The Best Beach House Amenities

When trying to decide which house to rent for your vacation, you already know a few things going into it. You know how many beds you’ll need, where you’ll be vacationing (at least roughly, if not the exact town), and what your budget is.

But once you’ve narrowed down the list of options from there, you’ll probably still have quite a few potential choices – all of which look appealing to you. So how do you choose from there?

Well, one of the best ways to narrow down your list even further is to look at the amenities available at each property and see if they’re the right fit for you and your family!

What is an Amenity?

Amenities are additional features of your vacation house. They aren’t things that are necessary to make a building habitable (like running water or beds), but they are things that will make your stay a lot more enjoyable.

This can be anything from a pool table, to an outdoor shower, to a basketball goal!

Some amenities, like a fully stocked kitchen (coffee maker, blender, toaster, etc.) are considered bonus features with some vacation realty companies. But at Outer Banks Blue, we consider them to be standard – that is, every property should allow you to enjoy them.

Here is a list of all standard amenities at Outer Banks Blue properties:

  • Keyless entry
  • WiFi
  • Central Heating and Air
  • Blender
  • Microwave
  • Dishwasher
  • Refrigerator
  • Pots, pans, dishes, and cookware
  • Coffee Maker (Drip & Single Cup)
  • Washer and Dryer
  • Bed and Bath Linens
  • Hair Dryers

But what are some of the bigger amenities that will help improve your stay?

When packing for your vacation, it can be hard to fit in all of the supplies you may want to take with you. Surfboards, bikes, and beach umbrellas can take up a lot of room.

Sometimes, there are some items you’d like to use on vacation that you simply don’t have at home: kayaks, beach wagons, and paddle boards are all fun additions to your stay that you may not have a use for at home, and you may not want to purchase them just for a week’s worth of use.

That’s why a number of properties on the Outer Banks offer beach gear credit. Partnering VayK Gear, a company here on the shores, you can have up to $250 worth of beach gear delivered right to your beach house for your convenience.

In addition to the surfboards, bikes, beach umbrellas, kayaks, beach wagons, and paddle boards mentioned previously, VayK Gear also offers options for:

  • Skim boards
  • Body boards
  • Life jackets (adult, adult XL, and kids)
  • Beach carts
  • Adult and kids bikes (and helmets!)
  • Bike baskets
  • Cornhole boards
  • Lounger chairs
  • Beach umbrella tables and anchors
  • Coolers
  • Ice packs

Once you’ve made your reservation with Outer Banks Blue, simply go to this page and enter your reservation number and VayK will walk you through the process of reserving your beach gear. If you’re not renting through Outer Banks Blue, check the list of partners at the bottom of the home webpage – you might be renting with a company that also rents with VayK Gear!

Private Beach Access

While all Outer Banks houses have access to the beach in the sense that you can walk from your house to the sand, the reality of that can be very different. Some houses are across the highway from the ocean, or simply a 10-15 minute walk before you get to a public access point.

Even oceanfront houses may have to contend with using those public access points, leading to overcrowding in and around the boardwalk.

There are some properties, however, that have private boardwalks and access to the beach, meaning that you have privacy and literally the most direct and easy point of entry to the water. It’s certainly a welcome perk of any oceanfront property with such an amenity!

Sometimes, you just don’t want to go to the beach. Windy days can make the sand whip against your skin, it could be too hot, or the kids just went down for a nap and you need to be nearby just in case they need you.

Some communities in the Outer Banks offer community pools, but those are normally crowded, loud, and all together less pleasant than a private pool attached to your house. Stepping out from the house and walking right into the pool deck is certainly less hassle than trying to wrangle everyone together with their gear, swimsuits, and snacks to go to the community center.

Some pools even offer options for heat! Most do charge a fee and their availability varies by property, so make sure to confirm before reserving.

Unfortunately, beach and even pool season eventually end (usually early October and lasting until early May). But hot tubs (at least, hot tubs at Outer Banks Blue properties) are open all year round, allowing you to don your swimsuit and enjoy the water even in the coldest winter months.

In fact, there are actually more properties on the islands with hot tubs than even pools, so you have your pick when it comes to your vacation spot!

There are many reasons to not want to spend a full week by the sea. Maybe you have other obligations, or you don’t like traveling on weekends, or maybe you simply get tired of having shoes full of sand after 72 hours.

Whatever your reason, OBX vacation rentals can sometimes be rigid about only allowing a property to be booked in weeklong increments – no more, no less. That means if you want or have to leave early, you’re forking out hundreds of dollars on a house that you’re no longer utilizing. That’s why certain properties offer short-stay options during the off-season, allowing you flexibility in your vacation experience.

The Outer Banks is exceedingly dog friendly, with most hiking trails and restaurants being pet friendly and even certain shops and bakeries offering dog-specific treats and goodies. The vacation houses of OBX are no different.

Of course, not every property is going to be open to Fido, but enough of them are that you have plenty of options as to where you and your best friend stay, though most do charge an extra pet cleaning fee (though Outer Banks Blue does not).

Outer Banks vacation houses are notoriously large, with at least three floors in a “reverse” floor plan, putting the living area on the top-level of the property. This is supposed to be so that you get the best views of the water and sunset/sunrise, but it can also prove difficult for getting groceries and luggage up to the top-level. It can also make it hard for family members with mobility difficulties to vacation.

Elevators are less common in vacation properties than dog friendly options, due to the cost of installation and maintenance, but there are still plenty of properties that offer an elevator for your use.

While electric vehicles have become more popular, it has taken time for certain areas to accommodate their needs.

Some gas stations in the Outer Banks now offer EV chargers, but sitting around waiting for your car to charge is not exactly what some would consider a fun way to spend your vacation. That’s why certain vacation rentals now offer on-site EV chargers, so that your car can charge while you’re at the beach, making dinner, or overnight and ready to take you on any adventures whenever you’re ready for them!

Rainy days happen even in paradise. That’s why several houses in the Outer Banks have rec rooms with options like pool tables for you and your family to enjoy. But if you don’t enjoy pool (or can’t play without the nieces and nephews running underfoot), some properties have at-home theaters, ready and willing to screen your favorite Disney flick or action movie. Most properties also have streaming capabilities (and all have basic cable), so you’ll never be bored!

Now that we’ve gone over some of the best amenities that your Outer Banks vacation rental can offer, you’re probably wondering what’s the best way to find a rental with a lot of available amenities. Well, you’re in luck: Our vacation rentals search page has a filter to find exactly what you're looking for! You can even use this filter while searching with dates.

And just to help you on your search, I’ve included three properties in the Outer Banks Blue program that have the most available amenities – hopefully one of them will have everything you’re looking for!

4 Bedrooms / 2 Full Baths / Sleeping 10

With only four bedrooms, “Our Happy Place” is a cozy property for 1-2 families. It’s dog friendly, allowing Rufus to come on vacation with you. It’s also equipped with an elevator, making it easier for Grandma and Grandpa to come along as well!

For those looking for an escape from the sun and heat, “Our Happy Place” also has an air-conditioned rec room in the garage with a foosball table, arcade cabinets, and two TVs. Outside, a private pool, hot tub, basketball goal, and horseshoe pits give you plenty of fun-in-the-sun!

8 Bedrooms / 7 Full Baths / Sleeping 22

In contrast to “Our Happy Place,” “Eight Sea Nuff” is meant to house several families – and entertain them, too! The ground-level rec room is equipped with a pool table, kitchenette, arcade cabinet, and TV. If there is too much excitement in the rec room and the top-level living area, the mid-level den is also equipped with a TV and kitchenette for some peace and quiet.

The private saltwater pool outside is just right for those not quite ready to give up the ocean after a long day at the beach, with a hot tub for after the sun goes down. There are also cornhole boards and a basketball goal available for those twilight hours!

8 Bedrooms / 9 Full Baths / Sleeping 16

Located in North Nags Head, “Pebble Beach” is a brightly colored tropical paradise! Another dog friendly property with an elevator, “Pebble Beach” is located right on the water, allowing everyone to visit and enjoy the beach. It also comes with a beach gear credit, so you can get a beach cart, loungers, and beach umbrellas delivered right to your door!

Like “Our Happy Place” and “Eight Sea Nuff,” “Pebble Beach” also has a rec room – equipped with an arcade cabinet, foosball and pool tables, a kitchenette, and a TV!

A private pool, hot tub, and dunetop deck make up the back-of-house amenities, while a volleyball court, tetherball pole, basketball goal, and horseshoe pits are located in front of the house, making the property a veritable paradise for those that enjoy outdoor play.

As we come to the conclusion of this article, we hope that you now have a better idea of what amenities are the best for you and your family, and can make better use of whichever property you choose to stay in on the Outer Banks. We hope to see you here!

Previous Spring Spectacular: A Guide to Easter Events on the Outer Banks
Featured Properties