05/14/14

Dinosaurs have invaded the Outer Banks!

Tyrannosaurus Trek

This summer the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is hosting stegosaurus, triceratops, tyrannosaurus rex and other fascinating ancient creatures in their outdoor nature trail. Wind your way through the woods to discover these life-size animated creatures, just watch out – you never know who’s lurking around the corner.

The exhibit opens Saturday, May 24 and will Run until September 1 and is included in Aquarium admission. Check out our vacation planner for more information on the aquarium and other great things to do on a day trip from Hatteras Island.


04/15/14

Original Lighthouse Stones Reunite on Site with Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Call to mind the image of a lighthouse and chances are it’s the iconic candy-cane striped Cape Hatteras structure that you think of. It’s been called “America’s Lighthouse” and it’s one of our most-loved national landmarks.

When the lighthouse was moved in 1999 it was carried to a new foundation, 2,900 feet behind its initial site, while the original stones stayed. Those original foundation stones were ceremoniously inscribed with the names of over 80 lighthouse keepers and are being threatened by the sea. The Cape Hatteras Genealogical and Preservation Society and other interested citizens reached an agreement with the National Park Service wherein the National Park Service will carefully move the stones, weighing over a ton a piece. With the moving scheduled to be completed by Memorial Day, the stones will be placed in a semicircle near where the lighthouse sits today and named “the Keepers of the Light Amphitheater”.

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01/14/14

Welcome to the new SurforSound.com

Surf or Sound Realty is pleased to announce the launch of our newly rebuilt website: www.surforsound.com. Since 1978, Surf or Sound Realty has offered premier family vacation rental homes to thousands of happy vacationers and homeowners. Now renting one of those vacation homes is easier than ever.

SurforSound.com

As one of the first vacation rental companies to offer real-time availability, and a few years’ later e-signature leases for seamless online booking confirmation, Surf or Sound Realty has once again positioned itself as an innovator in the vacation rental industry with its new website. It is loaded with a bevy of new features and functionality designed to provide an easy-to-use, interactive experience to discover, book, share, and enjoy the perfect Hatteras Island vacation home.

The new website provides a more robust search and real-time filtering tool for easily identifying the perfect home for your family vacation, supported by quick-photo-viewers, interactive floor plans, narrative descriptions, and satellite and road maps with integrated points of interest to help vacation planning. There is a new custom account area where guests can log-in to view saved beach bag collections, check the status of their reservations, make payments, and share details with friends and family.

The new surforsound.com was engineered by MMGY Global based in Kansas City, Missouri in close partnership with the marketing team at Surf or Sound Realty. “MMGY Global is a leader in tourism marketing and research and was the perfect partner for this redesign,” says Melvin Stone, President of Surf or Sound Realty. “We are convinced that this website with its ease of use and feature-rich functionality will become the leader in the vacation rental home industry.”

View a tour of the new website on Surf or Sound Realty’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/surforsound

Some notable features include:

      • Streamlined booking engine allows quick online reservations on one page including e-signature lease, flexible payment plans, and multiple payment methods – all making it as easy as possible for you to plan your vacation.
      • Enhanced search capability provides real-time filtering based upon various amenities including number of bedrooms, cost, features, date of stay, and location. Scroll through house photographs easily, without leaving the search results page.
      • A “Quick Quote Calculator” shows the final cost of the vacation home including tax, travel insurance, and optional add-ons. The calculator will also divide the cost per guest and per bedroom to enable guests to easily identify each group member’s cost.
      • Real-time interactive road and satellite overlay maps enable users to view vacation homes in proximity to the water, as well as show which restaurants, shops, and activities are nearby.
      • Log-in account area allows users to e-sign and print leases, view reservation details, request changes, make payments, and even invite other vacation party members to make their payments on the account – all easily online.
      • A new “Waitlist” feature enables guests to request notification in the event that an unconfirmed reservation becomes available.
      • Redesigned home overview pages feature more and larger images of the homes, interactive floor plans, guest ratings, narrative descriptions, amenities, and details.
      • Enhanced Beach Bag functionality enables users to save collections of favorite homes and share them with family members to vote and comment on their favorites.
      • PDF Mini-brochures are easy to download and print to share single or multiple vacation homes with family members.

Surf or Sound Realty, proudly in business for 35 years, manages an extensive portfolio of premier vacation homes on each of the seven charming villages of Hatteras Island on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and has two convenient office locations: 40974 NC Highway 12, Avon, North Carolina 27915 and 26204 Rampart Street, Salvo, North Carolina 27972. Surf or Sound Realty can be contacted via phone 1-800-237-1138 or email at rent@surforsound.com.

Follow us online at www.surforsound.com; Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Flickr, and YouTube at “surforsound”; Instagram at “surforsoundhatteras”; and LinkedIn at “Surf or Sound Realty” for the latest news from Surf or Sound Realty and our team of Hatteras Island vacation specialists.


