Outer Banks, NC Weather

Living in the Outer Banks of North Carolina full-time we know the weather better than anyone and we know how it impacts your vacation. Here's what to expect.

The Weather On The Outer Banks of North Carolina

When you’re planning a trip to the Outer Banks, it’s helpful to understand the weather, and what to expect in our area during each season. Because of our unique location on the ocean, the temperature is fairly stable throughout the year providing for warm summers and cool (but not frigid) winters.

Read on to find out what makes the Outer Banks a popular destination in any season. Let’s start by looking at the average monthly temperatures.

Average Monthly Temperatures On The Outer Banks

At average monthly temperatures on the Outer Banks are:

  • January – 51°
  • February – 54°
  • March – 59°
  • April – 69°
  • May – 76°
  • June – 83°
  • July – 86°
  • August – 85°
  • September -82°
  • October – 70°
  • November – 63°
  • December – 55°

The OBX in Any Season | What The Weather Means For Your Vacation

The Outer Banks is a wonderful vacation destination, year round! Let’s look at what each season brings…

Spring – Fishing tends to be the biggest draw in the spring.  The weather warms as the sea water temperature rises, and with it comes arguably the best fishing on the east coast.  Spring also brings festivals, including an always-entertaining kite festival in Nags Head (where else but where the Wright Brothers first took to the skies?).

Summer – Summer is without a doubt the busiest time of year, with beautiful weather and more beach than you can imagine. Should you want to get off the beaches, there are endless things to do, shops to browse, historical sites to visit, and restaurants to enjoy.

Fall – With kids back to school, the Outer Banks quiets down a bit, but the weather remains warm well. Known as the “secret season,” fall is the locals’ favorite time of year. Fishing is extremely popular in the fall and two of the biggest draws as winds pick up are surfing and kite-boarding.

Winter – Colder winter weather brings quiet relaxation and strolls along the beaches. Many shops close for the winter, making way for visitors to simply enjoy the scenery, the quiet, and those they are with.

Directions To The Outer Banks | Carolina Designs

Coming to the Outer Banks, NC? Get directions for driving and from the closest airports to arrive quickly and safely.


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?

From 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:

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

The map below shows the full directions from the airport to the Carolina Designs office however stopping they may not be necessary. The email confirmation you’ll have received with your reservation will have full entry instructions.

Driving From The North

If you’ll be driving from the North-East you’ll get to enjoy a beautiful drive along the way.  In our instructions, we’re going to start on the I-95 S just outside of Washington DC.  From there you will:

  1. Use either of the left two lanes to take exit 84A to merge onto the I-295 S.
  2. After 14.9 miles use the right two lanes to take exit 28A to merge onto the 1-64 E.  Stay on that for 63.8 miles.
  3. Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 264 for I-664 S.
  4. Continue on the I-664 S for 15.5 miles before taking exit 15B for the I-64.
  5. You’ll continue on the I-64 W for 7.6 miles before taking exit 291B to merge onto VA-168 S.
  6. Continue onto Va-168 S for 63.5 miles (it will have turned into US-158 E about halfway through).

The map below shows the full directions from just outside Washington, DC to the Carolina Designs Realty offices. However, stopping there may not be necessary. The email confirmation you’ll have received with your reservation will have full instructions on how to enter your rental home.

Driving From The West

If you’ll be driving from the West we’re going to start our instructions from Greensboro on the I-40 E.

  1. Follow signs for Interstate 40/Raleigh
  2. Use the right 2 lanes and take exit 289 for Wade Avenue toward I-440/US-1 N.
  3. Continue on Wade Avenue for 2.2 miles before taking exit I-440 E/US-1 N.
  4. Use the right two lanes to take exit 14 towards the US-264 E.
  5. Continue on the US-264 E for 13.6 miles.
  6. Keep left at the fork to continue on the US-64 E following signs for Rocky Mont Tarboro.
  7. Take exit 515 for US-64 E.
  8. Continue on the US-64 E for 103.9 miles (it will have become the US-158 W).

