03/16/17

#1 Island in the South – the Outer Banks

SouthernLivingHeader

Southern Living magazine asked their audience to choose their favorite island in the south. Their #1 choice? The Outer Banks, of course!

Accessible by car or ferry, but still giving you “a wonderful sense of ‘away'” – an escape to the Outer Banks can’t be beat.

Southern Living says:

“This narrow spit of sand looks as if it were tugged out into the ocean from North Carolina’s mainland, leaving Pamlico, Currituck, and Roanoke Sounds behind. Rent a house and stay for a week to explore Bodie, Hatteras, and Ocracoke Islands.”

We must say we do agree – find the perfect vacation home for an island escape today!


01/10/17

Travel Channel’s Destination of the Month is the Outer Banks

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The Outer Banks of North Carolina is January’s destination of the month on the Travel Channel. Broadcast internationally, this means viewers from all over the world are getting a glimpse into the secret many loyal visitors have known for generations – a vacation on the Outer Banks is one of the best ways to make lasting memories. From early morning walks along the un-crowded sandy shoreline as the sun makes its first appearance over the horizon, to staying up late into the night for deep conversations, breathing the salt air and gazing into the star filled skies, few places can match the beauty of the Outer Banks.
solotravelers

Recent press for the Outer Banks is as hot as the July sun with another recent mention in Travel and Leisure as one of the 18 best cities in America for solo traveling. Add this to the annual awards typically bestowed like U.S. News and World Report’s “#1 Family Beach Vacation” and the Outer Banks – Hatteras Island especially – is a sure bet for vacation fun! Don’t wait – book your family vacation today and start your countdown to fun-filled days in the sun.


11/17/16

Surf or Sound Realty Announces $1 Food Pantry Donation for Every Pound of Food Collected in Their Offices Through December 31

Thanksgiving Food

The smell of turkey roasting, the sound of the football game playing in the background and the chatter of family that hasn’t gathered for many seasons, this time of year brings many warm memories. Like many places, some Hatteras Island residents have a hard time putting food on the table, especially this time of year as tourism slows. This year in particular saw residents suffering losses from Hurricane Matthew, many losing almost everything and working to rebuild their lives from the ground up. Local food pantries relying solely on donations, are working hard to successfully meet the demands of residents throughout the winter months.

In response to this need, Surf or Sound Realty’s offices in Avon and Salvo are not only serving as community collection points for the Hatteras Island food drive as they have done for many years, but this year they are upping the ante. To help encourage donations, Surf or Sound Realty has announced that it will donate $1 for every pound of food donations received at their offices from November 21 through December 31, up to $500. All donations will go directly to a Hatteras Island food bank to support the local residents.

“I’ve lived here for 18  years and I know how appreciative the community is of these donations. Many residents go unemployed through the winter and can use every bit of help they can get,” explains Marcia Laricos, Event Coordinator and Assistant to the Property Manager at Surf or Sound Realty. “We are hoping that we receive more food donations this year by rallying for the cause.”

Monetary donations for the Hatteras Island Food Pantry can be made payable by check to United Methodist Men and mailed to Hatteras Island Food Pantry, P.O. Box 1591, Buxton, NC 27920. Monetary donations for Lifeboat Community Church can be dropped off at 27563 Highway 12 in Salvo, or by mailing checks to Lifeboat Community Church, P.O. Box 84, Salvo, NC 27972.


05/4/16

Scientific Studies Show the Beach is Good for Your Health

Strolling the Hatteras Island Beach

You’ve felt it – that dramatic change in mood as your feet sink into the warm soft Hatteras Island sands. Surrounded by the meditative sounds of the crashing waves, you look out across the expanse of beach, out over the ocean to the horizon, breathe deep and you just start to feel better. It turns out there is science to back it up. In a recent scientific study by two New Zealand universities and Michigan State University, they found that exposure to “blue space” (in the study they used ocean) boosts mental health.

The study tested the correlation between blue space visibility and psychological distress and found that a higher visibility of blue space was significantly associated with lower distress in participants.

Natural environments attract us on an evolutionary level because of the basic survival resources found in them. According to the study, “As a result of this evolutionary connection, the human brain processes natural environments more efficiently than built up environments, thereby further increasing opportunity for relaxation and combating the amount of stress”.

