Beach Accesses

Outer Banks Beach Accesses

The Outer Banks is synonymous with beach vacation. There are over 200 Outer Banks Beach Accesses and nearly 20 public Sound Accesses and Boat Ramps. These accesses are distributed along 51 miles from the Corova Beach Ramp to Coquina Beach.

Outer Banks Beach Accesses Lifeguard stands
Most towns man their Lifeguard stands from 10am to 6pm, and use roving patrols to keep you as safe as possible

What makes for YOUR perfect Outer Banks beach access? A shower? A Bathhouse? Manned lifeguard stand? Below, you will find every Outer Banks beach access. They are listed in order from North to South (hence the numbering in the title). Additionally, we include a Google satellite image so you can see parking etc. as well as a Google road images when available.

*Please note, recent ordinances require you to remove all your items from the beach every evening. Items left are subject to removal (put in the trash) and you may be subject to fines. Oh, one other thing, if you dig a hole on the beach, fill it in. They’re dangerous to people and roving life guard patrols. And please don’t litter!

Public Access vs. Community Access

If an access is marked as a Community Access, then you must be staying in the Community listed in order to use that access. Some communities watch their accesses carefully, and ticket, boot and/or tow. Public beach accesses in Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head can be used by anyone. There are a three public Outer Banks beach accesses in Corolla, but no public accesses in Duck or Southern Shores. Each of the listed community accesses are designated by their thumbnail image.

Public Beach Access

Community Beach Access


Sound Access & Outer Banks Boat Ramps

There are only two Outer Banks sound accesses where swimming is encouraged. The Old Swimming Hole in Manteo is life guarded. While the Jockey’s Ridge Sound Beach Access behind Jockey’s Ridge State Park is not. Please note: the Jockey’s Ridge sound access is patrolled by Park Rangers which strictly enforce their rules. Swimming in the sound in the early summer and fall is wonderful, as the shallow water is generally warmer. Similarly, its great for young kids because there are no waves or undertow risks.

The other Sound Accesses offer various degrees of access. Some allow non-motorized boat launch (kayaks, paddleboards, kite surfers, windsurfers etc.) while others simply allow access to the beautiful water views. Motorized boat launches are designated and patrolled by Marine Fisheries law enforcement officers. Remember, don’t drink and boat.

Public Sound Access & Boat Ramps

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