Driving From The South

There are a few ways to get to the Outer Banks from the south but the most popular is via the I-95 N. We’re going to start our directions in Florence, SC. From there you’ll:

  1. Take the I-95 N about 167 miles until you see exit 138.
  2. Use exit 138 to merge onto the US-64 E toward Rocky Mount.
  3. After 52 miles take exit 515 towards Plymouth/Manteo
  4. Continue on the US-64 E for 103.9 miles (it will have become the US-158 W).

Of course, if you have any questions about your travels or your stay on the Outer Banks you are welcome to contact us.  We’re here to help make your stay everything it can be and more, right from the beginning of your travels to visit us.

History Of The Outer Banks | Carolina Designs

The Outer Banks of North Carolina has a rich history. From early explorers to the first flight we’ve compiled the “Best of the Outer Banks” to share with you.


The Outer Banks of North Carolina seems to have risen from the sea approximately 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, making it a geologic infant. The first Native Americans arrived between 1,600 and 2,000 years ago, although this is simply speculation. From recorded history, the Outer Banks began with the arrival of European explorers.

Early European Explorers

Amerigo Vespucci was most likely the first European explorer to reach the Outer Banks, although the evidence is circumstantial. If this is factual, it occurred during his first visit to the New World during a 1499-1500 voyage. European explorers believed they were exploring a new land, but the area was already well populated with Native Americans of the Algonquin language group, who had been living on the Outer Banks for the past 1,000 years. The early Europeans who came in contact with them thought the Indians were unsophisticated savages, largely because they were not Christians.

Yet these peoples were anything but unsophisticated. Organized into small city-states, with a large village where the chief resided, this area served as an administrative center for the surrounding area. The “city-states” had recognized boundaries and well-defined political roles. Though these tribes were isolated from one another in distance, there is considerable artifact evidence that Native Americans from the mountain regions of North Carolina visited here and engaged in trade.

By the time the first English military venture outpost, which is now referred to as the “Lost Colony,” was established on Roanoke Island in 1585, the Outer Banks coastline had already been explored by a number of expeditions, most of them Spanish. It is likely the Native Americans the colonists encountered had either previously met Europeans or were well aware of their explorations of the area.In 1587, the first 115 permanent English colonists arrived to find an empty outpost at Roanoke Island. The colonists chose to remain, but sent a ship back to England requesting aid and supplies. Because of the impending Spanish Armada, Queen Elizabeth 1 of England refused to allow a relief ship to sail, and it was not until 1590 that a ship crossed the Atlantic and arrived on Roanoke Island, only to find an abandoned colony. The only clue was the word “Croatan” that was carved into a tree.

There are no written records of why the colony on Roanoke Island failed. Records that returned to England indicate the initial reception by the Indians was friendly, but their good will was eventually destroyed by Governor Ralph Lane’s heavy handed approach towards them. When a silver cup was reported stolen, Lane ordered the local village burned and ransacked. Understandably, the Indians resented the action and a series of raids against the settlers followed.

This incident, and the refusal of local chiefs to help colonists adjust to their new land, doomed the expedition. There is speculation, but no proof, of the ultimate fate of the colony. A map created by the colony’s governor, John White, was recently re-examined, and researchers found a clear indication of a fort about 50 miles inland, in what is now Bertie County. The theory holds that White and the colonists had agreed to move inland before the return voyage to England, and the icon on the map indicates the location.

Another theory involves the Lumbee Indians of Robeson County. The Lumbees speak a dialect of English very distinct from surrounding dialects. As a tribe, they have always maintained they are the descendants of the colonists from the Lost Colony, and the first English frontiersmen to reach them in the 16th century remarked upon their European features and European style square-framed homes. In addition, the tribe also has a remarkably long tradition of practicing Christianity.

Although the Roanoke Colony failed, settlement by the European powers was inevitable. With the defeat of the Spanish Armada, the British became the dominant colonial power of the 17th century. Firmly established in Virginia, the English began expanding their holdings, and by the late 1600s had migrated to what are now Dare and Currituck Counties. Around 1665, the first permanent settlement, Colington Island, was established. In 1668, Currituck County was established, making it one of the oldest counties in the state.

