Where to stay in Waves

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

The small town of Waves has an undeniable charm that attracts vacationers of all genres. Watersports lovers flock to the wide sound beaches and launching points, ideal for a full day of kiteboarding or windsurfing, while beach bums appreciate the wide, uncrowded shorelines that provide ample room to stretch out and enjoy the surf and sun.

The vacation rentals in Waves are equally alluring, with large living areas, coastal decor, and far reaching views that stretch from the ocean to the sound. With gorgeous natural surroundings, plenty of fun on the water, and an ample selection of shops and restaurants to entertain the family after a full day at the beach, Waves is a perfectly pleasing locale to enjoy a relaxing Outer Banks vacation.

The Waves Beach Scene

Waves is located in the heart of the tri-village area of Hatteras Island. Heading north, the tri-villages are the first cluster of towns a traveler encounters along the southern Outer Banks. Though the area appears to be one large town, this populated region is actually comprised of three separate villages: Salvo, Waves and Rodanthe. The tri-villages are bordered to the south by 15 miles of undeveloped shoreline that separates the towns from the village of Avon, and are bordered to the north by the 13 mile-long Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. This means that the tri-villages region is fairly separated from the rest of the Outer Banks, and with a geographic location that is also separated from mainland North Carolina by the 30-mile wide Pamlico Sound, the tri-villages are truly in a world all their own.

Despite this relative isolation, however, the tri-villages area and Waves in particular still has a lot to offer its vacationers. Waves is home to the majority of the region's restaurants and shops, including a national fast food chain, several sandwich shops and seafood restaurants, and two major watersports plazas that feature shopping centers, rentals / lessons, and waterfront restaurants, ideal for a post-beach cocktail or evening meal. These two plazas, as well as several other large watersports shops and training grounds that have popped up over the last several years, are relatively new additions to the Waves scene, and are the direct results of the area's recent discovery as a Mecca for kiteboarders and windsurfers.

For decades, kiteboarders and windsurfers have flocked to Hatteras Island, mainly congregating along Kite Point and Canadian Hole, two soundside beaches located in between the villages of Avon and Buxton. Over the past few years, however, more and more watersports lovers have discovered that Waves and its neighboring towns offer the same great conditions and selection of vacation rental homes that offer incredible launching and Pamlico Sound access, and the area has been a popular destination with board sports lovers ever since. In fact, for the past few years, the annual Triple-S Invitational Kiteboarding tournament has taken place in Waves, held at the REAL Watersports complex in the heart of the town.

While Waves is still a quiet beach town, these new watersports developments have made it easy for vacationers to embark on a kiteboarding or windsurfing adventure via an afternoon lesson or a full day camp, and it's also made the sound landscape a lot more interesting. Visitors who are strolling along the soundside will generally spot dozens of colorful kites flying across the open sound waters, creating a scenic view that everyone can enjoy, despite their level of watersports expertise.

As for the beach, the Waves shoreline is nice and wide, with a stable dune line that protects the oceanfront vacation rental homes. This means that a walk to the ocean may take a couple minutes, but the majority of vacation rental home communities have a number of both private and public boardwalks and sandy pathways, making the stroll an easy venture. Visitors are advised to stay on these trails, and be on the lookout for small cactus which grow in abundance in the wild dune landscape that is off the beaten path.

The best attribute of Waves for many vacationers is the simple lack of people. The beaches here are always uncrowded, despite the season, and families will find large areas of sand to enjoy with relatively few neighbors around. While there are no public parking areas located in town, virtually all vacation rentals are within easy walking distance of the beach, whether they are located on the oceanside or the soundside of NC Highway 12, and visitors who like to explore other coastal regions will find a number of National Park Service managed parking areas located on both the southern and northern outskirts of the tri-village area.

There might not be a lot of nightlife in Waves, or too many activities that don't revolve around the water, but Waves is an exceptional fit for families who simply want to relax, enjoy the beach and the sound, and enjoy being cut-off, quite literally, from the rest of the world.

