You would expect that a vacation destination that’s surrounded by hundreds of miles of water would have a booming boating culture, and when it comes to Hatteras Island, you’d be exactly right. The island’s roots have long been tied to boating, from the first wave of tourists in the 1930s who would commission locals to take them on fishing and duck hunting trips, to the charter and tour companies that provide more modern expeditions today. And as a result, all a visitor has to do to join in the fun is to contact a local marina or charter boat, step aboard, and dive right into the scene.
So where can you go, and what can you do while you’re on board one of the countless vessels that call Hatteras Island home? There are plenty of options for exploring the seemingly endless waters, ensuring that vacationers of all tastes can craft an Outer Banks boating experience that exceeds all expectations.
As any seasoned visitor knows, Hatteras Island is one of the best destinations in the world for fishing, and with a fleet of inshore and offshore charter fishing businesses at multiple marinas, it’s easy to dedicate a half or full day to enjoying island fishing at its very best.
Offshore vessels venture out to the Gulf Stream — a warm water major current that’s found roughly 15 miles off the island shoreline. In these deep and clear blue waters, anglers can target the big prize catches, including marlin, Mahi, tuna, and sailfish, depending on the season. For a fishing adventure on a smaller scale, visitors can also embark on an inshore fishing trip. These boating excursions target the ocean, sound, and inlet waters that are closer to the island in search of tasty species like cobia, trout, bluefish, flounder, and sheepshead, and can even veer off course for a little clamming or island-hopping while en route.
Boat fans who’d prefer a more relaxed and thorough exploration of the island will also find a wide range of boat tours available at multiple Hatteras Island areas. Often offering different themes, (like dolphin cruises, sunset cruises, or eco-tours), these adventures present the island landscape in an entirely new perspective — from the vantage point of the wide Atlantic Ocean or Pamlico Sound waters. A must for kids and families alike, a boat tour is a truly inspiring way to see all the highlights of Hatteras Island.
Commandeering your Own Vessel
Vacationers who come to Hatteras Island with their own vessel in tow will find plenty of opportunities to explore on their own steam as well. The village of Hatteras has more than a half dozen marinas to load up on supplies and fuel, and virtually every major community on the island has a public or private boat ramp for visiting mariners’ use. With nice wide channels that connect with the open water within minutes, mariners are always a quick and easy trek away from endless on-the-water adventures.
Ready to discover your inner island mariner? Then get your crew down to Hatteras Island. With a centuries-old and inherent love of the water, the island-wide boating scene of Hatteras Island is genuinely the best on the Outer Banks.
Bringing Your Own Boat
What if you’re already an avid boater and you have a boat of your own? A number of our vacation homes have private docks. Just be sure to check the description as the drafts vary.