The Age of the Pirates

With its ever-shifting shoals and constantly opening and closing inlets, the Outer Banks were the perfect haven for pirates. From the late 17th to the early 18th centuries, coastal North Carolina was a hotbed of piracy.
Because shipping routes hugged the coast of North America, as ships sailed between northern ports and southern sugar cane and rum transports, they were easy prey for a well-armed sloop with a captain who knew the local waters. North Carolina government officials were lining their pockets with money made by permitting pirates to offload their cargo in local ports, so complaints from neighboring colonies fell on deaf ears.

The most notorious of the pirates, Blackbeard (his real name was Edward Teach), used Ocracoke as his homeport. In 1718, after calls for help were ignored, Governor Spotswood of Virginia dispatched Lt. Robert Maynard of the British Navy to hunt down and kill or capture Blackbeard. On November 19th, after a furious boarding action, Maynard killed Blackbeard, beheaded him and mounted his head on the bowsprit of his ship, the HMS Ranger. The action took place off what is now Atlantic Beach, south of the Outer Banks. Blackbeard was not the only infamous name plying the pirate trade off North Carolina. In his day, Stede Bonnet was as well known as Blackbeard; he too met his end in 1718, at the end of a rope in Charleston, SC. Blackbeard and Stede’s fates were indicative of the end of the age of piracy. In England, laws were passed that allowed the colonies to try pirates in local courts. Before those laws, they had to be shipped back to England for trial. Coupled with stronger enforcement the result was inevitable.


After ratifying the Constitution in 1789, one of the first acts of congress from the newly formed U.S. government was to fund the U.S. Lighthouse Establishment and begin the process of creating lighthouses to protect shipping along the coastline. The act was the first transportation bill created by the new government, and from that act, the lighthouses that line the Atlantic seaboard from Maine to Florida and the formation of the U.S. Coast Guard can trace their beginnings.

The dark seacoast and stormy seas of Diamond Shoals were long known as one of the most treacherous stretches of ocean along the East Coast. For this reason, in 1797, Congress appropriated $44,000 to construct a lighthouse at Cape Hatteras. Completed in 1803, the first lighthouse was 112 feet above the sand with a light that could be seen from 18 miles on a clear day. However, repeated reports indicated that the light was too weak, moving Navy Lt. David D. Porter to observe in 1851 that “Hatteras Light, the most important on our coast is, without doubt, the worst light in the world.”

Because of its strategic importance, the Hatteras Lighthouse was dismantled during the Civil War, and it was not until 1868 that funds were approved for the new tower. Although $80,000 was appropriated, cost overruns more than doubled the price to $167,000. What the government got for its money was a light that could be seen 28 miles out to sea, and at 207 feet, the tallest lighthouse in the United States. It was an extraordinary feat of engineering—withstanding hurricanes, flooding and the corrosive effects of salt laden winds for over 140 years.

In 1999 the lighthouse, threatened by the eroding shoreline, was moved back from the sea and now stands 1,600 feet farther from the Atlantic Ocean. The Hatteras Lighthouse is the most iconic of the four lighthouses spanning the Outer Banks, and, at 210 feet, is the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States. Replacing an older obsolete lighthouse, the Ocracoke lighthouse was completed in 1823. Only 75 feet high, it is a solid example of early lighthouse construction, with bricks 5 foot thick at its base and 2 feet thick at the top. Still in use today, the Ocracoke Light is the second oldest operating lighthouse in the country.

As early as 1838, government officials recommended a lighthouse north of Cape Hatteras to mark the beginning of the Outer Banks shoals of Pea Island. After a series of delays, in 1847 the first Bodie Island Lighthouse began casting a beam out to sea. Located just south of Oregon Inlet, the site is now under water. Unfortunately, the contractor did not follow the engineer’s specifications to build the structure on a supported brick foundation and within two years the tower was leaning. Attempts to correct the problem were unsuccessful, so in 1859 the structure was abandoned. However, a replacement tower was quickly built, and in less than a year, a new light was illuminating the Atlantic. It was a short-lived existence for the second Bodie Island Light. Fearing advancing Union troops would use the lighthouse as an observation post, retreating Confederate soldiers blew it up in 1861.

