From lighthouse climbing, kiteboarding, and surfing, to paddleboarding, kayaking and deep sea fishing, Hatteras Island is full of opportunities for adventure. Now there’s a brand new one in Rodanthe -Kitty Hawk Kites just opened an Adventure Tower next to their Waves Village shops. This interactive ropes course offers three levels and 15 different climbing elements and will challenge you both mentally and physically.
The course was designed by KristallTurm, the leading ropes course manufacturer known for it’s high level of safety standards. A one and a half hour climbing adventure for adults is $45 and kids 6-9 can climb for just $35. For more information on this exciting new activity check out the Kitty Hawk Kites website.
Riding alongside the ocean, salt air blowing through your hair, sun setting over the dunes. It’s the stuff of fairytales. It also happens to be one of the lesser-known activities available to you and your family on Hatteras Island. Our beaches are the perfect spot for horseback riding, in fact, Hatteras Island was named one of the top 5 places in the country for horseback riding on the beach by Drive the Nation!
Here’s more on the two locally owned companies offering this service:
Hatteras Island Horseback Riding
Hatteras Island Horseback Riding is open year-round and all of their riding is done on the beach in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Recreation Area. Since 2006 they have specialized in offering safe rides for families and those with very little horseback riding experience. For $190 total the whole family can enjoy the two horses at the beach for an hour. They also offer summer sunset rides and can accommodate those with special needs and all ages!
Equine Adventures is located in Frisco and offers a two hour guided group trail ride through the maritime forest to the beach. Riders will enjoy a 45 minute beautiful trail ride through the woods, 30 minutes on the beach, and 45 minutes back through the woods to the barn. Rides are $120/per person in the summer and riders must be 10 years of age. All experience levels are welcome.
Call or email to schedule this memorable event today!
Hatteras Island Horseback Riding
252-995-4897 | email@example.com
Long lazy hours on the beach, pool parties, cookouts – all the things you love to do to celebrate the 4th of July can be perfectly accomplished on your Hatteras Island vacation. Let the day take you to one of these great Independence Day celebrations!
Avon Fireworks Display
Surf or Sound Realty is proud to sponsor the 4th of July Fireworks at the Avon Fishing Pier. A fun event for the whole family, fireworks begin around 9 pm. Fireworks are visible all along the Avon beach and parking is limited, so walk, bike or carpool! Cape Hatteras National Seashore officials have decided that this year, off-road vehicles may remain on the beaches near Avon past the 9 pm closing time to allow passengers to watch the fireworks.
4th of July Bash at Koru Village
An Independence Day celebration at Koru Village’s Beach Klub! Live music by Dale and the Zdubs will happen on the Papawack Theater’s stage, their tiki bars will be open for drinks and snacks, the firework show will happen right in front, at the Avon Pier, and afterwards Koru Village’s fire dancing troupe will take center stage to delight you with a fire show. Cost is $10.68 and the event is family friendly.
Hatteras Village Golf Cart Parade
Join us for our annual July 4th Golf Cart Parade in Hatteras Village! Residents and visitors alike are invited to participate. Line up begins at 3:30 at Hatteras Harbor Court. No entry fee, just show up decorated in your best red, white and blue! Gift certificates to village businesses are awarded as prizes!
Town of Manteo 4th of July Celebration
July 4, 3:00 PM
Take a day trip to Manteo to celebrate Independence Day with small town flair. Watch the 440th Army Band perform, participate in wacky hat contest, decorated bike contest, apple pie contest and so much more. Then after the sun goes down take in one of the best firework shows on the Outer Banks.
Ocracoke Island Independance Day Celebrations
Planning a day trip to Ocracoke? They will have fireworks on Sunday July 3 and will have events going on both July 3 and 4th
Sunday, July 3, 2016:
Classic Car Show, Traditional Island Square Dance: Music by Molasses Creek, with Philip Howard as caller. Party at the NPS docks with Deejay Tommy Hutcherson. Enjoy some rockin’ tunes while you what for the fireworks to begin!
9:15pm: Fireworks! Amazing Pyrotechnic Show! Gather around Silver Lake harbor to see the show. Please walk or bike; parking is limited.
Monday, July 4, 2016:
Flag Raising Ceremony and Singing of the National Anthem: Led by Ocracoke Boy Scout Troop # 290 at the School Circle on School Road. 39th Annual Sand Sculpture Contest: At the NPS Lifeguard Beach. Ocracoke Lighthouse: The lighthouse will be open for viewing – all are welcome to see inside! Skydivers at Ocracoke Community Park, Old Time Ocracoke Parade, and then from 7pm – 10pm: Community Beach Fire at Lifeguard Beach. Join friends and neighbors at the Lifeguard Beach for a family-friendly beach fire and party!
