Kildare Island: Where Fiction Meets Reality

The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, charming towns, and rich history. But many don’t know that the Outer Banks is also home to a fictional island: Kildare Island.

Kildare is a name that may sound familiar to fans of the Netflix series Outer Banks, a teen drama that follows a group of friends who call themselves the Pogues. The Pogues live on Kildare Island, a setting in North Carolina divided between the wealthy Kooks and the working-class Pogues.

But is Kildare Island a real place? Where is Outer Banks filmed, and what inspired its setting? Here’s what we know about Kildare and its connection to reality.

Kildare Is a Fictional Place

Kildare Island County, the primary location of Outer Banks, does not exist. However, it is based on a real place in North Carolina: Kill Devil Hills, which is in Dare County. Therefore, the name Kildare is a combination of Kill Devil Hills and Dare County. It is also a nod to the Irish heritage of many people living in the Outer Banks.

Kill Devil Hills is a town in Dare County on the Atlantic Ocean. It is best known for being the site of the Wright Brothers’ first controlled powered flight in 1903. It is also known for its beautiful beaches, rich history, and role in the birth of aviation.

The town’s name has several possible origins, but one popular legend claims it comes from a rum so strong that it could “kill the devil.” Pirates allegedly smuggled the rum and shipwrecked on the shore, where it was buried in the dunes. The locals called these dunes “Kill Devil Hills,” and the name stuck. Kill Devil Hills is also the most populated and significant town in Dare County, which makes it a suitable inspiration for Kildare Island.

Dare County, on the other hand, is the easternmost county in North Carolina, encompassing most of the Outer Banks and some mainland areas. It is named after Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the Americas, born in Roanoke Island in 1587.

Roanoke Island is famous for being the site of the Lost Colony, a group of English settlers who mysteriously disappeared without a trace. Dare County has several towns and villages, such as Kitty Hawk, Nags Head, Manteo, and Hatteras. It is also known for its rich history, natural beauty, and tourist attractions. Dare County encompasses most of the northern Outer Banks,

The Creation of Kildare Island

The creators of Outer Banks, Josh, and Jonas Pate, were inspired to create Kildare Island by their experiences visiting the Outer Banks as children. They were drawn to the beaches’ beauty, the shipwrecks’ mystery, and the sense of community they found there.

The Pate brothers envisioned a fictional island embodying the Outer Banks spirit, a realm where boundless possibilities converge. Their vision was to establish a destination where teenagers could embark on thrilling adventures, unravel mysteries, and unearth hidden treasures. Beyond that, they aspired to create a place where conventional rules did not always hold sway, and seekers could discover anything they desired, provided they were willing to explore with determination. The extraordinary could come to life in this fictional realm, making anything possible.

Why was Kildare Set in North Carolina?

The show’s creators and cast have praised Charleston for its beauty, diversity, and hospitality. They have also said they tried to capture the essence of the Outer Banks while filming in South Carolina. Some other actual locations used for filming Outer Banks include:

Shem Creek

This creek is where the Pogues’ boat scenes are shot. Shem Creek is a waterway in Mount Pleasant, a tourist town east of Charleston. It is known for its seafood restaurants, fishing boats, and wildlife.

Hunting Island State Park

It is a 5,000-acre park on an island near Beaufort, south of Charleston. It features a lighthouse, a marsh boardwalk, and a nature center. Many beach scenes were shot at this location.

Kiawah Island

Some scenes involving the Kooks are shot here. Kiawah Island is a barrier island south of Charleston, home to golf courses, resorts, and luxury homes.

Old Village

This location is where some scenes involving the Pogues’ homes are shot. Old Village is a historic neighborhood in Mount Pleasant that dates back to the 18th century. It has charming cottages, oak trees, and waterfront views.

Kildare Island Attractions

Kildare Island has become a popular destination for fans of the Outer Banks series. Some tours and attractions offer visitors a chance to experience the island, even though it doesn’t exist.

One popular tour is the “Outer Banks Treasure Hunt.” This tour takes visitors to some of the most famous shipwrecks in the Outer Banks, allowing them to learn about the area’s history.

Another popular attraction is the “Kildare Island Pirate Museum.” This museum tells the story of the pirates who once roamed the Outer Banks and features several interactive exhibits. Many businesses in the Outer Banks offer “Kildare Island” experiences. These businesses sell souvenirs, clothing, and other items themed after the island.

Will Outer Banks Continue in North Carolina?

Whether the OBX Netflix series will continue to use Outer Banks as a filming location for Kildare Island remains to be seen. In 2022, the show’s creators announced they were looking for new filming locations due to the rising cost of production in North Carolina. However, they have yet to confirm if they have found a new home for the show.

Some fans have speculated that the show could move to South Carolina, home to many beaches and marshes. However, the show’s production team has not officially announced the filming location.


The portrayal of Kildare Island in the series has ignited a fascination among fans, leading to a growing interest in visiting this fictional locale. Although Kildare Island is not tangible, the show’s popularity has inspired various tours and attractions in the Outer Banks that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the magic of the fictional world.

Ezioyi Anthonious

With a firm belief in the power of words to inspire, inform, and transform, Anthonious continually seeks to push the boundaries of creativity, delivering content that leaves a lasting impact. When not immersed in the world of words, you'll find him indulging in the latest blockbuster, exploring new avenues of inspiration, or feeding his pet parrot, Huey.

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