Hi friends! I have been going to the Outer Banks since before I could walk so I thought I would put together a little Outer Banks travel guide. The Outer Banks is one of my all time favorite places! I think there’s something for everyone but if the beach is not really your thing then maybe check out my guide to Vail instead! Now the Outer Banks is pretty huge. I can’t give you a guide to the whole place but will instead focus on two of my favorite towns, where to stay, and where to eat!
Favorite Towns: Corolla & Duck
Corolla is so great if you have kids. With lots of big houses, Corolla is perfect if you are looking to rent a house with other friends with kids or do a big family trip. Corolla Light is where my family had a beach house growing up. It’s a gated community with tennis courts, bike paths, a community center with shuffleboard, a pool, restaurant, and playground. There are also tons of cute little shops and restaurants within walking distance. Corolla’s beaches are pretty flat with shallow water. Perfect for kids or sipping beers on the sandbars! Don’t miss sunsets across the street at the lighthouse! They are gorgeous!
And if you feel like you have had enough beach time you can do paddleboard yoga on the sound, climb the lighthouse, ride jet skis, or do a wild horse tour!
Corolla is great for big families but Duck is great for a friends trip! The town of Duck has everything you could want. Fresh seafood markets, Duck Donuts (it’s basically a bucket list donut at this point), great restaurants, cute shops, a spa, jet skis, and lots of fun bars! If this is your first time in the Outer Banks and maybe you are traveling with friends or have older kids, I would highly recommend Duck.
Where to Stay:
The Outer Banks is known more for big beach houses but if you are looking for a just a little getaway I would highly recommend The Sanderling. The rooms are gorgeous, the staff is top notch, and they have hands down the best spa I have ever been to. The one thing I would say could be is their drink and food service by the pool. The food is mediocre, there is no poolside service, and the drinks they do have are very touristy. You are definitely not staying here for their craft cocktails. But other than that it’s absolutely fabulous!
If you are looking to rent a house there are tons of sites to go through. I have heard you can get good rates on AirBnB as well.
Where to Eat:
$$$ Aqua– If you are looking for a nice seafood dinner I can’t recommend this place enough. Great food, cocktails, and atmosphere
$$ Sunset Grille– Fun drinks, great views, and pretty good food but you are going for the view!
$$$ The Blue Point- Fantastic everything. From the food to the cocktails, everything here is amazing. Blue Point’s “back bar” also has great live music if you are looking for a place to hang after dinner.
$ Duck Donuts– If you don’t like cake donuts, don’t go for the donut, but do go for the experience. You can’t go to the Outer Banks and not go. It’s basically synonymous with the Outer Banks.
$$ Dockside N’ Duck– Steamer Pots. Need I say more? If you plan on making seafood at your beach house head here, pick up a pot, and thank me later.
$$ First Light– If you are looking for breakfast go here, no questions asked. If you are looking for a sit-down lunch. Go here. No questions asked. Best homemade chips and the tuna salad is the best I have ever had.
$ Light House Bagels– The best breakfast sandwich ever. I used to work at the surf shop next door and ate one almost every morning. They also have a great selection of bagels like their French Toast or Sriracha Everything bagel. Their sandwiches are also absolutely incredible.
$$ Upside Bar & Grill– Deck seating, water views, great cocktails, and they have a lobster quesadilla. It’s awesome! Leave the kids at home.
$$ Urban Kitchen– This restaurant is new but a friend of mine raves about it! I actually haven’t been but it sounds like its amazing. Looks small and doesn’t take reservations so probably just for couples and small parties.
$ Cosmos Pizza– Don’t go anywhere else. New York style, their crab pizza is out of this world, and the service is top notch. Plus they have gluten-free pizza if anyone in your party is GF.
I hope you guys enjoyed the Outer Banks travel guide!