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:

When long-time locals and vacationers talk about "the way the Outer Banks used to be," chances are they are referring to Hatteras village. This small beach town located on the southern edge of Hatteras Island has remained basically unchanged over the past couple of decades, and other than the addition of several condo complexes and towering vacation rental homes, remains the same coastal fishing village it was when NC Highway 12 was paved all the way to the southern borders of the Outer Banks.

Today, visitors will relish that same coastal charm that has appealed to visitors for generations, but enjoy a quiet assortment of amenities, attractions and restaurants to make their beach vacation a decadent affair. With a large number of local art galleries, fantastic waterfront restaurants, and the largest concentration of charter and tour boats along the southern Outer Banks, Hatteras visitors will have a well-rounded vacation that includes a world of fun both on and off the beach.

For a quietly relaxing beach stay that offers just enough amenities and adventures to be a unique and thrilling vacation, consider renting a vacation rental in small but celebrated Hatteras village.

The Hatteras Beach Scene

Though small, with a roughly 5 square mile area, Hatteras village has a lot to offer potential guests. The town is unique in that it starts out as a narrow stretch of beach on the northern borders, and widens allowing two "main" roads to cut through to the varying neighborhoods and communities. One road is of course NC Highway 12, which travels the length of Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, and the other is Eagle Pass Road, which circles through the oceanside of the southern region of town, and gives visitors a quieter route that bypasses the town's center.

As visitors head south along NC Highway 12, Hatteras village becomes more populated with businesses and services. The town is home to a local fire department, a small medical center, the Hatteras Island Library, and the oldest grocery store on Hatteras Island, which is located in the very center of town. There are also a number of shops and restaurants bordering the highway, and the historic US Weather Bureau Station, which now serves as a Visitors' Center, and is unmistakable for its unique lemon yellow, brick, and black trim facade.

Keep heading south along NC Highway 12, and visitors will come across the town's many marinas - at least a half dozen - that serve as the home for dozens of commercial fishing vessels, privately owned boats, and local charter fishing and tour boats that cater to visitors. Each marina has its own distinct collection of amenities and features to entice guests to visit, which include convenience stores, delis, gift shops, and some of the most scenic waterfront restaurants on the Outer Banks, perched above the harbors, and offering miles of views of the Pamlico Sound.

The majority of businesses in Hatteras are found along the "main drag" of NC Highway 12, and on either side are an assortment of year-round residences, and more commonly, vacation rental homes that are located along the ocean or sound, and offer great walking-distance access to the local attractions. Hatteras village is also home to the Outer Banks' newest museum, the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, which is an unmistakable arc-like structure located at the very southern end of NC Highway 12. The borders of the village end with the Hatteras Ferry Docks, which provide free ferry service to Ocracoke, and which also border one of the island's largest shopping plazas, Hatteras Landing. Here, visitors will find a realm of retail therapy that includes locally owned gift shops and regional chain beach stores, seasonally open for visitors to enjoy.

Hatteras village enjoys a longstanding reputation as the "Blue Marlin Fishing Capital of the World" and this is due in no small part to the number of charter businesses that launch from the area, as well as its proximity to the Gulf Stream. Located just 10-15 miles away from the massive current, Hatteras village is essentially the closest Outer Banks town to deep sea fishing, and visiting anglers take advantage of this proximity year after year, with half-day or full-day trips on the hunt for marlins, dolphins, tuna, mackerels, and other big game and sport species.

In addition, the southern edge of Hatteras Island, which is accessible only by a 4WD vehicle or a long hike on foot, presents some of the best surf fishing conditions on the island. Here, anglers are able to cast out into the open waters of Hatteras Inlet to reel in some big species passing through en route to the Pamlico Sound or Atlantic Ocean.

The beaches in Hatteras village are often overshadowed by the fishing and harbor activity, but long-standing Hatteras devotees know that the beaches are some of the village's best attractions. Because the town is located west of "The Point," or the turning point where the shoreline tends to face southeast instead of east , the ocean temperatures in Hatteras are generally 5 degrees warmer than the northern Outer Banks regions, and the ocean floor has a gradual slope, making it easy for swimmers of all abilities to wade out and splash around.

