outer banks beaches

Enjoy a Day at the Top Beach Destinations in the Outer Banks

01/07/2022 | by Joseph Mitchell | Outer Banks Travel Tips

No trip to the North Carolina coast is complete without at least one day in the sand under the sun. Keep reading to discover the best Outer Banks beaches for swimming, relaxing, and sightseeing! Trust us; you won’t want to miss out on these gorgeous shorelines. 

For more ways to make the most of your time in the Outer Banks, be sure to download our complimentary Vacation Guide! 

Here Are the Best Outer Banks Beaches 

Nags Head  

It’s no secret that the Nags Head beaches are some of the most sought-after vacation spots along North Carolina’s Outer Banks. There are over 30 public access points to the 12 miles of pristine seashore where you and your family can frolic in the Atlantic Ocean, build sandcastles on the beach, and relax with your favorite book or drink under an umbrella. Visitors can also bring their dogs if leashed. 

Kill Devil Hills 

The thin strand of sand draped up and down the coast of this history-laden beach town is perfect for long walks, surfing and skimboarding, and relaxing with your favorite cold beverage. There are many public access points up and down Kill Devil Hills in addition to over 15 lifeguard stations that rotate on a scheduled basis. 

Kitty Hawk 

Kitty Hawk is one of the best Outer Banks beaches for families. This beautiful stretch of sand located in between Kill Devil Hills and Southern Shores has several public accesses, including one near the Black Pelican Oceanfront. 

Coquina Beach

Considered a part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Coquina Beach is just eight miles south of Nags Head. This is another one of the best Outer Banks Beaches for families. During the summer, there is a lifeguard on duty, public parking, and a bathhouse with changing rooms, bathrooms, and showers.

Duck and Southern Shores 

If Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills are both crowded, head up to the beaches in Duck and Southern Shores. The picturesque shoreline of this stretch of the Outer Banks is the perfect place to relax with the family on a warm sunny afternoon. 


If you want to experience one of the most unique beaches in the Outer Banks, head up to Corolla. While the actual beach isn’t anything to write home about compared to other nearby stretches of sand, but there’s nothing quite like gazing at the wild horses wandering the area. 

Ocracoke Island 

Ocracoke Island is a fantastic place to enjoy a day trip from Manteo. While the charming beach town warrants some exploring, but the tranquil shores of this island are among some of the most beautiful spots on the North Carolina coast! 

Jockey’s Ridge State Park

Not exactly a beach but it does have a lot of sand by the ocean, Jockey’s Ridge State Park is home to the East Coast’s tallest sand dunes. The park is also known for hang gliding, beautiful sunsets, and kiting.

Book Your Pirate’s Cove RentalShallowbag Bay aerial view 

Pirate’s Cove Resort is the ultimate Outer Banks getaway! Our extensive collection of vacation homes on Roanoke Island provide unique stays for parties of all sizes! Whether you want to take a romantic retreat or a family beach trip, we have the perfect accommodation for you! One of the best benefits of renting with us is our prime location. Roanoke Island has tons of amazing attractions in downtown Manteo and on the northern tip of the island. You’re also just a quick 10-minute drive from Nags Head Beach! 

Plan your Outer Banks vacation and book your condo or home today! We look forward to welcoming you to the Pirate’s Cove family!