After the Civil War, it took the Federal Lighthouse Board five years to agree to replace the light. Using brick and other materials from the just completed Hatteras Light, the Bodie Island Light was moved to the northside of Oregon Inlet, onto a 15 acre site that is now on the southern edge of South Nags Head. Construction was completed relatively quickly, and in 1872, the first order Fresnel light began shining out to sea. After the Bodie Island Light was completed, the last remaining dark spot on the Atlantic Coast was the 70 miles stretch between the Cape Henry Light in Virginia and Bodie Island. In 1873, construction began to remedy this void, and two years later the 158 foot Currituck Beach Light in Corolla went into operation. The Outer Banks lighthouses are still in use today, although their beacons are automated. The distinctive coloration of the structures is a daytime aid to navigation and at night, each light has its own pattern to guide mariners. Currituck Beach, Bodie Island and Hatteras Light are available to climb. Currituck Beach is owned and operated by the Outer Banks Conservationists and can be climbed year round. Bodie Island and Hatteras Light are part of the National Park System, and tours and climbing are available from late April through Columbus Day. All lighthouses charge a fee.

Civil War

The same conditions that made the Outer Banks an ideal pirate playground created the perfect opportunity for the Confederacy to raid coastal shipping at the beginning of the Civil War. Quickly realizing the potential danger, Union forces moved with surprising speed and in August of 1861, four months after the start of hostilities, the North attacked forts protecting Hatteras Inlet, the inlet separating Hatteras Island and Ocracoke. The forts were understaffed and poorly constructed. Cannons used by the Confederates were hopelessly outranged by the rifled cannons of the Union fleet. After a day of shelling,

Confederate forces at Fort Clark on Ocracoke Island fled to Fort Hatteras. A day later, after hours of intense shelling, the 700 remaining soldiers in Hatteras surrendered. The surrender of Fort Hatteras to Union forces was the first major victory for the North in the Civil War. After taking Hatteras, a series of skirmishes ensued, but the desired prize was Roanoke Island with its direct link to the transportation network of northeastern North Carolina. By February of 1862, Union forces were moving in strength to take the island. Almost from the time Union forces captured Hatteras, Confederate commanders on Roanoke Island recognized how vulnerable the island was and requested reinforcements and cannons. However, their pleas received little response. When the battle began on February 7th, the Confederate forces, consisting of only 3,000 soldiers and less than two dozen cannons, fought against General Burnside’s 10,000 men and flotilla of gunboats. After a day of heavy shelling, skirmishes and light casualties, the 2,500 remaining southern troops on Roanoke Island surrendered. The capture of Roanoke Island was significant for a number of reasons. Militarily, it allowed the Union Army to take many of the towns and small cities on the surrounding Outer Banks sounds. It also forced the South to commit troops and resources to keep the northern forces from expanding their position.

General Burnside, when confronted with slaves brought to Roanoke to build fortification, declared them contraband of war, a move that effectively freed them. Word spread that any slave that made it to Roanoke Island would be freed; by war’s end the Freedman’s Colony on the north end of the island had a population of 3,000, complete with schools, churches and a town government.

Hunt Clubs

The Outer Banks has always been a vacation retreat, but at one time the seasons were reversed and the fall and winter were times when visitors would travel from cities of the northeast. From 1857, when the Currituck Shooting Club was incorporated, until the 1960s, life in Dare and Currituck Counties revolved around wealthy hunters traveling from the north during winter months and robust farming during the summer months.

Remnants from that time are everywhere. The opulent lifestyle of Edward Collins Knight, who built the Whalehead Club for his wife, is the most apparent reminder. But there are others as well. On Pea Island, the impoundment ponds at the visitor’s center are what remain of a hunt club. The Currituck Club in Corolla, with its award winning golf course, occupies the same land that the first Outer Banks hunt club owned. Until recently, the Pine Island subdivision and Audubon tract was an active hunt club, and the original building remains. The Powder Ridge Gun Club in the Town of Duck is now a bookstore and coffee shop. Even today, the tradition of hunting still exists. The sounds are dotted with duck blinds, and seasonal hunting remains a long-standing tradition for landowners and private hunt clubs.

