Where to stay in Frisco

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

The small beach town of Frisco on Hatteras Island is easy to miss. Sharing an indistinguishable border with Buxton, and showcasing a small collection of homes and amenities, this small village may not necessarily stand out in a crowd of noticeable neighboring attractions, like the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in Buxton or the ferry docks in Hatteras, both located just a few miles away.

Take a closer look, however, and visitors will discover a postcard-perfect beach getaway, complete with fantastic expanses of shorelines, mini golf courses, restaurants, shops and convenience stores, and plenty of sea-worthy vacation rentals to go around. Buffering the oceanfront shoreline, or tucked away along the saltwater canals and communities along the wooded soundside, the vacation rentals in this town are serene, diverse, and ideal retreats for any beach lover.

The Frisco Beach Scene

Like all of the villages on Hatteras Island, Frisco has an "oceanside" and a "soundside" which is determined by the two-lane NC Highway 12 which cuts through the length of the town.

The majority of the soundside is wooded terrain, as this section of Hatteras Island is home to one of the East Coast's largest maritime forests, and many of the campgrounds and communities have either exceptional Pamlico Sound access, or bordering deep water canals that wind through the region and eventually lead out to the Pamlico Sound.

On the oceanside, Frisco is an especially interesting village, as it is essentially the locale where the wooded maritime forest ends and the strictly beach terrain begins. Basically, this means that there are areas of northern Frisco where travelers can drive for several miles east along shaded side streets and see nothing but woods, while just a couple miles away, an eastern turn along NC Highway will lead visitors to the ocean within seconds. Clearly, due to this distinct geography, the width of Frisco varies greatly, with narrow strips of island that boast both ocean and sound views, and areas that are wide and have woods deep enough to get lost in. Frisco is also home to the highest point on Hatteras Island - a series of sand dunes that are located adjacent to the National Park Service campground.

When it comes to the beach itself, Frisco is pretty hard to beat. A section of shoreline is open to both pedestrians and 4WD vehicles, accessible by Beach Ramp 49 next to the tiny Frisco Airport, and is a popular destination for fishermen and beach goers alike. In front of the majority of ocean-facing beach homes and communities lies a long stretch of relatively private and uncrowded beaches, with a scattering of families to share the sand.

Because Frisco lies south of Cape Point, or "The Point," (the geographical position where Hatteras Island begins to face the Atlantic Ocean in a southwest direction), the Frisco beaches are generally warmer and more shallow than its northern Outer Banks neighbors. With a gradually sloping shoreline, ocean fans will find they can "walk out" many yards into the water without worrying about not touching bottom, and the small waves that these conditions produce are ideal for body boarding, skimboarding, ocean kayaking and even stand-up paddle boarding, and also provide a safe swimming environment for kids. In addition, the gentle slope with no sudden drop-off allows small but delicate shells to wash up in spades. Frisco is a secretive shelling location, and it's not unusual to find small piles of oyster drillers, (which resemble small conchs), olive shells, sand dollars, and even Scotch Bonnets, washed up along the low tide line on a daily basis. Essentially, the beach here is among the best on the Outer Banks, with few crowds in the residential areas, great swimming and wading conditions, warm temps, and solid beachcombing potential.

Off the beach, the amenities may be sparse in Frisco compared to central or northern Outer Banks standards, but long-time visitors find they have everything they need to stay entertained. Frisco has several art galleries, one of the island's best mini golf courses with neighboring go-kart track, several restaurants, several bait and tackle shops / convenience stores, and even a pizza place. Frisco is also home to the Hatteras Island Pier, which though devastated during back-to-back storms, Hurricane Earl and Hurricane Irene in 2010 and 2011, is in the planning stages of being renovated for future guests. In addition, visitors with a private plane can fly into the area via the Billy Mitchell Airport, the only airport on the island, which is a small landing strip with several unmanned buildings and facilities open to its users.

Essentially, on the surface, it might not seem like Frisco is very distinctive on the Outer Banks beach scene, however upon closer inspection, the village has all the markings of a great vacation town. With wonderful beaches, a collection of shops and restaurants, and just enough local amenities and natural landscapes to keep guests interested, Frisco is the perfect beach town for beach lovers.

