When the Outer Banks first became a tourist destination, it was Outer Banks camping that was the most prominent way to stay mainly because of the draw for OBX fishing and hunting. Despite the explosion of Outer Banks house rentals over the last twenty years, there are still plenty of campgrounds available. You are likely to find the bulk of places available for camping in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, but there still remain campgrounds available all up and down the Outer Banks.
The type of Outer Banks camping available ranges from sites that accommodate tents and sleeping bags with minimal creature comforts to sites that accommodate "camping" in recreational vehicles (RVs).
Many people think that summer is the best time for Outer Banks camping, with the warm temperatures, but remember to bring the bug spray. Given the proximity of either the ocean or the sound for most of the campsites, you may find the mosquitoes have also chosen to join you on vacation. You may find the fall a little more appealing, with the crowd thinning out, the days still warm, and evenings generally crisp but not yet cold. The spring may be equally appealing as the fall for many of the same reasons. The Outer Banks camping season generally runs from March through November, but you may want to check with the campground for availability.
You will find the campgrounds can be either the property of the National Park Service or that they are privately owned. You will also want to check with the campground to see how they take payment (some only accept cash, while others will take a credit card or personal check), and if they accept reservations or if they are on a first come, first serve basis. For instance, National Park Service campsites do not take reservations, and are on a first come, first serve basis.
Camping on the beach and wilderness camping in open areas, including Kitty Hawk Woods, Nags Head Woods, and Buxton Woods, is prohibited. The following is an overview of some of the Outer Banks camping sites available. It will be divided between above and below Oregon Inlet.
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Kitty Hawk RV Park
Located in Kitty Hawk, 120 RV sites. No tents or pop-ups. Pets are allowed with restrictions (leashed). Electric, sewer, cable and TV hook-up, cold water. Private beach access. Several sites are yearly leases.
Adventure Bound Campground
Located in Kitty Hawk on the edge of the Kitty Hawk Maritime Forest, this is a tent only facility. New bathhouse with hot showers and flush toilets for campers. Campfire/barbeque area available.
Joe and Kay’s Campground
Located in Kill Devil Hills off of Colington Road, there are 70 full hook up sites leased on an annual basis, with an additional 15 tent sites. The tent sites are available from April through November. Site secured on a first come first serve basis, and cash is the only form of payment accepted.
Oregon Inlet Campgrounds
This facility is owned by the National Park Service and is directly across from the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center on Route 12. The facility has 120 sites available. Water, cold showers, modern toilets, picnic tables, and charcoal grills are available. There are no utilities, but a dumping station is nearby.
Cape Hatteras KOA
Located in Rodanthe, this Outer Banks camping location has 300 sites, including one and two room “Kamping Kabins”. The campground is open from March 1 through November and accepts reservations. The facility has hot showers, drinking water, bathhouses, a dump station, laundry facilities, two pools, mini golf, bike rentals, hot tub, a game room, a restaurant and a general store. The 200 foot soundside pier is available for fishing or crabbing. The campground also has a summer recreation program.
Rodanthe Watersports and Shoreline Campground
Located in Rodanthe, this soundside campground is open year round with both RV hook-up (for RVs under 25 feet) and tent sites available. Bath house with hot showers, water and electric hook up, campfires permitted in designated areas. The surfer’s choice with great wind surfing and kite boarding available, and with a watersport business located next door. Reservations are recommended, and they do take cash, credit card or personal checks.
North Beach Campground
Located in Rodanthe, this ocean-side campground has 94 RV sites and 25 tent sites. Pets are allowed. There is an outdoor pool, dump station, hot and cold water, electric and sewer hook up, gas, laundry, and a general store. There are no grills, and open fires are not permitted. Pets are allowed on a leash. Open March through December.
Camp Hatteras RV Resort and Campground
Located in Rodanthe, the 50 acre campground has 1,000 feet of ocean and sound frontage. It has 400 sites with full hook ups on a concrete pad and paved roads. Tent sites are also available. Hot showers, full bathhouses, laundry facilities, and picnic tables are available. It also has three swimming pools, miniature golf, tennis courts, a clubhouse, a marina, and a free boat ramp for campers.
Ocean Waves Campground
Located in Waves, this oceanside campground has 64 RV and 4 tent sites. It has an outdoor pool, three bath houses, hot and cold water, electricity, sewer, cable TV hook ups, laundry room and a game room.
Sands of Time Campground
Located in Avon, this campground has 57 RV sites and 15 tent sites. It has hot showers, flush toilets, laundry facilities, and a dump site. It is open from March through December 30. Reservations are recommended in the summer and fall. Pets are allowed on leashes. Credit cards are not accepted.
Camp Woods Campground
Located in Buxton, this campground has 125 sites, some for tents, some with water and electricity, and some with full hook ups. It is open year round and accepts reservations. It has an outdoor pool, a game room, two bath houses with hot and cold water, fire pits, grills and picnic tables.
Camp Point Campgrounds
Located in Buxton, this campground is run by the National Park Service. It has 202 sites, none with utility connections. It is open Memorial Day through September, and is on a first come first serve basis. Flush toilets, cold showers, charcoal grills and picnic tables are provided.
Frisco Woods Campground
Located in Frisco, this soundside Outer Banks campground has 122 sites with electricity and water, of which 35 are full hook ups. There are 100 tent sites. The campground includes an in-ground pool, water and sewer hook up, dumping station, dishwashing and laundry facility, cable TV, and a general store. There are also one and two bedroom camping cabins available. It is open from March 1 to December 1 and reservations are accepted. Pets are allowed on leashes.
Located in Frisco, this campground is run by the National Park Service. It is located just off the beach at ramp 49. It has 127 sites, none with utility connections, each with charcoal grills and picnic table. Flush toilets, cold water showers and drinking water are available. The site is a first come first serve facility.
Located in Ocracoke Village, this campground has 2 full hook ups and 12 sites with electricity and water and 10 tent sites. There are no laundry facilities. Teeter’s is open from March 1 through November. Reservations are recommended on holiday weekends and credit cards are not accepted.
Beachcomber Campgrounds and Ocracoke Station
Located in Ocracoke Village, this campsite has 29 sites with electricity and water and 7 tent sites. Hot showers and fully equipped bathrooms are available. The site is open year round and reservations are recommended for the summer season.
Located on Ocracoke Island, this campground is run by the National Park Service. It has 136 campsites, none with utilities hook ups. There are also no laundry facilities. Cold showers, a dumping station, charcoal grills and picnic tables are available. Sites are on a first come first serve basis, and credit cards are accepted.
The Outer Banks has numerous camping sites. Do you have a great story about the time you spent in your RV or tent while camping on the Outer Banks? Do you have a story to tell about one of the campsites listed above? How do they measure up to other places you have stayed? Share it here!
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