03/30/17

Boating on Hatteras Island

boating girls

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.

Charter Fishing

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 Tours

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.

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03/15/17

Hatteras Island Parks and Playgrounds

parksplaygroundsheader

Tried and true Hatteras Island vacationers will certainly attest that the best “park” within Hatteras Island is the Cape Hatteras National Seashore – the National Park that extends 70 miles along its shoreline. We have to agree that you’ll undoubtedly spend quality time soaking up some oceanfront fun. Maybe reclining in a beach chair with the latest summer read, or watching the kids as they furiously dig for sand fiddlers and coquina clams. There is always ample entertainment to be found at the beach.

When you are ready to expand your horizons – check out these cool Hatteras Island parks and playground options, just off the beaten path, that are great for family members of all ages to stretch their legs and have a lot of fun.

Fessenden Center, Buxton 

The Fessenden Center is a pinnacle of community activity. From fitness classes that are nicely priced to an on-site playground, baseball fields, and a brand new skate park, many active interests can be pursued at this local community center. Regular fitness classes are held throughout the day, year-round, and everyday visitors can always pop into this central destination to enjoy the slides, swing sets, and other traditional playground equipment that keep young vacationers and locals alike smiling.

Avon Community Playground, Avon Village

One of the newest attractions on Hatteras Island for the young local and visiting public is the family-friendly Avon playground that’s found on the outskirts of Avon Village, directly across the street from the Avon Fire Station. Featuring a secure area that boasts all the play equipment young guests love – including slides, swings, and everything in between – this destination is a great place for moms and dads to let their kids let loose while watching from an on-site bench or picnic table.

Rodanthe Waves Salvo Community Center, Rodanthe

At the north end of Hatteras Island across from the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station, you’ll find the Rodanthe Community Center. This center has an on-site playground with restrooms available inside. The playground includes a play center with slides, tunnels and climbing bars, a merry go round, swing set and picnic tables where you can enjoy a picnic lunch while little ones run off some energy.

Salvo Day Use Area, South of Salvo

Young vacationers who might not be up to the task of tackling the ocean waves will adore the shallow waters and splashing areas of the Salvo Day Use Area. This National Park Service (NPS) maintained site that’s found on the southern outskirts of Salvo boasts lots of parking, seasonal restroom facilities, and plenty of shallow waters for kids to splash, wade, and play to their hearts’ content.

Wading in the warm waters of the Pamlico Sound at the Salvo Day Use Area

Wading in the warm waters of the Pamlico Sound at the Salvo Day Use Area

Canadian Hole, South of Avon

Vacationers who are staying further south will find an equally inviting soundside oasis at Canadian Hole or Haulover Day Use Area between Avon and Buxton – an iconic NPS managed soundside site that’s popular with windsurfers, kiteboarders, and young families in search of a calm place to play. With no waves and water depths that average around 3’ ft., visitors will effortlessly enjoy their own on-the-water natural playground, with seasonal restrooms and ample parking located just a short stroll away.

No matter where you land on Hatteras Island, it will soon become crystal clear that the surrounding world is your playground. From the vast beaches of the National Seashore to the cool community parks that have become favorite destinations for locals and visitors alike, there are plenty of reasons to get out, grin, and go wild during a Hatteras Island vacation.


07/20/16

Hatteras Island Named Top Beach for Horseback Riding

horseback riding on the beach

Young Riders Enjoying Their Hatteras Island Horseback Riding Experience

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

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
252-216-9191 |willemwish@centurylink.net

Equine Adventures
​252-995-4897 | info@equineadventures.com


02/24/16

Top 7 Free Activities 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.

•  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.


08/28/15

8 Reasons to Love Fall on Hatteras Island

Fall on Hatteras Island

Some places it’s the turning color of the leaves, or the start of football season. On Hatteras Island fall is marked by cooler comfortable evenings and warm golden light. The waters’ warmth lasts into October, the pace slows down a bit after the full swing of summer. Residents and visitors take a deep breath and pause to enjoy what for many is the most savored time of year on the Outer Banks. Here are some of the best things about Fall on Hatteras Island, won’t you join us?

Beach Bonfires
Allowed with a permit year-round, beach bonfires bring a warmth that’s especially welcome when the air is a bit cooler in the evenings on the beach. Whether roasting marshmallows for S’mores or just hanging out and telling stories in its glow – there’s something comforting about gathering around a fire with the people you love the most.

