North Carolina Beach Rentals
North Carolina’s sun and surf are calling. Now all you need are the right accommodations. A great option is a beach rental. The cost per person is usually much less than a hotel. A beach rental also provides a great home base to prepare your own meals, enjoy quiet and solitude, or make plenty of noise. Check out these high-end and more affordable rentals at North Carolina’s most popular beaches.
For vacationers seeking spacious elegance, consider Harbor House, a 6-bedroom, 5-story house with a pool, hot tub, tiki bars and gourmet kitchen. Perhaps the only feature better than the home’s amenities is its location: nestled along the serene Pamlico Sound in Cape Hatteras, the most southeasterly point of the Outer Banks. Moreover, the house, with panoramic views of the ocean and harbor, is just steps away from Hatteras Landing, where you can go shopping, dine on fresh seafood or book an offshore fishing trip.
For something a little less extravagant, try Sunset Resorts. These spacious, 2- and 3-bedroom soundfront condos feature fireplaces, private hot tubs and a community pool. They’re located in the Outer Banks’ quaint Rodanthe village adjacent to the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Shell Island Resort is a great home base to explore the bustling, scenic port city of Wilmington. This all-oceanfront resort, which underwent a $10 million renovation recently, has 1-bedroom condos (which sleeps up to 6) with private balconies, dining areas and kitchenettes. There are also indoor and outdoor pools, and an oceanview restaurant that serves everything from fresh seafood to juicy steaks.
For visitors with deep pockets, there's Figure Eight Island, a private oceanfront community accessible by bridge only. This 1,300-acre island has about 70 oceanfront vacation rental homes -- ranging from 3 to 6 bedrooms -- all ideal for exploring the island’s 5 miles of secluded sandy beaches.
Large groups may want to consider the magnificent new Wild Horse, a 23-bedroom, 13,000-square-foot oceanfront house situated on 20 acres along the less developed, northernmost stretch of the Outer Banks in Currituck County. The house has a full lineup of luxury amenities, such as a tiered oceanside pool deck, outdoor bar, dance floor, theater, elevator and approximately 6,500-square-feet of open decking. The house is located in the charming Corolla community, where wild horses roam along a 12,000-acre wildlife sanctuary.
Granted Wish and 3 Palms are 2 great high-end options for large groups traveling to the laid-back town of Emerald Isle, which is situated along the Crystal Coast, an 85-mile stretch of sandy beaches along the southernmost tip of the Outer Banks. Both 8-bedroom oceanfront homes feature luxury amenities such as an elevator, spacious pool, hot tub, theater and game rooms, plus unparalleled views of the ocean.
For more affordable Emerald Isle accommodations, consider Sea Glass, a 4-bedroom oceanfront home with a pool, private deck and grill. In nearby Atlantic Beach, you can stay at the 3-bedroom Sound Times, which has a game room, private dock perfect for fishing, and the ocean just a short drive away.
You and your traveling companions will feel like kings and queens at Beach Royalty, a luxury, 6-bedroom house with a private boardwalk that leads to the ocean. Located in Nags Head, Beach Royalty is just minutes away from shopping, dining and Jockey's Ridge State Park, the tallest natural sand dune system in the eastern United States, where you can go hiking, hang gliding or kiteboarding.
Liberty Call is a great option for a more affordable Nags Head rental. This 3-bedroom house (sleeps up to 6) has a cool, shady side deck perfect for reading and relaxing, as well as a back deck where you can soak up the sun. And the beach is just a short walk away. Another affordable option is Serenity, a newly renovated 4-bedroom house located on quiet cul-de-sac along the Nags Head Golf Course.
Beach Rental Rules
Before you book your beach vacation rental, you should first do a little homework to ensure you’re getting exactly what you want. First, analyze the full cost of the rental. Some rentals do not include sheets and towels. Also, ask about additional fees such as cleaning fees, administrative fees, security deposits and taxes.
Because the North Carolina coast is vulnerable to tropical weather systems, especially during late summer, you may want to consider “trip Interruption insurance.” If there is a mandatory evacuation in the area where your rental is located, this may be the only way to get a refund.
Finally, the right location can be the difference between an OK vacation and one you’ll fondly remember forever. Rental agencies have various descriptions of where a property is located, and with so many variations -- ocean view, oceanside, oceanfront, etc. -- it can be confusing. Be sure to get specific details about the rental location, including walking distance to the ocean. And most professionally managed vacation rentals have a website with pictures and maps of the property that allow you to zoom in for a bird’s eye view of the property so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.