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Hatteras Island's Southernmost community, Hatteras village is best known for fishing, tourism, history and its remote, pristine beaches. But if you had to define Hatteras village in a word, it would be "fishing."

It started out that way, back in the 1700s when the first settlers relied on the abundance of one of the largest estuarine systems in the world for their sustenance. Eventually the small fishing village evolved into a major sports fishing destination and is now known as the "blue marlin capital of he world." Only 15 miles from the Gulf Stream, the area offers some of the best charter fishing off the North Carolina Coast.

But you don't have to have a boat to fish in Hatteras, which boasts that surf fishing along its beaches is "like no other anywhere else in the world." The beaches offer pedestrian and vehicular access, and every September the village hosts an Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament, with over 90 teams competing. And there's a number of other water sports to enjoy, both ocean and sound side, particularly surfing. The shore's proximity to where the cold water Labrador Current collides with the warm water Gulf Stream results in some of the largest waves available on the East Coast. On the west side of the village, the Pamlico Sound offers plenty of other water activities, including swimming, windsurfing, kiteboarding, canoeing and kayaking.

A home faces the Pamlico Sound in Hatteras

Where to stay in Hatteras

Vacation rental homes are the most popular way to stay in the Outer Banks. Rental homes are available in Hatteras from:

Hatteras Attractions

Hatteras Landing - The focus of Hatteras Village is Hatteras Landing, a soundfront complex offering shops, restaurnts, live music and a self-service marina. Located at the Southern end of Hatteras Island next to the NCDOT Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry terminal, visitors will find bicycle and moped rentals, fishing charter boats, and great sunset views.

Fishing boats line marina docks in Hatteras NC

Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum - The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum is one of the newer attractions along Hatteras Island, but it is also one of its most comprehensive, covering centuries of maritime history within its distinctive, ship-haul style structure. Located at the very edge of Hatteras Village, adjacent to the Hatteras / Ocracoke Ferry Docks, this museum pays homage to the shipwrecks, US Lifesaving Service crews, hurricanes, and other local legacies that have made the island the historic gold mine that it is today. Visitors can catch a glimpse of the First Order Fresnel Light that originally topped the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, or learn about the first all-African American lifesaving crew in history that rose to fame after their courageous rescue of the E.S. Newman. With all these stories perfectly detailed within the museum, in addition to a fantastic on-site gift shop and beach access located just across the street, the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum is a must see for anyone who wants to dive into the fascinating stories of Hatteras Island's dangerous and centuries-old relationship with the sea.

Hatteras/Ocaracoke Ferry - Ocracoke Island is only accessable via boat or airplane, and most people take their cars via the official NCDOT ferry. Schedules and fees are available online.

Miss Hatteras offers fishing, dolphin watching, eco tours and pirate cruises

Fishing - Hatteras is synonymous with fishing. Surf fishing, fishing charters, deep sea fishing, fishing tournaments, etc. You'll find it all here.

Watersports are a big part of the Hatteras lifestyle

The Beach - If you dream of secluded beaches, look no further than Hatteras Island. The beaches of Hatteras Island are managed by the National Park Service as part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Here are some things to know about Rodanthe beach policies:

  • Pets are allowed on a leash no longer than 6ft, year-round. Pets are prohibited on designated swimming beaches. Service animals are allowed at all times.
  • Fireworks are not permitted in Hatteras.
  • Beach fire permits are required. Print, sign and keep your paper permit with you (permits available here). From May 1 to November 15, beach bonfires are only allowed at Coquina Beach, the villages of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco and Hatteras, and the Ocracoke day use area. From November 16 - April 30, Beach fires are allowed throughout the park. Fires are allowed from 6am - 10pm. An adult must be present. Fires must be on greater than 3 feet in diameter. Fires must be built and maintained below the high-tide mark and 50 feet from any vegetation. Fires cannot be left unattended, and must be extinguished upon end of use. The area must be cleaned up.
  • Beer is allowed on the beach. Wine and liquor are not officially permitted. Please drink responsibly.
  • Metal detecting is NOT allowed within National Parks.
  • There are no lifeguard stations in Hatteras.
  • It is illegal to walk on the dunes, and it is also illegal to pick live sea oats growing on the beaches.
  • Fill in any holes you dig. Holes in the sand can be a hazard.
  • Be mindful of Noise. Most communities consider a violation of the noise ordinance to be any sound that can be heard from inside a nearby residence, and any load noise after approximately 11:00 p.m.
  • No glass on the beach. Be mindful of glass bottles. Alcohol is allowed on all beaches, but if at all possible, stick to cans and plastic to save future beach-goers from any bare foot injuries.
  • Surf fishing is allowed. A fishing license is required in North Carolina and can be obtained before your vacation via the NC Marine Fisheries and Wildlife website, or a fishing license can be purchased at most any tackle shop on the Outer Banks.
  • 4x4 Driving on the Beach - The beaches of Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island are managed by the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Permits are required, and can be purchased online and sent via mail, or in person at one of the following locations: Coquina Beach office, Cape Hatteras Light Station, and the Ocracoke Visitor Center. Each vehicle must have its own permit. Vehicles must be registered, licensed, insured, and have a current safety inspection if required in home state/country. Vehicles must have low-pressure tire gauge, shovel, jack and jack support board. A spare tire, first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, trash bags, flashlight and tow straps are recommended. ATV's are not permitted. Night driving is generally allowed from November 16 through April 30. See current access ramps and beach closings by visiting this page and clicking on the "daily beach access map". Obey all posted signs.

