Once you’ve decided where to vacation in the Outer Banks, you’ll need to decide on accommodations. Where you stay will vibe your whole vacation, so consider it carefully:
- If you’re looking for beachy, lazy and homey, you’ll want a beach house rental.
- If you don’t want to lift a finger and want access to convenient amenities, go with the luxury resort.
- A bed & breakfast is probably your cup of tea if you want some local flavor and unique character.
You may have an initial idea of which of the options is for you, but if you don’t, or you want to see some tried and true examples of the above, take a look at the four beautiful Outer Banks properties I spent time in recently. If you choose any of these four, you’ll be happy.
Outer Banks Lodging Options
Outer Banks Beach House Rentals – Hatteras Realty
I stayed in a Hatteras Realty ocean front beach house in Avon called ‘Walkin’ on Sunshine, and I loved it, I mean loooooooved it! It had eight bedrooms, six of which had their own private baths. There’s nothing better than having your own home with a driveway and parking, separate bedrooms and bathrooms, a full-size kitchen, laundry facilities and decks, a swimming pool, balconies and rocking chairs that face the ocean. (Beach houses that face the sound are also available.)
Not only is it a beautiful thing to have the privacy and space, it’s very often the most economical way to stay at the beach for a week. I’m a luxury and boutique hotel girl, I can’t lie, so I never would have figured myself to be a beach house girl… but, I’ve discovered that I’ve got “beach house girl” in me too. It’s the absolute ideal set-up when you’re traveling with a large family or a bunch of friends or couples.
Bed and Breakfast – Advice 5¢
If you’re looking for a quiet, adults only getaway, you’ll find it at Advice 5¢, a cozy B&B in Duck with just four available guest rooms. The B&B is within walking distance to pretty much everything: a pool, tennis courts, restaurants, shopping and of course, the beach.
Each of the double occupancy rooms have a deck and private bath, and all guests are served an expanded continental breakfast made from scratch daily. The owner, Nancy is more than happy to offer suggestions on things to do, see and eat during your visit to Duck, so be sure you throw a nickel into the advice jar while you’re there.
Bed & Breakfast (European Boutique-Style Hotel) – Inn on Pamlico Sound
At the risk of being yelled at by innkeeper, Steve Nelson, I used the term Bed & Breakfast to categorize this, but only because it will help non-Europeans sorta kinda visualize the type of accommodations to expect. In reality it’s a European boutique-style hotel, so let’s be clear on that. Are we good, Steve?
While I didn’t actually stay here, we took a nice tour of the property and some guest rooms, and it’s no wonder the ratings of the inn are sky high. In fact, the inn doesn’t do any sort of paid advertising. Its bookings are based completely on word of mouth marketing.
Special touches include green efforts like including refillable sports bottles in every room instead of plastic, and guests can take their coffee cups home with them. There are chocolates and fruit for the taking on pretty much every surface, fresh baked goods in the afternoon, beverage-filled refrigerators and a state of the art home theater where guests can choose the featured movie. Oh, and there are bicycles with automatic transmissions available to ride! No sign-ups for any of this stuff either; it’s just there for guests to enjoy.
The inn’s philosophy: bring yourself and we’ll take care of the rest. It’s a totally cool place, and it’s quite unlike anything else you’ll experience on the island. There’s also the adjoining Cafe Pamlico, an incredibly delicious restaurant. (Look for a dining post on that yet to come.)
(Read more reviews on TripAdvisor.)
Luxury Resort – The Sanderling Resort
This inviting four diamond beachfront resort in Duck, NC is a seaside escape you’ll never forget. Sunrises over the ocean, sunsets over the sound, beach, pools, tennis, restaurants and spa… there’s everything a luxury resort should include minus the pretentiousness.
The hotel rooms are located in three separate wings, and each has a particular vibe. The north inn tends to have more families and the south inn is a bit quieter and is nice for couples traveling without children. The central wing, called the Beach House, has balconies on both sides providing guests a sweeping view of the ocean on one side and Currituck Sound sunsets on the other.
Whether you choose to take in a spa treatment, relax in the hot tub, take a dip in one of the pools or just lounge in beach chairs at the ocean, it’s blissful and idyllic. Hungry? Just grab a bite to eat at one of the three on-site restaurants, and be sure to end your perfect day by roasting marshmallows and making S’mores at one of the two fire pits.
