Pets, Leash Laws and Town Ordinances | Carolina Designs

Leash LawsLeash Laws and Town Ordinances

Dog Friendly Beaches

Looking for a Pet-Friendly Outer Banks vacation home? We have 150+ options for you!


Dogs are allowed on the beach year-round but must be on a leash at all times. Heritage Park at the Whalehead Club also welcomes leashed dogs. Always clean up after your pet.


All dogs must be vaccinated for rabies, wear a collar with identification, and must be on a 10-ft or less leash when not at the beach. A leash is not necessary at Duck beaches year-round, but you must keep watch and control over your dog. Always clean up after your pet. Burying waste in the sand or disposing of it in the water is strictly prohibited. Dogs are allowed at town events as long as they are well-behaved and properly restrained. The Town Park offers a dog-friendly water fountain, dog waste receptacles, and bags. Please remember that a leash is required at the Town Park, boardwalk, Duck Trail, and throughout town (the beach is the only exception).

Southern Shores:

Dogs are only allowed on the beach after 6:00PM and before 9:00AM from May 15th-September 15th. The rest of the year, dogs are allowed on Southern Shores beaches at any time. Year-round, all dogs must be on a 10-ft or less leash at all times — this applies to the beach and the rest of the town. Always clean up after your pet.

Kitty Hawk:

From the Friday before Memorial Day through the day after Labor Day, dogs must be on a 6-ft or less leash between the hours of 10AM and 6PM. From 6PM to 10AM, a 12-ft or shorter leash is allowed. The rest of the year, leashes are not required as long as your dog will not disturb other people, is within your control, stays within 30 feet of you, and returns to you when called. Always clean up after your pet. All dogs on public property in Kitty Hawk must display a current rabies tag. Kitty Hawk has a dog park, located at 856 Midgett Road. You must complete an application and submit it to the Northern Beach Division Office at 602 Mustian Street in Kill Devil Hills in order to receive a keycode to enter/exit the dog park. Learn more and view the application on the county’s website.

Kill Devil Hills:

Dogs must be on a leash at all times. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, dogs are not allowed on the beach between the hours of 9AM and 6PM (unless being used to aid a handicapped person). The rest of the year, dogs are allowed at the beach with a leash at any time as long as they are under your control. Kill Devil Hills has a dog park, located at 103 Veterans Drive. Check out to see the Paws Park rules. Dogs are allowed off-leash within the confines of the park, but dog owners are responsible for the behavior of their dogs, and must have a leash ready, in-hand.

Nags Head:

As long as dogs are on an 8-ft or less leash at all times, dogs are welcome on the beach. Always clean up after your pet. Nags Head has a dog park, located at 227 West Satterfield Landing Road. Check out the town of Nags Head’s website to view the dog park rules. Dogs are allowed off-leash within the confines of the park, but dog owners are responsible for the behavior of their dogs, and must have a leash ready, in-hand. Please note that the water is turned off at the dog park in the winter months.

Additional Tips

Protect those paws! On hot days, it’s best to take your dog for walks in the early morning and late evening and keep them in shaded grass as much as possible when outside. If it’s too hot for you to go barefoot on sand/asphalt, it’s too hot for your dog.

Visiting for the 4th of July? More pets go missing on Independence Day than any other day of the year. Make sure you’re aware of the timing of scheduled fireworks shows nearby and ensure your beach homes’ windows and doors are secured. Double check that your contact information is updated and readable on your pet’s collar.

Service and Support Animal Policy

Service Animal PolicyService and Support Animal Policy

Carolina Designs welcomes guests with a trained service animal, emotional support or psychiatric service animal. We recognize that these are working animals, providing an important service for our guests. This policy is in effect for any leases made after January 1, 2019.
Trained Service Animals

Trained service animals are dogs (and in some cases, miniature horses), specifically trained to performed life functions for those individuals with disabilities. Examples include visual impairment, deafness, seizures, mobility limitations or other needs. Our reservation agents will ask specific questions in compliance with ADA regulations.

Service Animals in Training

Only trained and certified service animals are considered service animals under this policy. A licensed and certified professional trainer is permitted to bring one service animal that is training to assist a disabled guest as described in our service animal policy.

Emotional Support / Psychiatric Service Animals

Emotional support animals assist with emotional, psychiatric, or cognitive support for individuals with disabilities. They may or may not be trained to perform specific tasks related to a disability. Emotional support and psychiatric service animals must have the required documentation provided to us at least 3 days prior to check in. Documentation includes this form for veterinary health, medical/mental health, and animal behavioral acknowledgement. If we have not received or are unable to validate the documentation, our pet policy will apply for the animal in question.

