OBX Towns

One of the most important things to consider when buying a home is the community. Check out these community resources to learn more about local schools, businesses, events, weather, transportation, and more! I would love to answer your questions about the area and show you available homes for sale. Give Liz J. Holterhaus a call at 252-202-2156.

Which OBX Town is Right for You?

Carova – 4×4 Area

One of the most unique towns in northeastern North Carolina, Carova is nestled in the most northeastern corner of the state. The name “Carova” is a combination of Carolina and Virginia, because its northern border runs alongside the Virginia state line.

Accessible only by a four-wheel-drive vehicle, Carova boasts no paved roads, with some of its year-round residents even choosing to commute to work in Virginia by boat! Carova is a growing area for retirees who want to live “away from it all” in a very close-knit, small community. Self-sufficiency and preparation is key in Carova, as a storm or extended high tide can keep residents from leaving their homes unexpectedly, and there are no gas stations or grocery stores in the town. Living in Carova is a unique experience that really means living as one with nature and the tides, and your neighbors will be wild horses, coyotes, pelicans, and cormorants. Perfect for shell and sea-glass collecting retirees, as well as writers, poets, artists, and photographers. 


Located on the Northern end of the Outer Banks and is surrounded by spectacular natural beauty and peaceful serenity, yet with easy access to amenities like grocery stores, restaurants, fitness centers, eclectic shops, lively nightlife, and a multitude of activities. The correct pronunciation is Kuh-RAH-Luh and not to be confused with the Toyota car. Corolla real estate is some of the most coveted on the Outer Banks. Corolla is a town where everyone knows your name, in close communities as diverse as the delightful and charming Corolla Historic Village to the luxurious and impeccably maintained Currituck Club.

The Village of Corolla was originally located at the base of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse. It has been inhabited since the 1800’s but has only been accessible by public roads since the fall of 1984.

This family-friendly community hosts one of the best charter schools in the country, Water’s Edge Village School, and is made up of young creative entrepreneurs, retirees, business owners, and seasonal service providers. Corolla is maintaining a beautiful balance of constant growth and expansion, preservation of its history and bountiful wildlife, accessibility, and contented well-being.

Currituck Mainland

Currituck mainland runs from the Virginia line to the foot of the Wright Memorial Bridge. The northern most area is Moyock, the central area would be the Barco area where the high school is located and lower Currituck would be from the intercoastal waterway to the bridge.

The name “Currituck” derives from an Algonquin Indian term meaning “wild geese.” Currituck County was established in 1668. The Historic Currituck Jail is one of the oldest buildings in North Carolina.

Currituck County is a fast growing year round community with great access to the beaches of Currituck County and Dare County, without the price. Many of Currituck’s communities are tucked off of Caratoke Highway either on the Currituck Sound or the Albemarle Sound.

Currituck County has many antique shops, stores, and roadside markets with locally grown fruits and vegetables. As well as a local brewery and local vineyards.

The Intracoastal Waterway is 3,000 mi (4,827 km) long, partly natural, partly artificial, providing sheltered passage for commercial and leisure boats along the U.S. Atlantic coast from Boston, Mass. to Key West, S Fla., and along the Gulf of Mexico coast from Apalachee Bay, NW Fla., to Brownsville, Tex., on the Rio Grande. The Albemarle portion of the waterway in Currituck is among the waterway’s most often used canals along the Atlantic route. This toll-free waterway is maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers. 


Located just twenty minutes north of the Wright Memorial Bridge, Duck boasts a vibrant and family-friendly village atmosphere. Originally popular with hunters and gatherers this area is steeped in history dating back to the 1800’s. Populated with an abundant array of locally-owned boutique shops, art galleries, yoga studios, and restaurants, this one-of-a-kind town is comprised almost exclusively by housing communities, making Duck real estate highly desirable for vacation home rentals.

Walking, biking, jogging, dog walking, and stand up paddle boarding are popular activities in this energetic town that is centrally located to just about every Outer Banks amenity you could be looking for, including schools and medical care, with some of the most breathtaking sunsets on the entire island.