Types of Rentals Available

There are several campgrounds in Frisco which have become popular with ocean and sound fans alike, but the majority of Frisco is comprised of vacation rental homes and beach cottages. In Frisco, there are no condo complexes, hotels or motels, just rental homes, however these accommodations can span from 2 bedroom oceanside retreats to towering 12 bedroom oceanfront or soundside estates, entailing that virtually any party size can be accommodated.

Frisco is known for several soundside communities that are an interesting mix of year-round homes and rental homes. One of the largest of these communities is Brigands' Bay, an expansive soundfront collection of side streets, the majority of which border a string of soundside canals that lead out to the water. These neighborhoods are ideal for boaters, kayakers, and anyone who loves a good sunset, as located just a few lots away from the Pamlico Sound, these communities have simply incredible waterfront views. In addition, the neighborhoods are very family-friendly, with seldom-used side streets that are perfect for jogging, biking, and afternoon strolls.

On the oceanside, visitors will find a collection of homes that range from classic, (and sometimes historical), 2-4 bedroom cottages to 6-10 bedroom homes with all the bells and whistles of a modern day luxury vacation rental. These amenities can include theater rooms, private pools, hot tubs, and game rooms, with plenty of multiple living areas, dens or lofts to ensure everyone in the family has a space to call their own. In recent years, more development has occurred along the soundside, and vacationers will find equally impressive estates bordering the Pamlico Sound. Many of these rentals also double as premier accommodations for weddings and special events, and couples should examine these quiet retreats, often shaded from the rest of the world by towering live oaks, for quiet ceremonies and receptions that are secluded and truly memorable.

Regardless of size and location, all communities in Frisco are generally small, and generally close to the water. In the oceanside communities, guests in virtually any home will enjoy a quick walk to the beach, reaching the ocean in 5 minutes or less, while visitors who stay in the soundside communities will always find the Pamlico Sound just a quick kayak paddle away. These are the main attributes that inspire frequent Frisco vacationers to return year after year, and with plenty of small-town charm and southern hospitality to boot, a vacation rental in Frisco is a family-friendly, relaxed getaway that everyone will enjoy.

Benefits of Frisco Vacation Rentals

There are a few reasons why Frisco visitors are devotees to the town, not the least of which are the beaches themselves. Quiet and uncrowded in the residential areas, with warm water temps and small waves, Frisco is ideal for families who spend their beach time both in and out of the ocean water. Folks who stay in an oceanside vacation rental will also be impressed with the proximity to the beach. The southern end of Frisco is incredibly narrow, and as such, even homes that border NC Highway 12 generally have exceptional ocean views and / or access.

Many vacationers also appreciate the slower pace of life, and the lack of amenities, while still having just enough to have anything a visitor might need. For example, Frisco vacationers can go out to breakfast, lunch and dinner, swing by an art gallery, or even call out for pizza, but these small businesses are spread out throughout the town, making virtually every residential community feel like its own private paradise.

Finally, the big draw to Frisco for many folks is its notoriety, or lack thereof. Frisco may be a perfectly ideal beach town, but few people have ever heard of it until they drive through along NC Highway 12. This lack of recognition has allowed Frisco to remain small and beloved by the handful of visitors who return year after year.

With just enough amenities to keep visitors happy, but with a dominant focus on the beach and sound waters that have put Hatteras Island on the map, Frisco is a quietly pristine beach town without airs or big attractions, and longtime visitors wouldn't have it any other way.

Considerations of Frisco Vacation Rentals

One of the biggest considerations for Frisco visitors is simple geography. Because the town is located on the southern end of Hatteras Island, it tacks on an extra hour of driving for traditional central Outer Banks vacationers, who are accustomed to staying in Nags Head or Kill Devil Hills.

In addition, the town itself has limited major amenities, particularly grocery stores. There is a chain grocery store located approximately 15 miles north in Avon, and a small but well-loved privately run grocery store in Hatteras village, about 7 miles to the south, but Frisco only has well-stocked convenience stores and restaurants for immediate grocery or grub needs. Granted, this isn't a major inconvenience, and many vacationers find the quiet atmosphere well worth the lack of major amenities. That being said, visitors who like to be close to major attractions and lots of entertainment options may not welcome Frisco's laid back atmosphere that is focused around the beach and the water.

