Outer Banks Ocean Safety, Lifeguard Locations and Public Beach Accesses

Beach Access Point Sea Oats

Always use caution before entering and swimming in the ocean. Look for red warning flags and red and white warning posters. If red flags are flying, swimming is prohibited.

Swimming in the Atlantic Ocean is very different than swimming in a lake or pool, strong littoral currents, rip currents, tidal currents near inlets as well as shifting sand can make swimming very, very dangerous at times. Although yellow and red flags may be flying when the weather seems fine, it's difficult to judge if the water is actually safe to swim in.

Always use dune walk-overs and designated beach access points to cross the dunes. Seriously, just a few extra steps along approved paths may be all it takes to preserve and protect the plants that hold the dune in place.

Serious erosion problems result from pedestrian traffic and from dragging boats, sailboards, and other objects across the dunes. Pick up your trash when leaving the beach and place it in the appropriate containers.

Lifeguards are on the beach during the peak season - Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Hours vary. Most beach areas have roving lifeguards and supervisors. Hours and locations are subject to change without notice. Listed below are public beach accesses as well as lifeguard locations.

Beach Access in Kitty Hawk NC Outer Banks

Outer Banks Beach Access Locations

Codes: (BH) Bath House; (S) Shower; (L) Lifeguard; (PP) Paved Parking; (H) Handicap Parking; (W) Wood Walkway to Beach

Duck - 10:00am - 6:00pm

The Town of Duck has no public beach accesses and parking is by permit only; however, the following locations do provide lifeguard service:

Barrier Island Station (W)
Four Seasons
Schooner Ridge Drive (W)
Plover Drive
Sprigtail Drive (W)

Southern Shores - 10:00am - 6:00pm

The Town of Southern Shores has no public beach accesses and parking is by permit only; however, the following locations do provide lifeguard service:

Chicahauk Beach (PP, W, L)
Hillcrest Beach (L, PP)

Kitty Hawk - 10:00am - 7:00pm (Roving patrol until 8:00pm)

Off-Street Parking (side street parking is available for the following beach accesses):

Balchen Street
Bleriot Street
Hawks Street
Wilkins Street
Bennett Street
Fonck Street
Maynard Street

Parking Lot (paved parking lots)
Byrd Street (BH, W, S, PP, L)
Kitty Hawk Bath House (BH, H, S, PP, L) (near Kitty Hawk Road)
Eckner Street (L, H, PP)

Kill Devil Hills - 10:00am - 5:30pm (Roving patrol until 5:30pm)

Arch Street
Chowan Street
Walker Street
5th Street (PP, L)
3rd Street
1st Street (PP, W, L)
Prospect Avenue (PP, W, H, S)
Woodmere Avenue (PP, W, H, S, L)
Raleigh Avenue
Sutton Avenue (PP, W, H)
Ocean Bay Blvd. (PP, B, W, H, L)
Oregon Avenue (PP, L)
Calvin Street (W, L)
Atlantic Street (PP, W, S, L)
Neptune Drive - Ocean Acres (L)
Helga Street (L)
Hayman Blvd. (PP, H, L)
Eden Street
4th Street (W, L)
2nd Street (PP, W, L)
Ashville St. (PP, W, H, S, L)
Glenmere Ave. (PP)
Ferris Ave. (PP, W, H, S)
Carlow Ave. (PP, W, H, S, L)
Pinehurst Avenue
Carlton Avenue
Clark Street (PP, W, H, L)
Martin St. (PP, W, H, L)
Lake Drive (L)
8th Street (W, S, PP, H)

Nags Head - 10:00am - 6:00pm (Roving patrol until 6:00pm)

Eight Street (H, W, S, PP)
Albatross Street (L, PP, W)
Forrest Street (L, PP, S, H, W)
Gallery Row Street
Grouse Street
Abalone Street (PP, W)
Gliden Street (PP, H)
Admiral Street (PP)
Gull Street (PP, H)
Baltic Street (PP)
Gray Eagle Street (L, PP, S)
Barnes Street (PP)
Gulfstream Street (L, H, S, PP, W)
Blackman Street (PP, W)
Governor Street (PP, W)
Bonnet Street (BH, H, W, S, L, PP)
Huron Street (PP, W)
Bittern Street (S, PP)
Holden Street (H, W, PP)
Bladen Street (PP, H, W, S)
Hargrove Street (BH, H, L, W, S, PP)
Bainbridge Street (PP, W)
Ida Street (PP, W)
Curlew Street
Isabella Street
Hollowell Street (L, S, W, PP)
Islington Street (W)
Conch Street (H, W, PP)
Indigo Street (W)
Small Street
Jay Street
Enterprise Street (L, H)
June Street
Loggerhead Street
James Street
Town Hall Street
Jacob Street
Epstein Street (BH, PP, S, W, L)
Juncos Street (L, H, PP, S, W)
Conquina Beach (BH, H, S, W, PP, L)

Hatteras Island

Public beach accesses are located throughout the Cape Hatteras National Seashore (PP, NL)

South of Avon/Soundside - NC Hwy. 12 (H, S, PP, NL)
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse - Buxton (H, PP)
South of Frisco - NC Hwy. 12 (BH)

Ocracoke Island

Ocracoke Beach - NC Hwy. 12 (H, W, PP)

Corolla NC Sound Access Outer Banks North Carolina

Outer Banks Sound Access Points

Kitty Hawk

Windgrass Circle (handicap access available)

Kill Devil Hills

Hayman Boulevard Estuarine (includes pier, gazebo, picnic area and vehicle parking)
West 3rd Street and Arch Street (no parking available)

Nags Head

Jockey's Ridge State Park (off soundside rd.)
W. Danube St. - 6912 S. Croatan Hwy.
Forrest St. (no parking available)
Nags Head Estuarine Site - On the Causeway (H)
Little Bridge - On the Causeway (H)
Harvey Estuarine - 16MP, 158 Bypass

Roanoke Island/Manteo

Old Swimming Hole - Dare County Regional Airport

Hatteras Island

Oregon Inlet Fishing Center - NC Hwy. 12 - Bodie Island
New Inlet - NC Hwy. 12 - Pea Island
Haulover - NC Hwy. 12 - South of Avon
Sandy Bay - NC Hwy. 12 - South of Frisco

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