Barrier islands make for exceptional summer destinations, and the Outer Banks are no exception. Situated off the coasts of North Carolina and Virginia, these islands contain not only a bountiful beachfront, but also some history. One of the islands, Roanoke, is infamous for having been home to an English colony that mysteriously vanished. The Wright brothers’ momentous and initial flight also took place here.
Your visit to the Outer Banks will likely be less historic, but there’s still plenty to do across the islands Ocracoke, Hatteras, Roanoke and Bodie. Here are a few properties where you can enjoy all the beachfront delights this area has to offer, especially Kill Devil Hills, an area we’ve concentrated on here.
From $101/ night
Seeking natural beauty? You won’t be disappointed at this bright, modern and highly-rated Hampton Inn. Situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Audubon Pine Island Sanctuary, this property offers beach and pools both indoors and out. You can book a room with a sea view if you want to wake up to the ocean’s rolling blue, though every room comes with a balcony or patio so you can enjoy some fresh air. Continental breakfast is served every morning, helping refill your energy for whatever activities you decide to pursue, whether outdoorsy (you can fish nearby) or on-site (such as the fitness center).
From $98/ night
Lightly decorated with a soft, nautical palette, the boutiquey Shutters on the Banks is only 4,000 feet from the alluring sand and surf of Kill Devil Hills Beach. There’s also an outdoor pool, free parking, amiable staff and continental breakfast with yummy fruit. All this makes it a suitable choice for families, as online reviewers have noted. And if you’re looking to keep kids occupied past daytime, rooms come with a flatscreen TV, while the entire hotel enjoys free wifi. Need a bedtime snack or just some basic supplies? A Dairy Queen and supermarket are both within two miles of the property.
From $75/ night
This charming, attractive Days Inn is only 3,100 feet from the beach —about a 12-minute walk by the hotel’s estimate. If that seems too long a trek, consider its other benefits: friendly staff, updated and clean digs, and continental breakfast (included with your room price). If you need a pick-me-up, refreshments are served gratis every afternoon. Or, if you prefer even more intense exercise, the hotel will provide complimentary passes to the local YMCA. Once you’ve enjoyed the hotel, try venturing to some popular attractions nearby, like the Wright Brothers National Memorial (about a mile away) or the Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Reserve (a 15-minute drive).
From $98/ night
Dreaming of soft sand and cold water? You won’t have to dream here as the beach is only a minute’s walk away. An indoor pool is available for less public swimming, while the Beachside Bistro presents another chance to enjoy the water via its deck. There you can enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner while imbibing sweeping coastal sights (and savory coastal tastes). You can book a room with with a balcony or sea view to maximize your sightseeing, or you can try a different strategy and venture outside. Roanoke Island’s aquarium, for instance, is a 15-minute drive. Or you can simply live luxuriously as much as possible: try booking one of the hotel’s two-bed, two-bath, condo-esque suites.
From $101/ night
Whether you’re brand loyal or just looking for a recognizable name, this beachfront Ramada should satisfy your needs. Just steps from the beach, it comes with all the amenities you’d expect, like a fridge, microwave and cable TV in your room, as well as a pool, hot tub and fitness center beyond your room’s door. You can book a room with a patio or balcony, while anyone can enjoy the provided beach chairs for some beach lounging. Hungry? Peppercorns Restaurant is on-site and ready to satiate your appetite for breakfast, lunch or dinner.