Outer Banks, NC, USA

Outer Banks, NC, USA

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Find the best place to stay — Outer Banks

Where beach bums and thrill seekers can live as one

Located off of North Carolina's coast, the Outer Banks are a set of barrier islands standing between the state and the Atlantic Ocean. Steeped in history, today, the area serves as a major summer destination. Complete with open-sea beaches, stunning state parks, and alluring shipwreck diving sites, the Outer Banks are perfect for everyone—from your favorite beach bum to your number one adventurer. Look for an Outer Banks vacation rental with a view, and do your best to convince your squad that it's totally worth it to wake up for the sunrise.

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea

The Outer Banks are steeped in history, with highlights on each island. Visit the Bodie Island Lighthouse, built in 1872, or explore the protected lands of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Go for a bike ride or hike along the coast, stopping to dip your toes in the Atlantic. Take the whole family on a dolphin-watching tour, or visit the national wildlife refuge center on Pea Island. No matter what, cap off your day with a cold one on the patio of your Outer Banks vacation rental, and stay out just late enough to catch some stellar stargazing.

Go back in time, or enjoy yourself just fine in the present

History buffs may be surprised to find just how much they can learn in the Outer Banks. As the location of the Roanoke Colony of 1585, the area preserves its memory at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. It also offers a kid-friendly perspective at the Roanoke Island Festival Park, which transports visitors back to the 16th century. Other museums and galleries include the Wright Brothers National Memorial, commemorating the duo's first successful flight, and the Pea Island Art Gallery, dedicated to local and regional artists.

Sometimes, it's peak season for a reason

The best time to visit the Outer Banks is also its busiest... and priciest. The area comes alive in summer, when locals and out-of-towners alike flock to the islands to enjoy the perfect beach weather and warm water. If you prefer to avoid peak crowds and prices, then plan your visit for the shoulder seasons—spring and fall both promise pleasant days and only slightly cooler nights. Winters are best to be avoided when booking your Outer Banks vacation rental, but only because much of the area closes down in the off season.

They serve as a barrier to everything but fun

This 200-mile-long row of barrier islands separates the coast of most of North Carolina and part of Virginia from the Atlantic Ocean. Thanks to its wide expanse of sandy, open beachfront, it's the perfect summer destination, with dunes and shorelines that stretch for miles. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore offers 4 campgrounds and is protected by the National Park Service, and is a particularly excellent spot for hiking, biking, and stargazing. Spot dolphins along the coast and gulls flying above, all while enjoying a picture perfect sunrise.