Dynamic Variation:

Southern Shores, NC 

Sandwiched between Kitty Hawk and Duck, Southern Shores represents a bit of a break from the busy beach towns to the south. Southern Shores was the first planned town on the Outer Banks, and its name came right from the mind of the developer, Frank Stick. We think he did a great job naming this woodsy residential town.


Take a look at Southern Shores and you’ll notice something right away: there are fewer of the beachfront mini-mansions here, instead you’ll find what folks around here call the Southern Shores Flat Tops. These low, blocky houses have flat roofs and in many ways are reminiscent of the midcentury architecture you think of in a place like Palm Springs. Built with concrete blocks made of gravel mined nearby and with locally-harvested lumber supporting interior walls and decorative elements, they’re Outer Banks homes in terms of style and substance.


There are no public beach accesses or access points for the Sound in Southern Shores; all access is limited to residents and the handful of rental properties here.


Southern Shores looks different from the other towns. Here, the Outer Banks is more narrow, limiting growth, but the folks behind the development of this town liked it that way because it allowed them to preserve many of the trees and patches of maritime forest. There’s a mixed-use bike and walking path beside the road (separated by a grassy and sometimes tree-lined median), and along the streets and in the pocket neighborhoods near the Sound, it’s quiet and quaint.


As Southern Shores caters more to residents, you won’t find the long list of restaurants and shops that other towns have. Instead you’ll find a few at either end of town and a strip of shopping near the Walmart in Kitty Hawk (where you’ll find a FoodLion, Barrier Island Bagel and a few fast food stops). Other restaurants include Steamers, Southern Shores Pizza and Deli, Pizza Stop and Crumbl Cookies.

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