Favorite Hatteras Island Experiences

Please share with us your favorite experience from your Hatteras Island vacation. Was there a restaurant that you particularly enjoyed? Maybe your kids discovered a new way to build a sandcastle. Did you find a shop that carried the most amazing sea glass jewelry? Were the fish biting at your favorite spot on the beach? Or perhaps you just want to share a funny story that you heard from your sister while sitting in the hot tub.

We’ll post your favorite experiences here on this page for all to read and enjoy.

Thank you, and we’ll see you at the beach!

39 thoughts on “Favorite Hatteras Island Experiences

  1. three inches of snow,28 degrees , and all i can think of is sitting on the beach a quarter mile south of frisco pier in september 85 degrees nobody within a 150 yards.the wife trying to cast a 2 ounce hopkins lure far enough out to hit me with it , because their are 4 foot perfect barrels and i spent absolutely no time in the empty beach chair next to her sometimes a man has to spend some quality time with himself ,even if it is inside an empty 80 degree wave . guess i’ll have to stop at buxton seafood and cook her dinner again,can’t wait!

  2. Last year, 2008, was the very first time for my husband, Rick, and I to visit the east coast. We were virgin islanders. When making our reservation for last April, the person I spoke with at Surf or Sound told me that I would love it there and would be pleasantly surprised. She was both right and wrong. I did love it there but I was not just pleasantly surprised. I was overjoyed. It was everything I had dreamed it would be. I had been telling my husband for years that I wanted to take a vacation there. It got to the point that I mentioned it at every turn. He would just smile and shake his head. Who is shaking their head now? Not him. He, too, fell in love with it and we are returning this May for another week of perfection. The beach time was the best of all. Walking barefoot in the sand, listening to the relaxing sound of the waves crashing, and the cry of the gulls as they swoop down to search for goodies, and feeling the breeze blowing through our hair and massaging our skin brought us memories that we will treasure for the rest of our lives. We walked and collected shells every day for hours and hours. It was as if time stood still and we had left our worries and stress far behind in the cornfields of Nebraska. May is approaching at a very slow pace this year as we anxiously await our return trip to the Hatteras Islands. And we will be returning every year from now on, if not more often.

  3. Nothing gets rid of the stresses of everyday life faster than sitting on your deck with a cup of coffee in the morning, listening to the ocean and watching the sun come up.

  4. We keep coming back, year after year. The most stressful thing we do is food shopping. The most effort we exert when cooking a meal is getting the grill fired up. When we leave, we start planning our return. When we make our reservation for the following year, we start dreaming and de-stressing. We love hanging out on the deck, whether it’s in the morning with coffee, in the evening with cocktails, or at night looking for shooting stars while admiring the moon. We enjoy the beautiful uncrowded beaches for sunning, swimming, reading, shell collecting, and morning runs along the water. Most of all, we enjoy the calm feeling we all get as soon as we arrive!

  5. My family and I just left a great week at Kick N Back. This house was gorgeous and the views were incredible. We had many evenings of great sunsets. The house beat our expectations and could not have asked for a more beautiful place to stay. The theatre room was definately a plus and the kitchen had everything we needed. I have already booked another stay for thanksgiving week with Surf or Sound who were very accommodating. It was hard to leave this beautiful home and island behind, but I am looking forward to my next stay with Surf or Sound.

  6. Our first visit to Rodanthe was 2 years ago. We wanted to do something really special for our son and his friends who were graduating high school. Well we could not have ask for a more perfect graduation present. We loved the house with the pool steps from the beach. But the time we spent together can never be replaced. These kids have grown up in my house and to have an uninterupted week of fun with them ..heaven. I am blessed to have two great kids of my own and then all their friends my husband and I could not have been happier. We come from Massachusetts where you could argue we have the most beautiful beaches( Maine coast, Cape Cod, North shore, Cape Ann) But the beaches of the outer banks where the water is well above the 65 degrees the maine beaches are at in the summer and they just go on forever I think ties our beauty in the northeast. The slow stressfree way of the outerbanks surpasses the high stress on the go of the northeast by a longshot. We will be returning to Rodanthe in June ’09 this time with my two sisters, their families,and my mom. I can’t wait for them to experience what I have been talking about for two years.

