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Outer Banks Vacation Rentals

Updated on May 12, 2011

Outer Banks Vacation Rentals

Outer Banks vacation rentals are literally everywhere through out the 200 miles of barrier islands in North Carolina. Beach houses are like mini McMansions in some areas that feature a high number of bedrooms and bathrooms to accommodate a large number of guests. OBX rentals generally also come with perks such as a private hot tub and pool for vacationers to enjoy. Heck, you can even get Outer Banks rentals right near the ocean. How does that sound for the perfect beach vacation? If you like fewer crowds and more of a relaxing and slow pace then you’ll find some quant areas found through out the Outer banks to satisfy your vacation needs. When contemplating between Outer Banks vacation rentals you should decide what location suits your preferences best to make the most of your next trip.

Outer Banks Map of Areas in North Carolina
Outer Banks Map of Areas in North Carolina

Choosing Outer Banks Vacation Rentals by Location

Where are the best places to stay in the Outer Banks, you ask? Well, that depends on your personal preference for your vacation. Each area along the Outer Banks offers its own unique personality that differs from one another.

Here are some bits of information to help you choose between Outer Banks vacation rentals for your next trip.

Wild Spanish horses of Corolla, NC of the Outer Banks
Wild Spanish horses of Corolla, NC of the Outer Banks


Corolla is farther north on the Outer Banks where vacationers can gain access to the drive on beach and see the wild horses. It can take a long time to get to Corolla on busy weekends and holidays. Be prepared to stop frequently and wait for traffic around the 4th of July. The area features nearby grocery venues and other shops for vacationers. Therefore, there isn’t a need to drive an hour to purchase groceries. Corolla is semi suburban.


Duck is a small village that is very “clean cut” in appearance. There are numerous local shops found in Duck, NC and in peak seasons the beaches may be crowded. Just as Corolla, Duck has a suburban atmosphere and the area show cases very beautiful landscaping.

Beach fishing
Beach fishing

Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, and Nags Head:

These three areas offer a lot of shopping and restaurants. The areas are very commercialized and have a lot of traffic. In peak season the beaches can become crowded near hotels and other areas. Visitors wanting the nightlife scene will find these areas have lots of bars to mingle with other vacationers. There are lots of other activities such as miniature golf and other fun things to stay busy. These areas are also very dog friendly for vacationers who travel with their pets.

Outer Banks Activities

Rodanthe, Salvo, and Waves:

You’ve probably heard of the Richard Gere flick that made Rodanthe well known; however, these three areas are less crowded than the northern half of the Outer Banks. Rodanthe, Salvo and Waves are about an hour south from Nags Head and not very commercialized. These areas are quiet, relaxing and offer vacationers beautiful oceanic views with warmer waters than up north in late spring.

Buxton, Avon, Hatteras:

There are wide beaches near Hatteras. The areas of Buxton, Avon, and Hatteras are not built around tourist attractions like its northern neighboring areas are. There are lots of places to kayak or even fish in these areas. You won’t find a ton of people like in northern areas either. Hatteras has become a favorite according to many online discussion groups for the area’s tranquility.


There is no houses near the beach anywhere in Occracoke; therefore vacationers will have a short drive from where ever they stay. The area is very quiet and relaxing without crowds and pleases those who want peace from people. Mosquitoes can be a problem after dark.

Outer Banks Vacation Rentals - Companies to Contact

If you are looking for appropriate companies to contact to rent an Outer Banks vacation beach rental, there are many in the region. Realty companies in the Outer Banks work with beach house owners to rent out properties. Here are a few to help you with your booking needs:

Sun Realty - or 1 (888) 853-7770. This particular company also has live chat available on their website. Sun Realty is one of the best services that is used for booking.

Southern Shores Realty - or 1 (800) 334-1000. This business books vacation rentals in just about every part of the Outer Banks.

Twiddy - or 1 (866) 457-1190. Twiddy specializes in vacation rentals in Corolla and Duck, NC.

**Follow the information below before you contact a rental company to determine what area is best for your vacation needs. Areas differ greatly between one another in the Outer Banks.