11/27/13

National Park Service to Offer Off-Road Vehicle Permits for the 2014 Season Online

The National Park Service has announced that it will begin offering 2014 Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) permits on its website starting on Sunday, December 1, 2013. This new feature will further streamline the process of obtaining the necessary permits to access the ORV routes in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

There are two easy ways to obtain a National Park Service (NPS) ORV permit:

  1. Online beginning December 1, 2013 by visiting http://www.recreation.gov/ and going to the Cape Hatteras page on the site.

  2. In person, at one of three NPS off-road vehicle permit offices:

Bodie Island at the north end of Coquina Beach parking lot – 8101 NC Highway 12, Nags Head;

Hatteras Island by the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Visitor Center – 46368 Lighthouse Road, Buxton;

Ocracoke Island by the NPS Visitor Center – 40 Irvin Garrish Highway, Ocracoke.

All three offices are open year-round from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., seven days a week, except Christmas Day.

Annual permits cost $120; with a seven-day weekly ORV permit costing $50. If you purchase a permit online, there are additional processing and shipping fees. It will cost an extra $4.50 if you order your permit online and then pick it up at one of the offices listed above. If you choose to have your permit mailed to you, it will be an additional $11.00.

Remember to plan ahead if you are ordering online since it will take 14 days to process if you choose to have your ORV permit mailed to you. You only need to order a day in advance if you plan on picking it up in person.

The 2014 annual permit can be used beginning December 1, 2013 and is valid through December 31, 2014. Weekly permits can be purchased up to two calendar months in advance.

For additional information on off-road vehicle use in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, or to obtain a permit, visit http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/off-road-vehicle-use.htm or the Cape Hatteras page on http://www.recreation.gov/.


09/26/13

What Are Your Top Five Things To Do On Hatteras Island?

We all know that there are so many wonderful things to do here on Hatteras Island. Our pristine, family-friendly beaches and quaint villages offer a variety of activities for you and your family to enjoy while visiting us.

The Huffington Post recently listed its top “5 Free Things to do on Hatteras Island.” It is no surprise that spending time enjoying the beaches of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore is top on the list. There is nothing quite like a day at the beach for exploring, relaxing, and playing in the surf!

The Huffington Post list also includes: a trip to the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum where admission is free, although donations are encouraged; attending programs offered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge; visiting Cape Hatteras and Bodie Island Lighthouses (there is a fee to climb them, but not to walk around the grounds); and taking a free ferry ride from Hatteras to Ocracoke Island for the day.

We would love to hear what you and your family like to do while visiting us! What are your Top 5 Things to do on Hatteras Island? Please share them with us on our Surf or Sound Facebook and Twitter pages, and follow us on Pinterest to see of few of ours!

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09/16/13

Full Moon Climbs of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse This Week

Did you know that you can climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse at night? The National Park Service offers full moon climbs of the lighthouse throughout the year as a special experience for Hatteras Island visitors and the local community.

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The last Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Full Moon Climb of the season is on Thursday, September 19, 2013. Two tours will be available on Thursday evening; one at 7:30 p.m. and a second at 8:30 p.m. The tours are limited to 30 people each and sell out quickly. So make plans to buy your tickets early!

Tickets will go sale beginning Tuesday, September 17, 2013 from 8:15 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. at the lighthouse ticket booth. Tickets are $8 for adults, $4 for children (11 years of age and under), and $4 for seniors (62 and older).

As there are no lights inside the lighthouse, climbers will need to bring flashlights to navigate the 257 stairs to the top. Park rangers will share stories of the lighthouse keepers of old during the climb. Outside on the lighthouse balcony, climbers will experience viewing the reflection of full moon on the Atlantic Ocean and the lighthouse’s beam of light reaching out to sea (weather permitting).

For more information and things to know before you climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse at night, visit the National Park Service website or give them a call at 252-473-2111.


08/19/13

Cape Hatteras National Seashore Featured on CNN.com

Cape Hatteras National Seashore has recently been featured on CNN.com’s weekly “Summer in the Park” Series. The series spotlights the country’s most popular national parks and gives insider recommendations from park rangers.

CNN interviewed Patrick Gamman, the district interpretive ranger for Cape Hatteras National Seashore, who revealed his favorite things to see and do. If you come for a day, don’t miss the seashell hunting, touring a lighthouse, or watching the sunset over the Pamlico Sound. Ranger Gamman’s “Favorite less-travelled spot” at the Seashore is visiting the beach at nighttime to stargaze and watch ghost crabs. He also recommended a favorite spot to view wildlife, as well as answered several interesting questions including “Moment that made him smile”, “Oddest Moment in the Park”, and “A Ranger’s Request”. To find out what Ranger Gamman recommends, read the entire story on CNN.com’s website, “Life is a beach at Cape Hatteras National Seashore“.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore was established in 1953 as the nation’s first national seashore. It encompasses over 70 miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean from Nags Head to Ocracoke Island. For more information on the Seashore, click here.


Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
Photo Credit:
National Park Service


08/12/13

Hatteras Site Added to National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom

A site on Hatteras Island, which served as a safe haven for hundreds of runaway slaves during the Civil War, has been added to the National Park Services’ Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

Hotel De Afrique housed freed slaves from North and South Carolina during the period of 1861 and 1865 after the Union forces defeated the Confederate forces at Hatteras Inlet and at Forts Clark and Hatteras. The freed slaves helped Union forces build ships and fortify forts in exchange for housing and food. The original site of Hotel De Afrique has disappeared due to erosion and flooding.

A monument commemorating Hotel De Afrique and Hatteras’ participation in the National Underground Railroad was dedicated in late July during a ceremony held at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras. The monument is located at the entrance to the museum.

Remember to include a visit to the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum while you are here. The museum offers a unique view of Hatteras’ maritime and Civil war history. For information on the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, click here or call 252-986-2995.


04/11/13

Bodie Island Lighthouse Opens April 19th

Starting Friday, April 19th, Bodie Island Lighthouse will open to the general public for climbing tours for the first time ever!

The lighthouse, currently located on National Park Service property, was operated and maintained by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) until the year 2000. At that time the USCG tranferred the lighthouse over to the National Park Service and three years later, the USCG transferred over the first-order Fresnal lens as well. A chat with a few Outer Banks natives might reveal a time when the USCG informally allowed “locals” to the climb this familiar, horizontally striped black and white beacon.
A recent renovation of the lighthouse and its first-order Fresnal lens was completed and guided tours will be conducted daily from 9am to 5:45pm, starting April 19th, 2013 through Columbus Day, October 14th, 2013. On April 19th, the National Park Service invites local community members and visitors to tour/climb the lighthouse at no charge. Free tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and can only be obtained in-person, on-site, that day.

Be sure to add the Bodie Island Ligthhouse to your vacation itinerary for a memorable and unique experience!

Bodie Island Lighthouse Tour Information:

Guided tours for the Bodie Island Lighthouse will run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for senior citizens (62 or older), children 11 years of age and under, and for those holding a National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Access Pass. Tour tickets may be purchased on site the day of the tour or may be reserved in advance.

Tours start every 35 minutes and are 45 minutes in length. Each guided tour is limited to 22 people. Children must be at least 42″ tall. Children under 12 must be escorted by a person at least 16 years old. For additional tour information, check the park website at www.nps.gov/caha. Tour start times are 9:00 a.m., 9:35 a.m., 10:10 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 11:20 a.m., 11:55 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:05 p.m., 1:40 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 2:50 p.m., 3:25 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 4:35 p.m., 5:10 p.m., and 5:45 p.m. daily, seven days a week.

• Day of Tour Tickets: 50% of all tours for each day will be sold on site. Day of tour tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and can only be purchased in-person at the site the day of the tour. Day of tour tickets will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. starting April 19.
• Reserved Tickets: 50% of all tours for each day will be sold in advance. Reservations for a tour can only be made between one to seven days in advance of the tour date by calling (252) 475-9417. The reservation office opens on April 22 and is open 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., seven days a week. Reservations cannot be made the same day as the tour date.


04/1/13

Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Opens for 2013 Season

Today, April 1st, marks the opening day of the 2013 season at Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station, the first operational life-saving station in North Carolina! Located in Rodanthe, NC, Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station and Historic Site is the scene of the most highly-awarded maritime rescue in American history, the SS Mirlo! You’ll have a chance to tour one of the few USLSS sites in the nation with all of its original builidings, including the 1874 Life-Saving Station, the Drill Pole, the 1892 Cook House, the 1907 Midgett House, the 1911 Cook House, the 1911 Life-Saving Station, and the 1911 Horse Stable. It’s the largest, most complete USLSS complex in the nation and 1 of only 2 1874 USLSS stations in the nation open to the public.

The complex is open Monday-Friday, 10am to 5pm for self-guided tours. Admission is $6 per person or $4 for seniors (65+) and students. Be sure to check out the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Calendar of Events for Summer Porch Program dates, the Beach Apparatus Drill, and American Heroes Day!

The Chicamacomico Historical Association is a private, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose purpose is to restore, preserve and interpret the buildings and history of Chicamacomico Life- Saving Station, as well as the U.S. Life-Saving Service and its successor, the U.S. Coast Guard on the Outer Banks. The Association owns and operates the museum site and the museum shop and raises its own funds. 100% of all admission fees, gift shop purchases, memberships, and donations go directly to the preservation, restoration, and operation of this historic site.