Best Outer Banks Beaches
The Outer Banks is well known and loved for its miles of beaches. While none of the beaches are private, the access to the beach may be privately owned. Of the miles and miles of sand, where are the best public beaches for your vacation?
Northern Beaches on the Outer Banks
Okay, so technically, Duck doesn't have any public beach access. However, since most of Duck is highly residential, there are several wooden walkways for your neighborhood to access the beach. While all of the beaches in Duck are great, the Barrier Island community and area around the Sanderling Resort are really top notch.
There are usually lifeguards on duty, friendly beach-goers, and a great little shopping area nearby with stores and restaurants.
Kitty Hawk Pier in Kitty Hawk is one of the prettiest and most accessible beaches of the northern Outer Banks. Whether you want to fish, soak up the sun, surf, or catch the perfect sunrise photograph, Kitty Hawk Pier is perfect. With ample parking and a unique blend of locals and tourists, visiting Kitty Hawk Pier every day feels like a different experience.
Nearby, there are great local spots to grab some food, too.
Middle Beaches on the Outer Banks
Kill Devil Hills
1st Street looks like your run-of-the-mill beach access, but the actual beach is extremely wide. There's more than enough room for you, the family, beach umbrellas, coolers, and the dog to spread out and play. This beach access is close to restaurants and shopping in case you get tired of the beach and want to find something else to entertain you for a bit.
One more reason this is a great access – just off the main highway, there's a massive mini-golf course for you to play.
Bonnett Street - With a large parking lot, showers, a lifeguard stand, and a great walkway from the car to the beach, Bonnett Street access is a fantastic beach access. If you're staying in Manteo, this is the perfect combination of amazing and close.
As an added bonus, it's across the street from the famous Tortuga's Lie restaurant.
Southern Beaches on the Outer Banks
Coquina Beach is one of the best beaches on the entire Outer Banks. A short drive south from the main Outer Banks, Coquina lies just across from the Bodie Island Lighthouse. The beach access has a massive parking lot and a wonderful shower and restroom facility. Because it's part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, there are no nearby houses and you can walk up and down for miles with great views and great access to the water.
One the most beloved things about Coquina is the large shipwreck of the Laura Barnes which is high on the sand near the dune line. It's amazing to walk along next to the shipwreck imagining what life was like in the days of the Graveyard of the Atlantic.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
Travel south to the easternmost point of North Carolina and you'll find the Cape Hatteras lighthouse. The lighthouse’s current location is more inland from the original spot on the sandy beach of the cape. If you visit the original location, you’ll find one of the best beaches on the Outer Banks. The views are incredible and the location is as close as it gets to the warm Gulf Stream waters.
It’s a bit of a drive, but the experience of a beach day beside a lighthouse is a must-do on your trip to the Outer Banks.
All the beaches along North Carolina’s Coast are beautiful. You can’t find a bad stretch of sand anywhere, so even if you don’t make it to one of these, you’re sure to enjoy your fun in the sun on the Outer Banks.