Drive on beach in Corolla, North Carolina
Drive on beach in Corolla, North Carolina

Things to Do For Vacationers after Arriving at Outer Banks Vacation Rentals

Besides going to the beach and trying local cuisine, the most popular family oriented things to in the Outer Banks are visiting the lighthouses, seeing the wild horses of Corolla, stopping by the North Carolina aquarium and beach or pier fishing. You can also go out on a charter and ocean fish if you desire. Vacationers can also go parasailing, jet skiing and a wide variety of other water activities. There’s also a drive on beach in Corolla, NC where 4-wheel drive vehicles are permitted. The neat thing about the drive on beach is that it starts at the end of a blacktop road. The drive on beach is also where vacationers can see the wild horses either by their own 4x4 or by renting a jeep or riding on a tour. Jeep rentals and tours are located near the drive on beach in Corolla, NC.

Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla, NC
Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla, NC

There are five lighthouses found on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Currituck Beach Lighthouse is found in Corolla. Visitors can pay less than 10 dollars and climb to the top at 158 feet in the air to get a panoramic view of the ocean and nearby beaches. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the most famous and tallest of its kind that is found in the United States. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse stands at 208 feet in the air and allows guests to also walk the spiral stairs to the very top for a small fee. BodieIsland light house is located just below Nags Head. Visitors are not permitted to climb to the top. Ocracoke Lighthouse is the oldest found in the Outer Banks and can be visited by taking a ferry at no charge to OcrakokeIsland. The final light house found in the Outer Banks is Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse. Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse is not your typical traditional lighthouse in appearance. Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse resembles a small house and was once used to guide boats through a nearby channel.

The North Carolina aquarium on Roanoke Island is also an inexpensive thing to do while on vacation in the Outer Banks. The North Carolina aquarium features tanks with large sharks, alligators, and several saltwater fish species. Visitors can also partake in an aquarium “petting” area to pet rays. A benefit to the North Carolina aquarium on Roanoke Island is that guests are allowed to take pictures and even videotape the sharks and other exhibits.

Pier fishing is allowed at a number of places up the Outer Banks for a small fee. Some Piers also feature dining venues or arcades for visitor entertainment. If fishing isn’t your thing, you can walk out on some of the piers for less than a couple of bucks and maybe even spot some dolphins.

Jellyfish found off of a Corolla beach in the Outer Banks
Jellyfish found off of a Corolla beach in the Outer Banks


Ticks can be a problem at the Outer Banks. Avoid bushes and shrubbery as much as possible and thoroughly check yourself and loved ones daily. Watch where you walk on beaches and check out the ocean before venturing in due to jellyfish. Jellyfish can sometimes be hard to spot due to variations of coloring. Sometimes jellyfish are completely clear and other times jellyfish will have coloring such as a magenta color. 

A ghost crab of the Outer Banks
A ghost crab of the Outer Banks

Another thing to be cautious of is the ghost crabs that are found on the beach at night. These cute little crabs are fun to chase and watch as they scurry away sideways; however, the crabs have sharp pinchers and can cause open wounds if you accidently pick them up where they can latch on. Although not commonly seen, the Outer Banks has poisonous snakes. Stay away from ditches and be careful while walking in areas that you are unfamiliar with.

Checking Out from OBX Rentals

When visitors check out of their Outer Banks vacation rentals they should ensure that there is no liter such as cigarette butts and other debris scattered. Outer Banks vacation rentals are generally owned by individuals who hire realtor companies to manage their properties. Owners of OBX rentals are gracious to let them into their second or vacation home; therefore, show respect and leave the beach house just as it was left to you.

Outer Banks beach during the afternoon.
Outer Banks beach during the afternoon.
Outer Banks Beach at sunset.
Outer Banks Beach at sunset.


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    • CondoLux Rentals profile image

      CondoLux Rentals 

      7 years ago from North Myrtle Beach,South Carolina

      Nice hub. I've been to the Outer Banks area a couple times. I like how peaceful it is.

    • profile image

      Mais Rentals 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for the great article! >Outer banks vacation rentals are so popular! I love when my family goes to them to spend time.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      The outer banks are an amazing family friendly vacation destination. We got every year. It just seems to be better every time.


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