Dog-friendly beach vacations are growing in popularity as more and more people take their four-legged family members on their adventures. Dogs have always been welcomed with open arms at North Carolina’s Outer Banks, with their relaxed demeanor and dog-friendly beaches. From restaurants to lodging, there are many places dogs can explore on the Outer Banks (also known as OBX).
The Outer Banks are a long strip of barrier islands with small beach towns scattered all over the place. Whichever OBX town you choose, the beach is close … in most cases walking distance. Accommodations that allow furry family members are easy to find along the Outer Banks. The Outer Banks are a premier family vacation destination on the east coast, so vacation rentals are the most common type of accommodation in the area. Outer Banks vacation rentals range from quaint single family beach houses to lavish oceanfront apartment buildings and everything in between. Twiddy & Company has approximately 350 pet-friendly OBX cottages that allow dogs of all ages and sizes.
The local beaches are dog friendly and each town has its own charm. It can be difficult to choose which beach town to visit. We have therefore listed our four most popular areas of the OBX.
The town of Duck is pedestrian friendly. Sidewalks run the length of the city on Main Street (NC-12). Duck Village is a scenic 1 mile stretch of town that is home to most of Duck’s shopping, dining, and activities. The Soundside Boardwalk in Duck is widely known as one of the best places on the entire Outer Banks to watch the sun go down. The boardwalk stretches the length of Duck Village and winds through marine forest and willow swamp. It’s also connected to many of the sound-front shops and restaurants, as well as Duck Town Park, which has open green spaces that host events year round. Dogs kept on a leash are allowed to take part in events, walk the promenade and accompany their people in some restaurants.
Corolla has wide, soft sandy beaches and plenty of places to explore, whether you’re looking to explore unique shops, historic sites, or the great outdoors. Corolla is an excellent choice for those who want to spend a week in a beach chair watching the waves, and the occasional stroll on the beach looking for sea glass. When long days at the beach are not on the agenda, Corolla has a lot to offer. Many of the cottages are large (6+ bedrooms) with multiple common areas, making them perfect for a family gathering. Many homes have private pools for those who don’t like sand between their toes. Corolla Village, including historic Corolla Park and the Currituck Lighthouse, is a sleepy village with lots of character. Take your dog for a walk around the village and watch the convergence of unique shops, hidden restaurants, and the rich history of the Outer Banks.
Carova Beach is south of the North Carolina and Virginia border and was named accordingly with a description of its location. This Outer Banks beach is truly unique because of its limited accessibility. There are no paved roads to Carova Beach, and you have to drive approximately eight miles along the beach to reach the holiday homes there. A four-wheel drive vehicle is required for the scenic drive by the sea. Look out for the famous Corolla Wild Horses that live and roam on the 4×4 beaches. Once you get to Carova Beach you will find a quiet environment as there are no paved roads and no traffic noise. If you and your dog go for long, peaceful walks on the beach, Carova Beach is the place for you. The seclusion and lack of development at Carova Beach provide the opportunity to see hundreds of stars twinkling in the dark night sky.
Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head
Affectionately known by the locals as “in town”, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head are towns in Outer Banks that are home to many year-round residents as well as vacationers. Although there are some larger, well-known chain stores and restaurants, these cities still have an impressive share of small family businesses and their history. The Wright Brothers’ famous maiden flight took place at Kill Devil Hills and is remembered by a 60-foot-high granite monument that sits on a hill in the center of town. The beaches are dog friendly and there are several dog parks and many hiking trails in Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, and Nags Head.