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.


08/5/14

Rainy Day Activities on Hatteras Island

kinnakeet bracelets

You know what they say, a rainy day at the beach is better than a rainy day at home! Here are a few of our favorite things to do when it rains on the Outer Banks (hint – all of these activities are fun when it’s sunny too!).

Make Stuff

From paint your own pottery to jewelry creation, there are lots of way to express your creative side here on Hatteras Island – even when it’s raining. Try one of these spots to start:

Studio 12 in Avon – From glass bowl creation to making your own natural bath products, they have classes for all sorts of ages and interests. See more at: http://www.studio12hatteras.com/classes.php

Uglie Mugs Coffee Shop and Bead Shop in Avon – Grab a Latte and head to the Bead shop in the back to create your masterpiece.

Kinnakeet Clayworks in Avon – Learn watercolor techniques, or get your hands dirty turning a lump of clay into a beautiful functional object. View their Facebook page for class updates:  https://www.facebook.com/kinnakeetclay

Red Drum Pottery in Frisco – Offering Paint on Pottery and Raku classes – call or stop by for times and details: (252) 995-3686

Indian Town Gallery in Frisco – Painting Parties, Oil Painting Workshops and Seaglass Jewelry Making. Check out their Facebook for all the details on these top notch activities: https://www.facebook.com/indiantowngallery?fref=photo

Sunsational Designs and Beads of Paradise in Frisco– Thousands of beads to create your own custom jewelry or stop in for a hair wrap or henna tattoo.

Go Shopping

An artist’s mecca, Hatteras Island is full of Art Galleries and small shops. You’ll find handmade and local items in our galleries and gift shops and the latest fashions and most advanced gear in our surf shops. Stop into Buxton books for the perfect reading selections for your entire family. Check out our shopping page here: www.surforsound.com/things-to-do/shopping/

Play in the Rain

While we don’t advise going outside during a thunderstorm, summer rainshowers can actually be a lot of fun. Don’t want to get your clothes wet? We bet you packed a bathing suit!

Watch a movie

Snuggle up with your loved ones, pop some popcorn and watch a family flick. The Food Lion in Avon has a RedBox kiosk and some rental homes provide DVDs and streaming movies.

Have Your Own Restaurant Crawl

Have an all afternoon food-fest with a self-guided restaurant crawl through some of our best restaurants: Appetizers at Pangea Tavern, Soup and Salad at at Oceana’s Bistro, Entrees at Ketch 55, Dessert at the Dolphin Den and After Dinner Cocktails at Turner’s High Moon Bar.

Indulge at the Spa

Treat yourself to a day (or a couple of hours) at the spa.

In Touch Massage and Wellness Center in Frisco – Dedicated to enhancing well-being by providing a variety of services for the body and mind.

Spa Koru – Located right next to our Avon office, Spa Koru is a great place to relax with a Hot Stone Massage, an Organic Facial, or body wrap. Stop by the salon for a hair cut, waxing and nail services or take a yoga class next door in the fitness center.

Cook or Bake the Day Away

You may not have time to create gourmet meals every night at home, but vacation is the perfect time to get the family together to cook. Besides, once you master the recipe it can be much easier to make the second time around and will bring back fond memories of your vacation cooking!

Check out Local Arcades

Pinball anyone? Old-fashioned beach vacation fun can be had at some of our local arcades!

Rodanthe Pier – Chill out in the Air Conditioned Game Room and enjoy some snacks while you stay dry and watch the surf.

The Sandbar and Grille in Frisco – pinball machines, a jukebox, pool table, and a number of classic video games.

Angelo’s Pizza Arcade in Buxton – 25 Arcade games and pool tables and you can order a pizza while you’re there!

Museums

History, culture and education – there’s so much to learn about at Hatteras Island in our museums and historic sites.

Graveyard of the Atlantic in Hatteras Village across from the Ferry Docks

Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station in Rodanthe

Frisco Native American Museum – View Native American art, artifacts and culture, from the island and other native tribes.

Hatteras Island Visitor’s Center and Museum of the Sea – Located at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Site

Whatever you decide to do remember that sometimes the best memories come from just spending time together. Our vacation rental homes are cozy comfortable places to spend a rainy day, many are even equipped with game rooms and theaters. Before you know it the clouds will lift and the rain will come to an end.


07/19/14

Check In Day Activities

Hooray!

We know, you’ve waited ALL YEAR for your Hatteras Island vacation and you just can’t wait to get it started. Here are some fun check-in day events and activities that let your vacation begin the moment you hit the Outer Banks.

SUBU Saturdays (Show up and Blow Up) at Watermen’s Bar & Grill in Waves. With live music from 12-3, outdoor dining, and a giant lawn with plenty of room to stretch out after a long drive and let the kids run off some energy, this is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon and kick-off your Hatteras Island vacation. Did we mention the food and drinks they serve are amazing? They have a full service coffee bar and strive to use only the very freshest local and regional ingredients.

Welcome Party at the Wreck – just outside the Hatteras Landing Marina. Every Saturday from 12:30 – 4:00, the Wreck hosts a free and family friendly event with Live music, drink specials at the tiki bar and great food.

You can also always hit the beach – the Salvo Day Use Area has showers and bathrooms and shallow waters perfect for wading, and launching a kayak, stand up paddleboard or sailboat. Or spend the day fishing and hanging out at the Rodanthe or Avon piers. Both have parking and refreshments – the Avon Pier has showers and the Rodanthe Pier has a fun oceanfront arcade.

Speaking of watersports, there are a number of places you can rent equipment. Try our friends at Rodanthe Campground and Watersports right on the sound (next to Lisa’s Pizza) where you can enjoy a captained sail, take a sailing lesson or even take out a 16′ Hobie Cat if you know what you’re doing. They also rent jet skis, wave runners, kayaks and stand up paddleboards. Mention we sent you and you might just get a discount on your rental.

