Celebrate National Lighthouse Day


Next Thursday, August 7, is National Lighthouse Day. The National Park Service is celebrating at Cape Hatteras National Seashore with a number of special programs.

Lighthouse Day is an observance of the day the Federal Government became involved in the construction, maintenance and repair of these special structures with the Lighthouse Act August 7, 1789.

The Cape Hatteras National Park Services describes:

Lighthouses, whose solitary beacons have guided countless ships through perils of fog and darkness, are a cherished part of our Nation’s heritage. Often isolated and repeatedly tested by the ravages of storm and sea, lighthouses are monuments to the courage and determination of the people who built them and the keepers who have maintained them.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore protects and preserves three lighthouses: Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Bodie Island Lighthouse, and Ocracoke Lighthouse.

You’re invited to take part in special Lighthouse Day programs including:

August 7, 1 pm & 4 pm The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse–Why is it Here: Have you ever wondered why this lighthouse was built on a remote barrier island? Learn about the storied history of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and its purpose. Meet at the Hatteras Island Visitor Center Pavilion. (20 mins)

August 6, 5 pmThe Oldest Lighthouse: The Ocracoke Lighthouse is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse in North Carolina. Learn how this tower is truly part of the Ocracoke community and get a peek inside the base of the tower. Meet at the Ocracoke Lighthouse. Parking is very limited. We recommend that you walk, bike, or be dropped off. (30 mins)

August 7, 3 pmA Link in the Chain: While the Bodie Island Lighthouse stands alone, it serves as a link in the chain of a network of lighthouses on the east coast. Learn more about the U.S. Lighthouse Service and of what life was like for the Bodie Island Lighthouse keepers and their families. Meet on the front porch of the Bodie Island Visitor Center. (30 mins)

All programs are free and open to all.


Check In Day Activities


We know, you’ve waited ALL YEAR for your Hatteras Island vacation and you just can’t wait to get it started. Here are some fun check-in day events and activities that let your vacation begin the moment you hit the Outer Banks.

SUBU Saturdays (Show up and Blow Up) at Watermen’s Bar & Grill in Waves. With live music from 12-3, outdoor dining, and a giant lawn with plenty of room to stretch out after a long drive and let the kids run off some energy, this is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon and kick-off your Hatteras Island vacation. Did we mention the food and drinks they serve are amazing? They have a full service coffee bar and strive to use only the very freshest local and regional ingredients.

Welcome Party at the Wreck – just outside the Hatteras Landing Marina. Every Saturday from 12:30 – 4:00, the Wreck hosts a free and family friendly event with Live music, drink specials at the tiki bar and great food.

You can also always hit the beach – the Salvo Day Use Area has showers and bathrooms and shallow waters perfect for wading, and launching a kayak, stand up paddleboard or sailboat. Or spend the day fishing and hanging out at the Rodanthe or Avon piers. Both have parking and refreshments – the Avon Pier has showers and the Rodanthe Pier has a fun oceanfront arcade.

Speaking of watersports, there are a number of places you can rent equipment. Try our friends at Rodanthe Campground and Watersports right on the sound (next to Lisa’s Pizza) where you can enjoy a captained sail, take a sailing lesson or even take out a 16′ Hobie Cat if you know what you’re doing. They also rent jet skis, wave runners, kayaks and stand up paddleboards. Mention we sent you and you might just get a discount on your rental.

Day Trips are another fun option. Start your vacation with a ferry ride to Ocracoke and spend the day strolling the village shops and restaurants or rent bikes to see the town. Or take time to check out Manteo – visit the beautiful Elizabethan Gardens, the reasonably priced North Carolina Aquarium with it’s fantastic new Sea Turtle Exhibit or go to Island Farm where you are invited to participate in living history, Roanoke Island circa 1800, complete with live oxen and century old house, barns and outbuildings you are invited to walk (and climb) through.

Try a pottery or beading class at one of our local coffee shops/art studios, do some shopping, or enjoy a late lunch / early dinner at one of our great island restaurants.

Whatever you decide to do, we’re so glad you’re here to spend an entire week on Island Time.

Watermen's Bar and Grill behind REAL watersports has plenty of room for everyone.

Watermen’s Bar and Grill behind REAL watersports has plenty of room for everyone.