  7. Just got back from Hatteras Island where I escorted a group of German travel professionals for a tour of the Outer Banks. We were fortunate enough to stay at Carolina Dreamin. A beautifully appointed house in Avon. It had everything we could have wanted – and plenty we wish we had more time to enjoy. Staying at such a wonderful and well located destination made the trip and memories over the top!

  8. Last year was our first family vacation ever. When the kids were young we were to busy. But now with the children and grandchildren we have learned to relax a little.
    Along with the Aunt and Uncle this is our 2nd and many more to come vacations in Hatteras. When you cross the Bridge to the Southern Shores Time stops and your transported to a simpler time.Beautiful sunrises and sunset. tranquil walks on the beach talking to the wonderful store keepers, and just zoning out. I think we will keep returning year after year. thank you Hatteras

  9. We had our wedding in Hatteras Village on May 3, 2009. It was beautiful, the wind blowing and the waves behind us! We had a great reception poolside at Splash Landing which I would highly recommend for any event. Great space and great owner! The week was beautiful and we got to spend it with our family down the street at Pondview and a few friends who were able to stay with us. It was an experience we will never forget! Caught lots of fish and had lots of fun!

  10. I have to say that I love the Outer Banks!! My husband and our family will be returning again in 10 days (YEAH!) and it is our 5th year. We enjoy the amazing sunsets, the beautiful beaches, and the friendly people. When I leave there my heart remains only to return again. We look forward to this time every year and our kids begin counting down the days every new year. Surf or Sound has been wonderful to work with! THANK YOU!

  11. My first time on the Outer Banks but it will not be my last if I have anything to say about it. Walking on miles and miles of primitive beaches was something I thought I could only do in my dreams ! The best part for my was going to Hatteras Lighthouse at night star gazing in between the steady light beams coming out of the lighthouse. Counting down to next years vacation.

  12. My family travels to Hatteras Island every year for our family vacation. We feel in love with the island during our first visit, and we decided it would be an appropriate acknowledgement to have our wedding there to accent our seventh visit! I couldn’t have painted a better picture for the soundside ceremony; a beautiful sunset, a hundred friends and family, and dozens of friendly (vacation) neighbors taking in our moment with us. The staff at Surf or Sound deserve more credit than I can express through a blog. Without their tireless effort to accomodate such a large group, we could not have realized our dreams of being married in such a perfect place. We were always greeted with a smile, and kind words. The staff even stood gaurd over our wedding cake until our 9 rentals were ready!

    See you again for our first anniversary! Thanks for everything.

  13. This was the 3rd time and the best time…….everytime has been great but this year was amazing….we couldn’t have asked for better weather……

  14. This was our first time, but not our last! We stayed at Pain Relief and was it ever! We had a perfect location, close to the beach, close to the sound, close to the realty office. Everything was so easy and relaxing, we really loved the Ice Cream truck that drove around. We took a Jeep tour with Corolla Adventures and that was awesome, the weather was a little stormy but we still had a great time and the guide, Jeff, was so knowledgeable and friendly. The restaurants are all so good and we really enjoyed driving to see what else was down the road. The pier in Avon was a very educational trip too a young man was fishing and had caught a shark, what a treat for all of us. This vacation is really meant for young and old. We will be back and we’ll stay at the very same house and can’t wait for that day to come! Thanks so much to the Potter’s, the owners of the home, very welcoming!

  15. Just a note to say we’re on our way and can’t wait. We’ve been coming to the Outer Banks now since 1971 with family and or friends. Have stayed in several different rentals and have loved everyone.The get away is always a perfect vacation rain or shine. Looking forward toward another this year….:)

  16. This is my second comment here and not sure if you will post it but I just can’t say enough about how wonderful our time on the Outer banks was. We just finished our second trip and it was just as magnificent, if not more so, than the first trip. The whole atmosphere of the area is so amazing. The people are friendly. The restaurants and food are delicious. The homes are beautiful. And the beaches. There just aren’t appropriate words to describe the beaches. We took a day trip to Ocracoke Island and just pulled over on the side of the road and walked over the dunes to the beach and it was the most beautiful sight in the world. Miles and miles of ocean, sand, and solitude. We walked and picked up shells for over an hour and never saw one other person in that time. Amazing. It was like having our own private beach. Standing there on the beach, looking out at the sea and watching and listening to the waves crash, is a feeling that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. It will seem like an eternity until we return but I am looking forward to it with much anticipation and excitement. And many, many thanks to the locals for their hospitality and to the homeowners for renting their homes to strangers and most of all, to the people at Surf or Sound for always making our vacation one to remember. The Outer Banks will forever be in our hearts and minds.

