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There are many great reasons to live in the Outer Banks of North Carolina! From remote sandy beaches and wild horses to fresh seafood and quaint local shops, the lifestyle here feels like a vacation. In fact, many folks who vacation here regularly go on to buy homes here, either as a permanent residence or a vacation home. So, which towns are the best places to live in the Outer Banks? The options cover a range of desired community lifestyles from quiet and tranquil to a busy and lively. One thing is for sure, though — you can’t go wrong with any of the best places to live in the Outer Banks!

When you’re searching for a home or a lifestyle change in the Outer Banks, be sure to bring in the experts. Shoreline OBX offers some of the best vacation rentals and property management services, and we know the best places to live in the Outer Banks! With more than 20 years of experience in the field, you can trust our market expertise. Contact us for help finding your dream OBX home today!

The Best Places to Live in the Outer Banks


The most northern town in the Outer Banks, Corolla is home to miles of beautiful beaches, wild horses, fabulous restaurants, a plethora of outdoor activities, and great golfing. With no commercial properties, Corolla is a wonderful and relaxing place to call home. Enjoy the beauty of this oceanside destination while staying in our luxurious Corolla vacation rentals!


Duck is well known for its pet-friendly beach, waterfront shopping and dining, the Duck Jazz Festival, and the Soundside Boardwalk. Spend time browsing shops, getting out on the water, and enjoying delicious seafood. You can find amazing Duck vacation rentals nearby!

Southern Shores

Nestled between Kitty Hawk and Duck, Southern Shores is known for its residential beach community, golf, extensive walking and cycling paths, and great shell collecting! Our Southern Shores vacation rentals provide access to private beaches, open only to residents and visitors staying in town!

Kitty Hawk

Kitty Hawk is arguably one of the best places to live in the Outer Banks. This year-round location is known for its first flight namesake, kiteboarding, surfing, boating, kayaking, golf, and maritime forests. Treat yourself to a Kitty Hawk vacation and experience what this place has to offer!

Kill Devil Hills

Located near the middle of the northern beaches, Kill Devil Hills is home to the Wright Brothers National Memorial, skate parks, surfing, and fishing piers. It’s the oldest town in the Outer Banks and is consequently rich in history! If you’re a history lover, make sure to find your vacation rental and visit Kill Devil Hills!

Nags Head

Since its beginning in the 19th century, Nags Head has been the home to many single-family cottages and small hotels. This town in the Outer Banks is best known for Jockey’s Ridge State Park, fishing piers, historic and art districts, charter fishing, golf, Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve, walking and biking paths, and the Bodie Island Lighthouse. If you’re looking forward to visiting this charming place, personalize your experience with our customized accommodations!


Wrapping around Shallowbag Bay, Manteo is best known for its historic waterfront, the Roanoke Island Festival Park, Civil War history, bed & breakfasts, African-American heritage, The Lost Colony, the Elizabethan Gardens, the North Carolina Aquarium, and charter fishing. Manteo features a quaint downtown and offers convenient access to the surrounding Outer Banks towns.


Home to the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station, Rodanthe is also known for being a part of the Tri-Villages. It’s a popular spot for kiteboarding, windsurfing, fishing, and camping. It’s close proximity to Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches makes it an ideal spot for outdoor enthusiasts. Rodanthe is also known for its role in the famous Nicholas Sparks’ novel and movie, “Nights in Rodanthe.”


If you love watersports, Waves is the place for you. Another Tri-Village town, Waves is best known for its outdoor water activities including surfing, kiteboarding, windsurfing, fishing, and swimming. The town offers convenient access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches and the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge.


In Salvo, you’ll find stacked crab posts, fish boxes, and Banker fisherman hard at work. This area is also known for being a part of the Tri-Villages, kiteboarding, windsurfing, fishing pier, campgrounds, Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches, and its close proximity to Pea Island Wildlife Refuge.


This tiny village is home to the largest Hatteras Island population and is well known for paddleboarding, Canadian Hole Watersports, commercial seafood, fishing piers, and the Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches.


Known for its heavily wooded maritime forests, Frisco also offers horseback riding, the Native American Museum, campgrounds, and access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches.


As the southernmost community on Hatteras Island, Hatteras is best known for the N.C. ferry, charter fishing, its seafaring heritage, Civil War history, the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, Cape Hatteras National Seashore Beaches, and the U.S. Weather Bureau Welcome Center.

Explore the Outer Banks With Buying in Mind

As you can see, there are plenty of wonderful options whether you’re looking for a place to call home or are in search of a vacation home. When you’re ready to start your home search, look over the best places to live in the Outer Banks, and then browse our homes for sale at Shoreline OBX! Be sure to contact our Real Estate agents if you have any questions. Our expert team knows just where to look to help you find your OBX dream home.