You are invited to touch and experience the artifacts on site at Island Farm on Roanoke Island.

You are invited to touch and experience the artifacts on site at Island Farm on Roanoke Island.


Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Full Moon Climb Saturday July 12


With the July date just announced, you can sign up for a once in a lifetime experience to climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse under a full moon. The night will be filled with stories of the keepers of old, close up looks of the working light in the lantern room and spectacular views. Watch the newly risen moon as it reflects off the Atlantic Ocean while you stand in the salt air on the balcony.

Saturday, July 12 two tours will be given, one at 8:30 and one at 9:30. Ticket sales will start on Thursday, July 10, 2014 at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse from 8:15 a.m. to 5:40 p.m and tickets must be purchased on site.

Tickets are $8 per adult, and $4 for children (11 and under) and seniors (62 and older). Children are welcome on the climb and must be over 42 inches tall and able to climb the 257 steps on their own.

Photo by Chuck Liddy - News & Observer

Photo by Chuck Liddy – News & Observer


Not just another day at sea…

On February 21, 1854, a 250-ton barkentine, Orline St. John, was dismasted in a strong gale off of Cape Hatteras. As heavy seas battered the large vessel and its crew, many people tried to seek refuge out of harms way. Concerned with their safety, several crew members tied themselves to the rigging in hopes of not being swept overboard. After the storm passed, the crew was left to fend for themselves for about 10 days before they were rescued. Unfortunately, four crew members did not return home.

Barkentine : a sailing ship of three of more masts with the foremast square-rigged and the others fore-and-aft rigged


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!


OBX Events July 7-15th

There is just so much to do at the beach!!! In addition to your daily adventures of fishing, surfing, kiteboarding, paddleboarding, building sandcastles, scanning the shoreline for shells, or soaking up the sun and a good book, the OBX has something to offer for every age!
We’ve compiled an extensive list of activities and events for the week that you will not want to miss!

July 7 Summer Festival, Fessenden Center, Buxton, 2-9pm.
~The Hands of Love Organization has organized an afternoon of fun, which will include live music, food, carnival games, crafts, a silent auction, and much more! Rain date set for July 8.

July 7, 14 Fish Fry, Hatteras Village and Avon Village, 5-7pm.
~Does fried local fish, hushpuppies, cole slaw, and potato salad sound like the perfect Hatteras Island dinner? We think so! Head to the Hatteras Fire Station at 57689 Hwy 12 or the Avon Fire Station at 40159 Harbor Rd. for a delicious meal, hosted by the Ladies Auxilary.

July 9-13 YOGA on the beach, Beach Klub, Avon, 8-9:30am.
~Bring a yoga mat and get your day started off on the right track!

July 9-13 Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Summer Programs, Rodanthe, 2pm.

~Monday-Friday at 2pm, join The Chicamacomico Historical Association for an afternoon of entertainment ranging from talks with local historians to dramatic demonstrations by the U.S. Coast Guard. Visit the Station’s website for program details.
June 9-13 Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum Summer Programs, Hatteras.
~Monday-Friday, programs are offered by Friends of the Graveyard of the Atlantic for further exploration and discovery if our maritime heritage. For complete information and details, visit the Museum on the web.
July 10-14 The Lost Colony, Waterside Theatre, Manteo, 8:30pm.
~Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Paul Green recounts the historical events leading to the disappearance of the first English colonists who settled on Roanoke Island over 400 years ago. This is a production you don’t want to miss. Visit The Lost Colony for more info and tickets.
July 9 The Wilders/July 12 Jack Jr., REAL Watersports, Waves, 6-10pm.
~Enjoy free LIVE music with a spectacular view in a family/group friendly atmosphere.
July 10 Hatteras Island Farmer’s Market, Avon, 9am-1pm.
~Located in the lot beside Hatteras Realty.
July 10 & 12 Balloonacy Children’s Show, COA Auditorium, Manteo, 2pm.
~For over 40 years, the cast of The Lost Colony has produced a show just for kids. Let your imagination run wild! Balloonacy is a funny, sweet, and uplifting performance. Tickets are $5-10.
Studio 12, Avon.
~Feeling creative? Studio 12 offers lots of fun classes, including mosaic stepping stones, glass fusion picture frames, suncatchers, and jewelry. Be sure to visit their website for class details.
Indian Town Gallery, Frisco.
~Offering fantastic weekly classes. Check out their Facebook page for details.
July 10 Kitty Hawk Kites Kid’s Day, Avon 10am-12pm, Hatteras, 3-5pm/July 11, Waves 4-6pm.
~A fun-filled free opportunity to climb a rock wall, shoot water guns, have your face painted, and try out the latest toys and games!