Guests traveling with multiple emotional support/psychiatric service animals must have documentation for each animal.Due to the safety and health of our guests, vendors and employees, some animals cannot be permitted, including reptiles, amphibians, rodents, spiders, marsupials, ferrets, insects, hedgehogs, birds of prey, or animals with tusks, horns or hooves (excluding miniature horses).

Therapy Animals

Therapy animals are pets who have been registered by a therapy organization in order to visit homes, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, or other facilities, are not considered service animals. If you are traveling with a therapy animal, please visit our pet policy guidelines in our house rules.

Animal Behavior

Working animals must behave consistent with the standards of their great need. Inappropriate behavior is any action including, but not limited to, barking (not in response to a handler’s need/distress), growling, jumping/lunging at people, scratching furniture or fixtures, relieving themselves inside the property, biting or attempting to bite. If this behavior is displayed, the animal will be considered a pet and our pet policy will be enforced. Animals must be under the control of their handler at all times and leashed (unless leashing interferes with their work) and may not be left alone on the property at any time.

Severe Weather FAQ

Outer Banks Severe Weather FAQ

  • When does travel insurance kick in, what does it cover, and can we add it now?

For all travel insurance related questions, please visit or contact Red Sky Insurance directly.  Contact info can be found at

  • How will we know if evacuations have been ordered for the Outer Banks?

You can sign up for alerts with Dare County at the county’s website here. We will be updating our blog and communicating with guests via email and text if an evacuation is ordered.

  • If we are already on vacation to the Outer Banks and an evacuation is ordered, what does that mean for us? 

If you have insurance: contact Red Sky Insurance for additional information. If you don’t have insurance, no refund is due from Carolina Designs or the owner.

  • If an evacuation is ordered, will there be ample time to leave the Outer Banks? 

Yes – you should be given ample time to evacuate, subject to decisions made by county authorities.

  • What happens if the house I am renting is damaged in a storm? 

We will conduct post-storm inspections of properties, assessing for damage. If the house is deemed legally uninhabitable then a refund will be due regardless of insurance acceptance.  Alternate homes will be offered if desired and available.



Carolina Designs Realty Jobs & Employment

Property ManagementWe’re Hiring!

There’s a reason Carolina Designs Realty was voted Best Place to Work on the Outer Banks in 2019 we love this company! We’re always looking for new team members and we encourage you to apply to our available positions below.

It’s easy to apply:

Simply fill out this employment application, and we’ll be in touch!
We are happy to accept resumes in addition to the application form, but you must complete the form to be considered for the position(s). If you have any questions, please contact

Needed: housekeepers, inspectors, and outdoor cleaners!
We also now have an opening for a full time or part time reservationist!

All positions currently open require the following:
-Personality for customer service atmosphere
-Working weekends
-Eye for detail
-Ability to follow a stringent routine in a fast-paced environment (work quickly and efficiently)
-Reliable, insured vehicle and valid driver license
-Willing to consent to a criminal background check
-General good physical condition due to the nature of the work (lift up to 40lbs, bend frequently, maneuver stairs)

Full Time or Part Time Reservationist

Work with guests to book vacation rental home reservations
-Assist guests with finding the best home option, taking into consideration family size, location of the home, and budget considerations
-Process payments
-Perform administrative duties
-Work with our Maintenance Department and outside vendors as needed
-Carolina Designs Realty supplies all necessary tools for this position
-Good communication skills, a willingness to learn, and general knowledge of the area are pluses for this position


Clean vacation rental homes in the 6-hour window between guests
-Make beds with provided fresh linens
-Clean and sanitize all room surfaces, appliances, and floors
-Outdoor cleaning to include grills, sliding glass doors, and outdoor bathrooms
-Maintain overall cleanliness
-Carolina Designs Realty supplies all necessary tools for this position


Thoroughly inspect properties for damage and maintenance repair needs
-Ensure all cleaning guidelines and standards are being met and maintained
-Change light bulbs and batteries
-Ability to work with iPads required
-Carolina Designs Realty supplies all necessary tools for this position

Outdoor Cleaning Crew

Tidy home exteriors between guests
-Clean grills
-Arrange outdoor furniture
-Clear carports, driveways, and entrances of sand, debris, and trash
-Pick up trash and clear cobwebs from house perimeters
-Remove trash and cobwebs from house perimeters
-Carolina Designs Realty supplies all necessary tools for this position

Carolina Designs Realty, Inc. is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, pregnancy, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age (40 or older), political affiliation, National Guard or veteran status, genetic information, or disability.

