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Dog-Friendly Outer Banks of North Carolina Tour Guide's Guide to Cape Hatteras Area

Wright Brothers National Memorial Kitty Hawk NC
Wright Brothers National Memorial Kitty Hawk NC

North Carolina's coastline is made up of long barrier islands, the northern part is known as the Outer Banks. This area, from Kitty Hawk to Nags Head, Avon Hatteras and Ocracoke Village became a tourist draw with the construction of bridges from the mainland to the barrier islands on the northern end of the barrier islands. There is also ferry service to the islands available where the barrier islands are further out and no bridges are practical. Cape Hatteras National Seashore stretches along much of the state's barrier island coast. Leashed dogs are welcome to enjoy this long, pristine beach with you. The area is dog-friendly with small inns and vacation rentals and makes for a great pet-friendly vacation spot.

There are dog-friendly hotels on the Outer Banks predominently clustered in Kill Devil Hills near Kitty Hawk, Nags Head and Ocracoke Village at the southern end of the Outer Banks. You can get to Ocracoke Village by driving the entire Outer Banks from the north or taking a ferry from the mainland. Even when you drive you will still need to take a short ferry ride from Hatteras to Ocracoke. Dogs are allowed in cars on the ferries or leashed if outside of the vehicle. On the north end of the Outer Banks there are a number of pet-friendly Comfort Inn Hotels and other dog-friendly hotels. In Ocracoke Village there is The Anchorage Inn, and Blackbeard's Lodge.

Many people vacationing in this area prefer to stay in vacation rentals. There are many dog-friendly vacation rental companies in both the northern area and southern area of the Outer Banks, In the north there is Twiddy & Company, VIllage Realty OBX, Carolina Designs and others. In the south there is Outer Beaches Realty, Midgett Realty and Hatteras Realty among others. If you want to camp in a travel trailer or motorhome then there is Bell's Island Campground in Currituck, Hatters Sands in Hatteras and Teeter's Campground in Ocracoke. There is the very nice Cape Hatteras KOA in Rodanthe just north of Cape Hatteras National Seashore. This pet-friendly campground has a great off-leash fenced area with agility equipment for your dog. For tent and dry camping you can also camp at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Most people come to the Outer Banks for the beaches. There are a lot of dog-friendly options here, although most require dogs to be on leashes. The biggest, and most well known, beachis the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. This 70 mile pristine beach allows leashed dogs everywhere except the special swimming areas set up for people. But the vast majority of these beaches are open to leashed dogs. Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge does not allow dogs on trails but does allow leashed dogs on the beach. This covers most of the Hatteras Island north of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The only beach that allows off-leash dog play is the Duck Beach in Duck. If your dog is under good voice control, they can be off-leash here. Southern Shores Beaches and Kitty Hawk Beaches only allow dogs in the off-season, other local beaches at Corolla, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head allow leashed dogs year round.

There are a lot of dog-friendly restaurants in the area during the spring, summer and fall when the weather is warmer. Duck's Cottage Coffee and Books offers drinks, pastries and a book store. Their patio is dog-friendly and they will provide water and a treat for your dog. BK Shuckers in Kitty Hawk is a Sports Bar with all the games on TV even on the patios and is also a grill and oyster bar. There are also dog-friendly patio restaurants up and down the barrier islands.

There are also many attractions in the area to see with your dog. The Wright Brothers National Memorial is the site where the airplane was born in 1903. Dogs are allowed in the outdoor areas, which is most of the exhibit. There are fishing charters and boat charters in Ocracoke that welcome leashed dogs. You and your dogs can visit the Ocracoke Pony Pen where some decendants of the Ocracoke Wild Ponies reside. There is a ghost tour of Ocracoke. Dogs are allowed to accompany you in and around the Roanoke Marshs Lighthouse in Manteo. Leashed dogs are welcome in the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site also in Manteo. In the north you can visit the Corolla Wild Horses either on your own or with a Jeep with Rick's Jeep Adventures. You can visit a 24 acre farm and brewery at Weeping Radish Farm Brewery in Jarvisburg. The Tanger Outlet Shopping Center in Nags Head makes for some good shopping at discount stores. Take your dog to Salty Paws Biscuits in Outer Banks or the Cyberdog USA pet suppy store in Kill Devil Hills.

You can have a great vacation with your dog on the Outer Banks during the busier summer season or during the off-season.

North Carolina Ferry


Southern Shores Realty
Southern Shores, NC

Over 200 Dog-friendly vacation rentals on the Outer Banks of North Carolina from Corolla to South Nags Head.

Outer Banks Blue
Kitty Hawk, NC


We don't charge additional pet fees. Over 80 dog friendly vacation rentals on North Carolina's Outer Banks, Corolla to Nags Head.

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Before you visit an establishment or place, please contact them and verify that they are still dog-friendly and available, as policies and management change frequently. All places listed on require your dog to be leashed and under your direct control unless specified  otherwise by an establishments (including parks and beaches) management. Please be aware of local Breed-Specific Laws that may be in place where you are visiting. The information on this site is not a recommendation., Inc. makes no warranties or representations of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation of the site or the information, content, materials, or products included on this site. If you find an establishment that no longer allows dogs, please let us know so that we may remove them from our list. For full Rules and Regulations for Use of This Site, including the legal disclaimer and copyright notices,  click here before using the site

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