I spent several childhood summer vacations in the Outer Banks, North Carolina, a string of islands my family has visited for decades. So when I was there in July for the first in a few years, I was surprised that I wasn’t the only one visiting from “up north.”
There were a lot more license plates from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania than I remembered seeing. My family (who lives in Virginia) told me that the area’s newfound popularity with “Northerners” is upsetting some locals according to Facebook posts they showed me. Apparently we aren't as patient as locals when it comes to long waits at restaurants or accepting that places here don't always offer delivery.
It makes sense why some New Yorkers would vacation here. You can rent or buy a house for much less compared to the Hamptons or Jersey Shore. There are miles of pristine public beaches, many local restaurants and stores, lighthouses you can walk up, sand dunes (they aren’t as high as when I was a kid), and a bit of history. (Ever heard of the Lost Colony of Roanoke, the legend of Blackbeard or the Wright Brothers?)
But it’s not close by—it’s a nine-hour drive from Manhattan and the closest airport is over two hours away.
The area has several small towns, like Buxton, on the tip of Hatteras Island, where some of my family members prefer because it’s less crowded. You won’t find much there—just beaches and mostly seasonal stores and eateries (Orange Blossom Bakery is a must-try). But if you want more to do, areas like Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, and Kill Devil Hills have more restaurants (check out Sam & Omie’s), mini golf courses, an outlet mall, and Brew Thru (a drive-through convenience store where you can buy souvenir t-shirts). But in my opinion, no matter where you visit, the fact that it is a no-frills area where you can just relax on the beach is the main attraction.
So if you’re looking to buy a beach house that’s far removed from NYC life, check out these five places for sale in Kitty Hawk, Avon, Hatteras, Corolla, and Nags Head.
135-135 A Jay Crest Rd., Kitty Hawk
This three bedroom, three and a half bath is listed for $550,000. The condo has water views, high ceilings, oversized windows, recessed lighting, ceiling fans, large closets, central air, a fireplace, sundeck, screened-in porch, and a game room with a wet bar.
41007 Latitude Ln., Avon
This six bedroom, five and a half bath is listed for $699,000. It has an inground saltwater pool, hot tub, outdoor shower, sundecks, covered decks, cathedral ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, central air, recessed lighting, ceiling fans, and a gas fireplace.
58210 Sutton Pl., Hatteras
This four bedroom, five and a half bath is listed for $793,000. The house has hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, high ceilings, recessed lighting, ceiling fans, central air, a gas fireplace, elevator, game room with a wet bar, decks, and an inground pool.
889 Whalehead Dr., Corolla
This six bedroom, three bath house is listed for $849,000. The house has hardwood floors, oversized windows, ceiling fans, stainless steel appliances, an inground pool, sundecks plus a new deck, plumbing, and carpet.
3409 South Memorial Ave., Nags Head
This five bedroom, five full bath, two half bath house is listed for $1,185,000. It features hardwood floors, built-ins, high ceilings, ceiling fans, stainless steel appliances, central air, a game room with a wet bar, an outdoor kitchen, inground pool, sand volleyball court, and hot tub.
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