Spoiler alert – We’ve done this trip a few times now and LOVE IT. The KOA campground in Cape Hatteras is one of my favorite places in all of NC! If you haven’t stayed there before, pick a weekend and call for a cabin like, now. This is outer banks glamping at its best!
Kyle’s family introduced me to KOA campgrounds a couple years ago, and I’ll admit, I was a bit hesitant. But, I’m supposed to be trying things so we went for it. And I’m now obsessed! Since our first trip, we’ve stayed in KOA cabins a couple more times and definitely plan to again. The occasion for this years beach trip was Kyle’s family reunion trip. We had 3 cabins and 2 camper spots between all of us which made it super fun. We stuck to the cabins that we love but it was fun to see the RV & Camper Vacay style too!
Here’s a few of our favorite things about Outer Banks Glamping at the KOA Cape Hatteras —
THE OUTER BANKS GLAMPING CABINS
The cabins are a staple at all KOA campgrounds and they are my favorite way to glamp. The glamour level is totally up to you! Each cabin has a full bed and a set of bunks, a side table, and a shelf by the entrance. There’s a few outlets so you can plug in and charge whatever you need. The porches have adorable swings perfect for afternoon reading and you get a fire pit with each cabin too! Best part – AC! (or heat if you’re headed there in the off season).
You can make your little cabin as glam as you want. We took it up a notch this time and brought some cute blankets and pillows. We even hung christmas lights outside which made it perfect for late nights on the porch. We brought coolers to keep things cold, but Kyle’s parents brought a mini fridge which was pretty clutch and definitely took the glamping up a notch. Don’t forget your coffee maker (or in our case, blender for some delicious coffee smoothies)!
Depending on what camp site you get, you’re either steps away from the beach or, like, a football field away. That means no searching for parking, less trouble if you forget something at your campsite, and an easy trip back for lunch (or more drinks!). This beach is gorgeous and not overcrowded at all for how many people stay at the campground. You can set up canopies, tents, and anything else you need to make your beach day perfections. Just don’t forget the cooler!
Our close proximity to the beach let me get up and run every morning (warning: the sand is REALLY soft) which was awesome. Also, pack your flashlights to take on a crab hunting adventure on the beach after dark.
Another super cool thing about this beach is that you can have fires on it! We had a bonfire on the beach one night which was awesome. The camp store sells everything you’d need to get a fire going so we stocked up on wood and starter there! We packed up our camping chairs and set them up all around our sandy fire pit for a relaxing night under the moon. S’mores were delish, of course. We even looked up some local ghost stories to tell while we sat around the flames.
We capped our trip off with a (now traditional) sunrise walk on the beach. This beach is perfectly set up to catch gorgeous views as the sun peeks over the horizon. HIGHLY suggest catching it at least once while your there. We are loving our new last day sunrise tradition!
The Glamping Extras – Camp Store, Pool & Rentals
The campground comes with all of the necessities of course. The bath house is smack dab in the middle of the campground so not too far from anyone. Bathrooms are pretty clean and showers are what you’d expect of a campground.
Campground amenities and extras at KOA Cape Hatteras are on point though! There’s an awesome pool that is just about as refreshing as it gets after a sandy day at the beach. We even took a break from the beach one day and stuck to shopping and an afternoon at the pool. The camp store at the front of the camp ground stocks all of the necessities! They’ve got some basic food & drinks (INCLUDING Beer & My fave- White Claw), condiments, s’more fixings, paper table ware and even a few games and beach gear like umbrellas, boogie boards, and kites. Prices are, of course, a little higher than a normal grocery store, but with the nearest grocery about 30 minutes away, it is an awesome convenience! The restaurant that sits poolside is clutch too! For a quick breakfast or lunch, they’ve got everything you’d want. It’s no five star restaurant but nobody really wants that in the middle of a sandy day anyway, right?
KOA also offers some fun stuff for hourly rental! They’ve got all kinds of bikes, scooters, and other things on wheels and a bunch of water toys. We rented a few paddle boards to explore the sound side of the island one more and had an awesome time! Rentals are super affordable for a half day and you don’t have to lug the gear around at all because you pick them up right at the sound ramp. This was one of my favorite parts of our trip and was the perfect break from lounge days on the beach!
The Location – Outer Banks, North Carolina
The outer banks of North Carolina are pretty darn cool. It is essentially just a really really long super skinny stretch of land. There’s the crashing ocean on one side of the road and the calmer sound on the other the entire way up and down them. There are a TON of little towns up and down the outer banks that you could probably spend a day in each. We took a couple days to visit different areas of the island and even drove down to the Ocracoke end one day. It was a long ride but worth it to check out all of the little shops and such on the way. If you’re driving down to the Ocracoke end, there’s an adorable waterside shopping area complete with a dockside bar! We found a few favorites while we explored the islands so here’s my list of must do’s when you leave the campground!
You’re at the beach so you pretty much HAVE to have one good seafood meal. There’s plenty of restaurants within 30 minutes of the campsite for a good meal. We went to the Mad Crabber one night which was the peak of all of the boys’ trip. If you’d rather cook it yourself, there are fantastic seafood markets where you can stock up on fresh crab dip, shrimp, and anything else you’d need. We opted for that option the night we had a low country boil at the campsite!
I LOVE a local surf shop and the outer banks has no shortage of these! Our favorite is called right and is super close to the campground!
The outer banks is packed with delicious smoothie and acai bowl shops! We swung by The Spot way over in Nags Head, but Hatteras Bowls is a bit closer to the campground. These make the perfect afternoon snack on beach days!
I don’t go anywhere without getting a dozen donuts from a local shop and we found a gem this time! Stus is a restaurant with full table service and a full bar that also sells donuts by the dozen. These are made fresh so be prepared to wait but I promise it’s worth it!
Hands down, you should try this place! This is Outer Banks glamping at it’s best. I would recommend the KOA Cape Hatteras to everyone and and everyone as an affordable, fun place to stay for a quick trip to the beach! We’ll be back FOR SURE!