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.
5 • 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.