So where do you want to vacation on the Outer Banks? Each and every town has it's own style and charm. Here's a brief overview of the best features each and every Outer Banks town has to offer!! Visit the Town Ordinances Page for rules and regulations including pet policies.
Located in Currituck County, this area is the northernmost section of the Outer Banks. With wide, beautiful beaches and large, newer vacation rental homes, this area is the latest to be developed -- but not all of it is developed. Venture to the 4x4 areas of Carova and explore the sand dunes and beaches with no roads!! See wild horses in their natural habitat and enjoy the secluded atmosphere. Park on the beach and swim and fish to your heart's content. Attractions in the area include the Village of Corolla, (Pronounced KA-RAH-LA) with shopping and restaurants as well as the Currituck Beach Light. Climb up the 162' structure and take in the fantastic panoramic views. Take part in the many outdoor activities featured in this area including kayaking, biking, golf, fishing, surfing and more!
The quaint Village of Duck is a vacation in itself. With small boutique shops and restaurants, everything you need is right there. Uncrowded beaches are an easy stroll from all locations and the bike and jogging path allows you to visit the entire town without ever having to get in your car. The new Duck park spans most of the town on the Soundside with a wooden boardwalk that offers spectacular sunset views. The park also features a children's playground and amphitheater and offers concerts and programs throughout the summer season.
: A small community nestled between Duck and Kitty Hawk, Southern Shores has easy access to shopping, restaurants and activities. Geared more toward year round residents, Southern Shores' wooded neighborhoods boast many creeks and canals and offers great boat access to the sound. Many of the vacation homes in the area are closer to the ocean and a bike path runs throughout the community into Duck.
The first town most people see as they enter the Outer Banks, Kitty Hawk has a lot to offer! Most homes in the area are located within easy walking distance to the beach and the Beach Road runs along the oceanfront throughout the town. There are lots of things to do in Kitty Hawk including kayaking along the sound, surfing, looking for shells along the beach, boating, biking, jogging and more!
Kill Devil Hills
Land where Flight Began. Although Kitty Hawk is credited with the Wright Brother's First Flight, this historic event actually took place in the town known today as Kill Devil Hills. The Wright Brothers Memorial is a great place to visit to learn about the first successful flight. This town is the center of the Outer Banks and the hub of the majority of restaurants, shops and activities.
For many years the entire Outer Banks was referred to as "Nags Head" by visitors. The first early beach cottages were built in Nags Head. Back then, the beach was wide and flat and there were no tall sand dunes protecting the land from the ocean as there is today. The houses were all built on stilts and the ocean overwash would just run underneath in the event of a storm. Some of those historic homes are still standing today. This most famous section of the Outer Banks is home to many attractions and activities with Jockey's Ridge being the biggest. The largest natural sand dune on the East Coast is a great place to fly kites, hang glide, sand board, or just climb to the top for one of the best views around.
South Nags Head
Just to the south of the most famous town on the Outer Banks lies the quieter, more serene neighborhood of South Nags Head. Butting up to the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge, South Nags Head is secluded and removed from the busier areas of the Outer Banks without being too far away. South Nags Head is one of the best fishing spots in the area and surf fishing can be done year round. Oregon Inlet is nearby where the majority of the area charter boats are docked. Stop by late in the afternoon to watch the boats off load their daily catch.
Manteo and Roanoke Island
Home to the Elizabethan Gardens and Lost Colony, Roanoke Island and Manteo (MAN-TEE-O) are worth a day trip during your stay on the Outer Banks. The Town of Manteo has a fantastic Waterfront with restaurants, shops and even a children's playground. The NC Aquarium is located on the north end of the Island near the Elizabethan Gardens and Historic Lost Colony Production. Venture to the South end of Roanoke Island to Wanchese (WAN-CHEESE) to visit the Seafood Industrial park where most of the local seafood served on the Outer Banks is brought in and packaged for delivery.
Hatteras and Ocracoke Island
Hatteras and Ocracoke Island are great places to visit during your stay. Only about an hour away from the northern beaches, Hatteras feels like a complete world away. Deemed a small fishing village, much of Hatteras still operates on that slower way of life. On the soundside, windsurfing, kiteboarding, and sailing are prominent, especially in the section known as Canadian Hole. The persistant wind in that area and the natural cove created by the land make the conditions perfect year round. The beaches are very natural and quite often you can see surfers, body boarders and paddle boarders playing in the surf. Visit the most famous landmark on the Carolina Coast, Hatteras Light, and climb all 268 steps to the top. Learn how this lighthouse was moved to save it from the eroding shoreline and how it has been warning sailors of the shallow shoals just off the coast for more than 100 years. Ride the ferry over to Ocracoke Island and discover a place literally stopped in time. The small village sports a few shops and restaurants but the quaint atmosphere and natural beauty is what keeps people coming back.