You don’t have to leave the states to enjoy an island getaway — just head to the Outer Banks! Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Sound, the Carolina barrier islands lie 26 miles from the coast. Home to some of the best beaches in the country, the Outer Banks offer plenty of fun things to do with the family. Watersports, state parks, beautiful lighthouses, and shipwreck diving sites are just a few attractions in this historic and charming area. North Carolina’s Outer Banks is also one of the best places to see wild horses in the U.S.
For those who want a little more privacy and room to relax than a hotel room offers, the Outer Banks has an extensive selection of vacation homes. Not only is the price comparable to a hotel stay, but vacation rentals also come with all the essential amenities. Whether you’re looking for a pet-friendly place to stay, a beach house, or a luxury resort, VRBO has the perfect accommodations for your seaside vacation.
Top regions for Outer Banks house rentals include Kitty Hawk, Duck, Nags Head, and Manteo. Home to Kitty Hawk Pier, Kitty Hawk near Kill Devil Hills, where you can find the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Otters, sea turtles, and other unique wildlife populate the Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Reserve. Duck is a quaint beach town that features a boardwalk on the sound with shops and places to eat. Its laid-back beaches are perfect for the outdoor adventurer who is interested in fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, or sailing.
Further south, the charming beach town of Nags Head is home to the largest and tallest active sand dune on the East Coast. Beachside salt marshes and forests house native wildlife à la Where the Crawdads Sing. Explore Nags Head Woods Preserve and take advantage of the winds by kiting or even hang gliding at the 426-acre Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Be sure to visit historic Bodie Island Lighthouse and its sweeping views of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, one of the best beaches in the U.S. and one of the most incredible beaches in a national park.
Just to the east, Historic Manteo is where you can find Fort Raleigh National Historic site, otherwise known as “England’s First Home in the New World.”
Check out these rentals for your next visit to the Outer Banks!
Cook’s Condo — Downtown Manteo, NC
Hosted by Pirate’s Cove Realty, Cook’s Condo is perfect for two as it has one bedroom with a king-size bed and one and a half bathrooms. Boasting a kitchen equipped with a professional gas range, this charming condo is perfect for the culinarily inclined.
Historic downtown Manteo is so close, you can see it from the private balcony. The Manteo waterfront’s shops, art galleries, and restaurants are just steps away, as is Roanoke Island Festival Park. Other nearby attractions include Elizabethan Gardens at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, The Lost Colony outdoor drama, Island Farm living museum, Outer Banks Distilling, the North Carolina Aquarium, and Nags Head public beaches. A three-night minimum stay is required, but we wouldn’t recommend any less!
Dog-Friendly Oar House — Duck, NC
If your furbaby is coming to the Outer Banks with you, consider this dog-friendly vacation rental. Located just 650 yards from the beach, Oar House is also within walking distance of Duck Village, which offers shops, restaurants, the Duck Boardwalk, watersports, sunsets over the sound, live music in Duck Town Park, and more!
This family-friendly Outer Banks vacation home rental is perfect for group vacations. Two of the three bedrooms open out to the gated front deck. A charming space with room for everyone, Oar House also features a spacious full kitchen, outdoor gas grill, and a jetted tub.
The best part? It comes with two kayaks and a handful of beach chairs for guest use!
Beachwoods Resort Condo — Kitty Hawk, NC
If you’re traveling with children and have a little money in the bank, this Kitty Hawk resort is worth a visit. Not only does it have an indoor waterpark, but it also boasts the largest outdoor pool in the Outer Banks. Beachwoods Resort features a fitness center, volleyball, tennis, and basketball courts, plus a lake for fishing or paddle boating!
Nestled in the middle of a 100-acre maritime forest, this family-friendly vacation destination is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. The sprawling property is adjacent to a 700-acre nature preserve and is surrounded by dunes, lakes, woodlands, and wildlife.
Tranquil House Inn — Downtown Manteo, NC
Situated on the waterfront of historic downtown Manteo, the Tranquil House Inn offers serene views of Shallowbag Bay. This two-room country-chic suite is perfect for couples, as its bright bedroom only has one Queen bed. Custom cypress woodwork and beveled stained glass decorate the charming yet stately inn. Rooms with handicap access are also available.
Located just minutes from beachfront excitement and activities, the Inn is just a two-minute walk from Roanoke Island Festival Park and four miles from the North Carolina Aquarium. Explore the traditional seaside town via its several boardwalks.
Luxury Canal Front Home — Kill Devil Hills, NC
Traveling in a group? This fully renovated waterfront home on Colington Harbour in Kill Devil Hills is perfect for your bunch! Its four bedrooms have five beds that can sleep up to nine vacationers. Three and a half baths, two spacious living rooms, and a large, well-equipped kitchen ensure everyone has plenty of elbow room. The expansive main bedroom features a small balcony as well as a jacuzzi tub! An electric fireplace emits cozy vibes indoors, while three expansive decks offer amazing waterfront views. The middle deck is screened in and covered, while the top deck features a huge gas grill.
Boats, kayaks, jet skis — bring whatever water toys you want! The deepwater canal offers quick access to both the sound and the ocean. Launch your boat from the boat ramp by the pool. Fish and crab off the property’s two boat docks.
This sound-front community sounds like paradise, with its tennis courts, a private beach, and a park. Restaurants and shopping are conveniently close by, while The Wright Brothers National Memorial and oceanfront are also just minutes away.
Sea Spray With Ocean Views — Salvo, NC
Also great for groups, this six-bedroom vacation rental has plenty of space in close proximity to the beach. There is both a pool and a pool table. The two king master suites both have private baths. Every bedroom offers access to the shaded wrap-around deck, complete with hot tub. Head to the top-floor great room for gorgeous views of the sound.
Oceanfront Escape — Waves, NC
If you really want to go all out, make some waves at this oceanfront escape! This six-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath vacation rental home can sleep up to 17 people! Vacillate from the pool to the tiki bar and back again. Follow the sound of the ocean waves — it’s just a short walk over the dunes to the beach.
After you’ve had enough sun, it’s time for more fun in the game room. Play shuffleboard, Pac-Man, and Golden Tee. In addition to a private bath and deck, the main bedroom offers beautiful dune views. You can also catch these views from the great room, which features cathedral-like wood ceilings.
Soundside Salvo Dreamer’s Landing — Salvo, NC
Dreams really do come true at Dreamer’s Landing! Also perfect for large gatherings, this seven-bedroom vacation rental has five full baths and sleeps up to 15. Enjoy the grill, pool, game room, pool table, and hot tub on the deck. The main bedroom has access to a large deck area that overlooks the surrounding neighborhood.
A Carolina Conch — Kitty Hawk, NC
This pet-friendly four-bedroom/three-bath beach rental home is located right on the beach in Kitty Hawk. The 1,500-square-foot cottage offers easy access to the surf as well as ocean views. Take your coffee to the deck and watch the sunrise over the water. You don’t have to go far to find restaurants and shopping. Heads up: Currently, the listing states that guest must bring their own bed linen, towels, paper, and soap products.