Natural beauty, outdoor activity, and fascinating history are the staples of the Outer Banks, and the area’s surrounding cities offer equally charming appeal. Relaxed beach-town environments, watersports, delicious dining, and more are what you can find in the towns that inhabit the coastline. The following are our favorite cities near the Outer Banks and the great things to do and see there!

For the most extensive list of things to do in cities near the Outer Banks, download our free Vacation Guide! We’ve included expert tips and local recommendations on restaurants, outdoor activities, beaches, historical sites, and more. The ultimate Outer Banks vacation awaits!

The Best Cities Near the Outer Banks & Things to Do


Avon might be small, but that’s not to say it doesn’t have plenty of attractions. You’ll find great fishing at the Avon Pier, and the Avon Beach Club is the perfect choice for family-friendly entertainment. If you get hungry, head to locals’ favorite eateries like Gidget’s Pizza and Pasta or The Mad Crabber!


The northernmost destination on this list, Corolla is one of the most popular cities near the Outer Banks. From the wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs that inhabit the area to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, there’s an abundance of scenic attractions here. You can take an ATV tour to see the horses, go parasailing, or choose from a number of other fabulous things to do in Corolla.


When vacation season hits, Duck transforms from a tiny town with under 500 people to one of the most popular cities near the Outer Banks with a population of approximately 20,000! For outdoors lovers, water sports like jet skiing and canoeing are popular choices. The scenic Duck Boardwalk is the perfect place to enjoy the beautiful surroundings, wildlife, delicious restaurants, and local shops!

One of our favorite spots to vacation in Duck is in the Sanderling Community. Enjoy a soundfront swimming pool, pristine sandy beaches, peaceful marshes, and convenient access to all the best Duck attractions!

Kill Devil Hills

This is the site of the world’s first powered flight, thanks to two brothers from Ohio. You’ve seen the famous picture of the Wright Brothers’ airplane taking off, with none other than the beaches of Kill Devil Hills in the background. Popular local attractions include the Avalon Fishing Pier, kayaking, and the Wright Brothers National Memorial. If you’re planning an OBX vacation, take a look at our guide on how to make the most of your trip to Kill Devil Hills.

Kitty Hawk

One of the most lively cities near the Outer Banks, Kitty Hawk is an exciting place to visit! Watersports are in no shortage here, and the beaches provide the perfect backdrop for a day of fun on the water. Head to Kitty Hawk Kites for everything from kayak tours and hang gliding lessons to surf apparel and more! If you want to take things down a notch, go for a stroll at Sandy Run Park and enjoy the tranquil scenery.

Nags Head

Wildlife tours, outlet shopping, the Bodie Island Lighthouse and more – these are a just a few of the great things to do in Nags Head, NC. If you’re in Nags Head at dinnertime, be sure to head to Miller’s Waterfront Restaurant, where some of the best meals in the Outer Banks have been served for nearly 40 years!

Where to Stay on the Outer Banks

If you’ve never visited the Outer Banks, you’re in for a treat. Due to the location, the closest airports near the Outer Banks are in Norfolk, VA, and Raleigh, NC. You’ll still need to drive a couple hours, but the travel is worth what lies ahead. You can’t go wrong with a vacation in any of the cities near the Outer Banks mentioned above!

No matter which Outer Banks city you choose, Shoreline OBX has vacation rentals to suit your needs. Whether you’re looking for a pet-friendly rental, an oceanfront property, or a house that fits multiple families, our team will help you pick the perfect Outer Banks vacation retreat.

Begin browsing all of our vacation rentals or contact us today to start planning your next Outer Banks vacation!