July 10, 11, 13 Music on the Deck, Sandbar & Grille, Buxton, 7-11pm.

July 10 Avon Jamboree, PapaWack Theatre, Beach Klub, Avon, 6-8pm.
July 11-14 Hatteras Grand Slam Billfish Tournament, Hatteras Village.
~For more info, click here.
July 11 Teen Night, PapaWack Theatre, Beach Klub, Avon, 8-10pm.
~Ages 13-19. $5/teen.

July 11 Bluegrass Jam at Banjo Island/Red Drum Pottery, Frisco, 7pm.
~Enjoy local musicians at the “Wednesday Happening” OR bring your instrument and join them!

July 11 Waterhigh, Down Under Restaurant and Lounge, Waves, 8-11pm.
~Enjoy an evening of live, local music!
July 11 BINGO, Cape Hatteras Anglers Club, 47231 Light Plant Rd, Buxton, 6pm.

July 12 Carey Fest 2012, Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Center, 4-8pm.
~The theme of this year’s celebration is “Giving Back, A Celebration of Community.” Come mingle and enjoy a free barbecue cookout, featuring live bluegrass and blues from Banjo Island. There will also be a silent auction.
The Carey LeSieur Foundation is a non-profit, charitable foundation that aims to promote compassion and humanity within the local community by celebrating posthumously the life of nurse practitioner Carey Marie LeSieur and encouraging our community to remember her caring dedication. The primary mission of the foundation is to provide financial assistance in the form of scholarships to students, both college and graduate, who are engaged in a course of study whose ultimate end point will be in a career in healthcare.

July 12 YOGA, Hatteras Village Community Center, 5:15-6:30pm.
~All levels. Donations accepted. For more info, contact Wendi Palmer 252-305-0090.

July 12 Jah Creation, PapaWack Theatre, Beach Klub, Avon, 7-10pm.

~Tickets are $7 in advance or $10 at the door. To purchase tickets visit Spa Koru in Avon.
July 13 40oz. of Freedom, PapaWack Theatre, Beach Klub, Avon, 7-10pm.
~Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. To purchase tickets visit Spa Koru in Avon.

July 13 LIVE MUSIC every Friday night, Buxton.
~Mad Crabber
~Pop’s Raw Bar and Restaurant
~Capt’n Rolo’s
July 14 2nd Saturdays, Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, Hatteras Village.
~Come and browse local art exhibits and learn about our maritime heritage with lots of hands-on fun! The theme will be “Pirates!” Arrgghh

Break out your vacation planner and pencil a few of these exciting events into your week!


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!


Picture of the Week

It’s Fan Photo Friday!

Thank you to Charles B. Richardson for submitting this beautiful rainbow over Salvo on Hatteras Island accompanied by a very touching story. How could we choose another photo over this one?

“For a number of years our entire family has vacationed at OBX. The picture shown here is the first year after my Mother-in-Law Kathy passed away. She loved rainbows and our first day there we got a double rainbow. It showed us that even though she wasn’t with us that year, she really was.” – Charles B. Richardson


The Civil War comes to Cape Hatteras at the Flags Over Hatteras Commemorative Event

Did you know that Hatteras Island played a role in the Civil War? Find out about our contribution during the FLAGS OVER HATTERAS Sesquicentennial Event April 26th – April 29th , 2012. There will be nationally known authors and historians speaking each evening along with living history events and historical exhibits at the Graveyard of the Atlantic museum. If you won’t be here during the event this week, the artifacts will be on exhibit at the museum through the end of July.

Three nationally known authors and historians: James McPherson, Ed Bearss and Craig Symonds
April 26, 27, 28

Each evening one of them will give their talk following dinner (included in registration fee) at the Hatteras Village Civic Center in Hatteras.

