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Outer Banks in North Carolina

Voted #2 Beach in the South – 2023 USA Today Readers’ Choice Awards
Voted #1 North Carolina Beach – 2020 U.S. News and World Report
Voted Best North Carolina Beach – 2018 USA Today Readers’ Choice Awards

The Outer Banks in North Carolina is an amazing 200-mile stretch of barrier islands off the coast. Emerald Isle is just one of the many beach communities that make up the southernmost part of the Outer Banks. Start planning your Outer Banks vacation now and enjoy miles of golden brown sand and emerald-colored water like you have never seen.

Visit the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina

The Southern Outer Banks is where you’ll find North Carolina’s Crystal Coast. This 85-mile stretch of coastline is home to many unique beach communities such as Atlantic Beach, Beaufort and Emerald Isle.

Emerald Isle, on the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina

A two-and-a-half-hour drive from Raleigh, North Carolina and approximately five hours from Charlotte, North Carolina, the Southern Outer Banks offer the perfect beach destination for your next family vacation or couples’ getaway. From fishing and surfing to mini-golf and shopping, the opportunities for fun on the Southern Outer Banks are endless.

The Outer Banks in North Carolina is known for having the third-largest estuary system in the world and features many wildlife refuges, maritime forests and some of the highest sand dunes on the East Coast.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Lighthouse in Outer Banks North Carolina

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore is home to the oldest operating lighthouse in North Carolina. Visitors can climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, which is also the tallest brick lighthouse in North America, but be prepared to walk up 248 spiral stairs to get to the top.

Wild Banker Horses on Shackleford Banks in Outer Banks North Carolina

Cape Lookout National Seashore, located at the very southern end of the Outer Banks, and its beacon, the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, offer more incredible views of the surrounding coastline. Cape Lookout is accessible only by boat, but the local ferry can drop you off and pick you back up. As you pass by Shackleford Banks on the ferry, watch for a glimpse of the wild Banker Horses that roam the beautiful barrier island.

Explore all the great attractions, activities and events that make the Southern Outer Banks your family vacation destination.

Search and compare an amazing selection of Southern Outer Banks vacation rentals. From luxurious condos and oceanfront homes to large group rentals that can accommodate groups of any size, Emerald Isle Realty has you covered.