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Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about staying in an Outer Banks vacation rental? Browse over our most received questions from other guests who have stayed with Southern Shores Realty in the past. If you still have a question, feel free to give our friendly reservations staff a call at 1-800-334-1000.


Well, there's a bunch. Depending on your relative location, there are several major routes leading to the Outer Banks. Highway 95, 64, and 158 are used most often. You can also check out our directions page for more information.

We do offer travel insurance through an outside company, CSA Travel Protection/Generali Global Assistance. 866-999-4018

The insurance helps you in the event of a mandatory evacuation due to Hurricanes as well as any emergency reasons that would cause you to cancel, delay, or shorten your vacation. This is how you would be reimbursed as Southern Shores Realty is unable to give you a refund. 

From time to time, we may have an option for early check-in. It is best to call our office to see if the option might be available to you and what the cost may be.

Rental Home Amenities

No. While our oceanfront homes are the closest homes to the beach, not all have ocean views. In most areas, oceanfront homes on the Outer Banks are protected from the ocean by a dune line. The height and shape of the dunes change from year to year due to storms in the area and beach nourishment projects. We ask they guests stay off the dunes and use only marked beach accesses or the property's private walkway if provided.

If just "bikes" is listed, it is best to reach out to our rental department for more detailed information. or 800-334-1000.

The words "grill" and "BBQ" are interchangeable. We try to specify if the grill is gas or charcoal in the description. "Park style grills" are charcoal grills set into the ground. 

All homes do, unless otherwise stated in the amenities/description.

Yes all homes have A/C.  It is central A/C unless otherwise stated in the amenities/description.

Many beach homes on the Outer Banks are elevated by pilings, thus creating steps up to the living floors and down again to ground level.  Many homes also have several levels of decks and stairs.  We do offer many 1 level, no stairs homes to rent.  If this is a specific concern and special need for your party, please call us at 800-334-1000 so we can find the perfect fit for you.

Southern Shores Realty manages over 40 properties that have elevators. Elevators in our rental propertiess are ideal for transporting family members who find stairs challenging, or for carrying luggage and groceries to all levels of the home. Because these elevators are built for residential use, they may not be sufficiently sized for all wheelchairs. If you are looking for a home that provides wheelchair access to all floors, please contact our reservations department at 800-334-1000 for further assistance.

Each home is privately owned and varies if they provide linens or not. Refer to the home's description to see if they offers linens (example: Sheets, 10 towels sets provided OR Sheets provided). If an item is not listed in the description it is not provided.  Here is a list of our homes that include linens.  You also can rent linens from us, or you may bring your own with you.

This is not a standard item in our homes. Please bring along if you are planning a meal that requires this item. 

That depends on where your house is!  Please refer to this list of beach accesses and lifeguard stations.

Unless there is a specific amount listed, we cannot confirm the number of chairs at a home. It is recommended if you have them, bring them.

Unless stated in the amenities, please bring your own.

Discounts that are specific to a home will be included in the home's written description or on the "Discounts" tab for the property.  You can also refer to our discounts and specials page to see current offers on our rental homes. 

Yes, there will be deck furniture.

Not unless it is explicitly advertised in the written amenities/description.

Southern Shores Realty is not responsible for internet connectivity or speed in any of the rental properties. If you experience a problem with the internet service, please contact our office at 252-261-200 and we will contact the internet service provider.

Before You Get Here

Yes.  When traveling to the Outer Banks in the peak summer (usually late June through late August), plan ahead for traffic delays across the Wright Memorial Bridge and Highway 12 north through Duck during the early morning and afternoon on the weekends.  This can be avoided by taking alternate routes (via highway 64 east over Roanoke Island), or arriving earlier/later in the day.  Please call our team of vacation experts at 800-334-1000 for the best tips specific to your trip.

Check in is 5 p.m., but may be later.

Please check with the Tourist Bureau 877-629-4386 for rules and regulations in your specific area.

Good question!  Here's a beach vacation packing list to get you started off right. For 2021 you may want to bring blankets for warmth. Bedspreads have been removed from the properties due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

When You Get Here

Please do not go to the home unless its after 5 pm, and the home has been released to you by Southern Shores Realty.

During Your Stay

Corolla, Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, and Kill Devil Hills = No.

