Which Outer Banks Town is Best for You?

outer banks vacation

No one has the same vision for the perfect vacation. Some may picture peace, quiet, and seclusion while others may picture plenty of activities close by. Regardless of what your ideal vacation looks like the Outer Banks has the perfect fit for everyone.

Although the Outer Banks is huge and well known for Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island, we’ll be focusing on the northern part of the Outer Banks since none of our vacation rentals are south of Nags Head and roughly 80% of visitors vacation here. With 7 different towns stretching from Corolla to South Nags Head you are sure to find one that suits your family the best.


From off-road beaches with wild horse tours to a few shops and restaurants scattered over 15 miles, Corolla is the perfect location if you like a mixture of seclusion with a few things to do within a short drive. Some things to do in the area include one miniature golf course, Adventure Park, wild horse tours, and the Currituck Light House and Whale Head Club. The Whale Head Club is a great place to take the family if you’re looking to learn the history behind Corolla and the Outer Banks. There are many communities scattered throughout Corolla. Depending on the community you choose to stay in you will more than likely have access to a club house, community pool, and other activities such as tennis courts and basketball courts.

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With slightly larger beaches and less public parking the beach may seem less busy in Duck, but don’t let that confuse you. Duck is the perfect location if your family enjoys shops and restaurants within walking distance. Duck is home to many shops, restaurants, coffee shops, and a book store. There is a local surf shop, Duck Village Outfitters (DVO), that offers bike rentals along with surfboard and paddleboard rentals. If you enjoy being out on the water and fishing you can book a fishing charter trip for the whole family with one of the bait and tackle shops in the area.

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Southern Shores

Southern Shores is located between Duck and Kitty Hawk and is a very short drive to both. It is the epitome of seclusion without having to go as far as South Nags Head. There are no public beach accesses so the only people you will be sharing the beach with are other vacationers in the area. There are no shops, activities, or restaurants in Southern Shores so if you family enjoys seclusion and relaxation this is the town for you!

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Kitty Hawk

Kitty Hawk is the first town you will come to that won’t offer much seclusion. It has many shops and restaurants scattered throughout the area. Depending on where your vacation rental is located you may be able to walk to a few places, but for the most part everything will be a 5-minute drive or less. Kitty hawk will offer your family plenty of activities including quiet nature trails in Kitty Hawk Woods if you find yourself craving a little bit of seclusion.

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Kill Devil Hills

Centrally located on the Outer Banks and filled with shops, restaurants, and activities for the whole family Kill Devil Hills is the town for you if you love staying busy and taking in as much of the local area as possible. Activities include multiple miniature golf courses, go karts, laser tag, and the Wright Brothers Monument.

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Nags Head

Nags Head is similar to Kill Devil Hills with the number of things there are to do. Typically, everything will be within a 15-minute drive depending on where your vacation rental is located. There are several shops and restaurants along with some unique activities to do. Nags Head is home to miniature golf courses, laser tag, and go karts. Some of the more unique activities in this area include; exploring Jockey’s Ridge, hang gliding, hiking in Nags Head Woods, Nags Head Adventure Park, jet ski rentals, charter boat trips and an aquarium inside of the Jennette’s Pier. If you enjoy a vacation packed with adventure, unique activities, and relaxation at the beach then Nags Head may be the town for you. As soon as you reach mile post 17 you will reach a part of Nags Head that is much different from the rest, South Nags Head. South Nags Head is very secluded compared to Nags Head. South Nags Head is located a long South Old Oregon Inlet rd. Aside from renters and a few workers you should not see many other people in this area. There are no shops and only 1 restaurant (Fish Heads Bar & Grill). There are public beach accesses, but the beach is wider and less crowded. If you enjoy a secluded vacation and don’t mind a 15-minute drive to the store/restaurants than South Nags Head may be perfect for your family!

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With a town for every type of vacationer it’s no wonder why just about everyone loves vacationing on the Outer Banks. If you need more information on a specific town or need assistance finding the perfect property to fit your perfect location, we would love to help! Let us know what your favorite town is and why you love it…