Types of Rentals Available

Waves has a fantastic collection of vacation rental homes in all sizes and styles, with a number of attractive amenities that ensure hours of off-the-beach fun. While visitors will find a nice collection of 2-3 bedroom cottages located throughout the village, most of Waves' vacation rental homes are large properties with enough room to fit parties of 10 or more. The largest of these homes are generally located close to the ocean, and offer plenty of extras to keep families entertained without venturing outside the neighborhood. A large number of rentals in this area feature private pools, hot tubs, media rooms and game rooms, and it's not unusual to find plenty of homes to rent that have some or all of these amenities.

Almost all of the larger 4-8 bedroom Waves vacation rentals have a reverse floor plan layout. This means that the main rooms of the home, specifically the living, kitchen and dining areas, are located on the top floor of the house. This design essentially takes advantage of Waves' proximity to both the ocean and sound, and as a result, a number of rental homes have incredible views from the most-used areas of the home which can span from the ocean all the way to the sound. With multiple levels of decks and porches to take advantage of these vistas, Waves vacationers will find they have ample opportunities to sit back and enjoy the blue water views.

Waves is also mainly comprised of subdivisions and small vacation rental home communities, which means that most of the vacation homes are located in family-friendly neighborhoods. With plenty of seldom-used side streets and even community amenities like pools or tennis courts, Waves vacationers will find ample room to stroll, bike, and generally explore the Waves scene.

While there are no hotels or motels in Waves, there are a number of RV parks and campgrounds, as well as several condo complexes that are located right next to the sound. These condos are generally part of the two large watersports centers, managed by REAL kiteboarding and Kitty Hawk Kites, and as such feature incredible access to both watersports launching, watersports rentals and facilities, and all the amenities a kiteboarding or windsurfing vacationer could possibly need to spend a week or two enjoying their favorite sport. Some of these units are rented individually, while others are available as part of a "package deal" that might include a week-long kite camp or kiting event. Check with your local property management company on Hatteras Island to find out which units are available, and call your favorite watersports company to inquire about weeklong windsurfing or kiteboarding packages and lessons.

Waves vacation rentals essentially revolve around life on the water, whether it's an exclusive condo that's available in conjunction with a fun kiteboarding camp, or a towering vacation rental with views that span from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pamlico Sound. With plenty of exceptional amenities, and easy beach access for virtually any property within the town's limits, the Waves vacation rentals are ideal for visitors who simply want to enjoy the Outer Banks beaches, both in and out of the water.

Benefits of Waves Vacation Rentals

While the uncrowded beaches of Waves have always been a draw for southern Outer Banks vacationers, in recent years, visitors' attention has turned to the open waters of the Pamlico Sound. The two recently opened watersports complexes, combined with a number of local kiteboarding and windsurfing companies that have opened their doors in Waves, have essentially turned the region into one of the most popular watersports destinations on the Outer Banks. Kiteboarders, windsurfers, kayakers and stand-up paddle boarders will all find exceptional launching points in Waves, especially via the soundside and soundfront vacation rentals which offer private or community docks, launches, and / or grassy areas for rigging and set-up.

Of course, there are plenty of other sports to be enjoyed in Waves as well. A fantastically large number of vacation rentals in this area feature private swimming pools, and the town also has a number of tackle stores to cater to the surf and pier fishermen who flock to the region. A good summer swell or fall storm can also produce some fantastic waves, and the aptly named town of "Waves" is known in surfing circles as a nice alternative to the more crowded S-Curve and Rodanthe Pier beaches located just a couple miles away.

Waves is also a great destination for vacationers who simply want to do nothing at all but relax with the water views in the background. With easy proximity to both the sound and the ocean, it's easy to lean back, grab a good book, and admire the ocean or the sound for hours. Basically, whether a vacationer's itinerary is filled with lazy afternoons on a sun deck or active days on the water, Waves' collection of rentals can suit just about every vacation agenda.

