08/27/08

Geography Gone Wild

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Geography gone wild: An overview of what makes Hatteras Island unique

North Carolina’s coast is home to a string of barrier islands composing the Outer Banks, with Hatteras Island smack in the center of this chain of long, sandy islands.

Barrier islands are not particularly unusual. Study a map of the East Coast, and you’ll find them everywhere from Maine to Florida, but locals and frequent visitors know that Hatteras Island is special, and the root of its unique character can be traced to its geography. Surrounded by water, Hatteras Island is literally 30 miles into the Atlantic Ocean, and this makes for a pretty wild place to vacation. Continue reading


08/26/08

The Basics of Beachcombing

As fall approaches on The Outer Banks, and offshore swells pile buckets of flotsam and jetsam onto the shore, Hatteras Island becomes a beachcomber’s paradise. With less visitors to compete over the best finds, and miles of sand to explore, this is the time when dedicated hunters of shells and sea glass alike get up early, grab extra Food Lion bags for treasures, and head out on a pilgrimage to the beach. Continue reading


08/26/08

Sales Tax Holiday

If you are planning to refurbish your Outer Banks home, better set your sites on November. During the weekend of November 7 – 9, all “Energy Star” qualified appliances and products will be sales tax exempt, automatically saving you an extra 4.5%.

An Energy Star product is defined as “A product that meets the energy efficient guidelines set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Department of Energy and is authorized to carry the Energy Star label.”

In other words, look for the Energy Star sticker or designation on the packaging, or simply ask a customer service rep at your local hardware store to point you in the right direction. Continue reading


08/25/08

Going Green on Hatteras Island

With a population that swells in the summertime, Hatteras Island has its’ own unique challenge in going green. Many folks say that Hatteras Island can be a little behind the times when it comes to everyday life, and certainly time here seems to move at a slower pace than it does in the rest of the world, but visitors and locals alike have taken the initiative in making these sandy white beaches a little more green.
For the conservation savvy, there are a few recycling centers on Hatteras Island so you can stay green even while on vacation. The Chicamacomico Fire Station in Rodanthe and the Village Grocery Parking Lot in Avon both have drop-off centers that are accessible 24/7. Continue reading


08/20/08

Build the Best Sand Castle with Tips from the Pros

4 Rules of Castle-building

Use moist sand. Squeeze a ball of sand in your hand for a few seconds. “If the ball stays together when you roll it around in your palm, it’s perfect sand for a castle,” says Justin Gordon, an award-winning professional sand sculptor in Massachusetts. “The best place to find this sand is below the tide line,” says Gordon.

Start with a densely packed mound of sand. To get the best density, build up the mound gradually: Add 6 inches of sand, pack down firmly with your fists, then pour half a bucket of water on top. (You can never add too much water; any excess will just drain out.) Repeat until you’ve reached your desired height. Continue reading


08/20/08

The Guest of the Future

As we round out the first decade of the 21st century, many rental guests are opting for vacation homes that are at the forefront of technology, and can fit into their modern, everyday needs. Looking to bring your rental home up to speed? There are a few simple ways to make your home more conducive to the tastes of the contemporary guest, without breaking the budget in the process. Continue reading


08/19/08

Hitting the Hatteras Island Bike Trails

In the summer, it seems like every other vehicle on NC Highway 12 has a bike rack strapped to the back, and there’s a good reason for this phenomenon. With a collection of smaller neighborhoods, paths, flat beaches, and miles of scenic highway, Hatteras Island can be a biker’s dream.
New to the local cycle scene? Exploring is an easy way to find the best routes, but there are a few scenic spots up and down the island that are ideal for long, easy bike rides.

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08/18/08

What in the world?

The strange sea creatures of Hatteras Island

After a relaxing walk along the soundside of Avon, I nearly jumped out of my flip flops when I spotted a giant slimy fish with big droopy eyes looking up at me from a shallow canal. He was flat like a flounder, but a dark greasy brown, and had a wide mouth with pointy little teeth that were fixed in a dopey smile. Naturally, as with all things that I don’t understand, I poked at it with my index figure, and sure enough it twitched slightly with annoyance, but didn’t really move, and didn’t lose its dawdling grin.

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