You’ve felt it – that dramatic change in mood as your feet sink into the warm soft Hatteras Island sands. Surrounded by the meditative sounds of the crashing waves, you look out across the expanse of beach, out over the ocean to the horizon, breathe deep and you just start to feel better. It turns out there is science to back it up. In a recent scientific study by two New Zealand universities and Michigan State University, they found that exposure to “blue space” (in the study they used ocean) boosts mental health.
The study tested the correlation between blue space visibility and psychological distress and found that a higher visibility of blue space was significantly associated with lower distress in participants.
Natural environments attract us on an evolutionary level because of the basic survival resources found in them. According to the study, “As a result of this evolutionary connection, the human brain processes natural environments more efficiently than built up environments, thereby further increasing opportunity for relaxation and combating the amount of stress”.
Of course, we are not scientists. But if someone is going to tell us that being near the ocean supports good health, well then count us in!!
Here are a few other health benefits your Hatteras Island vacation may afford you:
Lower blood pressure
A 2008 study by Seattle University compared the effects of listening to guided relaxation over ocean waves to the sound of a Mozart symphony on patient’s blood pressure. They found that while both lowered hypertension, the relaxation waves group showed a drop in systolic blood pressure by about three points and diastolic pressure by 1.5 points compared with Mozart’s music.
Air circulating at the beach is said to contain tens of thousands of negative ions, while the average home or office building, contains dozens or hundreds if any at all. According to WebMD, “Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy.” The market has been flooded with the air purifiers and ionizers in recent years, whether they work or not is certainly up for debate, but one thing we do know is where negative ions naturally occur in the environment – the beach! Ion researcher Michael Terman PhD, of Columbia University in New York explained, “The action of the pounding surf creates negative air ions and we also see it immediately after spring thunderstorms when people report lightened moods.”
Have you ever recalled the sound of ocean waves to get to sleep at night? A study at Huntsville hospital in Alabama looked at the effects of ocean sounds on sleep after a major surgery. They found that the participants receiving ocean sounds reported significantly higher scores for sleep depth, awakening, return to sleep, quality of sleep, and total sleep scores, indicating better sleep.
Have we given you enough reason to book that second week on Hatteras Island yet? Do it for your health.
How can one beach consistently be at the top of the best family beaches lists? 70 miles of pristine coastline, uncrowded beaches, clean surf and quaint village charm are what keep Hatteras Island coming out on top. Here are a few of 2016’s recent mentions:
Cape Hatteras specifically was named one of the 10 best East Coast beaches by readers of USA Today, touting “ocean waves, coastal flora and fauna and a picturesque lighthouse,” along with magical experiences like “kiteboarding, crabbing and beach fires “ to be among the things that made Hatteras Island a winner.
U.S. News and World Report named the Outer Banks the #4 top family beach in the U.S.A. this year, because “OBX’s largely undeveloped landscape means you’ll have plenty of unobstructed photo ops. Peaceful waves, usually calm enough for swimmers of all levels, will put an extra dose of relaxation in your vacation.”
Most recently, Family Vacation Critic, part of the TripAdvisor family named Cape Hatteras National Seashore the top family friendly beach for 2016. They chose it because it offers “an authentic vacation away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, with the seashore of the main attraction”
Ready to book that vacation? Surf or Sound Realty has nearly 500 of Hatteras Island’s premier vacation homes waiting to welcome your family.
Hatteras Island is a great destination for a vacation, with amazing beaches for swimming, surfing, fishing, or even just relaxing in the sun. Many people make the trip here just for the beautiful sights and atmosphere, and who can blame them? Hatteras Island is a wonderland of picturesque scenery where you can easily lose yourself for a few hours among the breathtaking landscapes. But there’s more to the Island than great beaches and eye catching environments; Hatteras Island is home to some uniquely-interesting locally-owned shops where you can not only pick up some souvenirs to remember your vacation but also engage in delightful conversations with the local shopkeepers!
This shop in Avon on Hatteras Island is a great spot for those with an artistic leaning to stop in. At Studio 12, they sell beautiful craft pottery pieces, but the real reason to visit is the do-it-yourself painting. Purchase a piece of pottery and tap into your creative side to bring life to it with your own painting skills. Studio 12 is one of the most kid-friendly shopping experiences on the island; children of all ages will especially enjoy coming to Studio 12 to make their own artistic creations.
Pea Island Art Gallery
Do you want to find amazing artwork on Hatteras Island? Head to Pea Island Art Gallery in Salvo to browse this unique art gallery featuring many pieces from local Outer Banks artists. You’re sure to find something that catches your eye here; the gallery has many different types of art, including jewelry, paintings, photography and more.