Duck is filled with activities to keep you entertained year round. It is renowned for the annual “Duck Jazz Festival” held in October. They also host the annual 4th of July Parade, offer free concerts on the town lawn all summer long as well as yoga on the lawn. The Duck Ampitheatre offers shows from the lost colony as well as magic shows all summer. But my favorite activity is to stroll the sound front board walk at sunset.

Duck is the smallest incorporated town in the state of North Carolina and will mark their 14th anniversary in 2016.

For a full listing of all the happenings in Duck visit the town website at http://www.townofduck.com.

Southern Shores

Southern Shores is a diverse town nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Sound with canal front lots and high dune lots in between the two.

Both vacationers and year round residents share their love of this area. Southern Shores is one of the most popular towns on the Outer Banks for families who want to buy a home, settle down, and raise children. Residents can join the Southern Shores Civic Association and this provides them with recreational facilities and maintains green space.

The amenities include:

  • 34 Dune Crossovers
  • Sea Oats Park
  • Tennis Courts
  • Miles of walking and biking paths
  • Sound side beach and park

Visit the town of Southern Shores at http://www.southernshores.org.

Kitty Hawk Elementary School is located in Southern Shores, and many parents and community members volunteer with or contribute to the school. Southern Shores real estate brings images of a focus on community, and beautiful, cozy homes nestled among small hills, as children happily play and ride bikes along idyllic neighborhood roads.

Kitty Hawk

One of the oldest towns of the Outer Banks, Kitty Hawk has a little something for everyone. Many year-round residents live here, and this historic town offers convenience to everything from grocery and home goods shopping, restaurants and nightlife, to schools and medical care.

Kitty Hawk real estate is a boon for vacation rental homes on the ocean side, and happy neighborhoods of local’s on the sound side. Life in this accessible town means life on its beautiful beaches…surfing, fishing, dog walks in the evenings, and relaxing with friends while soaking up the sun on the weekends. All-in-all, Kitty Hawk is a wonderful place to raise a family, and live the quintessential Outer Banks beach life of your dreams! 

Kill Devil Hills

Kill Devil Hills, or ‘KDH’ as it’s affectionately referred to by its many year-round locals, is the “downtown” of the Outer Banks. Brimming with vacation homes and hotels on the ocean side, and neighborhoods full of happy local families on the sound side, this town’s central location and multitude of accessible amenities make it an ideal choice to begin living the beach life. KDH boasts grocery stores, all types of shopping, numerous restaurants, lively nightlife and live music, with a multitude of community activities and amenities such as a library, senior center, little league and children’s soccer, to name a few. There’s even an adult soft ball league, too!

KDH is home of one of my favorite coffee shops, the Front Porch Cafe and Chips Beer and Wine….conveniently they are located in the same plaza.

Locals spend free time together, relaxing on the beach, surfing, roasting oysters, fishing, enjoying each other’s company and taking care of each other when one of their own is in need…fundraisers to support one another are common in this town, and across the Outer Banks as a whole. Kill Devil Hills real estate is ideal for anyone wanting to build a community-centered, active beach life.

Nags Head

Home of the World Renowned “Jockey’s Ridge”, which is the largest living sand dune on the east coast, this historic town brings to mind images of generations of sandy, salty, joyful family beach vacations. Much of Nags Head is residential, making this Outer Banks real estate ideal for anyone wanting to invest in a beach vacation home. Traditional, classic, family-based beach life characterizes this accessible community bursting with activities and convenient shopping for locals and tourists alike. Nags Head maintains a beautiful balance of easygoing beach life based on tradition, and dynamic modern growth, with retail shops being a main source of income in addition to restaurants and the service industry.

There is something for everyone here, including the Outer Banks Hospital and many community amenities, such as multiple churches and medical and health centers. A home in Nags Head offers a dreamy beach life, with neighbors of multi-generational families, business owners, and professionals dedicated to the preservation and support of the communities of the Outer Banks.


Charming, quaint, close-knit, and historic are a few of the best words to describe this delightful town full of adorable cedar-shake cottages and flower-covered front porches. One of the oldest communities in the country, Manteo is like stepping back in time. Manteo is home of the “Lost Colony”, Americas longest running outdoor drama. There are many activities steeped in history as is the town’s vibrant restaurants, boutique shops, and art gallery-lined waterfront. Owning a home here means that your neighbors will mostly be made up of island natives whose families extend back multiple generations; folks who grew up in Manteo, moved away and have returned home to build their home; retirees; business owners; artists; and artisans.