Of course, we are not scientists. But if someone is going to tell us that being near the ocean supports good health, well then count us in!!

Here are a few other health benefits your Hatteras Island vacation may afford you: 

Lower blood pressure

A 2008 study by Seattle University compared the effects of listening to guided relaxation over ocean waves to the sound of a Mozart symphony on patient’s blood pressure. They found that while both lowered hypertension, the relaxation waves group showed a drop in systolic blood pressure by about three points and diastolic pressure by 1.5 points compared with Mozart’s music.

Fresh Air

Air circulating at the beach is said to contain tens of thousands of negative ions, while the average home or office building, contains dozens or hundreds if any at all. According to WebMD, “Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy.” The market has been flooded with the air purifiers and ionizers in recent years, whether they work or not is certainly up for debate, but one thing we do know is where negative ions naturally occur in the environment – the beach! Ion researcher Michael Terman PhD, of Columbia University in New York explained, “The action of the pounding surf creates negative air ions and we also see it immediately after spring thunderstorms when people report lightened moods.”

Deep Sleep

Have you ever recalled the sound of ocean waves to get to sleep at night? A study at Huntsville hospital in Alabama looked at the effects of ocean sounds on sleep after a major surgery. They found that the participants receiving ocean sounds reported significantly higher scores for sleep depth, awakening, return to sleep, quality of sleep, and total sleep scores, indicating better sleep.

Have we given you enough reason to book that second week on Hatteras Island yet? Do it for your health.


04/21/16

Cape Hatteras Named Best Beach

Cape Hatteras Named Best Beach

How can one beach consistently be at the top of the best family beaches lists? 70 miles of pristine coastline, uncrowded beaches, clean surf and quaint village charm are what keep Hatteras Island coming out on top. Here are a few of 2016’s recent mentions:

Cape Hatteras specifically was named one of the 10 best East Coast beaches by readers of USA Today, touting “ocean waves, coastal flora and fauna and a picturesque lighthouse,” along with magical experiences like “kiteboarding, crabbing and beach fires “ to be among the things that made Hatteras Island a winner.

U.S. News and World Report named the Outer Banks the #4 top family beach in the U.S.A. this year, because “OBX’s largely undeveloped landscape means you’ll have plenty of unobstructed photo ops. Peaceful waves, usually calm enough for swimmers of all levels, will put an extra dose of relaxation in your vacation.”

Most recently, Family Vacation Critic, part of the TripAdvisor family named Cape Hatteras National Seashore the top family friendly beach for 2016. They chose it because it offers “an authentic vacation away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, with the seashore of the main attraction”

Ready to book that vacation? Surf or Sound Realty has nearly 500 of Hatteras Island’s premier vacation homes waiting to welcome your family.


06/23/15

Cape Hatteras Named #1 Best Beach for 2015 by Business Insider

Number One Beach Business Insider
This year, Business Insider decided to take on the task of ranking the #1 beach in America. They combined some of the most notable beach rankings to develop the ULTIMATE best beach list for 2015. Coming in at #1: Cape Hatteras, of course! With it’s uncrowded shores, warm, tranquil sound waters, lighthouse and charming villages, anyone who has been here will tell you, it is simply the best.

Business Insider compiled rankings from top sites and publications like Dr. Beach, Forbes, Coastal Living and the Travel Channel to come up with their ultimate list. Read the full article or check out the top 13 video.


05/22/15

Cape Hatteras Named #5 Beach in America for 2015

Cape Hatteras Number Five in America

Dr. Beach just announced his top 10 beaches in America for 2015 and Cape Hatteras has been awarded a place on Dr. Beach’s Top 10 Beach’s list for the 8th year in a row. Ranked #5 for 2015, Dr. Beach made his choices out of more than 650 public beaches in the country. The Barrier Island of Cape Hatteras was the first National Seashore. It’s villages boast maritime culture and history and it’s waters provide some of the best surfing and fishing along the East Coast. With excellent windsurfing conditions, and unspoiled, uncrowded beaches along with the most famous lighthouse in the United States, Cape Hatteras wins again and again.

In 2014  Cape Hatteras was ranked #6, 2013 – #82012 – #10, 2011 – #5, 2010 – #4, 2009 – #7, and in 2008 – #8. In 2007, Ocracoke Beach (part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore) was ranked #1 excluding it from further consideration to give other great beaches an opportunity to enjoy the spotlight.

