A whopping 100 miles or more along the North Carolinian coast is given over to the picture-perfect barrier isles of the Outer Banks. As they drift south and then south-west, these finger-like spits of sand, dunes, and forests come laced with all sorts of enticing Outer Banks beach house rentals. Some put you in enchanting oyster towns with Colonial tales to tell. Others beckon between buzzy boardwalks and open-air bars. This guide can help you find the one that's right for you.
Unique features of Outer Banks beach houses
Get a feel for what's on offer from all those Outer Banks beach house rentals courtesy of the pointers below. They reveal the region's penchant for luxury and unforgettable coastal lodgings with striking views.
Those stunning oceanfront locations
If there's one thing that really keeps the crowds flocking back to Outer Banks beach houses, it's surely the beaches themselves. An abundance of oceanfront rental choices in these parts mean you can usually get that pad just feet from the soft sands, the rolling dunes, and the roaring waves that you've always dreamed of. Of course, these are in the highest demand in summer, so booking early is key to securing yours.
Opulence in bags
There's certainly no shortage of high-class rentals along NC's barrier islands. Head to the well-to-do summer hunting retreats of Duck and Corolla and you'll soon find you've plenty of sprawling coast-side mansions to choose from. Sumptuous interiors with warming fireplaces and marble-clad kitchens are the norm in those, while al fresco living spaces tend to come with sizzling BBQ grills and jaw-dropping views of the Atlantic in the most prized OBX beach house rentals of all.
An Outer Banks beach house with a pool
When the Atlantic Ocean gets just a little too wavy, you might want to be able to scoot back to your Outer Banks beach house and take a dip somewhere calmer. For that, you'll need to narrow down the accommodation search to reveal condos and private mansions that have their own pool. There are lots, and even some with their swimming spots neatly wedged between pockets of sand dunes and seagrasses.
An area guide for those renting Outer Banks beach houses
With more than 100 miles of shoreline on the map of the Outer Banks, and a whole string of little towns, resorts, and remote nature parks up their sleeve, it's a good idea to pinpoint the right part of the North Carolinian shore before you get a-booking.
Comfy stays in Corolla
There's a taste of old Americana in Corolla. A town where opulent oceanfront mansions mingle with quaint cottages right by long stretches of powdery sand, it's easy to see why it's considered something of a luxury destination. Between the enticing Outer Banks beach house rentals, you can also fill days with visions of the 1875 Currituck Beach Lighthouse and sightings of elegant Spanish mustangs – wild horses that roam the nearby reserves.
NC vibes in Kitty Hawk
Outer Banks beach house rentals in Kitty Hawk promise a place in the midst of a vibrant community with a distinct village feel. There are hearty seafood buffets with fresh-off-the-boat catches to dine in. There are fishing outfitters and rickety wooden piers that jut straight over the Atlantic.
Colonial stories on Roanoke Island
Roanoke Island sits on the sound-side of the Outer Banks, which means its beaches are calm and secluded, rather than washed by wild Atlantic surf. But it's the history here that usually tops the bill. Snag yourself a vacation home in age-old Manteo and you'll be able to spend days unravelling the story of Colonial settlers from the 1500s in the immersive Roanoke Island Festival Park.
Remote escapes on Ocracoke Island
Salt pans and muddy wetlands, rare sightings of seabirds, and historic oyster farming grounds all combine to make Ocracoke Island, the farthest-flung of the southern Outer Banks, a truly interesting place to vacation. Of course, you'll find fewer rental options in this isolated area, but the seclusion, the unspoiled nature, and the romance are second to none.
Your trip to Outer Banks beach house rentals
Looking for a quick couple of days away to fill the lungs with fresh Atlantic breezes? Want to put together a whole family vacation that's packed with Colonial history and wild horses? No matter what sort of trip you're after, it's almost always possible to find an Outer Banks beach house rental that has you covered.
Weekend stays in Outer Banks beach houses
There's no reason why you can't score an OBX beach house rental for just a couple of days. Just remember that the lettings that pepper the northern end of the barrier islands – places like Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, and Corolla – tend to be the most accessible. They are ripe for fly-in visits from the rest of North Carolina and Virginia.
Summertime weeks in Outer Banks
You might want to consider booking your Outer Banks beach house as early as you can for the summer season. This long, winding stretch of the Eastern Seaboard remains one of the most popular escapes for North Carolinians, and the city slickers of Washington and New York. That means the top-rated, oceanfront rentals will often get booked up fast between May and August.