(Read more reviews on TripAdvisor.)
Where to stay in the Outer Banks is a big decision, so I hope this helps you figure out what style of accommodations is best for you and your family. And be sure to visit OuterBanks.org for more information.
Are you a beach house, luxury resort or bed and breakfast vacationer?
Comments & Reviews
Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says
When my husband and I travel alone, we almost always opt for B&B’s. If we have the kids, we normally stay on military bases that are nearby because of the huge military discount.
valmg @ Mom Knows It All says
I’ve always wanted to go to the Outer Banks. I’d say for us, the resort would be great as a couple’s trip and I’d want that house for a big family trip.
Maureen @ A Debt Free Mess Free Life says
I prefer cottages and Bed and Breakfast stays. The houses are really beautiful. Who wouldn’t want to stay there?? I think a hotel doesn’t give you the beachy feel as the other two options.
Wow, those are some really beautiful pictures. Makes me wanna get into my car, head off to the airport and start travelling 🙂
This is awesome !! I lived in NC for a while and love outer banks. I enjoyed your post because it has a good revie and description of different places. So well done!
Shirley Wood says
I grew up staying in beach houses at Myrtle Beach S.C. so I know how awesome a beach house stay can be. But the ‘Walkin on Sunshine’ is just dreamy! Love it! We’ve never been to the Outer Banks and it’s been on my list. All of your photos are so inviting. Pinning this to my travel board for reference. One of the most relaxing vacay’s we ever had was in a B&B…decisions, decisions!
My family loves to stay in beach houses! And they have to be ocean front. I love the one you stayed in. It’s perfect!
Heather lawrence says
Pinning this! To be totally honest with you I would love to be able to own a beach house like this and spend the rest of my life by the ocean. Land locked in Alberta gets a little old and my heart is yearning for the sea!
maria @closeothome says
We are 4 hours from Outer banks and have stayed at both houses sound hotel. I think it just depend on who you are traveling with as to what is best option.
I would love to stay at The Sanderling Resort because it is right by the beach!
Wow how great! Unfortunately I have not gone to the east coast I would love to some day! Before I had read this post I would have been stuck staying at some lame hotel
Your pictures make it all look amazing. I think I may have to go 3 times so I can try a luxury hotel, beachhouse and bed/breakfast. Yep, 3 times for me!
Christina Berry | The Lazy Pit Bull says
Great information, and fantastic photos! We’ve been wanting to go to the OBx for quite a while, and your post has definitely motivated me to look into it some more! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says
I had never really heard of this area before, but I want to go now, too!
It is such a beautiful area! I love visiting new beaches and usually try to go to one I’ve never been to before, but I may have to return to OBX soon!
Beautiful houses and places to stay. Wish I could.
We stayed at a beach house this summer, and it was awesome!
Michelle Rogers says
Well, they all look spectacular!! I live in NC but haven’t stayed at the Outer Banks in a while. Thanks for these wonderful ideas! And your photos are just stunning. <3
I love renting beach houses when I am on vacation. It’s nice to have the privacy and having a kitchen can help you save on food costs.
Julie @ Running in a Skirt says
How about an equal opportunity vacation lover? haha! I’m partial to a resort, but you can’t go wrong with any of these options.
Catherine S says
This looks like a really nice place to stay. I love the idea of staying in a beach house rental.
Jasmine Eclipse says
This looks like such a lovely vacation! It makes me really miss the beach. I grew up in Hawaii and recently moved to the east coast, and I haven’t seen a beach in 7 months! I miss it. These photos help with my longing for the sea though!
Rhian Westbury says
Some beautiful looking places to stay. This is just making me really itch to get away x
Fashion and Style Police says
This is divine. Making me want to go somewhere urgently. Great post x
tara pittman says
A house on the beach would be so fun. I love the views.
WOW that place looks gorgeous!! We love to travel so we will have to check out this place when we get out there next time!
Dia All The Things I Do says
The house would be my pick! It’s so beautiful and spacious.
Alice Chase says
I love a luxury resort but that beach house is FAB!!! With that ocean view I would stay anywhere.