  17. Our 8th time as a family in the outerbanks. Started with just my myself, my husband and our three boys. Now we have the five of us, three daughter-inl-laws and 5 grandchildren and the vacation gets better every year. Tried Duck, Nags head and Rodanthe. Keep going back to Rodanthe, renting a h ome ocean front. Very peacful, less crowded, lower dunes and more room on the beach. Spent the week of June 20, 2009. Just got back and miss the stressful life of Rodanthe.

  18. Saturday, July 11 will mark the beginning of our family’s second visit to the Outer Banks. My kids are spilling over with excitment. They loved our visit last year despite the stormy weather and limited beach time. We are heading to the OBX this year with my parents, sisters and their families. It’s will be an awesome trip filled with countless memories. If you’re looking for a place to decompress and relax, the Outer Banks is the place for you. We’re anxiously awaiting our departure at 6 a.m. sharp Saturday morning.

  19. We came back on July 12th after spending two weeks in OBX and had one of our best times ever. We’ve been coming down for about 15 years now. The weather was great, watching the fireworks on the beach as they launched them off Avon Pier was incredible. The only negative thing was the nasty mesquitoes! I have never seen them that bad before but fortunately the wind changed and by the end of our trip they were gone except for under the house. We brough family with us who had never been there and they and their kids fell in love with it just as we had many years ago. Blue claws were awesome at the mad crabber and the slubs were good (as usual) at Bubbas – love that spicey shrimp too (Froggy Dog’s take out had awesome spicy shrimp). We hated to leave! Thanks Surf or Sound for providing us with a beautiful house and stress free vacation!!

  20. surfing with my teenaged boys at s-turns was priceless. the entire chill atmosphere of Hatteras Island gave life to our family. learning to surf at world-renowned locations was exciting.

  21. My husband and I just returned from our 3rd OBX vacation with our family, and could not have been more relaxed or happy! We had come in the summer of ’05 for a family reunion/wedding, and returned in ’06 because we had fallen in love with Hatteras Island. We had not been able to return for 2 summers, and our 3 kids could not wait to return. We stayed again in Rodanthe, and just love the stretch of beach between Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo. Surf and Sound Realty is just awesome to work with and work hard to provide a wonderful family vacation! Our favorite dinner destination has become the Dolphin Den in Avon, for She-Crab soup! Each time we come, we attempt to visit a different lighthouse and try a new activity. This year, we rode the ferry to Ocracoke Island and visited Teach’s Hole (a HUGE hit with my 7 year old son)! We eat fresh seafood right out of the ocean about every night, and spend HOURS on the beaches riding boogie boards, skim boarding, shell hunting, Ghost crab hunting, and just spending NON-scheduled time with our three kids relaxing. My husband and I are seriously considering retiring here in 10 years or so! The locals are so very polite and helpful with any question you have regarding the island. I could go on for hours! The weather this year in July was a bit cooler, but no one minded one bit! We cannot wait to return to Hatteras Island another year….

  22. We all have come to the outer banks for the past five years. Every year gets better. This year the weather was great, the surf was great, and all the facilities at the house were great. Each family (5) my wife and I and our four children and their family each take a night to cook an occasion meal for the rest. Then we have restaurant night and a leftover night. The house we stayed in this year was top shelf and we all loved it All of us do our thing during the day (mostly the beach,pool, and fishing). then spent the late afternoon and evening with each other. It is a perfect family reunion that is celebrated every year. Forgot to mention our beach fire one night that everybody enjoyed.

  23. I hadn’t been back to the outer banks in about 7 years when I was still single. This time I went with my wife and infant son. It is still as beautiful and peaceful as I remembered. Just enough things to do to keep you occupied and entertained without the bustle and problems you find at a busy beach resort town like Ocean City, MD (which is nice in its own way). The winds are pleasant, the sunsets beautiful and the people nice. We loved having dinner at Lisa’s Pizza in Rodanthe, shopping and walking our son in Ocracoke and the serenity and actual space at the beaches. The best kept secret for shopping was Pea Island Art Gallery on the south end of Rodanthe. We found so much beautiful artwork at reasonable prices. And the photos you can take on your own are too numerous to understand until you’re there. Just keep your camera with you at all times.