Nags Head, South Nags Head = Yes, with permit.

The majority of Outer Banks towns now have ordinances than ban leaving personal property (i.e. chairs, tents, canopies) on the beach overnight... including their right to remove it.  Given this, Southern Shores Realty does not recommend leaving any personal property on the beach overnight.  Wake up early and claim your stake each day!

We recommend that you put trash cans out the night before the scheduled pick up date. There is no set time for trash puck up and they tend to pick up early in the morning.

Visit our Trash Pickup & Recycling page for more information:

Your WiFi password will be provided with your Check-in Instructiona approximately a week prior to your arrival.

Duck Village Outfitters has multiple locations.

After Your Stay

  • Check out time is 9:00 am. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • Wash all dishes and return to their proper place.
  • Remove all items from refrigerator, wipe clean and leave temperature on medium setting.
  • If using Southern Shores Realty sheets, towels and bath mats, put them in the bag provided and leave them outside the front entry door. Please leave pillows, mattress covers, and coverlets on the beds.
  • Place all trash in outside receptacles.
  • Set AC to 78 degrees and on automatic (or heat on at 55 degrees in Winter months).
  • Close and lock all doors and windows.
  • Check for personal belongings.
  • Any extra cleaning or excessive trash removal will be billed to you at a minimum fee of $50.00.

Immediately after your vacation, you have "first dibs" to secure the same week in the same home.  We call this a priority reservation. Please let us know by your departure if you wish to return to the same home next year.

Area Information

Norfolk International Airport (ORF)

Newport News International Airport (PHF)

Unless you are on a pier or chartered boat, fishing licenses are required and can be purchased at any bait/tackle shop or the sporting goods department at Walmart. On July 4th you can fish without a license.

Yes, there are public piers you may access. Follow the link for a complete list.

 Here are some easily accessible public ramps:

  • Kitty Hawk - Bob Perry Rd. off Kitty Hawk Rd.
  • Kill Devil Hills - Dock Street
  • Southern Shores - Off South Dogwood Trail. Must be staying in Southern Shores in a property with Marina Access, please call our office to verify access 252-261-2000.

Dog Friendly

Our pet fee is $150.00 + tax. Maximum number of dogs allowed is 2 unless otherwise stated in the property description.

If you are not bringing a dog to the pet home you are not required to pay the pet fee. It can be declined on your rental contract.

  • Corolla year round w/leash.
  • Duck year round.
  • Southern Shores before 9 a.m and after 6 p.m. with leash.
  • Kill Devil Hills & Kitty Hawk with leash.
  • Nags Head year round w/leash

Pools & Spas

Private pools are generally open from late April to early October.

Many factors come into play that affect how pool heaters operate, such as

  • ambient air temperature,
  • pool sizes,
  • shade,
  • wind direction/speed.

Pool heaters are not designed to heat like hot tubs, and the change in pool temperature when heated is based on these factors.

  • Typically, heat pumps will heat pools 10°F above ambient air temperature.
  • Pool heaters vary from heat pumps, propane/natural gas heaters, and solar heaters; sometimes pool heaters can have a combination of heat pump and gas.
  • Heat pump pool heaters require consistent air temperatures around 58°F +/- in order to heat the water in pools.
  • If the outside air temperature is +/- 58 degrees, the pool heater may shut off and not run until outside ambient air temperature reaches an air temperature necessary for the system to run, this is a feature of the system that cannot be adjusted or changed.
  • If a Heat Pump shuts down due to outside cold air temperatures such as may occur at night or in winter, the pool temperature will likely drop and when the Pool Heater turns on it may take hours for the system to reheat the pool.
  • Heat pumps take anywhere from 24-72 hours to heat pools to the set temperature, barring any cold weather events.
  • Over use of sun screens with heavy pool use can clog pool filters also causing pool heaters to turn off.

Normal depths of pools in our area is 4.5 to 6 feet.

The majority of community pools are open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Call us at 800-334-1000 for more detailed information.

Booking For Next Year

A priority reservation is an option for you to re-rent the same home for your same week the following year. There is no fee to do this, and you must notify us upon departure if you wish to re-rent.  If you've made a priority reservation, you will be notified of the new rates once they are entered and have a set due date for the first payment in order to confirm the reservation.

We wil begin posting rates for the following year in July.