Testimonial and Review Policy | Carolina Designs

Testimonial and Review PolicyTestimonial and Review Policy

By submitting content for the public areas of Carolina Designs’ website, the you agree to the following guidelines and all other Carolina Designs policies:

  • Post about what you liked during your experience as well as what could be done better.
  • One testimonial/review may be submitted with each lease number.
  • Content must be submitted within seven (7) days of survey receipt.
  • Focus on your personal experience.
  • Content must be 250 characters or less.
  • Content will not be posted if Carolina Designs is in the process of addressing an issue or complaint.
  • Testimonials and Reviews will be removed after two years to ensure continuing accuracy.
  • Carolina Designs reserves the right to use comments for marketing purposes.
Carolina Designs reserves the right to refuse acceptance of any content that does not meet the standards of our guidelines. Including, but not limited to:

  • Personal attacks or profanity – keep it family friendly.
  • All caps – It comes across as yelling.
  • Specific financials – rates, reimbursement and compensation are prohibited.
  • Content intended to be used for nefarious purposes.
  • Ads, links, or phone numbers.
  • False or misleading – content must match our records for reservations, housekeeping and maintenance activity.

Outer Banks Property Management | Carolina Designs Realty

Property ManagementJoin the Carolina Designs Realty Property Management Program

Since 1988, our company has earned the distinguished reputation of being a consistent leader in managing Outer Banks vacation rentals. We are a family owned and operated company that works diligently to cultivate strong relationships with our valued owners and loyal guests. In order to provide personalized care and services, we represent approximately 350 select homes located from Corolla to South Nags Head and specialize in larger homes (5+ bedrooms) and new construction. By maintaining a focus on the essentials – clean homes, responsive maintenance, effective marketing, customer care and innovative technology – we provide outstanding results to our owners and a rewarding vacation experience to guests.

Contact us for a Rental Analysis

If you are a new homeowner with an investment property or shopping around for a new property management company, contact Elaine Breiholz, Property Manager, at 800-368-3825 ext. 6242 or email She will be happy to schedule an appointment to view your property, provide a rental analysis and then review details about our program.

Meet our Property Management Team:
-Maria Fargione, Assistant Property Manager
-David Pergerson, Director of Strategy
-Elaine Breiholz, Property Manager

Learn more about Carolina Designs Realty:

Find out why we’ve been voted Best Vacation Rental company for the past 6 years!

Outer Banks Beach Nourishment | Carolina Designs

Beach NourishmentBeach Nourishment On The Outer Banks, NC

What is Beach Nourishment?

Beach nourishment widens existing beaches by pumping sand from offshore “borrow sites” or sandbars onto the shoreline. The goal of these projects is to provide an added barrier of protection to shorelines that have experienced significant erosion, and to prevent property and infrastructure damage in these exposed areas.  
Outer Banks Beach Nourishment

The Most Recent Project Between Corolla & Nags Head, NC

In 2019, the town of Nags Head received beach nourishment from 2919 S. Virginia Dare Trail (the Bonnett Street public beach access near Milepost 11) south to the town line at Milepost 21, approximately 10 miles of beach. The contractor, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, used two offshore borrow sites to place 4.6 million cubic yards of sand in the project area. This helpful video explains that project further:

More About Beach Nourishment

Beach nourishment schedules are very dynamic due to weather, equipment, and other factors that can arise. The work runs 24 hours/day during the projects and moves fairly quickly. Dredge support operations begin approximately one month before construction, which includes laying subline and assembling land-based machinery. 

Once construction begins, there is generally a closed section of beach about 1,000 feet in length which moves as the work progresses along the shore. A dredge is used to pump sand through sublines onto the beach, and bulldozers are used to spread the sand. Pipes are connected to the subline as work moves forward, and sand ramps are built over the pipe to provide pedestrian beach access to the freshly nourished shore. As work continues forward, the pipes are relocated near the next subline. 

After the project is completed, new sand fencing is usually installed and native sprigs are planted to further stabilize the dune line along the freshly nourished beach. The beach will be much wider just after construction, however, up to half of the visible beach is expected to equilibrate in the months following the end of a nourishment project. Beach nourishment takes advantage of ocean currents and wave energy to move the placed sand off of the beach to form a gradual slope underwater. This slope is the ultimate goal of the project; it’s what causes wave energy to dissipate further offshore, protecting coastal infrastructure.

