Outer Banks Spotlight on the Town of Southern Shores


We're taking a tour of the Outer Banks of North Carolina during our OBX Spotlight series. Next stop: Southern Shores.

We're still in the region known as the Northern Beaches and that's exactly where you'll find Southern Shores, tucked in between the towns of Duck and Kitty Hawk. If you're looking for natural beauty, quiet private beaches, and the quintessential coastal experienceSouthern Shores is the OBX town for you.

You won't find overcrowded shorelines or a cluttered view of the beach here. What you will find is a one-mile wide, four-mile long seaside paradise dotted with vacation rentals and private residences, untouched natural vegetation and private beaches, to name a few of the highlights. Stretching from Currituck Sound to Ginguite Creek, the Town of Southern Shores is a premiere residential community on the Outer Banks known for its temperate weather and beautiful homes coupled with a strong sense of community pride and spirit. With easy access to shopping centers, markets, dining and golf, Southern Shores is the perfect place to call home or to call your vacation-home-away-from-home. 

Town History of Southern Shores

Southern Shores was originally considered part of the Kitty Hawk community in Dare County, NC. It was founded as a resort in 1946, then became incorporated as a municipality in 1979. There were only two sand roads that granted access to this unpopulated area, running north and south. Telegraph wire (later followed by telephone and electricity) transited through the area's easternmost portion of the road. 


In 1878, the U.S. Lifesaving Service constructed the Paul Gamiels Hill Lifesaving Station nearby, which was then reconstructed in 1909. It was manned through World War II by the Coast Guard. Sadly, the abandoned station burned in the early 1960s. Today its former location is now known as the present day Hillcrest Drive beach access. 


Check out this historical slideshow of Southern Shores for a glimpse of some of the amazing photos from the town's past. 

Southern Shores Beaches

Southern Shores showcases a gorgeous stretch of beach that can only be accessed by residents and vacationers staying in town. So if you are all about privacy, you'll find plenty of that here. It's also worth noting that many of Southern Shores visitors are granted access to the Civic Association's amenities which may include soundside marinas, parks, and designated oceanfront parking areas. 

Bonfires are not permitted on the beaches of Southern Shores. Dogs are only allowed on the beach between the hours of 6p.m to 9a.m. from May 15 to September 15. Dogs must be on a leash at all times when off of personal property. Pooper scooper laws are in effect, so please pick up after your pet. 

Other than that, you can expect to find the rhythmic sounds of the crashing waves, Carolina blue skies, bright sunshiny days, and the smell of salty sea air that you'll want to get your fill of while you're here. Aaaahhhhh! 

Southern Shores OBX beaches

Things To Do in Southern Shores

Do you really need anything more than abundant sun, sand and surf? Nope! But just so you know, there are other things to do during your stay in Southern Shores, if you so choose. 

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Strolling the beach
  • Shelling adventures
  • Biking & walking paths
  • Watching an OBX sunrise and sunset
  • Exploring the local parks and marinas
  • Duck Woods Country Club
  • Gourmet local markets
  • Quaint restaurants & unique coastal dining experiences



Events in Southern Shores

Southern Shores plays host to a National Running Day event held annually on the coast each June. National Running Day, held annually on the first Wednesday in June, is a day when runners nation-wide declare their passion for running. This is a coast-to-coast celebration of a sport that is simple, inexpensive, and fun. It is the perfect way for longtime runners to reaffirm their love of running and for beginners to kick-off a lifetime and life-changing commitment. 

Interested? Click on the Southern Shores National Running Day event link to sign up!

Where to Stay in Southern Shores

 Do you feel inspired to plan your next Outer Banks beach vacation with a stay in Southern Shores? Excellent! We can help you with that. Peruse Élan Vacations Southern Shores vacation rental options and you'll be taking the next step closer to having your toes in the OBX sand. Let us know if we can be of any help to you!

In Case You Missed It...

Have you been following Élan Vacations blog? You should! Just in case you missed any installments of our OBX Spotlight series, here's the rundown of where we've traveled thus far on our tour of the Carolina coastline. 

Outer Banks Spotlight Posts: 

Have you been to the OBX town of Southern Shores? If so, let us know! We'd love to hear about it.

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