Beach Bonfires

Fall Restaurant Fare
It’s harvest season. Pair that with the bounty the sea brings this time of year and you’ve got the perfect recipe for fall feasting at locally-owned Hatteras Island restaurants.

Fishing
Speaking of fresh catch, fall fishing is a favorite pastime of many residents and generations of visitors to Hatteras Island. Whether you charter a boat off shore, paddle a kayak out in the sound, or cast a line from the beach or one of our piers – fishing is truly fantastic in the fall.

Fall Fishing

Golden Sunsets and Color-drenched Sunrises
Because of its position in the sky and the increasingly shorter days, sunrises and sunsets in the fall a spectacle to behold. Set against the golden sea oats or the fluffy marsh grass, the silhouettes and skies of fall please photographers and sky-watchers of every caliber.

Surfing and Kiteboarding
Hatteras Island claims the best surfing and kiteboarding on the East Coast, and wind and wave conditions are particularly good in Fall months. Rodanthe and Buxton are the most popular spots for surfing and uncrowded breaks can be found up and down the island.

Surf Season

Fireplaces
When you aren’t gathered around a bonfire outside, you can gather in your home’s great room around the gas-log fireplace to tell stories, play games or watch a movie.

Hot Tubs 
Find respite from the crisp night air by slipping into your warm hot tub, listening to the waves and taking in the stars in the island’s unpolluted night sky.

Fall Festivals and Events
With a festival or event nearly every week, there are many wonderful ways to get involved and get inspired by the food and music of the region. Here are just a few, check out our Event Calendar for a full run-down of what’s happening.

Island Art Show – October 10, 2016 in Rodanthe
Come out and enjoy the work of over 20 local artists and their wares, enjoy live music, lunch, and a raffle. Show is FREE and raffle and food proceeds benefit local causes.

Outer Banks Triathalon – September 17 – 18, 2016 in Manteo
An annual racing event, Individual athletes and relay teams exhibit various ranges of skill and expertise. 2 days of inspiration, excitement, relationships and achievements. USAT Sanctioned event includes custom designed finisher medals, SWAG, and post race party with free beer and food for all Finishers.

Day at the Docks – September 16-19, 2016 in Hatteras
A celebration of Hatteras watermen with seafood cooking demos, fishing boats and gear, fishing industry skills contests and competitions, live music and games for children.

ESA Surfing Championships – September 18-24, 2016 in Nags Head
The largest amateur surfing organization in the world hosts the season’s “grand finale” where the best of the best surfers go head to head.

Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival – September 20-24, 2016 on Roanoke Island
4 days of down home cookin’ and good ‘ole Southern pickin’ featuring National Bluegrass Artists Rhonda Vincent, Sam Bush and Sam Vincent in a beautiful outdoor waterfront venue.

OctoBEERfest – October 1, 2016 in Avon (Pangea Tavern)
Gather at Pangea Tavern (I mean the German beer hall) for German food, beer specials, and live music. Cheers to fall!

Hatterasity Bluegrass Festival – October 6-8 in Hatteras Village
A three day Bluegrass Block Party featuring local food and talent, with regional and national bands playing bluegrass and Roots music. An event for food, fun, family and community.

Duck Jazz Festival – October 9, 2016 in Duck
Free day-long festival showcasing national, regional and local jazz musicians on two stages.

Outer Banks Seafood Festival – October 15 , 2016 in Nags Head
A fun and educational experience promoting, honoring and celebrating the area’s seafood heritage and community. You’ll find cooking demonstrations, educational booths and, best of all, the chance to eat fresh, local seafood from more than a dozen restaurants.

Fish Like a Girl Charity Fishing Tournament – October 15, 2016 in Avon
The Avon Pier’s all girls fishing tournament. A portion of proceeds will go to support the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation.


06/24/15

4th of July Events on Hatteras Island

Flag Waving on the Beach

A fish fry, a parade, two art shows, fireworks and great live music – it’s 4th of July on Hatteras Island!

If you haven’t booked yet, don’t worry – we still have some beautiful homes available.

Here’s some of what’s going on to celebrate:

Friday, July 3

islandartshow450

Rodanthe

Island Art Show (10am – 5pm)

The Island Art Show is a free indoor/outdoor community event featuring live music from Dragonfly and dozens of incredible local and regional artists and craftsmen. BBQ sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs will be available for purchase. The show takes place at the Rodanthe Waves Salvo Community Center at the end of the tri-village multi-use path.  Ride your bikes, scooters, skateboards, or walk on over. Lots of parking will be available as well. A portion of food sales, artist booth fees & raffle ticket sales will go to Outer Banks SPCA. There’s even a playground area & basketball court on-site for kids.