The beaches in front of the vacation home communities are closed to 4WD vehicles in the summer and shoulder seasons, and as a result, are only accessed by folks staying within the neighboring communities. This makes these stretches of shoreline virtually deserted, with just a handful of families to share the sand, and plenty of fantastic locales to set up beach chairs, canopies, and even a volleyball net. The surf is gentle enough for practicing surfers, skimboarders, ocean kayakers, body boarders, and even stand-up paddle-boarders, with typically smaller waves that break far away from shore.

Next to Ocracoke and Portsmouth Island, Hatteras village also has some of the best shelling conditions on the Outer Banks, thanks to the lack of population in addition to the gentle ocean and sound facing beaches. Visitors who do a little beach hunting along the inlet tend to have the best luck, as the sound and ocean facing beaches can produce everything from intact Scotch Bonnets to delicate sand dollars on a regular basis.

Though its allure is generally a well-kept secret among long-time vacationers, Hatteras village truly does have something for everyone. With exceptional beaches, world-class fishing, great restaurants, shops and galleries, and a world of outdoor fun to explore, Hatteras may very well be the perfect little beach town. Just be sure to keep it to yourself, and not to let the secret get out.

Types of Rentals Available

Hatteras village has all sizes and styles of accommodations, from modern condos to classic beach cottages, to some of Hatteras Island's most elite oceanfront and oceanview estates.

There are three main condo complexes located in Hatteras village, including one on the soundfront, one on the oceanfront, and one bordering a wide saltwater canal that leads out to the sound, and is an ideal retreat for boaters. All of these complexes have their own unique lures to draw in vacationers, including expansive community pools, wide boardwalks to the beach, and even private sound-facing gazebos to take in the nightly waterfront sunsets. Visitors who only need a bedroom or two, and envision a romantic waterfront Outer Banks retreat, should explore their options in the local Hatteras village condo scene for some exclusively elegant, private, and all-together accommodating vacation homes.

Just as the condos available vary, so do the assortment of vacation rental homes located both on the soundside and oceanside of NC Highway 12. These cottages can range from classic 3 bedroom beach boxes to illustrious estates bordering the oceanfront, and have a world of amenities to offer vacationers.

Hatteras village has a collection of some of the most elite vacation rentals available on Hatteras Island, clustered both in the northern end of town, and especially the southern edge of Hatteras' village limits, close to the Hatteras / Ocracoke ferry. These estates offer panoramic ocean to sound views, sprawling great rooms, well-supplied great rooms, multiple master bedrooms with ocean or sound views, large private pools with Tiki bars and even putt-putt practice greens, and incredible step-out-the-backdoor access to Hatteras' most attractive beaches. A number of celebrities have stayed in these homes over the years, and they are considered the creme de la creme of Outer Banks vacation rentals, perhaps second only to the estates in Corolla.

In short, Hatteras vacationers can have it all, from romantic 1 bedroom condo retreats to the most luxurious homes along the Outer Banks, and yet still enjoy the fantastically secluded access to some of Hatteras Island's best undiscovered beaches. For a quiet getaway or a luxury retreat that feels like its own private island escape, Hatteras village is an ideal refuge for seclusion-seeking vacationers.

Benefits of Hatteras Vacation Rentals

The private-resort feel that an elite Hatteras village vacation rental can offer is one of its biggest draws to potential vacationers. The beaches in Hatteras village are never crowded, even in the height of the summer season, and as such, any vacation rental getaway can feel like it has exclusive access to its own private island.

In addition, oceanview or oceanside homes in this area are always within a 5 minute walk of the shoreline, with the majority offering stunning ocean or sound views, even if they are located a few lots away from the waterfront. This gives any Hatteras village vacationer fantastic access to the local beaches, regardless of locale, while enjoying easy walking or biking access to the local stores, restaurants, and other amenities or attractions.

Hatteras is also a premier destination for fishermen, as the bevy of charter fishing boats available along its harbors in addition to the open access to the inlet, the sound, and the ocean, makes the offshore or surf fishing opportunities among the best on the Outer Banks.

And while Hatteras village may appear at first to be a strictly fishing town, in essence, it appeals to all types of vacationers. Beachcombers, beach bums, watersports lovers, and activity lovers will all find outlets here, from the shopping plazas and art galleries to the quiet beaches, making this destination attractive to family members of all tastes and interests.

