The waters that surround an island often contribute to its character. It’s the Pamlico Sound, the Atlantic Ocean’s quieter counterpart, that sets the slower pace of life on Hatteras Island with its calm waters, saturated sunsets, endless views, and open starry skies.
A low, sandy barrier island, Hatteras Island sits 30 miles “out to sea” from the mainland of North Carolina. The “sea” between the island and the mainland is actually the Pamlico Sound. Part of a large interconnected network of lagoon estuaries, the sound is part of one of the biggest estuaries in the United States, second only to the Chesapeake Bay. Alive with waterfowl, fish, crabs, shellfish, marsh grasses, seals and turtles, the sound also serves as an important habitat for spawning fish like striped bass, shad and herring. Even larger species like dolphin can occasionally be found spending time there. Fed by inlets from the Atlantic Ocean and freshwater rivers to the west, the sound water is a brackish mix of salt and fresh water and is shallow throughout, with an average depth of 5-6 feet. These shallow depths, paired with the soft sandy floor, make it an attractive place for kids to play and swim and have helped make Hatteras Island a world-class kiteboarding and watersports destination.
A Soundside Vacation
Vacationer Kathleen Holmes explains why her family chooses to rent a home on the sound: “…not only are the views wide-open and amazing, but our family likes to spend all day on the water, boating, fishing, crabbing, stand up paddleboarding and swimming. Some of us may head to the ocean for a while, but we all come home to enjoy dinner together every night in the glow of the setting sun. Then we soak in the hot tub underneath the millions of stars visible in the unpolluted night sky. It’s truly a giant breath of fresh air coming from New York City.”
Some soundfront vacation homes have their own dock or walkway and a number of neighborhoods on the sound have a community sound access or boat ramp. Surf or Sound Realty manages premier vacation homes, while homes on the sound may be valuably priced there is no shortage of amenities, like elevators, private pools and hot tubs.
Surf or Sound Realty is known for offering some of the Island’s most spectacular oceanfront homes, but the soundfront experience is one that’s equally incredible. No matter where you stay on Hatteras Island the ocean is never far away.
Hatteras Island Events: This Week on the Outer Banks Wings over Water Wildlife Festival runs from Nov. 3-8 Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum offers free summer activities