Hatteras Events

Day at the Docks - Shoulder season Hatteras Island visitors who happen to come to the Outer Banks on vacation in mid-September are in for a treat. Every year, the docks along the small village of Hatteras burst with activity, with crabbing and fishing demonstrations, dozens if not hundreds of boats circling the harbor, and a chowder contest to end all Outer Banks' chowder contests. This culmination of waterfront activities, shows, and educational seminars is all part of Day at the Docks, an annual festival that celebrates the life of the Hatteras Island watermen. Admission is free, and Hatteras Island vacationers won't have too much trouble tracking down the event. As NC Highway 12 winds through Hatteras towards the Ocracoke ferry docks, the streets suddenly become covered with colorful banners, a dozen tents, and crowds of happy families enjoying the scene. Held rain or shine every year on a mid-September weekend, this is one festival that anyone with an inherent love of great seafood, fishing, or Hatteras Island will truly appreciate.

A pelican perches on a pier in Hatteras Village

Wings Over Water - Mid October each year, wildlife enthusiasts gather in the Outer Banks to enjoy the mild shoulder season weather and lower lodging rates. The main attractions are 400 species of migrating birds in wildlife preserves. Guided birding trips, kayak tours and art classes are very popular during this week-long event.

Hatteras Village Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament - Early September - The Hatteras Village Civic Association sponsors this Surf Fishing Tournament with over 90 participating teams. The event is open to anyone interested in a fun filled weekend.

Capital City Four Wheelers Surf Fishingin Tournament - Third weekend in October - 50 people sign up each year for this saltwater fishing tournament. Proceeds go to charitable organizations.

Hatteras Grand Slam - Early July - It started as a bet, and now more than ten years later this tournament offers large prizes and great competition. Open to anyone regardless of boat style.

A beachfront home in Hatteras Village

Hatteras Today

Though the focus of fishing changed over the years, it remains a major source of revenue for the village and has become the backbone of its tourism industry. Locals consider the commercial and charter fleets based at Hatteras village as its "anchor" as well as "the core that unites" all seven Hatteras Island communities. To celebrate the industry's importance in the "Spirit of Hatteras," every year this close-knit community sets aside a "Day at the Dock," when boats parade into the harbor for a ceremonial "Blessing of the Fleets."

Even for those who don't fish or get in the water at all, there's still good reason to keep going south after you visit the island's famous lighthouse in Buxton - and stop before crossing over to Ocracoke. The most recent and one of the most interesting attractions for many visitors is the new and expanding Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, located adjacent to the Hatteras Inlet ferry terminal. The facility displays some of the country's most important maritime artifacts from an area with one of the highest densities of shipwrecks in the world.

Whether you want to fish, soak-in the sun or the area's extensive history, mingle with this small amicable community or just be alone on a remote beach, Hatteras Village has it all. And most important, you can take your time getting around to whatever it is. The village's official website makes a point to let you know, "Here, time is slow and gracious... a companion, not a master."

Photos of Hatteras

     Surfing in Hatteras is popular almost year round   A ride aboard the NCDOT Hatteras/Ocracoke ferry Cabin rentals in Hatteras Village The line for the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry in Summer Graveyard of the Atlantic museum in Hatteras Oceanfront homes in Hatteras A soundfront home in Hatteras Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet Ferries come and go from Hatteras Inlet The highly-visible Hatteras Landing next to the ferry terminal

4x4 Beach access offers convenient access to your beach gear

Surf or Sound Realty

Surf or Sound Realty

Surf or Sound Realty is located on Hatteras Island, part of the pristine Cape Hatteras National Seashore just south of Nags Head on The Outer Banks of North Carolina. Regularly found on Top Ten lists for the Best Beaches in America, Hatteras Island’s beaches and villages are quiet, family friendly and picturesque. Since 1978, we have offered weekly premier Hatteras Island vacation rentals from single family beach cottages to expansive oceanfront estates with a wide range of luxury amenities. We serve thousands of happy Outer Banks vacationers every year and look forward to seeing you at the beach this year! Contact us for more information about our beautiful Hatteras Island Vacation Rentals on Outer Banks, NC today!

Currituck Beach Lighthouse

Currituck Beach Lighthouse

The Currituck Beach Lighthouse, located in the heart of Corolla, borders the historic Whalehead Club and still functions as a guide for passing mariners. At 162' feet tall, the lighthouse's First Order Fresnel light, (the largest size available for American lighthouses), can be seen for 18 nautical miles as the light rotates in 20 second increments.