Considerations of Waves Vacation Rentals

The major consideration of Waves and Hatteras Island in general is its isolated location. While many southern Outer Banks fans see this as a bonus, some visitors who like to have lots of off-the-beach activities available may want to consider staying in a more developed beach area, like the central Outer Banks, to enjoy plenty of shopping, restaurant, and amenity options. Of course, the larger Outer Banks beach towns and communities are located an easy 30 minute drive away, however visitors who like a lot of activity within walking distance of their accommodations should plan accordingly.

Another surprising aspect of Waves is that while many Outer Banks regions are busy in the summer and then slow down considerably in the shoulder seasons, Waves tends to stay busy well into the spring and fall months. This is mainly due to the incredible windsurfing and kiteboarding conditions that coincide with these seasons, and visitors should be advised that while oceanfront and oceanside vacation rental rates drop significantly in the fall and spring, soundfront vacation rental rates do not drop as drastically. These Pamlico Sound bordering properties are at their most popular in the shoulder seasons, in fact, so vacationers planning a fall visit who want to be close to the sound should book as far in advance as possible.

Other than the limited development and active shoulder seasons, Waves is essentially a dream retreat for many low-key families who want to stretch out on the beach and relax. With few distractions out of the water, Waves is an ideal town to tune-out, de-stress, and get away from the rest of the world.

Tips and Tricks for Waves Vacation Rentals

  • Remember that you don't have to be an experienced kiteboarder or windsurfer to enjoy the local watersports scene. Every day along the Pamlico Sound is an opportunity to watch talented boarders perform at their best, and any vacationer with a sound-facing deck can simply sit back and watch the show. Spring visitors whose vacations coincide with the annual Triple-S Invitational Tournament are always welcome to stand on the sidelines and cheer for their favorite kiteboarding professionals as they perform incredible aerial tricks in and out of the water. With so many ways and vantage points to enjoy the scene, kiteboarding and windsurfing are two Waves sports that everyone can appreciate.
  • Want to get your toes wet in the Outer Banks watersports scene? Waves is an ideal locale to get started. The watersports companies here offer lessons in all genres of sound and ocean-based sports, including kiteboarding, windsurfing, stand-up paddle boarding, and surfing, and all visitors are welcome to sign up for an hour lesson, or a full day camp for total immersion into their newfound favorite sport.
  • Visitors who love the water should also sign up for a kayaking tour of the Pamlico Sound. Waves has several different businesses that are happy to provide long and leisurely kayak ventures through some of the Pamlico Sound's most wild and picturesque regions. Be sure and check out the availability of sunset tours for a romantic and relaxing paddling expedition that is sure to end up becoming one of your favorite vacation memories.
  • Families who are looking for accommodating vacation rental homes with all the extras should definitely check out the town of Waves. The majority of homes in this area have private pools and hot tubs, in addition to game rooms, lofts, dens, and even expansive theater rooms with projection screen TVs. For the largest selection of vacation rentals with resort quality amenities, vacationers are encouraged to check out the Waves selection of homes.
  • Be sure and scope out the local waterfront restaurants located adjacent to the large watersports complexes in Waves. These soundfront bistros and cafes offer astounding sunset views, and often in the summer season, feature live acoustic music to make a romantic dining scene even more enjoyable.

Waves is a charming coastal town that has blossomed into one of the Outer Banks' premier destinations for kiteboarding, windsurfing and other sound-based watersports. Despite its recent growth spurt, however, Waves still retains its small-town atmosphere with a selection of restaurants, shops, and not much else except for miles of uncluttered shorelines.

Vacationers who want to hit the water on a daily basis, or who just want to relax on a shaded deck and admire the views, will find themselves perfectly represented in Waves. With ample vacation rentals that have plenty of extras, a Waves vacation is all about having waterfront fun with the family, and longtime Waves visitors wouldn't have it any other way.


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