All About Outer Banks Vacation Rentals



I love the Outer Banks.  With its beautiful beaches, small town charm, an abundance of wildlife, and remarkable history, it makes for one of the greatest tourist destinations in the world.  Visitors come from far and wide to savor all that this area has to offer, and it’s known as one of the best spots for traditional family vacations.  As a very seasoned visitor-turned resident, I felt compelled to create an easy to understand guide to Outer Banks vacation rentals…. hopefully clearing up any questions potential travelers may have!

Early Beginnings

old-outer-banks-hotels-motel-white-marlinStarting in the 1930’s, many motels and motor courts were built to facilitate the growing number of seasonal tourists visiting the beach here.  These proved efficient at first, but hotels and motels were soon to be outpaced by the lure of renting an entire beach house all to one’s self.

Beach cottages started popping up around the region and quickly became a desirable option for families and anyone staying on the Outer Banks for more than a handful of days.  Southern Shores Realty was one of the very first agencies for rental homes and is the longest operating realtor still in existence on the beach!  Many flat top cottages slowly evolved into modern-styled vacation rentals and the OBX tourism industry never looked back.

Today, there are literally thousands of vacation rental homes spanning the Outer Banks.  Varying from single bedroom condominium units to 20+ bedroom palaces in 4×4 only territory.  With all the sizes, shapes, styles, and realtors, I felt a 101 guide to vacation rental homes would be a great resource for anyone who is new to the Outer Banks.

Outer Banks Vacation Rentals

modern-oceanfront-rental-1101If you’ve never rented a home on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, you are in for a treat!  Vacation rental homes are the #1 choice for lodging on the OBX and there are numerous reasons for it.

  • You have an entire house – all to yourself
  • You end up paying much less than hotel rates/night
  • You enjoy many more features like appliances, etc.
  • You have an entire house – all to yourself

I feel like I repeated something…  You get the idea!  All the creature comforts like space and privacy are available to you when you rent a home at the beach.  They accommodate families and large groups much better, and there certainly is a greater feeling of “togetherness” than separate hotel rooms and hallways.

luxury-kitchen-rental-home-obx-1203There is also enormous benefit in renting from a realty company, like Southern Shores Realty.  Unlike vacation homes that can be rented “by owner” (websites like offer these) your house is backed by a full staff of employees, maintenance repairmen, and customer service representatives who work non-stop to ensure your satisfaction.  If the washing machine breaks during the middle of your vacation… how long might it take for an independent homeowner to address the issue?

Types of Homes to Rent on The Outer Banks

outer-banks-beach-box-traditional-homeAs mentioned before, there are many varieties of homes to rent on the Outer Banks.  The most popular are modern-styled, 3-5 bedroom homes with standard appointments.  All of Southern Shores Realty’s vacation rentals include standard amenities like: full furniture, washers and dryers, televisions, telephones, kitchen appliances, cookware, vacuums, air conditioning and more.  It’s a house, it should have these things!

game-room-oceanfront-home-1101Popular amenities many tourists seek out are things like: private pools, fireplaces, hot tubs, pet friendly rentals, elevators, wireless internet access, game rooms, linens provided, and keyless entry.  Southern Shores Realty offers over 600 vacation rental homes so it’s easy to find exactly what you desire!

Classifying and summarizing the types of vacation rental homes available would look much like this:

  • (50%) 3-5 bedroom traditional homes with basic amenities plus some additional.  Rent from $900 – $3,500+/week.  Regularly updated and maintained.
  • (35%) 3-10 bedroom upscale rental homes.  Modern appointments and many additional amenities like pools and spas.  Rent from $2,000-$10,000+/week.
  • (10%) 1-4 bedroom condominium rentals.  Most have common swimming pool and recreational areas.  Rent from $400-$3,500+/week.
  • (<5%) 10+ bedroom luxury rentals.  Top of the line equipment and most all amenities.  Rent from $6,000-$20,000+/week.

outer-banks-private-poolThe above figures serve as a rough guide to the rental home diversity on the Outer Banks.  Like mentioned earlier, there are thousands of homes on the Outer Banks and classifying each and every one would be impossible!

If you are considering your first visit to the Outer Banks, please call 1-800-334-1000 to speak with a Vacation Specialist to help determine which rental type is best suited for your needs.

Areas to Rent Outer Banks Vacation Homes

obx-oceanfront-rentalsThere are also many areas or sections of the Outer Banks where rental homes are available.  Oceanfront OBX rentals are by far the most demanded.  You enjoy wide, sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and are only steps away from the beach.  Since the beach is the main attraction for the majority of visitors, oceanfront rentals are by far the most popular.  Semi-oceanfront homes are only a lot or two back from the beach and oceanside rentals are classified as those homes on the easternmost side of the major roadway.

There are also classifications of homes known as soundfront and soundside rentals.  These homes are located either fronting or nearby the Currituck Sound, Albemarle Sound, and Pamlico Sound.  The sounds on the Outer Banks are much shallower bodies of water compared to the Atlantic Ocean.  The sounds are very popular for non-motorized water sports and offer breathtaking sunsets night after night.

Other locations include canal front, westside rentals, and between the highways.

Other Vacation Rental Information

Although Southern Shores Realty has an extensive FAQ section, here are some quick tidbits to that new renters may not know.

  • “Checking in” to your rental home requires a stop at our rental office, unless your home has keyless entry
  • Check-in time is after 4pm, Check-out at 10am
  • All of our vacation rental homes come with standard amenities like A/C, major appliances, pots, pans, and stocked kitchenware
  • We also offer “Mini-Vacation” stays for those looking to stay less than 7 days

You should be convinced by now that a vacation rental home is the best way to stay on the Outer Banks!  If you still have questions please feel free to call one of our friendly representatives at 1-800-334-1000.  Southern Shores Realty represents over 600 Outer Banks rentals of all shapes and sizes.  Enjoy the rest of your stay on and check out the related links below this post.


Search for an Outer Banks vacation rental home
View our Exclusive Area Rewards for our guests
Read more about Outer Banks events and activities
Browse Outer Banks things to do and area businesses/shopping
Join our Email list for special discounts and area information
View current Outer Banks rental home deals and discounts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *