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Where to stay on the Outer Banks

Haddonfield, NJ
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32 posts
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Where to stay on the Outer Banks

I'm planning a June vacation with my boyfriend, and we're thinking of staying in Corolla - but since neither of us know anything about the area, we're not sure if that's the best place to stay. We'd like someplace quiet and peaceful, where we can rent a small cottage within walking distance of a nice beach - we like to lay on the sand and swim.

We'd also like to be in walking or biking (or a short drive) from places to eat, shops, etc. And it would be great to be near a place that has good biking or hiking - just to explore and see the nature around the area. I am used to Cape Cod, so I guess I am picturing a warmer version of that. :-)

Would Corolla be too small for us? Are there other towns worth considering? Thanks!

Amissville, Virginia
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for Ocracoke
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1. Re: Where to stay on the Outer Banks

Corolla would be nice but finding something small up there will be a chore You might look farther south Kitty Hawk on down.

A lot of small homes on Ocracoke but you will have to drive to the beach, Not too far though.and every thing else you asked for is in walking distance . Biking to the beach is not out of the question too.

Pittsburgh...
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2. Re: Where to stay on the Outer Banks

In researching our recent trip, I found that a number of motels also offer cottages. Our choice was the Sea Foam in Nags Head. We had a standard room which was excellent. Peaceful, quiet and right on the beach. They do offer cottages, but I cannot speak to their quality. I'd recommend checking the beachfront motels in Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills or Nags Head.

Baltimore, Maryland
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for North Conway
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3. Re: Where to stay on the Outer Banks

first biking is great. relatively flat, think cape cod rt but mostly on the road- wide bike shoulders/lanes. I biked from the KDH/KH line to Corolla a couple of times which is 52 miles r/t and a number of shorter rides on my hybrid.

Corolla is the end of OBX and is relatively small but kinda stretched out. think orleans.

You are about 15 miles to Duck which has a very cute shopping district, restaurants, water sports. not quite but think Chatham (upscale mostly).

Everyplace is pretty much walking distance to beach. So, not too small if you are thinking cape cod as a whole as the OBX is pretty long and you can take day trips to many places. But, there is only 1 main road, no short cuts or alternate routes from Duck north and only highway and shore road for about 10 miles from Southern Shores to NH.

May want to consider the Duck, southern shores area or NH for a more quiet experiece while still being close to KDH/KH for more commercial area, supermarkets, bars, restaurants.

Baltimore, Maryland
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for North Conway
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4. Re: Where to stay on the Outer Banks

here is one of my bike rides which has the times and distances

maps.google.com/maps/ms…

Edited: 06 January 2012, 14:41
Baltimore, Maryland
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for North Conway
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5. Re: Where to stay on the Outer Banks

try this link. don't think the other works

maps.google.com/maps/ms…

Edited: 06 January 2012, 14:48
Haddonfield, NJ
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6. Re: Where to stay on the Outer Banks

This is totally helpful! I have spent time every summer of my life in Orleans, so I guess I know why I was attracted to Corolla. :-) A few years ago we stayed in a small cottage surrounded by trees, in biking distance to Nauset Beach, and it was ideal.

I looked into Duck as well, but seems a bit more expensive than Corolla. I feel like, if we can find a small, quiet cottage in walking distance to the beach, we can go visit towns like Duck, etc., when we get bored of the beach.

From what I can tell, Nag's Head is a bit too built up for my taste, and Ocracoke is very far out, and you have to drive to the beach, which isn't too appealing. We'd really like something small and quiet, near the beach, where we can enjoy nature and explore a place we've never been to before!

Washington DC...
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7. Re: Where to stay on the Outer Banks

Another place to consider is South Nags Head. The main part of Nags Head is built up, but once you get south of the causeway between Nags Head and Manteo, the area is almost all residential. You have the Cape Hatteras National Seashore behind you on the sound side, as well as to the south, which makes it very quiet and beautiful. But at the same time, you can easily drive to restaurants and grocery stores. It can be hard to find a small cottage since the area is mostly houses, but there are some smaller homes available, especially if you're a few blocks from the beach. I stayed there last year and loved it - the only disadvantage was the mosquitos. Bring bug repellant!

Baltimore, Maryland
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for North Conway
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8. Re: Where to stay on the Outer Banks

agree with comments about SNH but you are going to want to be near Duck if you love orleans. I almost felt guilty last summer going to OBX as we always have gone north to the Cape or NH and Vt for our summer vacations. Other than the traffic getting onto and off the island, OBX was great fun especially seeing the wild horses in Corolla. But if you go expecting a cape cod experience, you will be disappointed. They are very different places. Not saying one is better or worse, just different. I don't know the prices of southern shores (just south of duck) but might be worth checking out. Also, if you stay on the sound side, then I think prices go down but like anything it just depends... There are also a number of condo/townhouse type areas between duck and corolla which may not be a quaint as a house but aren't the typical megahouses. I will say that if we were to go back, we would absolutely stay around Duck even though it is more expensive.

US
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9. Re: Where to stay on the Outer Banks

Re-consider Ocracoke. Very cute town. It is most convenient to take a car to the beach but you can bicycle everywhere else--literally: restaurants, bookstore coffee shop, grocery store etc. You can also stay on the sound or harbor if you need to see some water.

I think what you will especially enjoy is that you can drive a few miles out of town and be off by yourselves on the beach. Very romantic. There are miles and miles of just beach there. It still amazes me.

It may not be for you but do check it out.

Haddonfield, NJ
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10. Re: Where to stay on the Outer Banks

We definitely want to visit and stay in Ocracoke at some point - it sounds wonderful, and like someplace we would love. For this year, we actually have fallen in love with a rental seven miles *north* of Corolla, in a very seclouded area. This is going to be a stressful Spring, so the quiet and not having to go anywhere should be a welcome break... :-) We'll still do a lot of exploring - probably Duck and Corolla. Hopefully the weather will be good! I'm going to check out the Corolla-specific forum for info. I really, really can't wait. I love the Cape and will go there at least once this year, but I'm looking forward to some different. And warmer in June. :-)