  24. One night, I strolled with friends down to the sound near our house in Salvo. It was drizzling, but still we wanted to just sit by the sound and enjoy it. While we were walking down the pier, we noticed that the sound looked like it was glittering. As we approached, we realized that the glitter-like look came from the bioluminescence in the water. It was amazing! Every rain drop triggered a glow from the sound water. And then we saw jumping fish glowing! Then we got in the sound and every move we made left a glowing stream! It was an amazing and spectacular sight. Every night after that, we went went to the sound and continued to be in awe! I miss you Salvo!

  25. With our son’s family in Texas and our daughter’s family in NC, and us in PA, for the last 3 years we’ve rented a place for a week in the summer to have all of us together and so the cousins can play (4, 2, and 19 months now). This was our first foray to the beach. It’s been about 40 years since we visited Oregon Inlet. The peace of Salvo was quite nice. Our son-in-law loved surf fishing and the little girls built many sandpiles and dug many moats. We did discover that the littlest is very allergic to mosquitoes and we are grateful to the folks at Nags Head Medical for all their help. Finding dog-friendly places is a necessity for our son’s lovely Sheba Inu mix and the beach at Salvo in the early morning was perfect for their runs. Watching the nightly thunderstorms play over the ocean was beautiful and I love the sunrises over the water.
    It was a delightful week to be together, with no schedules, and just be.

  26. We had a great time. There was 18 adults and 3 children. We decided to divide the gang into two teams (randomly). We played our version of survivor. The first game was hula hoop. The blue team won thanks to our 12 year old nephew. Most of us could keep the hoop around our waste for one time. The next game was to fill the pot up with a cup of water. we made two lines and you had to pass the cup down the line dump it in and then that person had to run bck and get more. The green team won. THe next game was the umbrella toss. Three tries to get the umbrella in the circle. Green team wins again, The blue team was very disappointed. THento our dismay Hurricaine Bill was headed our way and a flood watch was being issued so some of our gang left early. So with a few players we played redneck golf and the blue team won! So in the end we tied. Thanks for the great memories.

  27. we are from montréal québec ,it was our first time on the outer banx and we loved every moment of our stay. the people are so nice and the beaches are fabulous.we just love going to acrocoke beach by ferry,we had our little dog maggie with us,she was welcome every where and treated like a star! we are going again next year just can’t wait! thanks to surf or sound for great service.you will get more visitors from our country,or should we keep it a secret?

    merci for the great memories.

  28. In early September, Three of the guests at Vacation Meditation traveled down Water Association Rd to the lesser explored side of Hatteras Island. We took a hike in the maritime forrest on a well marked trail, encountering a few birds, beautiful butterflies, some giant spiders, and lovely vistas. We didn’t see one other person, and enjoyed the solitude of nature away from the beaches and towns. The mosquitoes were not present the day we hiked. Bug repellent wasn’t needed! Give this a try sometime, when you think you have seen it all on the Island.

  29. Do not miss the Frisco Jubilee when visiting Hatteras Island during the Summer and Fall. A great show of local talent featuring Blue Grass and folk music, even a jazz piece! Well worth the $10 admission, this will be a part of your vacation you will long remember. I’m surprised that this show isn’t sold out every week. It is held in the lovely Methodist Church in Frisco.

  30. one morning while walking on the beach we found a sand dollar and a starfish… the dolphins were also very active…. very awesome vacation! OBX is our very favorite vacation spot.

  31. Emotions of the Ocean, Monday, Avon OBX
    Yikes! I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last blog post. I have a lot to catch up on. Before catching up, though, I’m going to get current. Last week Chris and I went to the Outer Banks of North Carolina on vacation. It’s where we go to fill our souls and release our anxiety and tension. We were very blessed this last time to find a cottage, Canary Sings, which was discounted substantially so we were able to stay on the ocean affordably. The cottage is actually much more beautiful than the pictures indicate. It is behind a good-sized dune, but from the upstairs window, we could see the ocean very clearly. Here’s a picture taken from inside the living room.

