Vacations centered around the beaches and quality family time make Kitty Hawk, on the North Carolina Outer Banks, the perfect vacation destination. It’s time to find out why to check this destination off of your bucket list. Wild horses are one reason. See the descendants of the original Spanish Mustangs. See everything from a sunken ship on the ocean floor in a diving excursion to miles and miles of land and sea from up in the sky in a hang glider. Fish, swim, hike, and smile from morning until night. To help you plan, here’s a list of the 12 best Kitty Hawk vacation rental locations.

1. Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

It’s the beach, and you can take it easy in Kitty Hawk. Step off the doorstep of your vacation rental beach house, set up your beach chair, and relax while the kids frolic in the surf. When you’re ready for some sightseeing, venture over to the Monument to a Century of Flight, which was erected to commemorate the Wright brothers’ 1903 first powered flight attempts. Enjoy hiking and fishing in Kitty Hawk Woods for a serene wooded experience.

2. Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Ready, set, go to Kill Devil Hills for an action-packed vacation, indoors and out. Want to get in on the surfing? Take lessons. Yearning to fish? Pick up the rods, reels, bait, and tackle in one of the local shops, along with advice about what kind of fish are biting. Make it easy and fun to get around on the beach by renting a dune buggy, which you can park at your vacation rental beach cottage. For a change of pace, challenge the kids to a rousing game of laser tag or play indoor putt-putt golf.

3. Nags Head, North Carolina

Your Nags Head vacation takes you from one thrill to another, from underwater to up in the sky. Take a dive to explore the underwater portions of the USS Huron that ran aground in 1877, or see the area in a hang glider. Slow things down with an informative walking tour to learn about the original 13 summer cottages built on the island.

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4. Fort Raleigh City, Roanoke Island, North Carolina

Picture yourself walking where the first settlers on the north end Roanoke Island eked out their existence, thrived, and then mysteriously disappeared. Fort Raleigh City features an outdoor amphitheater production of “The Lost Colony,” commemorating the pageantry of English royalty, Native American history, first settlers, and epic battles. Feel free to browse local collectibles shops to look for unique souvenirs to carry back to your quaint vacation rental cottage.

5. Wanchese, Roanoke Island, North Carolina

If your family wants to learn more about protecting the environment, an ideal opportunity awaits you in Wanchese at the Roanoke Island Marshes Dedicated Nature Preserve. Participate in informational walking and kayaking tours through the preserve. Enjoy touring the island from end-to-end to take in the North Carolina Aquarium; let the kids feed chickens at the 19th-century island farm; and schedule an air tour in a helicopter at the island airport. For a down-to-earth evening, fire up the grill on the deck of your vacation rental cottage and cook some burgers before settling in for the night.

6. Manteo, Roanoke Island, North Carolina

Imagine stepping onto the beach just outside your vacation rental cottage in Manteo on a misty morning. Enjoy a solitary stroll on the beach before waking up the rest of the family. The day includes touring the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse and Roanoke Island Festival Park that features a hands-on kids’ museum, a replica of a 16th-century ship, and a Native American village.

7. Duck, North Carolina

Stroll on the Duck Boardwalk, along with the Currituck Sound, to enjoy the scenic views, visit the village’s restaurants and shops, or just relax. Have some fun with paddle boards, paddles, and life jackets, which you can rent at one of the water sports shops. Keep your sense of humor in balance so you can laugh with the kids when you wipe out.

8. Powell’s Point, North Carolina

If golf clubs figure into your vacation, stash them in your vacation rental condo at Powell’s Point until your tee time at the Pointe Golf Club. Meanwhile, take the kids to enjoy more than 30 rides and attractions at H2OBX waterpark. For a change of pace, go on a fishing tour sure to put your smiles and smiles away from the hustle and bustle of daily living. Give your littlest angler a fishing pole and watch the magic unfold when the first fish makes the cork disappear.

9. Corolla, North Carolina

Thrill the horse lovers in your family with an amazing Corolla vacation to see the Corolla Wild Horses. The horses are descended from Spanish Mustangs and have roamed the island for over 400 years. Experience a guided tour to learn about the herd and get close enough to take pictures. Next, head off to the Wild Horse Museum where the kids can meet and pet a Colonial Spanish Mustang. Be prepared for lots of horse-related questions when you return to your vacation rental cottage.

10. Southern Shores, North Carolina

Find your zen in Southern Shores where spa massages and beach yoga soothe jangled nerves. Follow up with a soothing soak in the hot tub in your vacation rental condo to complete the picture. Pep things up with a game of volleyball on the beach or an invigorating swim.

11. Grandy, North Carolina

Check out of the daily grind and check into laid-back beach living in a tidy vacation rental cottage in Grandy. Brush up on your golf swing as you enjoy tees for two at the picturesque Carolina Club. Set aside another day for cruising in a rented pontoon boat. Moor the boat at your private dock, where the kids can play around with their paddle board.

12. Poplar Branch, North Carolina

If the boys in your family love monster trucks, give them the vacation of a lifetime in Poplar Branch.Take them to Digger’s Dungeon to see the Grave Digger, take some pictures, and maybe even get to ride in it. Make some room in your condo vacation rental for the souvenirs. Just across the street from Digger’s Dungeon, the Kid Zone beckons little ones to enjoy the bounce house, power wheels rides, lots of toys, and ice cream.

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