Sarah Bailey says
I am with you on that – I would love to stay on the beach. x
Jenn @ EngineerMommy says
Thanks for sharing these ideas on where to stay in the Outer Banks. I’ve actually never stayed at a bed & breakfast, but I’d love to! It looks like such a quaint spot!
I am usually a bread and breakfast vacationer but I think I want the beach house next time as that view and look of the place is amazing.
Sarah Bailey says
These sound like some amazing places to stay in such a beautiful area. I would definitely love to visit. x
Hannah Wood says
Wow oh wow this place looks so amazing the rooms and views are outstanding.
Wow this looks like an amazing place to visit!
Rebecca B. says
I would go with the beach house rental! Then all of the families could stay together and we could save money on cooking meals too!
Kylee @ Kylee Cooks says
At this point, I’m interested in any vacation at all!! A beach house sounds DIVINE to me. As the mom of two small boys, hotels are a bit restrictive.
If I was to go with my husband somewhere? luxury resort ALL THE WAY. Do stuff for me. I love it. Lol.
Elizabeth DiBurro says
These places look amazing! I’ll take any of them! 🙂
Amber Easton says
So many options, all of them with their own unique “pro”. I think I’d go for the Sanderling Resort…unless I was going solo, in which case I think the intimacy of a B&B would be fun. Great post! Thanks for sharing. That’s such a beautiful part of the country.
I do love luxury accommodations but then I also love bed and breakfasts too. So–I guess my best bet is the European Bed and Breakfast featured up there–it seems to have the best of both!!
Angelic Sinova says
I’ve never visited The Outer Banks before but there sure does seem like a lot of lovely places to stay at there! I’m more of a Luxury Resort person myself, but I do love the charm of Bed and breakfasts <3
Emma White says
far too many options so would be happy to pack right now and try them all out amazing pictures
Alicia Taylor says
As charming as the bed and breakfast is, and as convenient as the resort is, I think I would still prefer that beach house! What a view and it’s absolutely beautiful. I have to admit the privacy is a nice bonus, too
Oh that is a tough decision. I think I would go with the beach house or maybe the b and b or maybe the luxury resort… okay looks like I would be flipping a coin because they all look great.
These look amazing. I love your photos. Not sure which I would enjoy more, a beach house or a bed and breakfast. I do love the the beach.
Cindy (Prime Beauty) says
So many options! I think I would love a beach house rental.
All three of these choices look fantastic. I would be happy at any one of them. As I have gotten older, I have learned to appreciate vacations where you just relax.
Erin @ Stay At Home Yogi says
I wouldn’t say no to any of these options! 😉 With that said, I think the beach house is the most fun!
Megan Elford says
I want to stay in each of them! The rooms all look so comfortable and homey, but high quality too. What a great selection!
Michelle Gwynn Jones says
I have stayed at a bed and breakfast there and had a blast. The last time we went we went camping. It was fun until it rained.
All of these options look AMAZING! Count me in 😉
AnnMarie Brown says
I would love to stay in all of them.
Jeni Hawkins says
Yep! I could DEFINITELY relax there! The only problem is deciding which of these amazing places you suggest!
Marcie W. says
All of these options look gorgeous, as does the area itself. I think I would go with the beach house option since it has both privacy and all the comforts of home!
Maria C. says
Such an interesting place to visit someday. Thank you for an informative post. This can be one of our travel guidelines. I am bookmarking this page & thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to read more travel posts.
Joyce Brewer (@MommyTalkShow) says
I’m far from picky. They all look amazing.
If we were traveling as a family of 3, I’d like to be near the beach so our son can get in the water.
Otherwise, I’d take an adult only luxury resort.
This post brings back great memories of my trip to Cape Hatteras many years ago. I truly hope I get to return and I will refer to this post to help me find a place to stay.
Toni | BoulderLocavore says
How have I never visited the Outer Banks?! Your posts make this area look so incredible (I’m sure it is and you’ve done a great job showing it off). It looks so relaxing.
Elizabeth O. says
I prefer the private beach house over the others but they all look so lovely as well. I just love my privacy a little more. And I like that there’s a private pool in the house. The view of the beach on each location is just fantastic!
Kim S says
The beach house… All the way!! Love it!