    Though I hadn’t intended to paint or draw while I was at the beach (I was on vacation, after all, and art is now my full time job!), I felt so inspired by the view that I could not WAIT to set up my easel and draw the scene moment by moment! I prepared my sanded paper, tearing or cutting it into 9″x6″ pieces, put up my new easels, and set to work.

    The first day I did 6 paintings. Every time I looked out the window, the view was different, and I got so excited I had to get up from whatever I was doing and draw it! It was really fun drawing it because that way I could compare the colors and sky and sea concretely. I was amazed at how much it changed in a short time. Chris suggested a great way to think about it – he said it’s like emotions – they come and go, passing quickly from one to the other, as silly to take personally as the changing weather, and similarly harmless (sometimes they’re not so harmless, as when someone takes their anger out on you – likewise the ocean as when there’s a hurricane).

    Here’s the first day’s worth of images (Monday, March 5)

    The sky was very misty. It was difficult to see the horizon or any details in the sea.

    This one is fairly similar to the photograph I attached at the start of the blog post: cloudy, a bit stormy, grey and green.

    Later the weather cleared up. It was still cloudy, but the sky was showing patches of blue, and I could see the waves much more clearly. Obviously, this picture is more close up than the others!

    Just a little while later, everything was different. There were clouds, yes, but the water was much darker, the clouds much thinner, and the sky was now that gorgeous cerulean blue. What a contrast to the early morning fog!

    So many colors in the waves!

    Can you believe this was the same day as the first picture?? Clear blue sky with just a couple of grey-ish clouds, blue water, calm and relative stillness. Amazing!

    The next few days’ of posts will be the pictures I did at the OBX each day so you, like I, can experience the changing emotions of the ocean.

  32. We visited Hatteras Island on Spring Break 2012 coming from Williamsburg, VA. for eating Dolphin Den, Frogy Dog, at Avon, Hatteras; Fresh see food at Marina at Ocracoke, great family business homemade icecream at KittyHawk. Seeing wild horses was awesome, being at the beach watching the sunrise and sunset with the whole family was priceless. If you want a time to relax and not be disturb by too many people Hatteras is your place. Playing with the waves and watching dolphins swimming near you the ultimate memoey ever. Our kids were more than amazed. Do not eat at Dirty Dicks all the food are not fresh, is frozen and there is no cooking really, only warm frozen food. Not worth expending your money on frozen food.

  33. This was our second year at the OBX in the same vacation home. We love it here and the staff at Surf or Sound have always been helpful and courteous! We arrived on Saturday afternoon and as soon as we entered the house, we were relaxed. It poured on our second day and we all agreed that “A rainy day in the Outer Banks is better than a sunny day anywhere.”. We have an excellent view of the kiteboarders from our 3rd deck and some of the best sunsets I have ever seen on the Sound. This year, we decided to venture out and took the free ferry to Ocracoke and had a wonderful lunch there and walked around to see the sights. Mid-week we also ventured to the NC Aquarium in Manteo and were very impressed with all we were able to see! We had a wonderful vacation and made reservations for 2013 – this time we booked TWO HOUSES! Thanks to Surf or Sound for another wonderful (and memorable) week in the Outer Banks!

  34. Loved our vacation home. This was our 10th year, and we stayed 2 lots back from the ocean in North Rodanthe, midway between Pea Island and the Rodanthe pier. Hurricane Irene really packed a devastating punch last August, and some houses were gone altogether. We had a great dining experience at a restaurant new to us: Rusty’s Surf & Turf in Buxton. If you like fine dining, you know how hard it is to find it on Hattaras Island. This place was fun and relaxing, friendly, and the food was awesome! We’ll be back, for sure.

  35. This was our 6th year coming to the Outer Banks, and our third straight in the Waes/Salvo area. Everyone loved the house. We are planning to get the same house next summer. The kids had a blast and the beach was clean and not crowded. The renatl office handled our in and out processing with ease. The only thing that would have made this trip better, is if it could have been longer. Maybe next year . . . : )

  36. REAL Surf Co has a cafe outback, MOJO – Their fish taco’s on Tuesday are OUT OF THIS WORLD! Don’t miss this spot, and AVON’s Atlantic Cafe’ has the friendliest staff and amazing food! These are two spots that we will always hit when visiting OBX.