The Wright Brothers

After writing to Orville and Wilbur Wright that there were plenty of open beaches and steady winds on the Outer Banks, County Commissioner and Kitty Hawk Assistant Postmaster, William Tate, concluded his letter with, “I assure you, you will find a hospitable people when you come among us.” A few weeks later, towards the end of September of 1900, Wilbur Wright showed up unannounced at Tate’s front door. Shortly after, Orville followed and the brothers set up camp at the base of Kill Devil Hill. It was there they discovered what Tate had not included in his letter. “There was no escape. They chewed us clear through our underwear and sox. Lumps began showing up all over my body like hen’s eggs,” Orville wrote to his sister, Katherine, describing the mosquitoes that plagued their camp. Mosquitoes notwithstanding, the Wright brothers had found the testing grounds they needed. The people were indeed, “hospitable,” although somewhat skeptical. This area was isolated from the prying eyes of the press, the winds were brisk and predictable, and the sand was a forgiving landing zone.

During the first three years, 1900 through 1902, the Wright brothers conducted a series of glider experiments. It was no accident that they were the first to achieve powered flight. Although neither brother finished high school, they were scientists in the truest sense of the word. They questioned everything, tested and retested, and ultimately proved that the generally accepted formula for lift was wrong. They came up with the basic model for how a propeller moves air. Although we have vastly improved their methods of controlling flight, Wilbur and Orville Wright were the first aviators to understand and develop a practical way to control an aircraft. We still use the same principles today. By 1903 they were ready…but there were delays. Unable to find an engine that met their requirements, they had their bicycle shop manager, Charlie Taylor, build one. Propeller shafts broke, the weather wouldn’t cooperate and it was not until December that they were ready to prove they could fly. Wilbur made the first attempt on December 14th, a three second flight that the brothers rejected as “only a partial success.” December 17th was the next attempt, a cold day

with the wind gusting to 27mph. At 10:35 a.m., with Wilbur at the controls, the Wright Flyer lifted off the ground and flew. It was a short flight, only 12 seconds, covering just 120 feet, but the flight and the landing were clearly controlled. This flight was recorded in an iconic image snapped by John T. Daniels of the local Lifesaving Service crew. They made three more flights that day, the third lasting 59 seconds and covering 852 feet before a crash landing ended the day. Interestingly, while today the Wright Brothers Monument is in Kill Devil Hills, at the time Wilbur and Orville flew the area was known as Kitty Hawk. The hill that the Monument tops is now in Kill Devil Hills, but it was a migrating sand dune in 1903 and appears to be significantly south of the original location at the time of the flight. The dune has since been stabilized by planting beach grass around its base and up its sides. The grounds and museum of the Wright Brothers Monument tell an extraordinary tale of perseverance, creativity and genius.

The Outer Banks has a rich and diverse history that has a common thread of exploration, ingenuity, adventure and discovery.

Outer Banks Travel Guide

From directions and ferry schedules to weather and event listings, you'll find it in the Outer Banks Travel Guide. Make the most of your OBX vacation.

Outer Banks Travel Guide

Things you want to know!

Discover all that the Outer Banks has to offer in our Outer Banks Travel Guide. From delicious restaurants and unique shops, to famous historical sites and family-friendly activities, our coastline has something for everyone.  The Carolina Designs vacation guide is your entry point to the OBX!

Your Visit To The Outer Banks | Carolina Designs

From directions and schedules to travel tips and swimming safety instructions, we've got all the information you'll need to help make your stay in one of our Outer Banks vacation rentals all it can be.

Your Visit To The Outer Banks

Information, Tips and Directions

There’s a lot to see and do on the Outer Banks and we want you to enjoy it all. Here are some quick tips, directions and other information you’ll find helpful in making your stay with us all it can be.

About Carolina Designs And Our Outer Banks Vacation Homes

Find out more about Carolina Designer Realty and why renting your Outer Banks vacation home from us is a great choice for an even better vacation.

About Carolina Designs Realty

Since 1988, Carolina Designs Realty has represented select Outer Banks vacation homes located in the towns of Corolla, Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head. We are a family owned and operated business that has established a reputation with guests for our quality properties and focus on customer service. Guests who reserve our homes enjoy keyless entry, freshly made beds, towel sets in each bedroom, wifi, our signature welcome package, and a dedicated staff whose goals are to enhance your vacation experience.

Our team is local and here to help! Here at CDR, we hang our hats on great houses and great customer service. If you need assistance finding the right house for your group, or have questions about the Outer Banks, give us a call! Our knowledgable staff is here for you, 7 days a week.

