Planning a trip to the North Carolina coast is exciting, but it comes with a fair share of questions. Among a myriad of things to ask yourself when planning your trip is the biggest, and perhaps the most important question mark is “where should I stay?” Well, this guide to the best islands on the Outer Banks should help guide you in the right direction! Keep reading to find your next Tarheel State beach destination!
For more tips and local knowledge on how to make the most of your trip, make sure you request access to our complimentary Manteo Vacation Guide!
The Best Islands on the Outer Banks
1. Roanoke Island
If you’re searching for the best island on the Outer Banks, then Roanoke Island needs to be at the top of your list. This stretch of land sits in between Nags Head and the mainland in the heart of Roanoke Sound, giving you access to the best beaches in the area as well as inland highlights like the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Our island is rich in history, restaurants, and attractions that are perfect for families and couples. Fort Raleigh National Historic Site commemorates the first English attempt at colonialization in North American that mysteriously disappeared, and The Lost Colony show provides an award-winning and entertaining interpretation of this piece of history.
In addition to this island highlight, the Elizabethan Gardens, North Carolina Aquarium, and the Roanoke Island Festival Park provide plenty of fun for everyone in your group. You’ll also find plenty of restaurants and shops, including a brewery and a distillery. Pirate’s Cove Marina and the town of Wanchese on the south side of the island have an extensive list of charter boats, sunset cruises, and dolphin adventures as well. Check out our properties across the island to plan your trip to the best island on the Outer Banks!
2. Ocracoke Island
Ocracoke Island is one of the best islands in the Outer Banks for its isolation. If you want to get off the grid and relax with as few people as possible around you, then this is the place for you. Ocracoke Village has some shops and restaurants, but for the most part, it’s just you and nature. We recommend this as a day trip from Roanoke Island or Nags Head. There is a ferry you must take to get here.
3. Hatteras Island
Miles of beach sandwiched between Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge make Hatteras Island one of the best islands in the Outer Banks. The towns of Rodanthe, Waves, Avon, and Hatteras are the primary places where you can rent, but there aren’t quite as many options as the Northern Outer Banks and Roanoke Island. Still, this is an excellent place to stay if you don’t want to do much outside of enjoying the beach.
Peruse our collection of Pirate’s Cove Realty rentals on Roanoke Island to book the ultimate Outer Banks stay. We offer homes and condos at multiple locations across the island, including our gated community, Shallowbag Bay, and downtown Manteo. You’ll find a variety of sizes that will fit anywhere from four to 14 people.
Start planning your getaway today by booking one of our properties. We look forward to welcoming you to the Pirate’s Cove family.