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.
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.
The Pea Island National Wildlife refuge is a very popular and valued feeding and resting area for migrating waterfowl and many other bird species. More than 265 species are known to visit the area regularly.
Winter, spring and fall provide ample opportunity for bird watching. Bird walks, canoe and kayaking tours, and children’s programs are scheduled regularly during the summer.
Tour this historic flagship lifesaving station, built in 1874 and renowned as one of the most complete and in tact lifesaving stations in the US. In the summer months, the station also offers fun family activities, including a lifesaving reenactment on the beach. For information and visiting hours, call (252) 987-1552.
Canadian Hole / AKA The Haul Over
Known as one of the best launching points for windsurfing in the world, the spacious sound beach known as the “Canadian Hole” is an ideal watery playground for little ones. With shallow water and no waves, this locale provides ideal swimming conditions for kids, and on-premise bathrooms and changing stations. Located between Avon and Buxton.
Adjacent to Canadian Hole, just ¼ – ½ mile along the sandy sound beach, is Kite Point. Known as the spot on Hatteras Island where kite boarding first took flight, many kite boarding enthusiasts flock here to launch for its wide beach perfect for rigging, and miles of shallow, waist deep water.
Hatteras Island’s newest museum, opened in 2004, is one of the most innovative maritime facilities in the nation.
Shaped like an arc itself, the museum features artifacts from many of the historic shipwrecks claimed by the shoals of the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”, the name given to the shores of the Outer Banks. Guests may also see artifacts and learn about Hatteras Island’s own rich maritime history.
Learn more about the Native Americans that have inhabited Hatteras Island for hundreds of years. The museum is a non-profit educational foundation and has many exhibits as well as a nature trail through the Frisco maritime forest.
Tennis & Golf
Public tennis courts are located on NC Highway 12 in Buxton at the Fessenden Center and at the Cape Hatteras School. Community tennis courts are located throughout the island in premier subdivisions such as Kinnakeet Shores.
Ocean Edge Golf Course off NC Highway 12 in Frisco is a 9 hole executive course. Call (252) 995-4659 for rates and hours.