Your Guide to Outer Banks Beaches

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Of course the beach is the main attraction for the Outer Banks but it’s the diversity of our beaches that sets the Outer Banks apart from other beach communities.  Whether you are looking for a calm beach, surfing and wave action, fishing or family fun including your pet, the Outer Banks has your beach.  I’ve lived here for over 20 years and each year I continue to find new experiences every year.  Certainly each beach is not limited to certain activities and we know that the ocean changes daily so a “calm” beach can have very rough surf and vice versa.  Or the “private” beach may have a wedding party next door, but below is my best at describing some of what you can find on the many OBX beaches:

Hatteras, Buxton and Frisco - the southernmost beaches on the OBX known for world class fishing and open beaches.  The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is also known for awesome waves.  This area has several campgrounds also.  

Avon - The heaviest population concentration in Hatteras Island.  Home to many great shops/restaurants and has quite a few year round residents also.  

Rodanthe, Waves and Salvo - very thin stretch of land north of Avon known for both surfing, kite boarding and wind surfing.  Large open beaches can provide great privacy.

Nags Head - Home of Janette’s Pier which offers great sight-seeing and fishing.  Recently completed beach nourishment so now provides large beaches to enjoy.

Kill Devil Hills/Kitty Hawk- Popular family beaches that provide fun in the water with both surfing and skimboarding.  Lots of parking make beaches easy to access.  

Southern Shores - Beaches can be less crowded due to limited parking for non-Southern Shores residents.  

Duck - Provides even less access than Southern Shores. Duck does not have public beach parking. So you have to be staying in Duck and walk (or golf cart) if you want to go to most of the beaches.  But that doesn’t mean beaches aren’t crowded.  Limited beach size and dense population can make Duck beaches some of the most crowded but it’s the OBX, you still have plenty of room to park your cooler!  Beaches are very pet Friendly in Duck.  On or off leash as long as under control your dogs are allowed on the beach.  

Corolla - Beaches are typically the largest on the northern OBX.  Not only are beaches larger but the drop off to the water is more gradual making Corolla beaches the calmest on the OBX.  

Carova - Very similar to Corolla beaches but miles of open beaches that you can drive on giving you the 4 wheel drive experience.  Pack up your truck and hit the beach!

We have every beach covered in less than 90 miles of coastland.  Making the Outer Banks the most versatile vacation spot on the East Coast.