08/14/08

N.C. Ferry FAQ's

A highlight of many Hatteras Island vacations is the day trip to adjacent Ocracoke Island. With 14 miles of beaches, and a small beach community that’s just four square miles, Ocracoke is a remarkable attraction with a character all its own. Half of the fun, of course is the 40 minute free ferry ride that originates in Hatteras Village and crosses Hatteras Inlet to arrive at the northern end of Ocracoke Island.

While the ride itself is a stunning new way to see Hatteras and Ocracoke, planning and boarding the ferry can occasionally be fraught with misconceptions, as evident by an August Island Breeze article which interviewed long time ferry personal on some of their stranger questions and requests. Continue reading


08/12/08

Hatteras Island Sports

From kayaking to kiteboarding, the island was made for those who just can’t stay out of the wind or water. It’s no wonder that thousands of people flock to the island from all over the world for its exceptional weather and water conditions, both on and off the beaches.
New to the island sporting scene? Then pick a sport, grab some gear, and get ready for a little exercise. Remember that equipment and lessons are available up and down the island at renowned local surf and sport shops, like Kitty Hawk Kites, REAL Kiteboarding, Avon Surf Shop, and Hatteras Island Board Sports. Call before you arrive to reserve a lesson or equipment rental, or simply stop by for information once you’re on the island. Continue reading


08/12/08

National Park Service Programs

Every year, the National Park Service (NPS) offers seasonal programs to assist visitors in exploring all the wonders of the national seashore, and to pick up a new found education and appreciation of Hatteras Island beaches along the way.
The activities are typically 1-2 hour sessions, and are available at a number of NPS centers, and local attractions, including the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Oregon Inlet fishing center, and the Hatteras Village Weather Station.
All of these programs are seasonal, typically running from the end of May until Labor Day weekend, and vary on location, dates and times, so it’s best to check out the NPS online calendar at http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/events.htm or call (252) 473-2111 to find out about the programs available during your vacation.

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08/12/08

Off the Road, and on the Beach

Basics of Beach Driving

Exploring the seashore from your 4WD vehicle, with your family and your beach gear comfortably along for the ride, can be a fun and convenient way to head to the beach.

Beach Driving is allowed via access ramps up and down the island, from the north side of Oregon Inlet, to Hatteras Village’s Pole Road, the most southern point of Hatteras Island. Look for the brown vehicle signs adjacent to public parking areas for off road ramp access, or visit the NPS website, http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/off-road-vehicle-use.htm for a comprehensive map of ramps, as well as NPS rules, regulations and guidelines. The Park Service will occasionally restrict an access point, so keep an eye out for signs marking closures and please be respectful of them. Continue reading


08/12/08

Hatteras Island Beach Safety Made Simple

There’s nothing like kicking off the flip flops and jumping in for a refreshing Atlantic dip. A few simple safety precautions and tips are all you’ll need to ensure a fun and sunny beach day.

Lifeguarded Beaches

Lifeguarded beaches are located in Buxton by the old lighthouse site, (follow the brown National Park Service signs), and on Ocracoke Island. There are also lifeguards in the Seashore at Coquina Beach, located across from the Bodie Island Lighthouse. It is a great place to stop on your way to Hatteras Island. All lifeguards are seasonal, so check out the National Park Service website, http://www.nps.gov/caha/ before your arrival to determine hours of operation. You can also call (252) 473-2111 to check dates & shifts of guard service.

Rip Currents

Rip currents or Rip tides are created by breaks in a sand bar off shore and can be dangerous. Rip currents are channels of water, usually 10 ft. – 50 ft. wide, that pull out into the ocean. Continue reading


08/11/08

Canine Shore Safety

Ten Tips For Going Coastal With Your Dog

1. Seek out dog-friendly beaches and lodging, which routinely accommodate canine habits. You are responsible for your pet’s behavior but a hospitable environment makes things easier and more comfortable.

2. Your dog should wear a collar with an ID tag. When traveling, get a waterproof tag with your cell phone number and lodging location just in case.

3. Remove a flea collar before the dog gets wet. A wet flea collar is useless and it may irritate your dog’s skin. Continue reading


08/10/08

Hatteras Island Fishing Basics

Hatteras Island attracts fishermen from around the world with its first class fishing. From the shoreline to 50 miles into the Atlantic Ocean, there are a multitude of ways to reel in the big one:

Charter Fishing: Just 15 miles from the Gulf Stream, the island is a perfect launching point for deep sea fishing trips. A fleet of charter boats leaves daily from both Hatteras Inlet and Oregon Inlet in search of landing the big one. Depending on the season, many boats come back full with a variety of fish, including dolphin, tuna, bluefish, wahoo, channel bass, Spanish and king mackerel, cobia, and blue and white marlins.

Call one of the numerous charter businesses along the island, (offering half day and full day trips), to schedule your Gulf Stream adventure. You can typically book a party of up to 6 people, or if there’s just one or two fishermen on the adventure, you can combine with another charter fishing party. Be sure you call well in advance, as charter fishing is popular and can book quickly. Continue reading


08/10/08

National Park Service Guidelines and Rules

Before you start exploring the 70 miles of gorgeous National Seashore that comprises Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the following Park Service rules and guidelines to make your beach days breezy and worry free.

Pets on the Beach

Pets are allowed on most Hatteras Island beaches as long as they are kept on a 6 foot leash. The park service will issue a ticket for an unleashed pet. Always clean up after your pet.

Surf Fishing

North Carolina State law regulates fishing within the National Seashore. Limits, seasons and licensing requirements are set by the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, which can be contacted at (800) 682-2632 www.ncfisheries.net. Size and limit sheets can also be found at most local tackle shops. Continue reading


08/10/08

Hatteras Island Attractions

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

One of the most famous and recognizable in the world because of its black and white candy cane stripes, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is a definite “must see” on every Hatteras Island vacation.
The lighthouse is located in Buxton and is open for climbing in the summer season for a small fee. At 208 feet, the steep narrow climb is not for the faint of heart. There is also a visitor’s center and gift shop, nearby nature trails, and a wooded picnic area.

A Day Trip to Ocracoke

Ocracoke Island is south of Hatteras Island and is accessed from Hatteras Village by a free ferry that leaves Hatteras Landing. The ferries depart hourly from 5 a.m. until midnight, and every half hour on heavy traffic days. Call (252) 986-2353 for more information on the Hatteras / Ocracoke ferry.
The village of Ocracoke is a small community, just 4 square miles in diameter. The Ocracoke lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse still in operation in America. You can park and stroll around the locally owned shops and restaurants and catch a sparkling sunset over Silver Lake Harbor. Continue reading


08/6/08

Hot Nights on Hatteras Island

Forget Montana. Hatteras Island is big sky country, and anyone who has settled on a beach blanket under a canopy of stars would agree. Nature loving night owls adore the island for its peaceful, quiet evening with nothing but the sound of the ocean in the background. So what is there to do in the great outdoors after dark?

Believe it or not, Hatteras Island nights can be just as lively as Hatteras Island days.

The basics of bonfires: Bonfires are perfectly legal on Hatteras Island, provided that the fire is below the high tide line, accompanied by an adult, and completely extinguished after you leave the site. Make sure you do not leave behind any litter that will not burn completely, particularly any glass or metal. Local grocery stores and many convenience stores sell firewood for your beach fire, or you can simply bring some from home.

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