Saturday, July 4

FireWorks
Avon

4th of July Fireworks at the Avon Pier

Fourth of July Fireworks at the Beach sponsored by the Avon Property Owners Association and funded in part by the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau. The fireworks display will begin around 9 pm from a launch site at the end of the Avon Pier.

Beach Klub 4th of July Bash

Enjoy live music by Raygun Ruby, Firedancing, and watch the Fireworks from the Beach Klub right next to the Avon Pier. Tickets will be $5 at the door. Food and drinks available for purchase.

Hatteras Village

July 4th in the Village Celebration

Noon – 5 pm: Art show, flea market, fun and food in the Village Center

3:30 pm: Golf Cart Parade. Begins at Harbor Seafood and winds through the village. Spectators can park along Highway 12 in the village to watch.

5:00 pm: Hatteras Village Volunteer Fire Department’s weekly summer fish fry at the station

7:00 pm: Street dance with live music by Dragonfly on the Community Center lawn.

 

 

 

 


06/1/15

2015 Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Full Moon Climb Dates Announced!

Photo by Chuck Liddy - News & Observer

Photo by Chuck Liddy – News & Observer

Sign up for a once in a lifetime experience to climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse under a full moon. Hear stories of keepers of old, view the working light close up in the lantern room, and catch the reflection off the Atlantic Ocean of the newly-risen full moon as you stand on the lighthouse balcony.

Tickets for the Full Moon Climbs must be purchased in advance and ticket sales will start the day before the climb and can be purchased at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse ticket desk.  A limited number of tickets sell fast for each tour!  Tickets are $8.00 per adult, and $4.00 for children (11 and under) and seniors (62 and older).

2015 Full Moon Tours will take place on:

  • Tuesday, June 2 at 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 1 at 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
  • Friday, July 31 at 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 29 at 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 27 at 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Children joining the climb must be at least 42-inches tall and must climb the steps on their own.  Also, keep in mind that some youngsters may not enjoy the dimly lit, sometimes claustrophobic environment. Children 11 years of age and younger must be accompanied by an adult (16 or older).

Grab your flashlight and experience the lighthouse at night!


04/20/15

Welcome to the Village of Waves

Located about 30 minutes south of Nags Head and other central Outer Banks attractions, the slower pace of Waves provides a great place for water and nature lovers who enjoy a little peace and quiet. This area has become renowned for water sports enthusiasts, such as kiteboarders, paddleboarders and windsurfers, who enjoy the slick, shallow waters of the Pamlico Sound. Surfers and ocean lovers can also enjoy some of the best WAVES on the East Coast. A paved multi-use path runs the length of the village for cyclists, joggers and strollers. Tucked behind windswept Live Oaks and Loblolly Pines, you’ll find neighborhood entrances, restaurants, galleries and shops – just off the beaten path.

Here are a few of the great places you’ll find in Waves:
Find their locations by choosing points of interest on the interactive map on our website

Ocean Gourmet and Gifts – Homemade fudge, Hand-dipped ice cream, and fresh-baked cinnamon rolls in the morning

Dairy Queen – Soft-serve ice cream, blizzards and classic burgers and fries from the take out window.

Hatteras Island Sail Shop – Since the 1980s, one of the best launches on Hatteras, with a hard sandy bottom and great exposure to the southwest winds. Shop offers lessons and rentals and a wide range of kiteboarding, windsurfing, paddleboarding, and kayak gear.

Atlantic Coast Cafe – Laid-back cafe serving breakfast and a casual lunch and dinner menu with a seafood flair. Enjoy your meal inside or outside on the deck where pets are welcome.

Hatteras Island Surf Shop – Established in 1971, the surf shop has every thing for your surfing, skim boarding, and body boarding needs and offers lessons and rentals.

Michael Halminski Gallery – A resident of Hatteras Island for over 40 years, Michael Halminski sells fine art prints and note cards of his iconic photography.

Charlies Boat Rentals – Rent Pontoon Boats, Motor Boats and Waverunners by the hour or the day.