Past Beach Nourishment Projects Between Corolla & Nags Head, NC

  • Duck: Project completed June 28th, 2017.
    1.7 miles of shoreline was nourished between Oyster Catcher Lane and the Army Corps of Engineers Field Research Facility.
  • Southern Shores: Project completed August 6th, 2017.
    2,500 feet of shoreline was nourished from the Kitty Hawk town line north to 44 Ocean Boulevard.
  • Kitty Hawk: Project completed October 21st, 2017.
    3.58 miles of shoreline was nourished (the entire length of the town).
  • Kill Devil Hills: Project completed July 27th, 2017.
    2.6 miles of shoreline was nourished from the Kitty Hawk town line south to Prospect Avenue.
  • Nags Head: A renourishment project was completed August 18th, 2019; the town’s first beach nourishment project was completed in May 2011.
    Both projects spanned the area from the Bonnett Street public beach access at 2919 South Virginia Dare Trail to the town’s boundary with Cape Hatteras National Seashore (from Milepost 11 to Milepost 21).
    Note: The town of Corolla has not had a beach nourishment project. The town plans to begin a new 3-year study in spring 2020 to help determine any future beach nourishment plans.

Outer Banks Beach Nourishment Links

Learn more about beach nourishment on our blog.

For the most current information about beach nourishment in Dare County, visit (Note: Corolla is part of Currituck County.)

Getting To The Outer Banks | Carolina Designs

Alternate Driving RoutesGetting To The Outer Banks

However you plan on getting to the Outer Banks, we look forward to having you!

By Ferry

Below you will find directions to get yourself safely to your vacation rental and to whatever adventures lie in store for you. So how do you get here?

The maps below shows directions from ORF airport as well as two of the local private airports to the Carolina Designs office, however it is not necessary to check-in at our office. You will receive an email confirmation prior to your arrival with full entry instructions.

From Norfolk (ORF) The Closest Airport To The Outer Banks

If you’ll be flying to the Outer Banks, then the closest airport is the Norfolk International Airport (ORF). From there you’ll need to:

  • Get on the I-64 E from Norview Ave.
  • After 12.2 miles take exit 291B merging onto I-464/VA-168 S towards US-17 S.
  • Continue onto Va-168 S for 63.5 miles (it will have turned into US-158 E about half way through).

In addition, there are two private airports that guests can fly into. They are:

Currituck County Regional Airport

Dare County Regional Airport


Traffic to the Outer Banks is often challenging during the busy summer season, especially on Saturdays from noon until 6:00pm. Those guests reserving homes in the towns of Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills should consider taking an alternate route. Although longer in miles, these options my actually save you time due to less traffic congestion, and you get to discover the unique beauty of our Inner Banks.

Check the maps below for alternate route options to the Outer Banks:

From or thru Richmond, VA - (Alternate 1): 4 hours and 2 minutes - 237 miles of mixed road types, some scenic and rural:

From or thru Richmond, VA - (Alternate 2): 4 hours and 20 minutes, 275 miles of mostly large roads and Interstate:

From or thru Virginia’s Easter Shore or Hampton Roads - (Alternate): 2 hours and 42 minutes, 149 miles of mixed road types, some scenic and rural:

By Ferry

Schedules and Rates

Hatteras-Ocracoke Free Ferry

This free ferry service links the Outer Banks islands of Hatteras and Ocracoke with a relaxing 60-minute trip. During the summer, the wait may be long. Reservations are not accepted.

Hatteras to Ocracoke

May 1 - Oct. 29

Departures at 5am, 6am and 7am; departures every 30 minutes from 7:30am to 7:00pm and at 8pm, 9pm, 10pm, 11pm and midnight.

Oct. 30 - April 30

Departs every hour, 5am - midnight.

Ocracoke to Hatteras

May 1 - Oct. 29

Departures at 5am, 6am, 7am and 8am; departures every 30 minutes from 8:30am through 7:00pm and at 8pm, 9pm, 10pm, 11pm and midnight.

Oct. 30 - April 30

Departs every hour, 5am - midnight.

Cedar Island/Swan Quarter Toll Ferries

Reservations, recommended for the Ocracoke ferries to and from Cedar Island (2 1/4 hours) and Swan Quarter (2 1/2 hours); may be made in person at the terminal or by phone, preferably 1 or 2 days in advance. Reservations may be made up to 30 days in advance and must be claimed at least 30 minutes prior to departure.

  • Ocracoke (800) 345-1665
  • Cedar Island (800) 856-0343
  • Swan Quarter (800) 773-1094


  • $1/pedestrians
  • $3/bicycles
  • $10/motorcycles
  • $15/vehicles and/or combinations less than 20'
  • $30/vehicle and/or combination 20' to 40'
  • $45/vehicle and/or combination up to 65'

The Cedar Island and Swan Quarter ferries have limited departure times.

For information about North Carolina ferries, call 1-800-BY-FERRY.