Northern Outer Banks, NC

This beautiful beach area is located just over the Virginia State line in northern North Carolina. The Northern Outer Banks was "discovered" by many new vacationers in the early to mid-1980's, and the area experienced a boom in tourist growth, commerce and real estate development. Families who come to this area will enjoy the wide sandy beaches with gradual slopes, beautiful dunes fringed with sea grass, and the abundance of wildlife. Those with four-wheel drive vehicles can even drive along the beaches north of Corolla to see wild horses and maybe even an elusive bison!

Most of the accommodations available in this area are private homes, villas, and a limited number of condominiums. If you're planning on making a visit to the Northern Outer Banks, here are a few options to consider:

Inn at Corolla Light: This sound-front inn is located in the exclusive Corolla Light development, and guests can use the amenities of this family-friendly vacation home complex. Some of the nicest rooms are located in the back of the inn right on the Sound, and offer kitchens and fireplaces. Guests can use all of the amenities of the Corolla Light development, which include indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, a full health club, racquetball courts, a grass putting course, and a summer children's program. Golf is located nearby. For more information, call (800) 215-0772 or (252) 453-3340 or visit their website at: www.corolla-inn.com.

Sanderling Inn Resort: This pricey inn is also both elegant and family-friendly. Located on 12 acres, the inn offers oceanfront beaches, an indoor pool, and an upscale restaurant. The newer rooms in the South Inn are some of the nicest. Request a higher floor if possible. For more information, call (800) 701-4111 or visit their website at: www.thesanderling.com.

Hampton Inn & Suites Outer Banks/Corolla: This value-priced, oceanfront, family-oriented lodging option is the only hotel-type facility located directly on Corolla's northern beaches. It offers hotel rooms, studio suites, or two-room suites. A free breakfast bar is available, and local calls can be made with no charge as well. Children under 18 stay free in their parent's room, and a pool and video arcade will provide hours of fun for the kids. For more information, call 1-800-HAMPTON or visit their website at: Hampton Inn & Suites Outer Banks/ Corolla

B&B on the Beach: Part of the ResortQuest group, this rental agency specializes in home and villa rentals on the Northern Outer Banks. A wide variety of properties are offered, and special deals are sometimes available from ResortQuest as well. For more information and a free rental brochure, call (800) 688-2813 or visit their website at: www.bandbonthebeach.com.

Twiddy & Company: This rental company handles a wide variety of homes, villas and condominiums up and down the Northern Outer Banks. For more information and a free rental brochure, call (800) 489-4339, (800) 789-4339, (252) 261-3521 or visit their website at: Twiddy & Company.

Kitty Dunes Rentals: This rental agency specializes in home and villa rentals on the Outer Banks, with a large number in the northern areas. For more information and a free rental brochure, call (252) 261-2326 or visit their website at: www.kittydunes.com.

Resort Realty: This rental company handles properties all the way up the Northern Outer Banks coast. For more information and a free rental brochure, call (800) 458-3830 or visit them online at: www.resortrealty.com.

Fishing is big on the Outer Banks, as is kite flying, kayak rentals on the Sound, ATV rentals for off-road driving on the beaches north of Corolla, and windsurfing. If you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle, you can travel off road up the beach to collect shells and try and catch a glimpse of the wild horses. Shoppers can choose from a wide variety of stores, boutiques, and small shopping complexes all along Highway 12 from Duck to Corolla. Corolla itself offers lots of dining and shopping options.

For more information, visit the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau on the Internet at www.outerbanks.com or call the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce at (252) 441-8144.

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