11/27/13

National Park Service to Offer Off-Road Vehicle Permits for the 2014 Season Online

The National Park Service has announced that it will begin offering 2014 Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) permits on its website starting on Sunday, December 1, 2013. This new feature will further streamline the process of obtaining the necessary permits to access the ORV routes in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

There are two easy ways to obtain a National Park Service (NPS) ORV permit:

  1. Online beginning December 1, 2013 by visiting http://www.recreation.gov/ and going to the Cape Hatteras page on the site.

  2. In person, at one of three NPS off-road vehicle permit offices:

Bodie Island at the north end of Coquina Beach parking lot – 8101 NC Highway 12, Nags Head;

Hatteras Island by the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Visitor Center – 46368 Lighthouse Road, Buxton;

Ocracoke Island by the NPS Visitor Center – 40 Irvin Garrish Highway, Ocracoke.

All three offices are open year-round from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., seven days a week, except Christmas Day.

Annual permits cost $120; with a seven-day weekly ORV permit costing $50. If you purchase a permit online, there are additional processing and shipping fees. It will cost an extra $4.50 if you order your permit online and then pick it up at one of the offices listed above. If you choose to have your permit mailed to you, it will be an additional $11.00.

Remember to plan ahead if you are ordering online since it will take 14 days to process if you choose to have your ORV permit mailed to you. You only need to order a day in advance if you plan on picking it up in person.

The 2014 annual permit can be used beginning December 1, 2013 and is valid through December 31, 2014. Weekly permits can be purchased up to two calendar months in advance.

For additional information on off-road vehicle use in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, or to obtain a permit, visit http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/off-road-vehicle-use.htm or the Cape Hatteras page on http://www.recreation.gov/.


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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03/8/13

Bodie Island Lighthouse Set to Open Spring 2013

The National Park Service plans to open Bodie Island Lighthouse (pronounced “body”) to the general public for guided climbing tours in late April to early May 2013. Bodie Island Lighthouse, located north of Oregon Inlet, has undergone an 18-month long restoration project aimed to restore and preserve this historical beacon and make it accessible to the general public after being closed for many, many years.

The beacon you see today as you enter the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, north of Oregon Inlet, was rebuilt in 1871 after being demolished during the Civil War in 1861 by retreating Confederate troops who feared the Union would use it to their advantage for navigation. Upon reconstruction, Bodie Island Lighthouse was partly built using materials left over from the “newest” Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Currituck Beach Lighthouse is considered its architectural twin.

Today this familiar black and white, horizontally striped structure stands 156 feet tall and is equipped with a first-order Fresnal lens. Its 160,000 candlepower beacon shines 19 miles over the ocean to safely guide mariners around the coast and through the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.”

Stay tuned for the much anticipated opening date of the Bodie Island Lighthouse! In the meantime, visit the Bodie Island Lighthouse Visitors Center located in the Double Keepers’ Quarters, just 6 miles south of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore entrance.


02/22/13

Fan Photo Friday

As his sister patiently waits for him to catch up, this little guy is charging the boardwalk to set foot on the beach for the very first time! Can you imagine what must go through the mind of child upon seeing such a huge expanse of water and an endless sandbox for the first time ever?

Thank you to Rebecca Buckner Carbis for submitting this priceless photo to our Facebook page!


01/22/13

Cownose Rays

Are you intrigued by the rays that cruise the waters of the eastern seaboard?

Join Mr. Robert Fisher of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science on Monday, February 11th at 7pm at the Fessenden Center in Buxton or on Tuesday, February 12th at 7pm at the Ocracoke Community Center. Mr. Fisher will discuss his research on the Cownose Ray which will include displays, underwater video, and other imagery.

Take advantage of this free program to learn more about our fascinating coastal environment!


09/14/12

Cape Hatteras National Seashore Night Driving Reopens on September 16

Per the new Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan, night driving routes for ORV use will reopen at midnight on September 16 and remain open through November 15, where no turtle nests remain or to the first posted closure in that route.

222 sea turtle nests were identified on National Seashore beaches during the 2012 nesting season. There are approximately 60 remaining nests to date. Due to this record breaking number, please be mindful of sea turtle nest protection areas in effect and note that closure conditions may change on short notice, to include ORV, pedestrian, and pet entry. Closed areas will be clearly marked with “symbolic fencing” consisting of wooden or carsonite posts, closure signs, string, and black filter fencing.

ORV routes that will be open to night driving on September 16 are as follows: North of Ramp 4, South of Ramp 44, West of Ramp 44, the Pole Road to Hatteras Inlet, and South of Ramp 67.