Oh I love obx we got married on the beach there everything is so amazing !!!
Oh my goodness these are all absolutely stunning locations! I would like to go on a vacation soon and these all look like great places to visit
I would definitely go for the private beach house. I hear the outer banks are beautiful. My family and I can definitely drive there.
[email protected] says
I haven’t stayed in a bed and breakfast before. All of those places look wonderful.
I love rental homes. We’ve never stayed on the beach, but it would definitely be the way I would go. We stay in rental homes anytime we go anywhere. We are a large family, and it’s the only thing that offers the amount of space we need.
Kathy Kenny Ngo says
I love the look of the place. It reminds me of REVENGE and how gorgeous the houses were.
Shannon Peterson says
I used to love going to the Outer banks when I was younger 🙂 There are so many great places to explore!
Ron Leyba says
What a very beautiful place to stay at. So calm, peaceful and relaxing.
A Geek Daddy says
We’ve been wanting to rent a house there for years and can never get all our family members organized to go in on it with us. I’m going to bookmark your post for future reference. My wife and I would really like to go on a vacation there before the kids get to an age where they don’t want to be seen with mom and dad. I really liked the place with the pool and putting green…nice pic!
Great post and awesome pictures. I have never been to the ocean before so love to look at photos. I would someday love to visit the ocean and sit on a warm, sandy beach.
Avon is my family’s favorite vacation destination…well before we had car hating babies. Now that my baby is no longer screaming in the carseat, we’ve been talking about braving the drive to the Outer Banks again. I’ll be checking this places out!
What an amazing place to get away to. I can see why it would cost more. I love that they are concerned with being green. I think its great to invest a little more to conserve more.
I am loving this series! Makes me want a beach vacation in winter – only not to a tropical beach – I actually prefer beaches in the winter when it’s cold!!
Rachel Ferrucci says
We’re thinking about going to the Outer Banks in the fall. These are all great choices and bookmarking this! Thanks
Such an amazing place to stay, I wish I could go there in the top and enjoy the beautiful view.
Mhaan A. says
OMG! I love everything you have listed. All are perfect for beach getaways! I wish one day we could get to visit them. Thanks for sharing dear!
what a beautiful place to visit & stay! that house is so lovely
I’ve got a little beach house girl in me too. I think there’s a different time for each of those accommodations.
I could use a getaway to the Outer Banks! I can picture myself in a luxury hotel, with a massage planned & someone bringing me amazing meals.
What a lovely place! I would love to go there soon with my family.
Amanda Love says
Oh man just by looking at the photos I already want to visit. I’ve never been to the Outer Banks before but now I have a few ideas of where to stay if I ever do visit.
the beach house looks amazing and the view is just breathtaking! my goal in the next 10 yrs mybe? a gorgeous house like this by the beach
Tori Gabriel says
The beach house looks amazing! I love the photos. I would definitely go for that one.
Ana De- Jesus says
The Sanderling Resort looks absolutely exquisite! How soon can I get a flight over there now that is the question haha!
Those are some beautiful properties! If I still lived stateside, I might even be tempted to take an OBX holiday 🙂
Lexie Lane says
Such a amazing place to visit. Love the ambiance! Thank you for sharing.
Nicole Escat says
The place really looks relaxing. How much more when we go there with family or friends.
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy says
These are like my dream homes. It all looks so relaxing – wishing I was there now.
Travel Blogger says
I am so jealous! This looks like such a beautiful vacation! I love a good lazy, beach get away. I would love to stay at Advice 5 cents.
Becki S says
Oooo!!! The outer banks are on our must travel to before we move list! I think either the house or that luxury resort would be for us, I’m going to go and look at pricing and see what we can do sometime in April before it gets too much further into beach season. Thanks for the reminder to get on booking something and for the recommendations.
Wow the Outer Banks for sure looks like a must stay place. It looks just gorgeous. The places look amazing to stay but if I was heading there with my hubby, or alone I’d pick that resort. So lovely.
Traveling Blogger says
The Inn on Pamlico Sound looks great! It is so beautiful! My friend and I are looking for a girls getaway, and this would be perfect!
Laura H says
Beachy, lazy and homey sounds perfect to me! Just look at that view!
Ooh! I love this, I pinned it for later because we are hoping to go there this summer so this came at the perfect time for me. Thanks!
