Outer Banks Beaches

Beaches on the Outer Banks

The beach is what draws most visitors to this barrier island that we call the Outer Banks. The sand dunes shaped by sea breezes, the sea oats, beach grass shore birds and the marine life are just a few examples of the natural beauty that makes the Outer Banks so special. Enjoy your day on the beaches while you are here but be sure to follow these Beach Safety Guidelines.

Outer Banks Public Beach Accesses

4x4 Area/Corova

A four wheel drive vehicle is required to access this area of the beach. Travel on Route 12 North until the pavement ends, just past Ocean Hill. Remember to obey the posted speed limit of 25, be courteous to other drivers, and remember to park your vehicle as to allow other vehicles to pass. Parking/Stopping on the beach is permitted approximately 3 miles from where the paved road ends. Drive smart and view our Beach Driving Tips to make your beach driving experience as enjoyable as possible.

Please Note:  As of Summer 2018, a beach parking permit is required to park on the 4x4 beaches.  Please see the visitcurrituck.com website for details and restrictions. 


Currituck Lighthouse/Corolla Village Rd -- Unpaved Road with Parking and Lifeguard

Currituck County Public Access -- Bath House with Restrooms, Shower and Lifeguard. Located just across from the Currituck Club.

Whalehead Beach -- There are several FREE parking lots located one block back from the beach. Sturgeon Drive, Herring Street, Sailfish Street, and Bonito Street.


There are no public parking areas for the beach accesses in Duck. Lifeguards are stationed at the end of Plover Drive, Four Seasons Lane, Scarborough Lane, Barrier Island Station, Schooner Ridge Drive and Sprigtail Drive.

Southern Shores

There are no public parking areas for the beach accesses in Southern Shores. Passes are required for residents and guests to park in the Hillcrest, Chicahuak and Ocean Blvd lots. Towing is enforced.

In the areas of Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, and Nags Head there are beach accesses at just about every cross street. Look for the sand paths and beach access signs. Those accesses listed below feature lifeguard stands, paved parking, or bath houses with restrooms and showers.

Kitty Hawk

Byrd Street -- Paved parking with lifeguard stand, showers, and portapotty

Eckner Street -- Lifeguard stand and parking behind Winks grocery

Lillian Street -- Paved parking area and showers

Kitty Hawk Bath House (MP 4)-- (behind Black Pelican Restaurant) Restrooms, changing rooms, showers, lifeguard stand and parking.

Kill Devil Hills  

Hayman Street -- Paved parking with portapotty and showers

5th Street -- Paved parking beside Kmart with lifeguard stand on the beach

2nd Street -- Paved parking, shower, lifeguard stand

1st Street -- Paved parking, shower, lifeguard stand

Asheville Street -- Paved parking, shower, lifeguard stand

Raleigh Street -- (beside Comfort Inn) Paved parking, shower, lifeguard stand

Ocean Bay Blvd Bathhouse (MP 8.5)-- Handicap friendly with Paved parking, Restrooms, showers, changing room, dune deck and KDH lifeguard headquarters

Martin Street -- Paved parking, wooden walkways, shower, lifeguard stand

Nags Head

Bonnett Street -- (MP 11.5) -- Bath house with restrooms, showers, changing room, lifeguard stand, and paved parking

Epstein Steet (MP14.5)-- Bathhouse with restrooms, showers and changing rooms. Paved parking and lifeguard stand

Jennette's Pier (MP16.5)-- Bath house with restrooms, showers, changing room, paved parking, lifeguard stand, snack bar, and tackle shop.

Hargrove Street (MP 17) -- Bath house with restrooms, showers, changing room, paved parking and lifeguard stand

Coquina Beach (MP 22)-- on the way to Pea Island--Lifeguard stand, bath house with restrooms, showers, changing rooms, plenty of parking

Sound Beach Access at Jockey's Ridge State Park -- Soundside Road -- parking and restrooms

Oregon Inlet Bridge

A permit is now required to drive on the beach at Oregon Inlet, Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island. Please visit our Beach Driving Tips Page for the latest information on the permitting process and beach driving restrictions.

For more information on area beach rules and town ordinances, view the Outer Banks Towns page.

Why is it so important to nourish our #obx beaches?

The Outer Banks coastline is undeniably beautiful, but it is also incredibly fragile. Storms, high winds and tidal changes all contribute to beach erosion.

In an effort to restore and preserve our coastline, Dare County—as well as the towns of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head—have all implemented important beach nourishment projects that are critical to the future of our communities.

Please visit MoreBeachToLove.com for more information, including FAQs.

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