Quieter than most beach zones, OBX is not the place to go if you’re looking for carnival rides, funnel cakes and crowded boardwalks… What you’ll find here instead are pristine beaches, peaceful wetlands and lighthouses—lots of lighthouses. Prepare for a slower pace of vacation.
Quaint, quiet and with rates that won’t break your bank, Beach Haven is a far cry from the typical beach motel. With only six cottage-like rooms, you won’t have to share your vacation with dozens of other guests or listen to their kids running up and down the hall. The homey, uniquely decorated efficiencies include dishes, refrigerator and microwave, flat-screen TV and WiFi. The grounds are well manicured, and you can cook out on the grill or just take it all in on a deck chair. Shops, restaurants and activities are close at hand as well. But the real appeal of this peaceful retreat is that it’s just steps away from a lovely and private stretch of beach.
Inn at Pamlico Sound
Charming and casually refined, this hotel on the water’s edge in Buxton provides the intimacy of a boutique with amenities usually only found in larger resorts. Eleven elegant rooms and suites sport a mix of subdued colors, hardwoods and Americana furnishings. There are bikes and kayaks available for free and an onsite gourmet restaurant that offers a renowned three-course breakfast that’s free to guests. You can borrow binoculars and field guides to track the herons and other wetlands waterfowl traversing the sound. Or take in a sunset from one of several decks offering panoramic views.
To reach Captain’s Landing on Ocracoke Island, you have to drive past Kitty Hawk, Nags Head, Duck, Avon, and Buxton—all the Outer Banks’ most popular spots—and then take a 40-minute ferry. It’s quiet, to say the least. But that, of course, is the point. Overlooking the Silver Lake inlet and Ocracoke lighthouse, this quaint ten-room inn offers exactly the kind of comfort you’d hope for after coming all that way. The spacious all-suite accommodations are like a home away from home, with separate living areas, full kitchens and balconies with views over the inlet. The dock is set up with lounge chairs for laidback sunset viewing, and the beach and harbor village are just steps away.
Oasis Suites Hotel
Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway or a family vacation, this charming boutique hotel in Nags Head offers a level of refinement rare in the Outer Banks. Each of the 16 spacious suites is elegantly appointed, with leather furniture, spa baths and private balconies. Fully equipped kitchens come with granite counters, convection ovens, full-size refrigerators and dinner settings. And the hotel will stock you with groceries on request. You’ll also find a pool, a hot tub and up-to-date fitness center. With the waters of Roanoke Sound on all sides, there are views everywhere, whether from your balcony, the dock or the waterfront gazebo. And while there are cheaper accommodations in the area, the value-for-dollar elegance of Oasis Suites can’t be beat.