Looks like an amazing place to stay for a visit. I believe a place like this could make up memories that will last a life time. Just think about the stories that would be the result of a stay like this
KRYSTLE COOK says
Lovely place! I would totally stay there. Anything near the water is a plus for me.
Melissa Bernardo says
Thank you for sharing this! My husband has been wanting to go to the Outer Banks. Now I know where to stay! 🙂
Ann Bacciaglia says
This looks like a beautiful place to stay. I would love to get a rental house for our next vacation.
Amy Jones says
Wow it looks so nice, cant wait for next vacations *.* maybe ill go there and take a REAL sunbath hehe.
Seattle Travel Blogger says
The Outer Banks certainly is a fun place to stay.
I love your pictures!
Ok, I’m officially in love! The pictures make it seem so beautiful. I’m going to add this to my list.
Lisa Rios says
This is such a beautiful resort & I love those great amenities as well. The main room, the bedroom & everything looks amazing that I would love to stay at one such place with my husband & kids anytime.
I just love the otter banks!!! We use to rent a huge beachside house once a year when I was younger. Always had a blast!!!!
Stephanie of The TipToe Fairy says
These look like such great places to stay. I love finding a place right on the beach so we can just walk right out to it.
carol clark says
all of the places you mention seems so lovely but im a beach house person myself and its what id pick
I love these photos, makes me want to run away from NH for a little vacation time in the Outer Banks. Never been there before!
I have never been there, but would love to visit. Love the pictures. Looks like a beautiful place
Ana Fernandez says
I am the kind of person who loves a really nice beach house for a short vacations. My husband loves resorts!
A beach rental is nice. That would definitely be my preference.
I’ve never considered the Outer Banks as a destination but it looks beautiful! I feel like I’m missing out now!
I’ve been wanting to go back to the outer banks for years! I haven’t been since I was in my early teens. It’s such a beautiful place with so much to see!
Mama to 5 BLessings says
Wow what a stunning place to stay. The inside is beautiful but the view is incredible!
Beauty that walks says
Spending time in a hotel is one of my most favorite thing to do. These hotels look wonderful…
Mimi "MimiCuteLips" Green says
Yes, and yes some more. The first time we vacationed in Outer Banks we stayed in some janky establishment. I said the next time we go back we will rent a beach home.
We’ve rented homes in other locations and they are the way to go.
Looks like such a good place to stay, I’d love to go and stay there sometime.
April G says
Ohh, I love the beautiful view there and the room was really look comfy.
Life as a Convert says
These all look like amazing places to stay. I think I would need multiple vacations in order to experience them all
Doran @ Haute Beauty Guide says
Wow. That view is stunning. I would love to visit her.
Natasha Mairs says
love that yellow beach house and the view from the balcony, just wow!
Tanya Brannan says
WOW! The views are spectacular, and I just want to move in permanently! I would love to live on the beach, and will…. as soon as I win the lottery 🙂
I love the beach house! What an amazing view. All options look fabulous!
Wow this looks like the most incredible place. Definitely somewhere that I would like to visit myself! xxx
The first pictures remind me of a beach from the series Revenge! They all look beautiful but the yellow beach house is by far my favourite! simply stunning
Michelle Blackwood says
Wow love these photos, love the green bottles and the cozy atmosphere!
Oh how beautiful! I would love to be there right about now! We are having some crazy weather and a warm relaxing place sounds nice!
Meagan Adams says
My husband and I go to Boone every year but we will have to take a trip to the Outer Banks this year. I love the outdoor area and the views are breathtaking.
Yona Williams says
I would like to rent beachfront property one of these days for a holiday. We love the water, and close to home, there are a few beaches where its affordable to rent.
Jasmine Watts says
Wow those photos are incredible.. I would love to stay there!! Stunning view!!
Working mum Blog says
I do love a beach house vacation! I am planning one for next year for my mum’s 70th birthday. Enjoyed reading your tips. Thanks
Sarah Bailey says
Oh wow these all look amazing – I wouldn’t mind staying at any, though by the beach would be fantastic! <3 x
This looks amazing! I would love to visit there and play on the beach all day. The places to stay are beautiful too. Thanks for sharing!