08/12/08

Off the Road, and on the Beach

Basics of Beach Driving

Exploring the seashore from your 4WD vehicle, with your family and your beach gear comfortably along for the ride, can be a fun and convenient way to head to the beach.

Beach Driving is allowed via access ramps up and down the island, from the north side of Oregon Inlet, to Hatteras Village’s Pole Road, the most southern point of Hatteras Island. Look for the brown vehicle signs adjacent to public parking areas for off road ramp access, or visit the NPS website, http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/off-road-vehicle-use.htm for a comprehensive map of ramps, as well as NPS rules, regulations and guidelines. The Park Service will occasionally restrict an access point, so keep an eye out for signs marking closures and please be respectful of them. Continue reading


08/12/08

Hatteras Island Beach Safety Made Simple

There’s nothing like kicking off the flip flops and jumping in for a refreshing Atlantic dip. A few simple safety precautions and tips are all you’ll need to ensure a fun and sunny beach day.

Lifeguarded Beaches

Lifeguarded beaches are located in Buxton by the old lighthouse site, (follow the brown National Park Service signs), and on Ocracoke Island. There are also lifeguards in the Seashore at Coquina Beach, located across from the Bodie Island Lighthouse. It is a great place to stop on your way to Hatteras Island. All lifeguards are seasonal, so check out the National Park Service website, http://www.nps.gov/caha/ before your arrival to determine hours of operation. You can also call (252) 473-2111 to check dates & shifts of guard service.

Rip Currents

Rip currents or Rip tides are created by breaks in a sand bar off shore and can be dangerous. Rip currents are channels of water, usually 10 ft. – 50 ft. wide, that pull out into the ocean. Continue reading


08/11/08

Canine Shore Safety

Ten Tips For Going Coastal With Your Dog

1. Seek out dog-friendly beaches and lodging, which routinely accommodate canine habits. You are responsible for your pet’s behavior but a hospitable environment makes things easier and more comfortable.

2. Your dog should wear a collar with an ID tag. When traveling, get a waterproof tag with your cell phone number and lodging location just in case.

3. Remove a flea collar before the dog gets wet. A wet flea collar is useless and it may irritate your dog’s skin. Continue reading


08/10/08

Hatteras Island Fishing Basics

Hatteras Island attracts fishermen from around the world with its first class fishing. From the shoreline to 50 miles into the Atlantic Ocean, there are a multitude of ways to reel in the big one:

Charter Fishing: Just 15 miles from the Gulf Stream, the island is a perfect launching point for deep sea fishing trips. A fleet of charter boats leaves daily from both Hatteras Inlet and Oregon Inlet in search of landing the big one. Depending on the season, many boats come back full with a variety of fish, including dolphin, tuna, bluefish, wahoo, channel bass, Spanish and king mackerel, cobia, and blue and white marlins.

Call one of the numerous charter businesses along the island, (offering half day and full day trips), to schedule your Gulf Stream adventure. You can typically book a party of up to 6 people, or if there’s just one or two fishermen on the adventure, you can combine with another charter fishing party. Be sure you call well in advance, as charter fishing is popular and can book quickly. Continue reading


08/10/08

National Park Service Guidelines and Rules

Before you start exploring the 70 miles of gorgeous National Seashore that comprises Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the following Park Service rules and guidelines to make your beach days breezy and worry free.

Pets on the Beach

Pets are allowed on most Hatteras Island beaches as long as they are kept on a 6 foot leash. The park service will issue a ticket for an unleashed pet. Always clean up after your pet.

Surf Fishing

North Carolina State law regulates fishing within the National Seashore. Limits, seasons and licensing requirements are set by the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, which can be contacted at (800) 682-2632 www.ncfisheries.net. Size and limit sheets can also be found at most local tackle shops. Continue reading


08/10/08

Hatteras Island Attractions

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

One of the most famous and recognizable in the world because of its black and white candy cane stripes, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is a definite “must see” on every Hatteras Island vacation.
The lighthouse is located in Buxton and is open for climbing in the summer season for a small fee. At 208 feet, the steep narrow climb is not for the faint of heart. There is also a visitor’s center and gift shop, nearby nature trails, and a wooded picnic area.

A Day Trip to Ocracoke

Ocracoke Island is south of Hatteras Island and is accessed from Hatteras Village by a free ferry that leaves Hatteras Landing. The ferries depart hourly from 5 a.m. until midnight, and every half hour on heavy traffic days. Call (252) 986-2353 for more information on the Hatteras / Ocracoke ferry.
The village of Ocracoke is a small community, just 4 square miles in diameter. The Ocracoke lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse still in operation in America. You can park and stroll around the locally owned shops and restaurants and catch a sparkling sunset over Silver Lake Harbor. Continue reading


08/8/08

A Day at the Spa on Hatteras Island

Just because you’re on an island doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in a little upscale pampering, and enjoy a workout or exercise class to boot.

Hatteras Island’s only full service spa, Spa Koru, is a welcome site for visitors who need to relax, look their best, or simply stretch their muscles. A selection of our premier rental homes offer complimentary passes to the fitness center, but daily and weekly passes to the fitness center are available to everyone and can be obtained simply by calling the spa at (252) 995-3125 or by stopping by during your stay.

Seasonal classes are available every morning and afternoon, and can range from aerobics to yoga to salsa dancing. Call or visit www.spakoru.com for an online calendar of classes available during your stay.

If you want to forego the workout and just relax, the spa offers a number of massage and body treatments, and even half and full day retreats. An adjacent salon provides hair and nail services, and all organic products used in the salon can be purchased at the spa’s store.

For brides-to-be, the spa offers a full day of treatment before the ceremony, with a number of pampering packages for you and your wedding party, and a lounge to relax in between sessions. Reservations are necessary, and can be made via phone. A full spa menu and list of packages is also available online.


08/8/08

The Villages of Hatteras Island

Everyone knows Hatteras Island can be categorized as its own little world, but the seven villages that are tucked in amongst the 70 miles of seashore are unique and different in their own right. When planning a Hatteras Island vacation with Surf or Sound Realty, it’s all about location, and your first step should be selecting the island village that’s perfect for your family. Here’s an insider’s look at the different Hatteras Island villages to help you make your vacation decision.

Rodanthe, Waves & Salvo: While there are no spaces in between or signs to mark the distinction, the first “town” you encounter after the Bonner Bridge is actually a trio of villages. Rodanthe, Waves and Salvo are closest to the activity and attractions in the Northern beaches just 20 miles to the North, but are secluded, quiet, and a stark contrast to the bustle of the Northern Outer Banks. Here, you’ll find miles of private beaches, small stores and restaurants, and close access to the Pea Island National Wildlife refuge, a bird watcher’s paradise. Continue reading


08/7/08

Hatteras Island Weddings

Couples are naturally attracted by the secluded beauty and the laidback, leisurely pace that defines Hatteras Island’s culture. In an island wedding, the ocean provides the background music, barefoot brides are not uncommon, and the originality and uniqueness of a Hatteras Island ceremony is sure to be an event the couple and their guests will never forget.

Many couples choose Hatteras Island to steer clear of the complexities a big wedding can entail, and it’s easy to see why. The location alone can limit the guest list to close family and friends, because as far as destination weddings go, Hatteras Island is one of the most remote parts of the Outer Banks spanning 30 miles into the Atlantic Ocean and encompassing over 70 miles of natural seashore. But if your dream wedding is a relaxed, intimate, seaside gathering that’s truly unique, the results are well worth the travel. Continue reading