You’ve worked hard all your life – and now it’s time to settle into what you deserve. Check out the best places to retire in North Carolina, where you’ll be able to enjoy the sun, sea and so much more.
6 Best Places to Retire in North Carolina
The community you choose for your retirement should match your lifestyle – and Outer Banks has a little of something for everyone. Each of the places listed here has its own character, and each is close to other communities that are definitely worth exploring. The six best places to retire in North Carolina are:
- Nags Head
- Kitty Hawk
- Kill Devil Hills
- Southern Shores
Here’s a closer look at each of these spectacular communities.
When the first settlers arrived in Nags Head, they built single-family cottages and a handful of hotels – but today, you’ll find beautiful beach homes with luxurious appointments, the famed Gallery Row and friendly neighbors around every corner.
Fishing, Swimming and Outdoor Recreation
Nags Head is the place to be if you’re ready to enjoy nature. There are two public fishing piers, miles of public beach access and Jockey’s Ridge State Park, which is part of the tallest natural sand dune system in the eastern U.S. The town itself is 6.5 square miles and features 11 miles of shoreline, and it’s incredibly popular with retirees because there aren’t piles of homes atop one another in the area’s breezy open spaces.
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Kitty Hawk, famed birthplace of modern aviation, is a friendly community that includes a charming village, relaxing beach living and the perfect balance between amenities and natural beauty. While many people live here year-round, there’s a thriving seasonal community, too.
History and the Great Outdoors
Kitty Hawk is home to several historic monuments, including those to the Wright Brothers, but it’s also home to some of the most beautiful undeveloped maritime forest in the country. The Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Reserve, combined with its beautiful beaches and renowned golf courses (Duck Wood Country Club and Sea Scape Golf Links), makes this a perfect place to settle in and retire.
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Corolla, a gorgeous seaside community that’s known for its seclusion and upscale dining, is one of OBX’s top retirement spots. Because the town is minimally developed but still has great restaurants, shopping and other amenities, and because of its great views of the Atlantic and the Currituck Sound, it may be the perfect place for you to retire.
Wild Horses, Lighthouses and More
Known throughout the tourism industry for its wild horses that roam the beaches and some inland areas, Corolla is truly a place to get back to nature. The breathtaking scenery, ample watersports opportunities, and rich history of the area – including Whalehead, a beautifully restored 1920s-style mansion, and the Currituck Beach Lighthouse – make Corolla a wonderful place to live.
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Manteo is exactly what you’d expect from a coastal town – it has all the charisma and grace, and maybe a little bit of magic – you need to feel before you can call a place “home.” The beach cottages and waterfront properties located along the peninsula are truly beautiful, and several inland properties are also available.
Attractions, Dining and More
Beautiful historic buildings dot the downtown area, and some of the Outer Banks’ most popular restaurants are mixed right in. You’ll also find local attractions such as Roanoke Island Festival Park, the Island Farm and the Elizabethan Gardens.
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Kill Devil Hills
Bright and beautiful beach homes sit just behind the perfectly graded dunes in Kill Devil Hills, but you can also find roomy homes surrounded by towering, mature trees just over the bridge crossing Colington Creek. The fresh sea breezes are a major draw for those living in Kill Devil Hills – and so are the affordable homes.
Beach Living With Ample Amenities
Wherever you live in Kill Devil Hills, you’re moments from the water. You’re also a quick trip from cafes, taverns and shopping, as well as several attractions (including comedy clubs and a vibrant nightlife scene).
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Southern Shores is known for its vast network of restaurants, shops and attractions. You’ll find beach condos, waterfront single-family homes and quiet, wooded properties with spacious estates.
Easy Access, Remote Feel
Every home in Southern Shores has easy access to dining, shopping and entertainment – but the entire community is laid-back and has a more secluded feel than other communities in the Outer Banks. You can enjoy simple peace while strolling along the town’s walking path along Highway 12, enjoying the shade from towering oaks and cedar trees, or you can spend time in the sun on the beach.
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Are You Looking for the Best Place to Retire in North Carolina?
We can help you find the perfect place to retire in the Outer Banks. When you’re ready to start talking about your options – or if you’d like to see specific homes today – call us at 252-491-3333 or contact us online.
If you’re also looking for another home, you can get instant access to all our listings here: