The Best Beach On the East Coast
The Outer Banks in North Carolina is one of our very favorite vacation spots! I grew up going to the Outer Banks nearly every summer and we even got married at the Outer Banks.
This is my go-to-place if I truly want a vacation. Yes, I do think there is a difference between trips and vacations. When I come back from vacation, I am relaxed, rested, and rejuvenated. After a trip, I am exhausted! But also deliriously happy from exploring a new part of the world.
The Outer Banks consists of a group of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina. Most of the accommodations are rental houses that range from small cottages to enormous 20+ bedroom homes. There are a handful of hotel options but it’s not as popular as renting a home. You will find that prices vary greatly depending on what section of the islands you stay on. The more central locations including Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, Duck, and Corolla are pricier but there is more to do as far as restaurants, shopping, and basic conveniences like grocery stores than the areas further south or north. The best time of year to enjoy the ocean is July.
One of the best parts of the Outer Banks compared to other beaches I’ve visited in the U.S. is that the beach is never over-crowded even during peak season.
I recommend a beachfront house. I’ve always stayed in beachfront or semi-beachfront so I’m a bit biased!
In recent years, we’ve stayed at the following homes and would highly recommend both:
Philly Steak Subs: Quick and delicious.
Sam and Omies: Great seafood.
Duck Donuts: So popular there is a line every morning when they open.
Owens’ Restaurant: Good option for date night.
Things To Do
The beach! We spend 95% of our time at the beach. There are plenty of options of things to do including shopping at the outlet malls, taking a ferry to Hatteras Island, visiting the spot where the Wright brothers took their first flight, and so much more. This site provides a great summary: https://www.outerbanks.org/things-to-do/.
How to get there?
The closest airport is in Norfolk, Virginia (ORF). It’s about 90 minutes to Nags Head.