals

  • One of the most alluring qualities of Rodanthe is its undeniable town spirit, and visitors should keep a lookout on the local calendars to see what attractive events are occurring during their stay. In the summer months, the town generally hosts a weekly fish fry, special events at the community center, and educational programs and seasonal "drills" performed at the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station by current US Coast Guard servicemen. Open to the public and a spectacular show, any of these events are a great way to delve into the local culture while enjoying an off-the-beach afternoon.
  • Visitors who want the best of both worlds, ocean and sound, should take a good look at the vacation rentals available in the southern end of the Rodanthe, specifically in the Mirlo Beach community. This subdivision is located along one of Rodanthe's narrowest locales, and features wide open views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Pamlico Sound, and the miles of Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge in between.
  • Considering an Outer Banks holiday visit? Rodanthe is a peaceful refuge for weary holiday travelers to put their feet up and still enjoy the local festivities. In December, the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station is adorned with white lights, making it a photo-worthy local holiday attraction, and in January the town celebrates "Olde Christmas" a multiple day festival that dates back to the original tri-village inhabitants. As an added bonus, the beaches are all but deserted, allowing guests to enjoy the island landscape all to themselves.
  • If you're staying in Rodanthe, be sure and make a trip to the neighboring Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. This federally protected parcel of land is one of the most popular "pit stops" for migrating birds, and visitors can spot dozens if not hundreds of ducks, geese, ibises, egrets and even herons , falcons or eagles on a regular basis.
  • Outer Banks vacationers with family members who have trouble navigating over the sand dunes should definitely look into Rodanthe vacation rentals. With little to non-existent dunes, and many oceanfront vacation rentals leading right out to the ocean, this terrain is certainly easy to travel across, and homes in the southern oceanfront region of Rodanthe provide some of the easiest beach access on Hatteras Island.

Rodanthe has certainly earned its reputation as one of the most romantic beach towns along the Outer Banks. With miles of open ocean shorelines bordering classic and modern vacation rental homes, visitors here will enjoy being close to the beach, and enjoy the steady sound of the waves crashing and the ocean breezes in the background.

Off the beach, the town is home to a major Hatteras Island historical attraction, a fishing pier, and a number of beach shops, tackle stores, and restaurants to keep everyone in the family fully entertained. With wide open water access and plenty of amenities, it's no wonder that Rodanthe's popularity is jumping right off the big screen, and into the vacation plans of Outer Banks loving visitors.




Gray’s Outer Banks Lifestyle Clothing Company offers the absolute best in Outer Banks T-shirts and Sweatshirts including Champion, Under Armour with "Outer Banks” and Gear! We carry quality fashions and accessories for the whole family by all your favorite brands including Tommy Bahama, Tribal, ESCAPE, Billabong, Quiksilver, Jack O’Neill, RVCA, Olukai, Cobian, Spartina, Scout, Brighton.


Whether you’re shopping for apparel, shoes & accessories, gifts & toys or OBX and Big Duck souvenirs, Gray’s offers the best brands and quality for a beach lifestyle at any of our 4 locations! From sportswear to beachwear and everything in between, Gray’s will outfit your entire family. You can also find great beach accessories at Gray’s, such as Costa sunglasses, Olukai sandals and Sun Bum sunscreen and hair products. Be sure to shop Gray’s signature Big Duck found on t-shirts, sweatshirts and gift items!


Established in 1948 by Walter and Stelle Gray, Gray’s began as a single store on the beach road in Nags Head, a land mark that has been beautifully transformed into Seagreen Art Gallery. Visitors to the original Gray’s may remember that the family home was located above the store and that Walter Gray had a passion for Big Band music that was often playing on the store speakers, giving shoppers a little swing in their step.


Modern-day Gray’s is still family owned and operated by their children Ronnie and Julie Gray, who carry on a legacy of superior customer service and traditional values. Ronnie’s wife Susan is also an important part of the business. “It really was always a family operating as a business rather than a business being run by a family,” explains Ronnie Gray. “When our visitors come in, they are greeted by a warm hello and a ‘Welcome to Gray’s.’ We try to welcome them as if they’re entering our own home”

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