Top Dog Cafe – Laid-back, Florida Keys-style restaurant for wraps, burgers, surf n turf and fish tacos.

REAL Watersports – Internationally recognized kiteboarding and surfing shop, and lesson center. Four acres of the latest and greatest gear, rentals and lessons.

Watermen’s Bar and Grille – Excellent food, drinks and coffee overlooking the sound with family-friendly with picnic tables on the deck and indoor/outdoor eating options.

Leonardos Pizza – Simply great pizza and subs.

Waves Market and Deli – Boars Head meats and cheeses, specialty beers and wine, groceries and quirky sandwiches, wraps and fries that have developed a cult following.

St. Waves Seafood and Steaks – Fresh seafood and hand-cut steaks, take home steamer buckets and fresh homemade desserts (try the key lime pie!)

 

 

 

 


04/15/15

Plan Your Visit to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

With the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse opening for climbing in just a couple of days, we wanted to share a quick guide to help you plan your visit to this beautiful historic structure.

More than Just a Lighthouse

While the structure itself, the tallest in the country with it’s stunning Fresnel lens, is an engineering marvel – there are plenty of other sites and activities surrounding it to make the trip even more worthwhile. The park is open year-round.

Keepers of the Light Amphitheater

The lighthouse was moved to it’s current location in 1999 to escape erosion. The foundation stones, inscribed with the names of the 83 lighthouse keepers, remained at the original site. When shifting sands continued to cover them these past few years, the Park Service agreed to begin carefully moving them to the new site where they now form the Keepers of the Light Amphitheater.

Visitors Center & Keepers’ Quarters Museum

A Hatteras Island Visitor Center on-site offers orientation information a bookstore. Just beyond the visitor center is the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse ticket booth. You’ll also find an off-road vehicle permit office, a pavilion for ranger programs, and restroom facilities. Ranger programs are scheduled during spring, summer, and autumn months.

The lighthouse is surrounded by a wide lawn divided by a brick pathway leading to the “Double Keepers’ Quarters”.  The Keepers’ Quarters houses the Museum of the Sea, a two-floor museum with exhibits on Outer Banks history and natural history and a small audiovisual room where you can watch video presentations (available on request).

Hit the Sand

The beach lies just beyond a stand of maritime forest, and is easily accessible from a separate parking lot. In summer months the beach is lifeguarded and is a favorite spot for families, surfers and fishing enthusiasts.

Hiking and Lunch

The Buxton Woods trail loop begins at a site just down the road from the lighthouse and is a great hike for naturalists of all skill levels. A relatively level path goes through a diverse maritime forest ecosystem, home to many different species of plants and birds. You’ll traverse some of the highest points on Hatteras Island!

The start and end of the Buxton Woods trail loop is at the Buxton Woods Picnic Area where you’ll find a number of tables where you can enjoy lunch in the shade of the maritime forest. Or pack up some Apple Uglies from the nearby Orange Blossom Cafe and Bakery to enjoy outdoors and fuel a morning hike!

Hours and Admission:

Address: 46368 Old Lighthouse Rd, Buxton, NC 27920
Hours: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm (Memorial Day – Labor Day) 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (year-round)
Open for Climbing: (3rd Friday in April – Columbus Day)
Climbing tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for senior citizens (62 or older), children (11 and under, and at least 42″ tall), and the disabled. Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis and can only be purchased in-person at the site the day of the climb. There are no advance ticket sales for regular climbs.

Tickets:

Ticket sales begin at 8:15 am and climbs begin at 9 am, running every 10 minutes with a limit of 30 visitors per climb. Ticket sales close at 4:30 pm in the spring and fall, and 5:30 pm the Friday of Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Ticket holders should arrive at the base of the lighthouse five minutes prior to their ticketed climb time.


10/3/14

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Full Moon Climb October 8

Full Moon Lighthouse

Climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse under a full moon! On Wednesday, October 8 join a limited number of guests on the lighthouse grounds as you hear tales of the keepers of old, climb the storied stairs, get close up looks of the working light in the lantern room and share the spectacular views.

Two tours will be given on Wednesday, October 8- one at 7:00 and one at 8:00. Ticket sales will start on Monday, October 6 at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse from 8:15 a.m. to 4:40 p.m and tickets must be purchased on site.

Tickets are $8 per adult, and $4 for children (11 and under) and seniors (62 and older). Children are welcome on the climb and must be over 42 inches tall and able to climb the 257 steps on their own.