Voted “Best Vacation Rental Company” in Best of the Beach every year since 2013!

Best of the Beach 2020

Any home can have problems that arise from time to time; what counts is how quickly those issues are addressed. Our operations team includes a staff of full-time field maintenance technicians and in-house coordinators that work hard to take care of our guests’ needs. We want your stay with us to be as carefree as possible!

To ensure that your home is properly prepared prior to your arrival, we manage our own cleaning and inspection staff. All of our cleaning teams are trained by our customer care department and each is required to follow a rigorous set of guidelines as they clean your rental home.

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Highlights Throughout the Years

  • The first Outer Banks rental company to provide linens (beds made) as a standard amenity.
  • 1997: The first Outer Banks rental company (and one of the first in the country) to offer real time availability and reservations via Internet.
  • 2006: Deployed wireless internet access in our homes and now all of our homes provide wifi internet access.
  • 2007: To help preserve the fragile Outer Banks ecosystems, we transitioned to revolutionary electrolyzed home cleaning products eliminating the need to use harsh chemicals.
  • 2008: Initiation of an innovative wait list program for guests.
  • 2009: We launched a state-of-the-art, user-friendly website system to simplify locating and reserving homes, printing leases and making online payments.
  • 2010: The first Outer Banks company to offer guests the option to plan vacations a year in advance by securing a Houses with a 10% down payment.
  • 2013: We migrated to an all-encompassing property management system, Advanced Reservation Technologies (ART) and won the Max Radio/OBX Voice “Best of the Beach Competition” in the categories of “Best Vacation Rental Company,” Best Property Management Company,” and “Best Real Estate Sales.”
  • 2014: Winner of the Max Radio/OBX Voice “Best of the Beach Competition” in the categories of “Best Vacation Rental Company,” “Best Houses Management Company” and “Best Real Estate Sales.”
  • 2015: All of our properties were upgraded to our Smart Lock Keyless Entry System and we won the Max Radio/OBX Voice “Best of the Beach Competition” in the categories of “Best Vacation Rental Company,” “Best Houses Management Company” and “Best Real Estate Sales.”
  • 2016: We launched a new website and won the Max Radio/OBX Voice “Best of the Beach Competition” in the categories of “Best Vacation Rental and Property Management Company” and “Best Real Estate Company.”
  • 2017: We won the Max Radio/OBX Voice “Best of the Beach Competition” in the categories of “Best Vacation Rental and Property Management Company” and “Best Real Estate Company.”
  • 2018: We won the Max Radio/OBX Voice “Best of the Beach Competition” in the categories of “Best Vacation Rental Company” and “Best Real Estate Company.”

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Contact Carolina Designs Realty | Get In Touch With A Specialist

Contact information for the departments of Carolina Designs Realty. Our main phone number is 800-368-3825 |
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Contact Us: 800-368-3825

Open Daily 9AM-5PM; Holiday hours may vary.

Keyless Entry

Information on accessing your vacation rental with Carolina Designs' keyless entry system. Getting in and out is as easy as 1 – 2 – 3 – *.

Keyless EntryKeyless Entry

How to Operate the Keyless Entry Lock

Your vacation home is equipped with keyless entry, which may look like one of the following:


  • Touch the keypad portion of the lock with the palm of your hand to illuminate the keypad.
  • Enter your code followed by the asterisk key (*) or the check mark (√) — whichever icon you see on the bottom left of your keypad.
  • When the code is accepted the locking mechanism will activate and the lock will open.


To lock simply touch the keypad with the back of your hand causing the locking mechanism to activate and the lock will then close.

Should you have any problems with lock operation:

  • Please retry the procedure.
  • Double check the code you entered with the code provided.

If problem persists, please call 800-368-3825.

What To Bring To The OBX

Planning a trip is hard enough without the added stress of guessing what you’ll need. Here’s a list of what you’ll want to bring with you to the Outer Banks.

What to BringWhat to Bring

  • Beach Chairs & Umbrellas
  • Beach Towels
  • Pool & Beach Toys
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Garbage Bags
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Spices
  • Pot holders
  • Paper Towels
  • Toilet tissue
  • Hair Dryers

You can pack less!

