The Best Hotels and Vacation Rentals to Book on the Outer Banks, North Carolina

Enjoy ocean views at the Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Nags Head
Enjoy ocean views at the Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Nags Head | Courtesy of Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Nags Head Oceanfront / Expedia
Photo of Nick Dauk
7 September 2021

From family-friendly resorts to romantic boutiques, these great places to stay will make sure that life’s a beach on the Outer Banks. Be it Roanoke or Nags Head, hotels and vacation rentals you’ll love are here.

For a sunny seaside getaway with bags of Southern charm, the Outer Banks are the place to go. The barrier islands in North Carolina have a decidedly different feel than the rest of the Tar Heel State – hundreds of miles of open beach, dozens of shipwreck diving sites and an islander’s pace will keep you entertained and at ease for days.

Roanoke Island Inn

Double bed on wooden frame in wood-lined, white-painted room with armchair and overhead fan at Roanoke Island Inn
Courtesy of Roanoke Island Inn / Expedia
This near-two-centuries-old island home is as calm and welcoming as the sea breeze. Spend hours on the porch, kicking back (and forth) on a rocking chair, getting up only to grab a snack from the complimentary Innkeeper’s Pantry. Rent out your very own beach bungalow so you can soak your feet in the clawfoot tub after an afternoon spent meandering around the waterfront under the watchful eye of the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse.

The Burrus House Inn Waterfront Suites

Four chairs by a bar in a white-painted room with an armchair at the Burrus House Inn Waterfront Suites
Courtesy of the Burrus House Inn Waterfront Suites / Expedia
Two-person showers, jetted spa tubs and a private deck – if that doesn’t fill you with a load of loved-up thoughts, how about flexible yoga classes, followed by champagne by the fire pits? Resistance to romance is futile at the Burrus House Inn. Couples whose passion is the outdoors can hire paddleboards, bikes and kayaks for a bonding day exploring the landscape beyond your bedroom door.

Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk

Outdoor seating, water feature and pool by the ocean at five-story Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk
Courtesy of Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk / Expedia
Right off of the Kitty Hawk Pier, Hilton Garden Inn insists that flip flops, sunglasses and swimsuits are all you’ll need during your stay. This oceanfront hotel features indoor and outdoor pools, an all-day restaurant and a sun-kissed sandy shoreline that you’ll never want to leave. Should you need to give your tan a break, shopping, dining and escape rooms are right across the street. Of course, you could always host your own “escape room” in your suite, allowing room service to keep you “trapped” with sips and snacks.

Beachwoods by Diamond Resorts

Flowers on lawn by large lake with spurting water feature outside Beachwoods by Diamond Resorts
Courtesy of Beachwoods by Diamond Resorts / Expedia
Surrounded by 100 acres (40ha) of maritime forest, Beachwoods is a hidden resort that’ll have you reassessing the essentials of a coastal holiday. The private man-made lake here is primed for paddle boating and fishing. On a rainy day, the Lakeside Lodge is ready to fill the time between cloudbursts with arcade games and game tables. Looking out at the forest from your screened-in porch will feel so relaxing that you might never make it to the beach.

Pierhouse Bed & Breakfast

Roadside exterior of detached, three-story Pierhouse Bed & Breakfast
Courtesy of Pierhouse Bed & Breakfast / Expedia | Courtesy of Pierhouse Bed & Breakfast / Expedia
Anglers, this is the fishing trip you’ve been waiting for. Pierhouse Bed & Breakfast is within a rod’s reach of the Avalon Fishing Pier, giving you every excuse to spend all day casting lines in the water. Rent one of these vacation homes, and bring your pals along for a low-key weekend. Stoney Spencer’s Shrimp Shack and Awful Arthur’s Oyster Bar keep things fresh, while the Something Fishy gift shop has a knick-knack to remind you of the one that got away.

Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Nags Head Oceanfront

Two double beds in room with desk, desk chair, armchair and private balcony at Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Nags Head Oceanfront
Courtesy of Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Nags Head Oceanfront /
Load up the family – including your four-legged friend – and spend your vacation splashing in the Atlantic Ocean at Ramada Plaza by Wyndham, one of the best hotels in Nags Head for all ages. The kids will love making wet footprints running from the beach to the indoor pool and back again. Encourage them to perfect their cannonballs so you can wring a few more minutes in the hot tub. Your pooch will love these OBX digs, too, especially when you let them run wild at Nags Head Dog Park.

Sea Scape Beach and Golf Villas by Capital Vacations

Sloping garden with green lawn and bushes outside the two-story Sea Scape Beach and Golf Villas by Capital Vacations
Courtesy of Sea Scape Beach and Golf Villas by Capital Vacations / Expedia
Sea Scape Beach and Golf Villas have the difficult responsibility of keeping you both on and out of the sand. Along with a host of amenities such as a movie theater, games room, basketball court and three pools, it also has a beach to the east and an 18-hole course to the west. The trick is keeping your toes in the sand and your golf balls on the green. Up for the challenge? Sea Scape will make sure your vacation is a hole-in-one.

Saltaire Cottages

Outdoor pool with handrails and steps, plus wooden bench seating and loungers, at Saltaire Cottages
Courtesy of Saltaire Cottages / Expedia
A private cottage with a private beach – need anything more for a perfect Outer Banks getaway? Saltaire Cottages are fully equipped with homey conveniences, including kitchens with all the cookware you need. You’re always welcome to tan at the community sundeck or pool, but Saltaire’s own stretch of shoreline across the street will likely wave you over first. Brew up a pot of coffee, and decide which swimsuit to wear as you sip on your breezy porch.

Planning to bring along a four-legged friend? Book into one of the best pet-friendly hotels on the Outer Banks instead. Looking further afield? Opt for one of the best hotels in the whole of North Carolina. Inspire your itinerary with our adventure traveler’s guide to the Old North State; for a quieter pace for your visit, don’t miss the best places for seeing fall foliage.

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