Located on the Outer Banks in North Carolina, the beach community of Corolla sits on one of the barrier islands. With the Atlantic Ocean on one side of the community and the Currituck Sound on the other, this town offers water views from almost anywhere. For beaches choose a vacation rental on the ocean side while the sound side of town offers docks for boats or days spent fishing. Up and down the Outer Banks, you’ll find coastal communities of varying sizes, each with its own set of amenities. Here’s a quick look at the top 12 locations in the area to find the ultimate Corolla vacation rental for your family.

1. Corolla

Spend your days walking along the beach or hiking through the Currituck Banks North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve on its raised platform trail, viewing the natural habitat of many unique bird species. You and the family can visit the unique Currituck Beach Lighthouse and Museum to learn more about this lighthouse built in the Greek Revival style and its history of helping ships navigate the shoals off the Outer Banks.

2. Duck

Drive south along state road 12 to the town of Duck with its southern charm and laid back lifestyle. Grab the kids and let them bring their skateboards to Sound Park that offers a safe and exciting space for skateboarders along with a playground for younger kids. For the adults, take a drive to Sanctuary Vineyards for a wine tour of one of the few vineyards in the coastal area. They offer wine sampling and a gift store so you can buy a couple of bottles to enjoy back at your vacation rental.

3. Kitty Hawk

In addition to having a cool name, the coastal community of Kitty Hawk has plenty to offer an active family. In addition to shopping in local stores and eating the freshest seafood you’ve ever tasted at one of the moms and pop restaurants, you can take your kids to the Paradise Golf and Arcade to see who’s going to end up on the PGA tour someday. If the weather turns rainy, hop in the car for a ride to Outer Banks Children and Play Museum for some interactive fun.

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4. Kill Devil Hills

In North Carolina, some of the license plates read: First in Flight, because the Wright Brothers were the first people to experience manned flight. The flight took place here at Kill Devil Hills. While staying in the area, make sure to stop by the Wright Brothers National Memorial. At the visitors center, you can learn more about the first flight and watch a program about the trials and errors the brothers faced. Afterward, walk up to the stone monument that marks the spot where the plane took off.

5. Nags Head

Nags Head offers your family all the best of a beach and town vacation with beach front vacation rentals or in-town single family homes. Jockey’s Ridge is the largest sand dune in the southeast. While exploring the sand dune, a local company offers dune surfing for a small fee. Visit the Roanoke and learn more about the Lost Colony, one of the earliest colonies in America and one of its oldest mysteries when the entire colony disappeared without a trace.

6. Rodanthe

Head further south along state Road 12 and into the Cape Hatteras National Seashore for a vacation trip to the tiny coastal community of Rodanthe. Spend your days fishing, boating, kayaking, and biking around the area. You’ll find gorgeous views of the ocean and sound no matter where you pick a vacation rental. Make time to visit the Brodie Island Lighthouse just down the road.

7. Waves

Waves offer your family a fun, low-key beach vacation with sandy beaches on one side of town and docks and reeds on the sound side. At the Hatteras Island Surf Shop, you find everything you need for a day on the water, such as water goggles, sunscreen, towels, and t-shirts to remind you of your trip. Rent a jet ski from Charlie’s Waverunners and pass an afternoon racing around on the water.

8. Salvo

Another tiny community awaits you when you select a vacation rental in Salvo. Rent bikes and ride up and down state road 12 for amazing views of the ocean and sound. Another fun thing to do in the area is purchased a special permit for driving on the beach. When you want to enjoy a dinner out, hop in the car for the short drive to Avon.

9. Avon

Avon is one of the larger towns within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Park with unique shopping choices, restaurants, and bakeries. Spend your day fishing off the Avon Fishing Pier or take the kids to see the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse run by the National Park Services that allows visitors to climb to the top at certain times.

10. Buxton

Enjoy small town life when you stay in Buxton. Stop by the local gas station to learn a little local history and gossip. Enjoy days filled with bike riding, kayaking, fishing, and walking the beach in search of seashells. For a dinner that you don’t have to cook, stop by the town’s only pizza place for some pasta, pizza, and calzones.

11. Frisco

Frisco offers a couple of unique local shops that sell beach furniture and pottery that you can take home. On the beach side of the town, keep your eyes out for turtle’s nest. The National Park Service posts signs to keep visitors out of the area, but you can get a closer look with a pair of binoculars. Rent bikes and kayaks from one of the local outfitters for days filled with fun activities.

12. Hatteras

At the eastern most point of the barrier island sits the town of Hatteras. Take a day trip over to Ocracoke Island to see the ponies and walk around the bustling tourist town from the free ferry that leaves from Hatteras. At the Graveyard of the Atlantic, learn more about North Carolina’s coasts’ rich history of sailing and shipwrecks.

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