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24 Mar 2022
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Picture this: a warm, sunny day vacationing on the beautiful beaches of the Outer Banks. Frolicking in the surf, building sandcastles, catching ghost crabs. Could life get much better?

Then, just as you sit back in your beach chair to reapply sunscreen and sip a cool drink, the dreaded 7 words from your little ones come tumbling at you faster than the last wave you wiped out on: “I need to go to the bathroom!”

Make sure you don’t get caught with your pants down during your next beach excursion. Many of the public beach accesses on the Outer Banks offer convenient bathhouses with restrooms, so if your vacation rental is more than just a short jaunt away, you won’t have to worry about heading home for a mid-day bathroom break. Check out the list below to see which nearby beach accesses you’ll be frequenting on your next OBX vacation. 

Frisco Beach Access – Hatteras Island

South of the village of Frisco around Milepost 67, this public beach access offers an oceanside bathhouse with restrooms, showers, and 80 parking spaces.

Canadian Hole – Hatteras Island 

Just south of the village of Avon around Milepost 59, this soundside public beach access is right across the street from the beach on Hwy 12. Aside from offering a paved parking area with 63 spaces, bathrooms, and showers, this access is also steps from a soundfront beach, offering calm waters for kayaking, great views of the kiteboarders, and incredible sunsets over the Pamlico Sound.

Salvo Day Use Area – Hatteras Island

This soundside public access just south of the village of Salvo around Milepost 43 is the perfect spot for hanging out by the sound, either fishing, launching a paddleboard or kayak, or just swimming. It offers 44 parking spots, bathrooms, outdoor showers, grills, and picnic tables. 

Rodanthe Public Beach Access – Hatteras Island

Around Milepost 39, this beach access offers 97 parking spaces, a bathhouse, outdoor showers, picnic tables, and an ADA-compliant boardwalk to the dune top gazebo.

Coquina Beach – Bodie Island

Located at Milepost 26 in between Nags Head and Oregon Inlet and situated just across Hwy 12 from the Bodie Island Lighthouse, this lifeguarded beach offers a bathhouse with bathrooms, 4 outdoor showers, and 58 parking spaces. Other amenities include trash bins, a recycling station, a drinking fountain and water bottle filling station, and a bike rack.

Hargrove Street – South Nags Head

Located at milepost 17.5, this lifeguarded beach offers an oceanside bathhouse with restrooms, outdoor showers, and 18 parking spaces. Beach wheelchairs are available from Ocean Rescue at this beach access.

Jennette’s Pier – Nags Head

This lifeguarded beach access at Milepost 16.5 offers an oceanside bathhouse with restrooms, outdoor showers, and 217 parking spaces. Be sure to head into Jennette’s to check out the exhibits, and grab a sightseeing pass ($2 for adults and $1 for children) to walk out onto the pier for great views.

Epstein Street – Nags Head 

Located at Milepost 14.5, this lifeguarded beach offers an oceanside bathhouse with restrooms, 4 outdoor showers, and 42 parking spaces. This bathhouse is being updated in 2024 - stay tuned for more information!

Bonnett Street – Nags Head 

Located at milepost 11.5, this lifeguarded beach offers an oceanside bathhouse with restrooms and outdoor showers, a sand volleyball court, and 68 parking spaces. Bonnett Street beach access also has a beach mat for wheelchairs and strollers. Beach wheelchairs are available to rent from Ocean Rescue at the Bonnett Street access.

Ocean Bay Blvd – Kill Devil Hills

Located at milepost 8.5, this beach access offers an oceanside bathhouse with restrooms, outdoor showers, and 40 parking spaces. In addition to the bathhouse, the Ocean Bay Blvd beach access houses the KDH Ocean Rescue division. Centrally located in the heart of Kill Devil Hills, access to this lifeguarded beach is handicap accessible, featuring a wooden handicap ramp and several fixed position and roll-out mats that lay on the sand, permitting wheelchair entry onto the beach. Beach wheelchairs can also be rented here cost-free on a first-come-first-served basis.

Prospect Avenue – Kill Devil Hills

Located at Milepost 8, this beach access offers a bathhouse with 2 restrooms, outdoor showers, and 29 parking spaces.

Regional Public Beach Access – Kitty Hawk

Situated right next to the Black Pelican Seafood Company at Milepost 4, just across the street from the beach, this lifeguarded beach access has 51 parking spaces, bathrooms, and showers.

Currituck County Southern Beach Access – Corolla 

This public lifeguarded beach access just north of Corolla Fire & Rescue offers an oceanside bathhouse with restrooms, showers, and 30 parking spaces. This access is a fairly significant walk to the beach. Guests staying at a home in the Currituck Club can enjoy snacks and drinks from the nearby Surf Shack, as well as beach equipment rentals.

Currituck Lighthouse Beach Access – Corolla

This lifeguarded beach access on Corolla Village Road offers gravel parking and an oceanside bathhouse with restrooms and showers. The Currituck Lighthouse is just across the street, making this a great spot to post up pre check-in.

Lifeguarded beaches are typically manned from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Please note that weather or labor restrictions may mandate a reduction in staffing and/or removal of lifeguard stands.


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