Attendance is open to the general public by registration only and is limited to 175 attendees on a ‘first come -first serve’ basis. The registration fee is $175 which includes 3 dinners, 3 nationally known speakers, refreshments, additional speakers and power point presentations, Civil War exhibits, collections, ‘Living History’ programs, Civil War music and ‘Monument Dedication’.

Additional speakers include:
Dr. Patricia Click (professor at the University Of Virginia), Harold (Harri) Jones, (Curator of the African American Civil War Memorial & Museum) KaeLi Schurr (Curator of the Outer Banks History Center), Joseph Schwarzer (Director of the N.C. Maritime Museums), Col. Gary Riggs, (CSA Medical Authority), Drew Pullen (local historian), Danny Couch (local historian), Gerald Roxbury (Civil War Confederate cutlasses authority) and Lee Oxford (historian and authority on “The Capture of the Fanny” and “The Chicamacomico Affair”).

Civil War Historical Marker Unveiling and Dedication: April 26 at 4 p.m. at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras

The Flagship USS Minnesota and the Hotel De Afrique will be recognized with the unveiling of a Dare County Heritage Trail / North Carolina Bugle Trails Marker in honor of the leadership, actions, and results during and after seven U.S. Navy warships bombarded Forts Hatteras and Clark, August 28 -29, 1861.

The dedication recalls the USS Minnesota was the flagship for the Atlantic Blockade Squadron commanded by Flag Officer Silas H. Stringham. Using Stringham’s innovative maneuver of having his ships sail in single file oval formation the fleet rained down several thousands of shells. Seven African American sailors who were mustered into service in Boston, Mass. manned the forward gun on the USS Minnesota during this engagement. This was the first time the U.S. Navy employed this tactic.

Dedication will include Ken Howard, Director, N.C. History Museums, LT Jason Rochester, Chaplain USN Elizabeth City/Sector NC, Superintendent Michael Murray, National Park Service, Outer Banks Group, Captain Anthony Popiel, USCG Sector Commander North Carolina, Allen Burrus, Dare County Commissioner, Lee Nettles, Managing Director Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, Skipper Hines, President of the Outer Banks Community Foundation, Danny Couch. Chairman of the Friends of the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, Dave Alberg, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, Harry (Hari) Jones, Curator of the African American Civil War Memorial & Museum, Mel Covey, Dare County Heritage Trail and Flags Over Hatteras Committee, and Johnnie Baum, The Hatteras Island Poet will speak briefly.

Placement of wreaths will include a US Coast Guard Color Guard from USCG Sector Cape Hatteras and Bernie Siler, Historian and re-enactor with the 54th Massachusetts. The public is encouraged to attend.

Living History Programs: April 28 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., April 29 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Re-enactors will present artillery demonstrations, encampments, drills and period music. In addition, a civil war era ladies fashion show will be presented as well as a Civil War era battery forge.

All programs are free of charge and are open to the public. A schedule of programs will be provided.

Ole’ Time Civil War Auction: April 28 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. at the Hatteras Village Civic Center in Hatteras

Come early to get your bid number and a front row seat. Donations of any and all auction items are welcome. They do not need to have anything to do with the Civil War. Items already on the auction block for lucky bidders to win range from rental cottage discounts to many other exciting items. Click here for a list of the auction items

All proceeds will go to the Friends of the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum to defray any costs of Flags Over Hatteras activities and the remaining or all will go towards the “Help Us Save the USS Monticello Ensign” Civil War flag restoration project.

Civil War Exhibit: Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras

“War Comes to Hatteras” Exhibit is open at The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, 59200 Museum Dr., Hatteras, NC. This special exhibit is open to the public, free of charge, in connection with the “Flags Over Hatteras” Conference (a ticketed event) and related events. Non-ticketed public will be subject to museum admission.

Exhibit open through July 31, 2012
Museum Hours: April – October
Monday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
November – March
Monday – Friday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

This exhibit will feature items and documents related to Eastern North Carolina activities and actions during 1861. The exhibit is focused around the Battle of Fort Hatteras and Fort Clark, Aug. 28-29,1861 and will also explore “The Capture of the Fanny” and “The Chicamacomico Races” in October of the same year.