Deciding Between the Outer Banks or Hilton Head for Vacation

Have you ever wondered which destination would provide the best vacation experience for you and your family? When deciding between the Outer Banks or Hilton Head, we offer you a compelling argument for why the OBX is the clear choice.

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Would you like to see a few of the reasons why you could vote OBX for your next great vacation? Keep reading as we outline helpful information for choosing between the Outer Banks or Hilton Head, SC.

Proximity & Easy Access

The Outer Banks are a series of barrier islands located along the northeast coast of North Carolina. The location makes this beautiful destination easy to access from Raleigh, NC, and the entire Triangle area. It is also within driving proximity of Richmond, the great Washington D.C. area, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Baltimore, and even New York City. Hilton Head is located further southwest. It is only a 5.5-hour drive from D.C. to Corolla on the Outer Banks. It would take almost 9.5 hours to drive from D.C. to Hilton Head.

outer banks wild horseUnspoiled Natural Beauty

Pristine beaches, rugged dunes, and untouched maritime forests provide a stunning backdrop for outdoor adventures and relaxation. Unlike Hilton Head’s more developed and manicured landscape, the Outer Banks offers a raw and unspoiled natural environment that appeals to families, couples, or anyone seeking tranquility. Here, you can watch wild horses play in the surf or hike through wind-swept forests where Native Americans once lived and hunted.

Miles and Miles of Coastline

You will have miles of smiles knowing that there are over 100 miles of beaches along the Outer Banks. Hilton Head Island, SC, is home to only twelve miles of beaches.

Charming Coastal Communities

The Outer Banks is dotted from north to south with charming coastal communities, each with its own character and attractions. From the quaint village of Duck to the hospitality of Nags Head, visitors can experience the laid-back southern charm of our coastal communities. Easily explore Corolla, Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Manteo, Wanchese, Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Buxton, Frisco, Avon, Hatteras Village, and Ocracoke Island! Hilton Head Island is 69.5 square miles and offers just one town.

Secluded and Remote Atmosphere

Compared to Hilton Head’s resort-focused atmosphere, the Outer Banks offers a more remote and secluded vacation experience. Visitors can escape the crowds and immerse themselves in the serenity of the coastal wilderness. This is a place to unplug and unwind while enjoying quiet beaches and uncrowded spaces. Vacationers low the slow pace that life on the OBX provides.

Wright Brothers first in flightOutdoor Adventure

From surfing and kiteboarding to fishing and birdwatching, the Outer Banks offers a wide range of outdoor activities. Adventurers of all ages and skill levels will discover an outdoor activity perfect for them. With miles of coastline to explore and endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, the Outer Banks is a paradise for outdoor lovers. You can take a wild horse or dolphin tour. If a solo adventure is more your speed, how about renting a kayak or jet ski? While Hilton Head has a plethora of activities on offer, the unique environment of our barrier islands makes for EXCELLENT outdoor adventures of all kinds.

Historical Significance

The Outer Banks has a rich maritime history, including tales of shipwrecks, piracy, and the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk. Visitors can explore museums, historic sites, and lighthouses highlighting this history. Discover which famous pirate loved to hide out on Ocracoke Island. Did you know that whaling was once a primary industry along the OBX? Have you ever considered diving a shipwreck that is only 200 yards offshore and dates back to 1877? You won’t find that on Hilton Head Island.


Thank you for taking the time to explore the distinct experiences when deciding between the Outer Banks and Hilton Head. From geography and attractions to atmosphere and proximity to your home, there has been much to consider. We hope that a vacation to the OBX is the clear choice! Whether seeking solitude on secluded beaches or embarking on thrilling outdoor adventures, the Outer Banks offers a vacation experience unlike any other.

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