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!

 


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.


03/25/13

Coming Soon to a Village Near You! Hatteras Island Ocean Center

Exciting plans are underway to open the first phase of the Hatteras Island Ocean Center this Spring in the former Beacon Shops located on NC Hwy 12 in Hatteras Village. The first phase of this multi-year project includes an interactive information and education center, as well as wetland trails for exploring the unique ecology of Hatteras Island. This series of noninvasive trails will lead to a launching area for kayaks and paddleboards at trail’s end.

The Ocean Center headquarters will house exhibits on the varied components of Hatteras Island’s ecosystem. These interactive exhibits will focus on marine life, shipwrecks, weather, shellfish, salt marsh ecology, and of course, sea turtles! As you enter the Center, a “larger than life” screen will display the underwater photography of local artist, Russell Blackwood. Next, head to the exhibit on sea turtles which will include a machine that simulates x-rays and probes, allowing visitors to learn about the biology of sea turtles while making the connection between sea turtle maladies and the environment’s impact. In addition to playing “Sea Turtle Veterinarian,” visitors will have an opportunity to learn about nesting habits and rehabilitation procedures for the sea turtles of Hatteras Island. From there, visitors can explore a fishing exhibit set up in conjunction with the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum and Captain Ernie Foster of the Albatross Fleet. This exhibit will focus mainly on charter and commercial fishing, with the addition of beach and pier fishing in the future. As you make your way back around to the entrance, take a minute to check out the interactive whiteboard with daily updates on weather, tides, and island happenings. If you’d like to enjoy a Hatteras Island Ocean Center souvenir, choose from a few Ocean Center choice goods and be on your way to explore the wetland trails!

The second phase of the Hatteras Island Ocean Center will include a state-of-the-art pier and pier house located on NC Hwy 12 in the same vicinity as the former General Mitchell Motel in Hatteras Village. The pier house is expected to include a restaurant, other food vendors, a covered playground, an arcade, a public bathhouse, tackle shop, equipment rental, indoor and outdoor exhibits, classrooms, research areas, and a wildlife rehabilitation area. This phase is still in the very beginning stages as funding is being pursued.

Stay tuned for updates and make plans to stop by the Hatteras Island Ocean Center on your next visit to Hatteras Island! Visit www.hioceancenter.org or follow them on Facebook


03/18/13

Easter Weekend on the Outer Banks

March 23-30th
Sea Turtle Egg Hunt, NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island.
Children will take part in a sea turtle program, come face to face with a young loggerhead turtle, and make a craft to take home. The program will conclude with an egg hunt on the Aquarium grounds as children search for eggs filled with treats! Event will be held rain or shine. $10, limit 25 participants. For ages 3-7. March 23 at 10:00 and March 30 at 9:30 & 11:00. Click here to reserve a spot!

March 26th
Paint a Beach Scene on ceramic for ages 7 and up, 4pm, Studio 12, Avon.
Carolyn will walk you through step by step on how to paint a beautiful beach scene on ceramics with glazes. $15 plus pottery ranging from $15 to $32. Click here to register.

March 27th
Glass Fusion Jewelry for ages 9 and up, 4pm, Studio 12, Avon.
Choose colorful eye popping jewels such rings, earrings or pendants. Class is $26 and includes all materials. Students can make more than one item for additional charge. Click here to register.

March 29th
10 Year Anniversary Party, 3-6pm, Studio 12, Avon.

Easter Arts & Crafts Show, Indian Town Gallery, 10am-5pm, Frisco.

March 29-30th
Fly Into Spring and Easter Eggstravaganza, Jockey’s Ridge Crossing, Nags Head.
Kick off the 2013 season with Kitty Hawk Kites! The Kite Festival will take place on both Friday and Saturday from 10am-4pm at Jockey’s Ridge State Park, the largest living sand dune on the East Coast! Enjoy fresh spring air, high flying kites, and all around fun on the dunes. The Easter Eggstravaganza will take place at Jockey’s Ridge Crossing Shopping Center, across the street from the Kite Festival. The Easter Egg Hunts start at 11am on both Friday and Saturday. The hunts will be broken down by age groups: 6 & under and 7& up. Stick around for a picture with the Easter Bunny from 12:00-1:00pm. Both events are FREE TO THE PUBLIC.

March 30th
Easter Eggstravaganza, Elizabethan Gardens, Manteo.
From 10am-2pm, participate in an Outer Banks spring tradition held in the midst of the beautiful spring blooms featuring an egg scavenger hunt, photo opportunities, a homemade bake sale, egg roll on the Great Lawn, story time, educational crafts, games, an Easter bonnet and hat contest, and more kid-geared fun.

Easter Eggstravaganza, Frisco Mini Golf and Go Karts, 1pm.

March 31th
Easter sunrise services at Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station Historic Site, Avon Pier, and the former Lighthouse site in Buxton at 6:30am.

April 1st
7th Annual Hoppin’ Easter Egg Hunt, 11am-2pm, Avon.

Chicamacomoico Life-Saving Station Historic Site and Museum OPENS for 2013 Season!


02/24/13

Stroll Down Memory Lane at the Outer Banks History Center

Located in Manteo within the Roanoke Island Festival Park complex is the Outer Banks History Center, a true gem for anyone who reserves a special place in their heart for the Outer Banks. The center came to fruition in 1986 when local writer and historian, David Stick, author of Graveyard of the Atlantic: Shipwrecks of the North Carolina Coast and several other works, donated his personal library and research materials to the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

The History Center is home to many collections including manuscripts, maps, photographs, books, personal and organizational papers, natural history, environmental sciences and so much more. Spend a day in the reading and reference room of the center where you have access to several worktables, an online catalog, audio-visual equipment, a microfilm reader-printer, and a photocopier. Each year the center responds to thousands of research requests from the general public to national media outlets, such as the History Channel, so contact them today!

During your upcoming vacation, make plans to attend the exhibit, “Dare County in the 1930s: Decade of Determination,” starting March 1st and running through October 14th!

The History Center is open Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm (excluding state holidays and weather emergencies) and be sure to visit the Outer Banks History Center Gallery 7 days a week from 9am-5pm. (Check with Roanoke Island Festival Park for up-to-date information and hours concerning the gallery).

Visit the Outer Banks History Center for a true understanding of the Outer Banks culture and its people!