You can rent just about anything you need for your vacation. From baby cribs to surf boards, Ocean Atlantic Rentals has your back — and Carolina Designs Realty guests receive a discount on online orders.

All of our homes provide:

  • Convenient Keyless Entry
  • Wifi & Cable, Satellite TV, or Streaming Services
  • Freshly Made Beds
  • Towels (we supply two towel sets per King/Queen/Double bed and one per Twin bed. Each towel set contains a bath towel, hand towel and wash cloth)
  • Kitchen (stocked with basic cookware/tableware, microwave, stove/oven, dishwasher, and coffee maker)
  • Washer, Dryer, Iron, & Ironing Board
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Signature Welcome Package

Welcome Package

Our signature welcome package will be waiting at your home when you check in. You’ll find a reusable shopping bag containing a starter supply of the following items:

  • Fresh Roasted Coffee
  • Dishwashing Detergent
  • Paper Towels
  • Bath Soap
  • Toilet Tissue
  • Laundry Detergent
  • 2 Dish Cloths
  • 2 Dish Towels
  • 1 Pot Holder

A Few Additional Tips

Grocery Shopping

There are two standard grocery store chains that have multiple locations on the Outer Banks; Harris-Teeter (in Corolla, Kitty Hawk, and Kill Devil Hills) and Food Lion (in Corolla, Southern Shores, Kill Devil Hills, and Nags Head). Publix Super Market is located in Kill Devil Hills. Tommy’s Natural Foods Market & Wine Shop in Duck has the largest selection of local, vegan and gluten free products in the area and you can pre-order groceries through their website.

Outer Banks stores can be very crowded on Saturdays and Sundays so we recommend planning your grocery shopping trip accordingly.


Outer Banks traffic can be very heavy on Saturdays and Sundays, especially heading north towards Duck and Corolla, so make your travel plans with this in mind.

Swimming Safety

Swimming in the ocean is far different than in a pool. That’s why we provide safety tips here for all visitors to the Outer Banks.

SwimmingOcean Swimming Safety Tips

Outer Banks Red Flag Warnings

During dangerous surf conditions on Outer Banks beaches, the public is informed by local radio stations and also warned by red “NO SWIMMING” flags flying on the oceanfront at beach entrances. For your safety, please obey all red flag warnings.

It is against the law to swim in the surf when there is a Red Flag Warning on the Outer Banks beaches of Currituck County (Ocean Hill, Corolla Light, Whalehead, Monteray Shores, Buck Island, Crown Point, The Currituck Club, Spindrift, Ocean Sands and Pine Island) and Southern Shores. Violation is subject to a fine of up to $500 and/or 30 days in jail.”Swimming” is defined to also mean entry into the ocean by assistance of any device commonly used. (Surfers using a fiberglass and foam combination surfboard of at least five feet in length with a minimum of one fin and used with a leash are exempted from this red flag provision.)

Rip Currents

Seaward currents, also called rip currents or rip tides, are created by breaks in the sand bar off shore and are very dangerous. Rip currents are channels of water flowing away from the shore and will pull a swimmer out from shore. When a rip current forms, a channel of water 10 to 50 feet wide flows quickly away from shore.

Contrary to popular conceptions, rip currents do not pull swimmers underwater.

To spot a rip current, look for the following signs:

  • Water appears calmer and cooler than water around it
  • Water color appears different than water around it
  • Foam, objects or debris are moving away from the shore

If you are caught in a rip current, do not try to swim toward the shore against the current. Instead, wave and call for the Lifeguard, swim parallel to the shore until free of the current and then swim to shore. Above all, remain calm.

Learn more about Outer Banks Rip Currents


A backwash current on a steeply sloping beach can pull you toward deper water, but its power is swiftly checked by incoming waves. To escape this current, swim straight in if you’re a strong swimmer. If not, wait and float until the current stops, then swim in. If the current takes you out through incoming waves, it is a rip current.

The Outer Banks Is Well-Known As A Sport-Fisherman’s Paradise.

If you plan on going fishing during your trip, please be aware that a Coastal Recreational Fishing License is required for anglers 16 and older. The license is required to recreationally fish in the state’s Coastal Fishing Waters, which include sounds, coastal rivers and their tributaries, and out to three miles in the ocean.