Day Trips are another fun option. Start your vacation with a ferry ride to Ocracoke and spend the day strolling the village shops and restaurants or rent bikes to see the town. Or take time to check out Manteo – visit the beautiful Elizabethan Gardens, the reasonably priced North Carolina Aquarium with it’s fantastic new Sea Turtle Exhibit or go to Island Farm where you are invited to participate in living history, Roanoke Island circa 1800, complete with live oxen and century old house, barns and outbuildings you are invited to walk (and climb) through.

Try a pottery or beading class at one of our local coffee shops/art studios, do some shopping, or enjoy a late lunch / early dinner at one of our great island restaurants.

Whatever you decide to do, we’re so glad you’re here to spend an entire week on Island Time.

Watermen's Bar and Grill behind REAL watersports has plenty of room for everyone.

Watermen’s Bar and Grill behind REAL watersports has plenty of room for everyone.

You are invited to touch and experience the artifacts on site at Island Farm on Roanoke Island.

You are invited to touch and experience the artifacts on site at Island Farm on Roanoke Island.


07/9/14

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Full Moon Climb Saturday July 12

LighthouseFullMoon

With the July date just announced, you can sign up for a once in a lifetime experience to climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse under a full moon. The night will be filled with stories of the keepers of old, close up looks of the working light in the lantern room and spectacular views. Watch the newly risen moon as it reflects off the Atlantic Ocean while you stand in the salt air on the balcony.

Saturday, July 12 two tours will be given, one at 8:30 and one at 9:30. Ticket sales will start on Thursday, July 10, 2014 at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse from 8:15 a.m. to 5:40 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.

Photo by Chuck Liddy - News & Observer

Photo by Chuck Liddy – News & Observer


06/27/14

Independance Day Fun on Hatteras Island

Avon Pier Fireworks

Because of the heavy wind and rain expected Thursday night and Friday morning, the 4th of July Fireworks show in Avon has been rescheduled for Monday, July 7 – stay tuned to the facebook event page for more details. The 4th of July activities in Hatteras Village have been canceled.

Surf or Sound Realty has proudly sponsored this year’s fireworks display on Hatteras Island at the Avon Pier just across from our Avon office. Join us for a spectacular professional fireworks show over the ocean.

On Monday, July 7 the Beach Klub will have a huge Independence Day celebration in conjunction with the rescheduled fireworks show. From 7-10pm on July 7, the Beach Klub will entertain guests with live music by The FreeBooters, drinks, a drumming circle, corn hole, hula hooping, and a fire performance. The Beach Klub has front row seats for the Avon Pier’s fireworks show. The event is $5 per person. Children 5 and under are free. There are no advance ticket sales. Fireworks start around 9:15 – see you there!

 


03/10/14

6 Signs of Spring On Hatteras Island

Hatteras Island Kiteboarding

With the temperatures in the 60s the past few days and longer daylight hours, we are already starting to feel spring’s presence on Hatteras Island. Share our spring-dreaming as we review 6 ways to tell for sure that spring is here!

Flowers – spring’s arrival can be marked by some of our subtle blooms, like the Salt Pennywort with its’ tiny greenish white clusters of flowers that begin to bloom across the sand dunes in April.

Spring Air -that special combination of fresh rain, salty air and burgers cooking on the grill, really has the ability to take over your senses.

Flip Flops – what better indication of spring than flip flops and bare feet as warmer weather arrives?

Beach Walkers – the dog walkers, joggers and casual strollers are back out on the beach getting their toes in the sand and taking in the salt air sea vistas in the mornings and evenings.

Deck Lounging – there’s no time of year sitting outside is more pleasant, with gentle breezes and more daylight hours, it’s just the right weather for islanders and visitors to spend the afternoon relaxing on their deck, talking with friends and neighbors.

Festivals – Our seven villages come alive with everything from a Storytelling Festival and Fishing Tournaments to Kiteboarding and Running Events. Spring is the perfect time for everyone to get together and get outdoors.

Have you visited in the spring? It’s a beautiful time of year here on the Island and a great time to take advantage of shoulder season rates. Be sure to check our website for any current specials too.


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.


10/18/13

Rare Historic Reenactment Set for Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station This Sunday!

You have a unique opportunity this Sunday to step back in time and experience a rare reenactment of a rescue technique that was used to save crews from wrecked ships off of our Hatteras and Outer Banks coastline. The Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station and members of the United States Coast Guard will demonstrate a “Beach Apparatus Drill”, also known as a “Breeches Buoy”, which was used to rescue one person at a time from shipwrecked vessels when seas were rough. The drill involves firing a projectile out of a small, cannon-like gun and rigging up lines to haul a buoy from shore to the ship and back.

Only a handful of sites across the United States demonstrate this drill which makes this a “not to miss” event. The reenactment is on Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. sharp! The Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Historic Site and Museum will be open from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with the admission price to enter the site and for the reenactment $5 per person. For more information on the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station, please visit the website by clicking here or follow them on Facebook.

 


10/17/13

Picture Perfect Sunsets on Hatteras Island

We all know that the sunsets here on Hatteras Island and the Outer Banks are absolutely stunning! The readers of USA Today and 10Best recently chose the Outer Banks as the 5th “Best Place to Watch a Sunsetin North America.

Taking in the amazing view of the sun setting on the sound is the perfect way to spend an evening with family and friends. Hatteras Island sunsets are picture perfect any time of the year. Be sure to include this on your list of things to do while visiting us and of course, we would love to see your beautiful and unique Hatteras Island sunset photographs!

Please share them with us on our Surf or Sound Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages and follow us on Pinterest to see of few of ours!