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28 Jul 2022
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Travel Tips

Bookstores on the Outer Banks

Part of the fun of going on vacation is definitely the shopping and your trip to the Outer Banks is no exception. Check out our Guide to Outer Banks Shopping if you’re in the market for sportswear, clothing, handbags, souvenirs, or everything in between. And for the bookworm in your group, you’ll be happy to find that the Outer Banks is home to several wonderful local bookstores with a wide selection of titles, from local authors to mainstream bestsellers. Take the time while you’re here to support a local business and pick up a fantastic read for everyone in your family group because there’s no better way to spend a day at the beach than racked back in a beach chair with a book and your toes in the sand.

Read’em & Weep, Grandy

6580 Caratoke Hwy., Grandy, NC 27939
(252) 202-2454

While you’re on your way into town, why not check out this independent bookstore located in Grandy, about 10-minutes north of the H2OBX Water Park? Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 4pm, this privately-owned used bookstore has everything from rare and autographed books to quirky, fun beach reads all in a beautiful setting with plenty of space to relax and take a break from the drive to meander the rooms and enjoy the Outer Banks sunshine. Take a break on the beautiful deck and pick up some books to read while on vacation.

The Island Bookstore, Historic Corolla Village, Corolla

1130 Corolla Village Road, Corolla, NC 27927
(252) 453-2292

Part of the three-store, independent bookstore chain on the Outer Banks, this Island Bookstore shop is located in Historic Corolla Village, not far from the Currituck Beach Lighthouse. Spend the day exploring Carova, Whalehead, and Historic Corolla Village before stopping in to explore their wonderful children’s section as well as their large selection of books authored by North Carolina locals. With plenty of options, as well as artwork, puzzles, and cards, this small bookstore in Corolla has everything you need to keep everyone entertained while on the island! And since they’re open 9am to 7pm on weekdays, 10am to 5pm on weekends, the books will be there waiting whenever you need them.

The Island Bookstore, Scarborough Faire Shopping Village, Duck

1177 Duck Road, Duck, NC 27949
(252) 261-8981

Located in the heart of Duck in the Scarborough Faire Shopping Village of Duck, The Island Bookstore in Duck is the flagship store for Island Bookstore featuring over 30,000 available titles. This includes a full section of children’s books that makes up 25% of the store. They also carry a wide selection of puzzles and games, audiobooks, and book-themed souvenirs that are perfect for the book lover in your group. Open 9am to 9pm during peak season, The Island Bookstore is there for you whenever the urge to read calls you. They’re also conveniently located near Treehouse Coffee, so there’s no better reason to pick up a latte and a read on your way to the beach.

Duck’s Cottage, Duck

1240 Duck Road, Duck, NC 27949
(252) 261-5510

Sister store to Downtown Books in Manteo, Duck’s Cottage Coffe & Books is open 7 days a week from 7am to 6pm. The bookstore sits in one of the oldest buildings in Duck, originally built in 1921. They maintain regularly stocked newspapers, including the New York Times and the local Coastland Times, as well as new Outer Banks releases and a carefully curated selection of bestsellers, staff picks, and children’s books, as well as plenty of games, mugs, hats, and more. Pick up a puzzle, too, perfect for completing on a rainy day from within the comfort of your beach house. Don’t forget pick up a delicious coffee on your way out and be sure to try the Purple Martin, which is a delicious and memorable lavender-flavored latte, or the Mucky Duck, a yummy latte inspired by local culture. 

The Island Bookstore, MP 4.5, Kitty Hawk

3712 N. Croatan Hwy., Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
(252) 255-5590

The third iteration of The Island Bookstore group of bookstores is located in Kitty Hawk at Milepost 4.5. The store has a fun, comfortable atmosphere and offers a wide selection of perfect beachy reads as well as lots of local history and plenty of magazines in multiple genres to choose from. They also have a wide variety of fun book-themed gifts and souvenirs that are not only great while you’re here at the beach but are also great gifts to bring back home to your family who didn’t get the chance to make it to the beach. The cashiers are always kind and welcoming and if they don’t have exactly what you’re looking for, they’re always more than happy to have it shipped down from another store or order it online!

Downtown Books, Manteo

103 Sir Walter Raleigh St., Manteo, NC 27954
(252) 473-1056

Downtown Books in Manteo is a quaint, independent bookstore located in the heart of beautiful Roanoke Island. Their goal is, and always has been, to give each reader that comes into their store the perfect book at the perfect time. They have been voted the “Best Bookstore on the Beach” three different times and offer a wide selection bestsellers, children’s books, and plenty of books that focus on Outer Banks culture and history. They also ship books directly to your door while offering plenty of Downtown Books gifts and souvenirs!

Buxton Village Books, Buxton

47918 NC Hwy. 12, Buxton, NC 27920
(252) 995-4240

Located on the beautiful Hatteras Island in Buxton, this independent, privately-owned bookstore is perfect for picking up a new beach read when you’re on the southern part of the Outer Banks or they can even ship your favorite new release anywhere in the US. A staple on the island, they’ve been selling books to visitors and locals alike since 1984. They regularly host book signings and offer a fun variety of books and gifts for everyone in your life.

Books to Be Red, Ocracoke

24 School Rd., Ocracoke, NC 27960
(252) 928-3936

Last but not least, when you’re on Ocracoke island for a day trip or your whole stay, be sure to check out Books to Be Red, located in a beautiful historic home from 1898 that also houses Deepwater Pottery, making this the perfect place to pick up an awesome book as well as local, handcrafted pottery, jewelry, candles, and soaps. For 20 years, they’ve been stocking plenty of books to choose from as well as an entire room filled with books, toys, and plenty of games for the kiddos. Hop across the street to grab a cup of coffee to take with your books to the beach and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere of Ocracoke and all the history that comes with it.

Book your Book-Lover's Vacation Today!

And now that you know where to go to stock up on your favorite beach reads, be sure to book your rental home for your next book-lover's Outer Banks beach vacation today! Grab a book and a beach towel and head to the water. Check out our available rentals here.

About the Author: Lauren is the author of two books and a travel enthusiast. She grew up on the Outer Banks and only left for a few years to get her degree at UNC-Chapel Hill and complete a tour in the Coast Guard before making her way back to the beach in 2017. The only thing Lauren loves more than writing is sharing her love of the Outer Banks and its rich history with visitors and locals alike. When she isn’t writing for the Seaside Vacations Travel Blog, Lauren can usually be found with a book and cup of tea in hand, planning her next travel adventure and trying to figure out what happened to the Lost Colony.