From stem come stern, north to south, the Outer financial institutions of phibìc Carolina is comprised of 10 small towns that flow together into one long vacation paradise. That course, this number contains Corolla, NC, top top the northern end, i beg your pardon is technically in Currituck County, and Ocracoke, NC, top top the southerly end, which is technically in Hyde ar (not dare County, as the rest of the Outer banks towns are). Yet locals and knowledgeable visitors acknowledge that, despite any kind of official designations, both these bookend towns have actually long to be considered part of the real outer Banks.

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In instance you know little about this area, we’ll provide you a geographical rundown on these Outer banks towns, beginning north: Corolla, Duck, southerly Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill evil one Hills, Nags Head, Manteo, Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco, Hatteras and Ocracoke. If you journey from one finish to the other, counting in ferry time, it would take you around three hours. If you’ve no spent much time here, you i will not ~ realize once you leaving Kill adversary Hills, NC, and also enter Nags Head, NC. Us locals know, but even us go on sight — i.e. We more than likely couldn’t tell you the name of the roadways that different these Outer banks towns.

Outer financial institutions Town Nuances

Here’s a funny thing: because that years, vacationers have used the ax Nags Head to define their Outer financial institutions vacation, whether they were remaining there or in Kitty Hawk. Somehow, Nags Head ended up being a generalized directional term to explain the entire area the Kitty Hawk, Kill evil one Hills and also Nags Head. The small describes the big. Similarly, however oppositely, when human being are headed to Buxton or Salvo or Rodanthe, lock often define their destination as Hatteras. The large describes the little. Every these Outer financial institutions town nuances…enough to gain visitors confused!

Here’s a local’s bird’s eye observation: The northern end of this Outer financial institutions towns — Corolla and also Duck — room the newest come the vacation location scene, and as therefore they have tendency to be a little swankier, a bit an ext uptown spring with numerous “must have” amenities. The southern end — Hatteras Island and Ocracoke — is wherein you go if you desire the basic Outer financial institutions towns that old wherein the amenities are an ext about simple pleasures.

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Here’s a local’s tip: Roanoke Island, through its included town that Manteo and also its unincorporated town of Wanchese, is an absolutely charming small place where several of the most renowned Outer financial institutions attractions room found, wherein there’s a concentration of lover B&Bs and small motels and also where you can walk or bike nearly anywhere you want to go. Yet, it’s no as busy as various other Outer banks towns. That quiet, has an excellent restaurants and shops and also is worth much more than a day trip.

Here’s one unabashed statement in support of Hatteras Island: though there’s been numerous press around washed out roads, shoaled end inlets and also beaches that can’t it is in accessed, don’t be fooled. 98% of the time, also if a storm has actually dumped some sand top top the road near Rodanthe and Waves, they job-related like madmen to obtain it open within a job or two. Though the inlet between Hatteras Island and also Ocracoke ended up being shoaled after ~ Hurricane Sandy, dredging opened up it within a quick time. 

And, lastly, over there are loads of beaches the are accessible to 4WD vehicles ~ above Hatteras Island. The NPS simply closes tiny sections of beach throughout certain an essential nesting times. Hatteras Island and all her towns — Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco and also Hatteras — are some of the best, most iconic, many nature-loving Outer banks towns. And the locals will certainly welcome girlfriend with broad open arms. That wouldn’t want that?


From here, click on each of the city tabs for some in-depth information and history. By the moment you obtain here, you will do it be an expert. Heck, you’ll even know how to express Ocracoke!