Dr. Beach is Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, Professor and Director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University. He received his Ph.D. in Environmental (Coastal) Sciences from the University of Virginia, and completed his undergraduate degree in Geosciences at North Carolina State University. He developed 50 criteria to rate beaches in an effort to create the first ever professional beach rating. Beaches are rated on everything from sand softness, turbidity, tidal range, safety, views, vistas and noise.

It won’t come as a surprise to any fan of Hatteras Island that our gorgeous uncrowded natural beaches continue to receive recognition and a scientific and professional stamp of approval. We know it’s one of the most magical places on earth!


04/13/15

Have we Solved the Mystery of the Lost Colony?

Artifacts from the Lost Colony
What has been called, “one of America’s most intriguing unsolved mysteries” is one step closer to being solved.

Many are familiar with the story of the Lost Colony, brought to life in an outdoor drama on Roanoke Island each year. A group of men, women and children came to Roanoke Island in 1587to establish the first English settlement in the New World. They found life to be difficult and sent their Governor back to England for supplies. Held up overseas by the impending war from Spain and did not return until three years later. The colony had vanished. There were no typical signs of distress and the only clue that seemed to be left was the word “Croatoan” carved into a post.

According to an article just released on the Outer Banks Voice, two “star finds” were made in the past week on Hatteras Island. These, along with many years of supporting artifacts, led chief archaeologist for the Croatoan Archeological Society to announce that “Overwhelming circumstantial evidence” shows that some of the 1587 colonists, proclaimed so many years as lost, lived for generations on Hatteras Island and assimilated among the Croatoan Tribe of the Native-American Manteo. He went on to describe a wonderful brotherhood that existed among the Croatoan Natives and colonists and describes Hatteras Island as a wonderful place, even hundreds of years ago.

There you have it, Hatteras Island has been a favorite for vacationers for over 400 years.

Read the entire article here.


02/19/15

Cape Hatteras Named Travel Channel’s #5 Sand and Surf Hotspot

Sand and Surf Hot Spots

With miles of uncrowded beaches and unrivaled kiteboarding conditions, it’s no surprise that Cape Hatteras was named #5 on the Travel Channel’s countdown of the Top 101 Sand and Surf Hot Spots in the world. The unique shape of the island means there’s almost always a hot spot for watersports – a place where the conditions are just right for surfing, kiteboarding, sailing, boogie boarding or just flying a kite.

The unique geography of the Outer Banks is what drew the Wright Brothers here over 100 years ago to test the flying machines that would become the first airplanes. It’s also what brings kiteboarders from all over the world to Hatteras Island to experience the thrill of riding the wind. With soft sandy beach breaks and miles of coastline the island is known as the best place on the East Coast to learn to surf. Another reason Hatteras Island is a must visit vacation destination.

Each hour-long Travel Channel episode features 20 Hotspots. Travel fans have been eagerly awaiting the top 20- catch it tonight at 5:00 Eastern Time on the Travel Channel or check out the Hatteras Island clip here:

The Travel Channel Video

 


10/27/14

A Rare Glimpse into History – Sunken WWII Ships Found off the Coast of Cape Hatteras

Providing new insight into a relatively little-known chapter in American history, a team of researchers led by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has just discovered two significant vessels from World War II’s Battle of the Atlantic, 30 miles off the Cape Hatteras coast.

The attacked WWII merchant ship Bluefields and the German U-boat that attacked it only to be assailed by aircraft and escorts protecting the merchant ships were both found resting less than 240 yards apart on the ocean floor. It’s a rare window into a historic battle story and the underwater landscape of the battles of World War II.

These most recent findings are part of an ongoing Battle of the Atlantic, underwater archaeological field expedition on the remains of vessels from the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II. German, American British naval and merchant vessels lost in the Atlantic have been visited and studied by archaeologists, marine biologists and researchers. The UNC Coastal Studies Institute here on the Outer Banks, as well as NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, East Carolina University, Minerals Management Service, the National Park Service and the State of North Carolina have all collaborated on this mission that has been ongoing and making interesting discoveries since 2008.

To find out more about Maritime History be sure to check out the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum on your next trip to Hatteras Island.

For more information on this exciting discovery, view the complete article on NOAA’s website here: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2014/20141021_ww11_vessels.html