March 22, 2017

Outer Banks Earns the Number #1
Spot in Southern Living Magazine


The Outer Banks scored the #1 spot in a recent Southern Living article that ranked the Best Islands of the South for 2017.

“The Outer Banks calls… to those who enjoy the convenience of a house-dune-ocean commute,” the article reads. “It’s popular with families who return each summer to tumble out onto the beach in the mornings to swim, collect seashells, and build sandcastles until dinnertime.”

The article doesn’t pinpoint a favorite island within the region, but instead honors the string of communities that comprise the Outer Banks, “from the Virginia border to the island of Ocracoke”

The complete Top Ten List in the article is as follows:

1. Outer Banks
2. St. Simons
3. Florida Keys
4. Hilton Head
5. Chincoteague
6. Kiawah
7. Jekyll
8. Sanibel
9. Galveston
10. Tybee

Yes, you read that correctly – the Outer Banks beat out the Florida Keys, Sanibel Island, and all of our southern South Carolina and Georgia neighbors.

This isn’t the first time that the Outer Banks – and specifically Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands – have reigned supreme on a regional or national “Best Beaches” list or “Best Islands” list, either.

One of the most notable honors in the realm of beach rankings is Dr. Beach’s annual “Best Beaches” list.

This famed list that makes national headlines every year is an annual tally of the best shorelines by acclaimed beach expert, Dr. Stephen Leatherman, who compiles his selection based on 50 distinct factors.

Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach was always a notable entry on the famed Dr. Beach list for many years, until it earned the title of the “Best Beach in America” in 2007 and was retired from the competition. (Although, it was reintroduced in 2016, earning yet another top ten spot, so expect to see Ocracoke Island ascending the charts once again.)

Hatteras Island, and specifically Cape Hatteras, is also a regular on the nearly 30-years-running Best Beaches list, earning spots in 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011, and beating out beaches in Hawaii, California, Florida, and essentially all across the county. (2017’s list should be out within a couple of months – fittingly, around Memorial Day.)

So while it’s impressive that the Outer Banks has earned this recent honor, for locals and lifetime fans who are already well aware of our islands’ draw – (as well as our long history of accolades)- it’s not necessarily a surprise.

The complete Southern Living article is available online at

comments powered by Disqus