Manteo is home of several local breweries as well as Outer Banks Distilling where you can sample their rum samples. Roanoke Island Festival Park is situated right on the sound. Here you can enjoy concerts, plays, beach music festivals etc.

Downtown Manteo has become a haven for those who enjoy walking everywhere. The waterfront boardwalk connects a marina, gazebos, a playground, along miles of coastline located on the Albemarle and Croatan Sounds, as you stroll along you experience both the maritime present and past. Watch young sailors learn to sail on Shallowbag Bay, Visit Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, the George Washington Creef Boathouse and Roanoke Island Maritime Museum where you can stop and rest in one of their rockers on the front porch. When you are tired and hungry choose from the many waterfront dining opportunities. Manteo enjoyed unrushed and unplanned is the quintessential “Southern Coastal Town Experience”.

Manteo is close to the hospital in Nags Head, has outstanding public schools, and a thriving art and small business community. This ancestral town is also synonymous with pedestrians and boating, as locals and tourists alike will spend much of their time happily strolling along its charming streets and lively waterfront, and boating around its expansive waterways. 

Rodanthe, Waves & Salvo

The first three villages are also known as the “tri villages” as you crossover the Oregon Inlet Bridge. This salty seaside Village is representative of the native, quintessential Outer Banks. Real estate in the Tri Village is nearly all waterfront, or close to it, on this tiny sliver of sand. True island living, residents live connected with nature, weather, storms, and the tide. Popular activities of birding, fishing, surfing, and windsurfing here are some of the best on the east coast attracting the hardcore all the way from Canada. The main livelihood is based on fishing, tourism, and the service industry. Although this area is like Kitty Hawk was say 20 years ago it has seen its boom too with the addition of large rental homes, world class restaurants and awesome outdoor activates but it still has the “Salty OBX Feel” of yesterday.

As with every OBX town, this is a very close knit community where everyone knows everyone, and creativity in art and artisanal skill abounds. Located roughly an hour from the nearest hospital, Rodanthe offers residents the opportunity to get lost…in a good way! You will have a serenely peaceful beach all to yourself in the winter, and be surrounded by energetic tourists in the summer. Self-sufficiency, preparedness, and a relaxed, come-what-may, community minded attitude are hallmarks of anyone owning a year-round or vacation home in Rodanthe. 

Hatteras – Avon, Buxton & Hatteras Village

Close to nature, laid back, slow paced, with a love of outdoor activities such as windsurfing, surfing, diving, and paddle boarding, are characteristics shared by people who live in this southern Outer Banks town. Life here is relaxed and revolves around the water and the weather. This sleepy beach town has grocery stores, unique and abundant shopping opportunities, and multiple restaurants and outdoor activities to boot.

Hatteras real estate means owning a piece of a close-knit community, living with nature, mingling with wildlife, dancing with unpredictable weather, and enjoying an economy based on seasonal tourism, small business ownership, and the service industry. Your neighbors will be multi-generational locals, families, and retirees who have all opted for a quiet, easygoing, ocean and community-centered way of life.

Buxton is home to the world famous “Cape Hatteras Light House”. This area is also known for its world class sport fishing. Located just minutes to the Gulf Stream and awesome fishing for tuna, wahoo, mahi or marlins! Hatteras Village is where the road ends and the ferry ride begins to Ocracoke Island.


Accessible only by ferry either from Hatteras Village or Cedar Island to the South. This little coastal village of only 9 square miles has everything the soul truly needs to re-energize. Steeped in history dating back to the 1500’s there is no other place like Ocracoke.

While vising Ocracoke you will see the Ocracoke Light House, Silver Lake, The Castle and the British Cemetery where British Soldiers from WWII were laid to rest.

While you are there listen closely to the natives. They speak in their own brogue. High Tide sounds like “hoi toid”.

Whether you visit for the day, a weekend, a week or longer you are guaranteed to return home with a feeling of peace and renewal.

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