Best Outer Banks Vacation Rentals

A brown horse standing on top of a grass covered field

When it comes to North Carolina summers, finding the best Outer Banks vacation rental is the place to start—especially because the Airbnbs and Vrbos spread from northern Duck to southern Hatteras Island often book up a year in advance. It makes sense that the barrier islands are so beloved: they’re home to incredible Atlantic surfing, impressive fishing, wild horses, kayaking in the sound, sandy beaches, and more. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful oceanfront home with a private pool, a colorful destination for a girls’ getaway weekend, or a pet-friendly spot for a family vacation, we’ve pulled together the 11 best Outer Banks vacation rentals across the islands.

Southern Shores

A snow covered mountain

Just a four-minute walk to the beach (and a few minutes drive from nearby Duck), this three-bedroom Airbnb offers all of the amenities you need to enjoy the sand, from beach chairs and umbrellas to boogie boards and kids’ toys. You can enjoy views of the Atlantic from the covered deck, too, with its loungers and dining area. Inside, you’ll find bright, updated decor and a well-equipped kitchen, dining room, and cozy living space. Perfect for a family vacation, there are two rooms with queen beds (you’ll want the larger one with its private balcony) and a third with twins. 

Nags Head

A large ship in the water

With room for 12 across four bedrooms, this oceanside Vrbo can fit the whole crew—especially when there’s space to spread out across the multiple decks, private pool, and backyard hot tub. It’s also a short walk from the beach and features an open living, kitchen, and dining area with ocean views. If you’re planning to work remotely, know there’s an office space (complete with a printer) at your disposal. Note that this home books up for the summer a year in advance, so you’ll want to look to off-season dates for oyster season in the fall or to summer 2022 if you’re interested in staying here. 


It doesn’t get quirkier—or more perfect for a girls’ trip—than this colorful geodesic dome in Salvo, a short drive from Rodanthe. The open living, dining, and kitchen area has ultra-high ceilings and an extra-large sectional for game and movie nights. There are two queen bedrooms downstairs and a nook upstairs in the dome with semi-private sleeping areas housing a queen and single bed. If you want to explore beyond the beach, which is just a few steps away, you have access to three bicycles, too. 

Kill Devil Hills

Located a block from one of the most popular surf spots in the Outer Banks, this rental is the perfect home base for a family vacation or friends’ getaway. It features three bedrooms (one with bunk beds), rustic decor, and a spacious fenced-in patio with a grill, dining seating, and an outdoor shower. While the kitchen is stocked with essentials like an oven, microwave, and dishwasher, there’s not a ton of prep space, so plan to take advantage of the fresh fish at nearby restaurants. Be sure to check out the beach gear in the shed, since beach chairs, umbrellas, surfboards, coolers, wagons, and more are available for guest use. 

Southern Shores

This soundfront home offers the best of both worlds: You can drop one of the three provided kayaks into the sound to explore the calm waters, take a 10-minute walk to the beach on the east side of the island, or hop onto one of the two bikes available and head into Kitty Hawk or nearby Duck. As for the home itself, the airy Airbnb has four bedrooms (two kings, a bunk bed, and a single), multiple porches for lounging, bright living spaces, and tons of kids toys and board games to keep the little ones entertained.

These are some of the best Outer Banks Vacation Rentals.

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