Essentially, Frisco is a good fit for vacationers who like to stay in those little-known destinations off the map, but who still want options when it comes to a great lunchtime sandwich or a fresh baked breakfast pastry. In Frisco, you can find just about anything you're craving, but it might take a little hunting and a little drive, which could cut into valuable beach time. The order of the day in Frisco is basically to lay back, relax, and just enjoy the wild scenery that Hatteras Island has provided.

Tips and Tricks for Frisco Vacation Rentals

  • Vacationers who crave the best of both worlds - ocean and sound - should take a good look at the vacation rental properties that are available on the southern edge of town. Bordering miles of Atlantic and Pamlico Sound waters, this stretch of Frisco is quite narrow, and as a result, features incredible views in all directions. For ocean sunrises that eventually drift over into sound sunsets, this collection of vacation rental homes offer the best of both worlds.
  • For a fantastic public beach, check out the two public parking areas in between the villages of Frisco and Hatteras. Heading south, the first public beach access, locally known as "the bathhouse," features restrooms and showers in addition to its wide parking lot, while the second access is located just a couple miles south, and is a barely used soundside parking area that's just a quick stroll away from the incredible beaches. Either locale can provide Frisco soundside vacationers with an easy route to two fantastic and relatively uncrowded beaches.
  • Visitors who are staying in the Brigands Bay region should definitely bring their boat along. With deep canals that quickly lead to the Pamlico Sound, and are located just a 10 mile cruise away from Hatteras Inlet and the open water route to the Gulf Stream, these vacation homes are fantastic launching points for mariners who want to explore all of Hatteras Island's most famous boating regions.
  • Want to take to the skies but don't have a plane to bring along to the Outer Banks? Consider taking an aerial tour, courtesy of the Burrus Flying Service and Air Tours based in Frisco. Visitors can take a 1-3 hour cruise along Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands and enjoy an incredible view of the Outer Banks from an entirely new perspective. Aerial tours are offered seasonally, and are incredible trips that are definitely photo worthy - after a spin around the islands, you may never look at the Outer Banks the same way again.
  • History buffs or anyone who wants a closer look inside Frisco's unique culture should pay a visit to the Frisco Native American Museum. The distinctive yellow-trimmed and one-story complex on the soundside of NC Highway 12 is hard to miss, and is open year round to the public for a nominal donation. Inside, visitors can explore the roots of local, regional, and even national Native American Tribes, and rotating exhibits include a nature walk, a bird room, and an extensive gift shop with all things Native American.

Frisco is certainly an interesting mix of typical beach amenities and small-town charm, and visitors who locate this small town have trouble leaving it at the end of their vacation. With a hearty handful of locally owned restaurants, beach stores, galleries, and restaurants, Frisco visitors will find ample options to curb their appetites for good shopping and great food. But the big attraction in Frisco is the beach, and those ocean sunrises and sound sunsets are hard to beat, especially for visitors who are staying in a southern home that presents both vistas with gusto.

Outer Banks visitors who crave simplicity, a handful of amenities, and great beaches will fall in love with Frisco. With ample beach room, vacation rentals and cottages located within walking distance of the ocean or sound, and miles of maritime forest in between, Frisco can easily feel like its own private retreat. On your next Outer Banks vacation, don't pass this town by. Instead, take a moment to relax, or better yet spend a week in a Frisco vacation rental, and discover why this virtually unheard-of town has a big reputation among local and visiting devotees.


Donutz on a Stick

Donutz on a Stick

Stay, Play and Eat- Donuts, Ice Cream & Coffee Treats! Located on the Duck Boardwalk, behind Dockside Seafood, this breakfast & Dessert-Shop features treats you've never tasted before! Try the hot, made to order, donutz on a stick with more than 35 toppings! They'll melt in your mouth! Or try the Gluten-Free Donuts; limited quantities, daily. Plus, try any or all of the 9 flavors of homemade tastefully twisted soft serve. Frozen yogurt, sorbets, sherbet, hand dipped and homemade ice cream flavors.


Unique coffees, sodas and espresso that will satisfy the whole family. Mix-and-match nostalgic candies and much more. Bring the carnival to your mouth and eat it like nobody’s watchin’! Donutz-On-A-Stick- where visual stimulation meets taste bud overload!


Carnival Treats at the Beach—With Flavorful Creations and Allergy-Friendly Options, Donutz on a Stick Serves Up Sweet Treats for Everyone


David and Stephanie were not always in the business of carnival confections. In fact, Stephanie was a fitness instructor and David worked in the computer field. But he loved donuts and she loved ice cream, and when they saw an opportunity to bring their favorite treats to beachgoers, they jumped on it.