Coastal Provisions Oyster Bar and Wine Bar Cafe'

Coastal Provisions Oyster Bar and Wine Bar Cafe'

What began in 2006 as a gourmet market has evolved into one of the area’s top restaurants featuring an indoor and outdoor Oyster Bar, and Wine Bar with over twenty wines available by the glass. The lunch menu showcases their amazing sandwich creations of house roasted deli meats on fresh baked ciabatta bread and creative condiments, a variety of seafood tacos, and a selection of steamed or crispy fried seafood.  For dinner, choose from a great selection of small plates, fresh local seafood, prime and natural steaks, and of course their famous award-winning crabcakes.  The dining room is surrounded by their extensive wine shop selections, available at regular retail prices with no corkage fee.

Outer Banks Birding

Outer Banks Birding

For bird lovers, the Outer Banks is hard to beat. This delicate chain of barrier islands is not only home to dozens of different native shorebirds, but also thousands of migrating birds who make a rest stop on the Outer Banks every year. Add to this the fact that the islands have hundreds of miles of deserted beaches, maritime forest, and marshlands for species to quietly flourish, and it's clear that the Outer Banks is literally for the birds.

Jimmy's Seafood Buffet

Jimmy's Seafood Buffet

Jimmy’s Seafood Buffet is a great stop for an all you can eat affordable dinner extravaganza. The buffet offers over 100 different items. It even serves Jumbo Alaskan crab legs and Jumbo steamed shrimp, something you will not find on any other buffet in the OBX. The buffet offers a variety of seafood and non seafood options. Try some of Jimmy’s seafood options and load your plate with blackened tuna, Louisiana crawfish, steamed scallops and mussels, fried oysters and deviled crabs. Not in the mood for seafood? Fill your plate with carved and sliced turkey with gravy, steak, cheese pizza and fettuccini alfredo. The buffet also offers a kid section. Let you kids load their plates with chicken tenders, hot dogs, broccoli, curly fries and tacos. Don’t forget dessert! The buffet also offers soft serve ice cream, and a plethora of baked goods. 

Rundown Cafe

Rundown Cafe

Offering full lunch and dinner menus with American and seafood fare and cocktails. Voted best deck dining on the beach. Relaxed and family friendly atmosphere. The spectacular view from Rundown Café’s newly renovated upstairs Hula bar deck is unrivaled on the beach. The restaurant offers seating on the deck, as well as more intimate seating inside either the upstairs bar or more family oriented downstairs dining room.  

Buxton Woods

Buxton Woods

Perhaps the reason that this area of maritime forest goes unnoticed, (an area which in fact comprises the majority of Frisco Village), is simply because the oceanfront beaches just yards away are too alluring to ignore, and garner the lion's share of vacationers' interest. This is understandable, as when most folks think of an Outer Banks vacation, they envision miles of unspoiled beaches, refreshing ocean waves, and plenty of room to spread out a beach blanket, and Frisco's beaches have all of these attributes in spades.

Elizabeth II

Elizabeth II

Anyone with a fascination of history and America's European roots will love a day exploring the Elizabeth II, a historic 16th century sailing vessel that is docked along the borders of the Roanoke Island Festival Park. This ship can be admired by virtually anyone who takes a stroll along the downtown Manteo waterfront, as it sticks out like a sore thumb amidst the modern day sail boats, yachts, and fishing boats that are docked nearby. The wooden exterior and brightly colored Tudor flags sail in the breeze, and the sight of the resting ship certainly feels like a step back in time.

Coastal Kayak Touring Company

Coastal Kayak Touring Company

If you are looking for adventure, stop by or call Coastal Kayak Touring Company and book your reservation. The company has been offering kayak and paddle boarding tours on the Outer Banks since 1999 and is located at the Waterfront Shops in Duck. Whether you choose to tour the Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, the Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Reserve or Alligator River, you are bound to have a wilderness experience like none other. Kayak tours are perfect for all ages and experience levels.

Ocracoke, NC

Ocracoke, NC

The Ocracoke Harbor is easily the busiest quarter mile stretch of Ocracoke Island. Consisting of a small, lagoon-like section of saltwater, and lined by a semi-circle of docks, restaurants, shops, marinas and motels, visitors will find that any and all of the activities on Ocracoke Island can most certainly be found harbor front.

Wanchese, NC

Wanchese, NC

Wanchese, located well off the beaten path of the typical Outer Banks beach towns, has a charm all its own with quiet residential side streets, local grocery stores and small dives that serve up the freshest seafood, and one of the busiest marinas on the islands. Wanchese has a long history of being a fishing village, and the residents take pride in that heritage. A brief tour of the town will present a collection of local homes and businesses with impeccable maritime gardens, and crab pots and painted wooden boats serving as coastal yard decor. While located miles away from the oceanfront, Wanchese can easily be considered as home to the true character of the Outer Banks. Salty, rustic, and scenic, a trip through Wanchese allows visitors to have an up-close-and-personal view of everyday Outer Banks life.

Slice Pizzeria

Slice Pizzeria

Sometimes you want a whole pizza, sometimes you just want a slice. Thankfully with Slice Pizzeria, you’ve got plenty of options. This popular dine in and take out restaurant serves up some of the tastiest pizzas you can experience on the beach, all made with fresh ingredients so that you can taste the quality.