  37. We rented Dune Rise 361 and we loved that house. One of the highlights of our trip was the going to Kitty Hawk Kite Store in Avon. My grandson is four years old and wanted to fly a kite up high. The staff was so helpful and showed him kites for first time flyers. He picked one with a dinosaur. On the first try, the kite was up and flying. Our grandson told us that night, this was the most awesome day!!
    We enjoyed the pastries from the Orange Blossom Bakery and Cafe. You have to get there early – 6:30 ish. The apple uglies are great.
    We rode the ferry and ate lunch at Howard’s Pub. Great atmosphere! We even found a WVU flag on display The food is great.
    We ate at Dick’s Crab House. The catch of the day is fresh and both the swordfish and salmon was delicious. The peel and eat shrimp was great.
    We are definately coming back!

  38. This was our first trip to the Outer Banks and my family really had a great time. My 12 year old son loved using the kayak. We rented one for the week and every day he took it out for a ride. We had a day where it rain on and off all day but we did not care we got in our car and decided to go for a drive we visted the light house in Buxton, we found the Native American Muesam, and a cool toy store. So even on rainy day we had a great time. My son love the Kitty Hawk Kite store and I have to say I thought it was pretty cool too I bought a sign there to put in my office at work which my co-workers have found to be very amusing. Overall I can not wait to come back and have another adventure.

  39. MY DAUGHTER’S DREAM WEDDING

    When my 2 children were growing up, we vacationed EVERY year @ The Cape Hatteras Nat’l Seashore Cape Point Campground. We spent days swimming in the warm seas, hpking the trails, watching the shrimp boats come in, ferrying over to Okracoke & participating in the myriad of park activities. When my daughter became engaged, she wanted Cape Hatteras to be the place where she wed. I must say I was a bit taken aback! !!! How was I to pull this “perfect beach wedding” out of my mom bag of tricks???
    ENTER SURF OR SOUND REALTYAND MISS MARCIA( their wedding planner ). She is a gem of a person AND knows her wedding stuff!
    FIRST OFF, she provided the most beautiful house we had ever seen!!!
    I speak of “OAK DUNES” (730) The 7 bedroom sound-side house has a private channel leading to Pimlico Bay(needless to say, kayaks, clamming & crabbing gear were rented). The pool area provided us with the PERFECT place for an intimate wedding reception. THEN, Miss Marcia gave us suggestions for wedding vendors. This is how my daughter, Laurel & I met Jessica Perry of JESSICA’S TRENDY DESIGNS. Jess is the sweetest, most patient, caring gal I have ever had occasion to work with. She came up with such wonderful decorating ideas AND incorporated my daughter’s ideas into it as well. Jess EVEN SUGGESTED a truly fun, talented, down to earth gal named Therese (Sunset Salon) who came to do our make-up & hair. The Inn on Pimlico Sound provided “THE BEST” food ever served at a wedding !!!!!! GREAT CAKES created a lovely coral & white colored 3 tiered “MARVEL”.The minister met with Laurel & John ( my new son-in-law) both up in Kitty Hawk & @ the Hatteras Light’s old location. The wedding was there @ sunset!!!!! Sept 22nd was a warm, sunny day with just enough breeze to billow Laurel’s gown. The guests dined & danced as bubbles floated over the pool & beyond. Couples strolled on the candlelit 100′ private boardwalk leading to our boat ramp. It REALLY was PERFECT!!!! I DID IT BUT certainly NOT alone. Then, We ALL had a lovely two week stay. The weather & water were warm. We swam, sunned, fished, shelled( a lot), kayaked, crabbed, clammed, shopped(a lot) & even enjoyed a movie or 2 IN OUR MOVIE ROOM lol. Some of the guests were first time visitors. They all plan to return again & again. OUR DEEPEST THANK YOUS to the people of Buxton, Frisco and Hatteras Village !!!!!! EVERYONE we met and talked with was so very kind & helpful. SOME had great old-time stories to tell. My ONLY regret was not bringing our doggie, Daisy. Hatteras and Okracoke are EXTREMELY dog friendly Islands !!!
    With much sincerity,
    All who stayed with Surf or Sound Realty at Oak Dunes

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