In 2014, the couple opened their first Donutz on a Stick—a family-run, family-friendly dessert shop on the boardwalk. They quickly realized that in order to serve everyone, they would need to get creative. “We had a family who would come in, and one of the little boys would have to wait by the door because of his gluten allergy,” David says. “That didn’t sit well with us. We wanted everyone to come under the same roof no matter what kind of allergies they had. And we continue to work towards that goal.”


The Williams’ daughter Desireé spent six weeks experimenting until she created a gluten-free donut that was totally safe and delicious. Gluten-free donuts are now a huge part of the business, with more than 1,000 being served each day, just out of the Duck location. But you will want to call or stop by to reserve them in advance.


The Williams’ other three children, David, Justin and Christian, have all invented menu items as well, such as Christian’s donut milkshake, which features hot and fresh cooked donuts blended into a milkshake with another donut on top making it picture perfect.


While all the Williams have created menu items, the most popular pick—the donut sundae—was actually a happy accident.


“We were being featured in a local magazine and we could only have one photo for the article,” David says. Since both ice cream and donuts were equally popular, “we built the donut sundae for the photo and we discovered after the photoshoot that it tasted amazing. It was completely serendipitous.”


The Williams family is constantly creating and improving upon their recipes. At the heart of it all is a desire to see everyone come in and enjoy an experience together. They want to bring the carnival to your mouth.


“No matter how busy we are—even if there’s a line down the boardwalk—every customer gets that engagement and service from us,” they say.


The family has since opened a second location in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area.

Big Buck's Homemade Ice Cream

Big Buck's Homemade Ice Cream

Serving our customers on the Outer Banks since 1994, Big Buck's ice Cream is dedicated serving you “The Best.” We offer a full line of super-premium ice cream products, smoothies, chocolates, and custom-made ice cream cakes! 2 locations are open all year: Kitty Hawk, at Buccaneer's Walk Shopping Center and Manteo, at The Waterfront Shops.


We offer a full line of Espresso Drinks from Hot Vanilla Cappuccinos and Hot Chocolate to Iced Caramel Lattes & Frozen Mochas, all made to order. Big Buck’s fresh fruit smoothies are lactose-free and made to order. Also offering lactose-free sorbets made from the best fruits available. Old time favorites are sure to please! Choose from a delicious collection of milkshakes, sundaes and banana splits.


Savor the moment with our Homemade Chocolate! Chocolates are made daily in each location. We offer a large selection from Dark to Milk to White. Milk Chocolate Oreos & Almond Toffee, Dark Chocolate Berries and Cherries Clusters & Hand-dipped Peppermint Patties with a Drizzle of White Chocolate, Extra-Dark Sea Salt Caramels & our famous homemade caramel chocolate pretzels oh & don’t forget the ever-popular caramel pecan turtle, just to name a few treats!


Belinda Pleva grew up serving ice cream out of her parent’s shop. She loved being part of what she calls “a happy business.” “I love it when people come into the shop and you hand them something, and it makes them smile,” Pleva says. “That moment when you hand an ice cream cone over to a little kid and their eyes just light up. That’s what I love about the ice cream business.”


In 1994, Pleva opened up her own ice cream and chocolate shop, Big Buck’s Ice Cream, in the brand-new Timbuk II Shopping Center in Corolla. Business was good, but something was missing.


“I was never satisfied with the ingredients in the ice creams and chocolates you could purchase back then. I wanted to serve my customers delicious flavors with ingredients they could actually pronounce,” Pleva says.


Pleva took a trip to Italy to study the gelaterias. She fell in love with the incredible flavors, and when she returned home to the Outer Banks, she began working tirelessly to perfect the flavors in her own ice cream.


Big Buck’s homemade ice cream combined the flavors of the Italian gelaterias and the richness of American ice cream. It quickly became a tourist favorite. After having the same unsatisfactory experience with the readymade chocolates she was selling, she also took a trip to Brussels to learn more about making handmade chocolates. Pleva brought the chocolate-making experience right back with her, and the result was the finest quality of chocolates on the Outer Banks.


After her huge success in the Corolla shop, Pleva was able to open up three more shops—one in Kitty Hawk, one in Manteo and one in Duck.

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