Kitty Hawk Kites
Your one-stop shop for adventure on Hatteras Island is Kitty Hawk Kites! Kids and adults alike will enjoy coming to this local favorite, where you can purchase whimsical kites to fly on the beach, beach souvenirs or the latest trendy t-shirt or toy. But what really makes this shop special is the different activities they offer: kiteboarding, hang gliding, kayaking and more. They have multiple locations on Hatteras Island, including Rodanthe, Avon and Hatteras Village. They offer tours of all kinds, letting you explore Hatteras Island however you like!
Lee Robinson’s General Store
If you’re looking for a little bit of everything on Hatteras Island, you will want to stop in at Lee Robinson’s General Store. They have beer, wine, bread, cheese, t-shirts, jewelry and much more! A great place to find little souvenirs for everyone back home, if you can’t find it here, it might not be on the Island at all!
Even More to See
These are only a few of the many great shops on Hatteras Island. The natural beauty of the island is inspiring, and there are many other locally-owned shops filled with creations inspired by ocean living. On your next visit to Hatteras Island be sure to carve out some time in between lying on the fantastic beaches to do some shopping!
Hatteras Island is a beautiful place with amazing beaches and cozy coastal homes. This vacation destination provides everything you could want on your getaway: great living space, tons of sun, and more beach activities than you can squirt a water cannon at! But when you’re done hitting the surf and relaxing in the sun, you’ll probably want something to eat. Our list of the top 5 restaurants on Hatteras Island will help you find the perfect meal to round out your dream vacation; read on to discover these mouthwatering locations!
Bros Sandwich Shack – Avon
This new addition to the Hatteras Island restaurant scene has made a big impression! Opened in 2014 by brothers Matt and Josh, the Bros Sandwich Shack specializes in fresh ground burgers, delicious sandwiches, and sauces made from scratch. A favorite of locals and tourists alike, this place offers a casual atmosphere perfect for a family with children – and what kid doesn’t love burgers? Try their Cowboy Bro, a fresh ground angus burger patty slathered with sriracha BBQ sauce and topped with peppered bacon, smoked gouda and melted pepperjack.
Orange Blossom Bakery & Café – Buxton
This bakery and café in Buxton, NC is a local institution. Started as the Orange Blossom Motel in the 1950’s by the Barnettes, it was eventually converted into a bakery after their passing. Now owned by Charley and Lisa Pereira, and also boasting café food, Orange Blossom Bakery & Café has stayed true to its origins. Orange Blossom is famous for their signature item – apple uglies! Order these delicious apple fritters to experience sweet bliss, or even order the chocolate covered variety called a kupa – playfully named after the Polish word for turd. An ugly and a turd never tasted so good!
Café Pamlico – Buxton
Set on the waters of the Pamlico Sound, Café Pamlico offers a fine dining experience perfect for a date night with your significant other. Café Pamlico prides itself on serving fresh, local ingredients, and are committed to supporting local fisherman and farmers. Their chefs change the menu frequently based on availability of these local ingredients. You’ll want to make a reservation if you’re looking to eat here; Café Pamlico fills up quick!
Buxton Munch Company – Buxton
Proof that a small restaurant can pack a BIG kick, Buxton Munch Company serves up delicious wraps, subs, tacos and more! Offering delectable seafood inspired creations as well more traditional American fare, this local favorite has been in operation since 1999. They claim to have the #1 Crabby Pattie (outside of Bikini Bottom for you Spongebob fans) and you might just agree once you taste this amazing creation!
Harbor House Seafood Market – Hatteras
For that fresh out of the sea taste, you have to visit Harbor House Seafood Market! With fresh fish caught daily and an entire market full of delicious creations, this family owned store is sure to impress. You can grab some ready-made items cooked to perfection, or if you feel like cooking yourself, they offer raw seafood options perfect to take home and sear up on your own grill! From shrimp and crab enchiladas to scrumptious seafood soups and salads, Harbor House Seafood Market is a must-visit eatery on Hatteras Island!
While the snow is still melting around the country, we wanted to help get you in the right state of mind. Let’s talk vacation. And not the crazy expensive lavish one. The real one that you can not only afford, but which will create so many meaningful memories. They say the best things in life are free, and we tend to agree here on Hatteras. Without further ado, here are a few recommendations of some things to do that won’t break the bank while you’re staying with us.
1 • BEACH | It’s obvious why you chose this beautiful place. And there’s nothing better than just taking it all in with friends and family. With miles of pristine coastline, there’s no shortage of serenity.