On November 1, the seasonally closed village beaches of Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo, Avon, and the Ocracoke Day Use Area will reopen to ORV use under terms specified in the new ORV Management Plan for Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

A permit is required for any off-road vehicle use in Cape Hatteras National Seashore. ORV permits can be obtained at any of the three National Park Service permit offices located at Coquina Beach, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Visitor Center (Buxton), and the Ocracoke Visitor Center. These offices will be open year-round, seven days a week (except Christmas Day), from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with expanded hours on weekends and holidays during the summer season. The cost of an annual ORV permit (valid for the calendar year) is $120. The cost for a 7-day ORV permit (valid from the date issued) is $50. You must bring your driver’s license and vehicle registration with you.

For further information, please call (252) 473-2111 ext, 148 or check out the Google Earth map.


08/10/12

Perseids Meteor Shower Peaks This Weekend

The skies over Cape Hatteras National Seashore are the perfect backdrop for the weekend’s meteor shower!
The Perseids have been observed by humans for about 2000 years and is one of the most spectacular meteor showers to observe, producing upwards of 80 meteors per hour during the peak viewing dates, which just happen to be August 11, 12, and 13.
The Perseids is an annual meteor which is active from July 23 through August 22, with the peak viewing dates of August 11, 12 and 13 from 11pm to 4:30am. The waning crescent moon occuring on August 12 is nearly ideal for observing the Perseids due to the lack of moonlight, which would normally conceal less bright meteors.
For the most ideal viewing, be sure to find an unobstructed location free of lights, get comfortable (patience is involved in the viewing of a meteor shower), and gaze approximately half way up into the sky facing northeast.
Sit back and enjoy the show! Happy gazing!


08/10/12

Fan Photo Friday

Today we are celebrating ORV access to Cape Point, one of the most treasured locales on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore!

The designated ORV route is currently open from 7am to 9pm daily, starting 0.4 miles north of Ramp 43 to Ramp 44 and south to Cape Point.

Permits are required for ORV access on the beaches of Cape Hatteras National Seashore.


Thank you to Rita Lucas for posting her photo to our Facebook page!


06/6/12

World OCEAN Day, June 8th

Let’s all join together and celebrate World Ocean Day on Friday, June 8th, right here on Cape Hatteras National Seashore!
First recognized in 2008 by the United Nations, World Ocean Day has been designated as a special day for people around the globe to celebrate the abundance of ocean resources.
A day of recognizing, exploring, and appreciating our ocean’s resources will be underway on June 8th!
Join in the following programs:
9:30 am Explore the Shore (1hr.)
~A free, ranger-led walk on our beaches to explore the everchanging shoreline and the plants and animals that call the seashore their home. Meet in the parking lot next to the Ocracoke campground.
11 am Sea Turtles for Kids (30 min.)
~Free, fun, interactive activities for kids to learn about this amazing creature who uses the shores of Cape Hatteras National Seashore as its nursery grounds. Meet @ the Hatteras Island Visitor Center Pavilion.
3 pm Sentinel of the Shore (30 min.)
~An opportunity to learn about the rich history of the Park’s lighthouses and find out what is in store for those majestic structures! Meet @ the Bodie Island Visitor Center.
Remember knowledge is power! Let’s all pay homage to the world’s oceans by participating in an activity that supports these powerful bodies of water!


05/25/12

Cape Hatteras is ranked as one of America's Top Ten Beaches!

Dr. Beach has just released his list of America’s Best Beaches and Cape Hatteras has made the cut for the Top Ten, for another year in a row! This year Cape Hatteras comes in at #10! (In previous years, the rankings have been as follows: #5 in 2011, #4 in 2010, #7 in 2009, and #8 in 2008.)
Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman (Dr. Beach), Director and Professor of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University, travels up and down the coastline each year in search of the absolute best beaches in America. He evaluates each site using 50 criteria, which range from beach condition to water temperature, to sand softness and color.
Being a strong contender in America’s Best Beaches, does not surprise those of us who live and breathe Cape Hatteras! Whether you live here, visit here, or long to visit our shores, you know from the moment you arrive, that you’ve reached paradise! From our clean, uncrowded beaches to the best surf on the East Coast, to world-class fishing and adventure! Cape Hatteras has it all while still managing to hold on to the small island charm that everyone cherishes and loves.
Dr. Beach describes Cape Hatteras as:
“Bulging far offshore of the mainland coast as a barrier island, Cape Hatteras was the first National Seashore. Providing some of the best board surfing along the East Coast, as well as the most famous lighthouse in the United States, Cape Hatteras attracts beachgoers to its historic fishing villages. Nature lovers adore the excellent beachcombing and superb fishing. Hurricane Irene in 2011 cut a few inlets through Hatteras Island so travel down to the Cape will be slowed.”
So if you’ve never visited Cape Hatteras, start making plans to head this way! We’d love to share one of America’s Best Beaches with you and help you enjoy an unforgettable vacation! On your way through, stop by Surf or Sound Realty and say HI!