2 • LIGHTHOUSES | The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the world’s tallest brick lighthouse standing at 208 feet tall. Known for its black and white candy cane stripes, its beam of light spans 20 miles into the ocean, protecting one amazing stretch of land. While there is a fee to actually climb the lighthouse, the grounds, Hatteras Island Visitor Center, museum, book store, shaded picnic area,.75-mile nature trail and beach ramp access to Cape Point are free, making this an attraction offering a little something for everyone. Note: You can also check out Bodie Island and Ocracoke Island Lighthouses on either end of the Seashore as well!
3 • PEA ISLAND NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE | Located on the north end of Hatteras Island, the bird list for Pea Island Refuge consists of more than 365 species; the wildlife list of 25 species of mammals, 24 species of reptiles and five species of amphibians. The Visitor Center is chock full of state-of-the art exhibits and is totally free to check out. With walking trails, wildlife displays, birdwatching, and seasonal guided canoe tours.
4 • GRAVEYARD OF THE ATLANTIC MUSEUM | The Museum is dedicated to the preservation, advancement and presentation of the maritime history and shipwrecks of the Outer Banks from the earliest periods of colonization to the present day, which greatly emphasize the 1524-1945 period. If shipwrecks and history are your thing, you will absolutely dig this expedition. While this attraction is free, donations are welcome.
5 • FERRY RIDE | The Hatteras/Ocracoke Ferry is one of the most popular of the seven coastal ferry routes run and managed by NCDOT. Free, with no reservations required, this island-hopper runs 365 days a year and is a great way to jet on over to Ocracoke Island for the day. You’ll catch a number of folks boarding in cars, trucks, bikes and on foot for a scenic ride offering views of sun, sand, surf, water and wildlife. Dolphins love springing up beside the ferry when the water’s warm, so keep your eyes peeled!
6 • GET YOUR ART ON | Let the inner artist in you come out to play. Hatteras is saturated in creativity! Check out local artisan works in these lovely one-of-a-kind island galleries: Kinnakeet Clay Works, Pea Island Art Gallery, Blue Pelican Gallery, SeaWorthy Gallery, Indian Town Gallery, and other hidden gems you’ll surely find along the way with galleries in each village on the island.
7 • WATERSPORTS + FISHING | Shallow sound waters and great ocean wave action have made Hatteras Island a prime destination for folks who enjoy kiteboarding, windsurfing, surfing, boogie boarding, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. You’re sure to fulfill some lifelong adventure dreams right here…and for free! Always be on the lookout for clinics and demo days where you can try these out at no cost. If you try it and rock (like we know you will), many of the local establishments offer super affordable classes and even rental equipment that they’ll deliver right to the door of your rental home.
Who wouldn’t love a little piece of Hatteras Island waiting under the Christmas tree? Enter our 48 hour Giveaway for a chance to win an autographed copy of the first two books in the Lighthouse Kids series, a Daniel Pullen Photography print, and a REAL watersports striped canvas beach tote!
The Adventures of the Lighthouse Kids
Far more than just a book for kids, the Lighthouse Kids series is a fantastic way to experience the history of Hatteras Island through the adventures of the grandchildren of the lighthouse keeper. From the Barnes and Noble website:
“Living in the shadow of the mighty Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, miles from the village, Ellie, Luke, and Blake exist in a world of spirits, mystical wolves, and stories told by their grandfather, the keeper of the lighthouse. In this five-volume series, the three children of the Jennette family travel back in time to discover the origin of their ancestors and the events that shaped the civilization of Cape Hatteras Island. Throughout the series, islanders live as they did when only an occasional mail boat kept them connected to the rest of the world—before a bridge linked the island to the mainland and before tourists flocked to the area during the summer season. Isolated from others, they created a life of comfort and community. In each subsequent volume, the Lighthouse Kids meet the people and experience the events that gradually transformed Cape Hatteras to the popular area it is today.”
The books can be found through Buxton Village Books, Barnes and Noble, Amazon and the Lighthouse Kids website where you can learn more about the author, Jeannette Gray Finnegan, Jr Torok, a 10th generation Hatteras Islander. Truly a great gift for anyone (not just children) with a sense of adventure and an interest in Hatteras Island.
Daniel Pullen Photography
Hatteras Island native Daniel Pullen is the descendant of 9 Cape Hatteras lighthouse keepers. His photography has been published by the world’s leading surf publications and he has become one of the leading photographers on the Outer Banks. His fine art photography is available for sale online in a variety of formats from gorgeous three foot wide metal prints to incredibly affordable 8×12 photo prints.
Internationally known as one of the best kiteboarding and surfing retailers, lesson centers and destinations REAL Watersports is proud to call Hatteras Island home. Their team of experts is down to earth and eager to help you find just what you’re looking for, whether that’s the perfect Stand Up Paddleboard or the coolest new surf watch. Check out their excellent selection online and gear up for your next beach vacation.