Considerations of Hatteras Vacation Rentals

The biggest consideration for potential Hatteras village vacationers is the location. Arriving from the north, Hatteras is a good 1.5 hour drive from the Wright Memorial Bridge, the gateway for northern vacationers to the Outer Banks, and southern or North Carolina mainland visitors will have to cross two ferries to arrive at their final Hatteras village destination. There are also no chain stores in Hatteras, with the exception of a beach store or two, so visitors who crave major grocery shopping trips will have to head north to Avon, located approximately 20 miles away.

Hatteras village is also devoid of fast food chains, typical large-scale beach attractions like mini-golf courses or movie theaters, and night clubs that stay open until the early morning hours. Basically, visitors who crave a limitless number of vacation attractions that don't revolve around the waterfront would be advised to consider the more popular central Outer Banks destinations of Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, and Kitty Hawk, as Hatteras village is a small town with a handful of amenities to keep visitors entertained on the off-rainy or cloudy beach day.

Hatteras village is a great destination for visitors who crave privacy, unspoiled beaches, and a middle-of-nowhere locale where the biggest task of the day is relaxing on a sun deck and admiring the ocean views. While limited in busy activities, Hatteras is abundant in waterfront views, good beaching, and great fishing, and outdoor lovers will feel right at home.

Tips and Tricks for Hatteras Vacation Rentals

  • For a little fun off the beach, take a trip along the Eagle Pass Nature Trail. This short .25 mile trail is easily accessible by even the most novice of hikers, and features wooden boardwalks and shaded overlooks over Hatteras village's endless series of salty canals that wind through the region. Nature and history lovers alike should also explore the side streets located past the US Weather Station for a pleasant walking or driving tour of historic Hatteras cottages adored with beautiful gardens, live oaks and Spanish moss.
  • Visitors who want to take a last minute charter fishing trip should keep an eye out for 1-2 person availabilities which are advertised at the local marinas, and occasionally, on harbor front marquis. While a charter fishing trip for parties of 3 or more generally require a bit of planning and advanced reservations, parties of 1-2 can often join an already partially-booked boat for exceptional fishing, and reduced rates to boot.
  • For such a small town, Hatteras village has a big community spirit, and vacationers should pay attention to the local events calendar to see what fun and community-wide activities are happening during their stay. Mid-September visitors may correspond their visit with the annual Day at the Docks Festival, a weekend-long celebration that honors the local fishing industry, while holiday visitors can enjoy the annual Hatteras Christmas Parade celebration, which attracts floats and volunteers from all over Hatteras Island. White plenty of small events as well to round out the year, such as weekly fish fries or art shows, a Hatteras vacationer will find plenty of fun ways to immerse themselves in the local maritime community.
  • One of the best times to flock to Hatteras village is the fall. The September and early October months present some of the best surf fishing conditions, miles of open beaches for pedestrians and 4WD vehicles, and plenty of restaurants and shops still open to cater to visitors. Best of all, the ocean temps stay warm well into early October, while the beaches are virtually deserted, with just a scattering of vacationers to share the shoreline. Many visitors find that after a fall vacation to the Outer Banks, it becomes an annual tradition that is enjoyed every year, and despite Hatteras village's quiet reputation as a pristine beach town, new visitors are always welcome.

To newcomers, Hatteras village may seem like a fishing town first and a vacation town second, but many long-time visitors can attest that the two reputations go hand in hand. The town is an ideal launching point for extensive deep-sea excursions or lazy days on the beach, depending on the vacationer's whim, and with a wide assortment of beach condos, classic cottages, and elite retreats to choose from, Hatteras has all vacationers covered for taste-specific accommodations.

Enjoy a week of great beaches, great shelling, and exceptional fishing, all while feeling that you have the shoreline all to yourself. With just enough restaurants, galleries and shops to fill up a breezy afternoon or evening, Hatteras is the perfect retreat for Outer Banks vacationers who want to relax and enjoy the great outdoors, while having a few off-the-beach adventures on the side.


American Pie

Discover the best homemade ice cream and authentic made-from-scratch New York Style pizza the Outer Banks has to offer at American Pie in Kill Devil Hills. An Outer Banks favorite for lunch, dinner or a delicious scoop of scrumptious ice cream after a day at the beach.


It was 1978 when Eddie and Lou Miller first opened Miller’s Seafood and Steakhouse. As a teenager, their son Brian spent his summers working in the restaurant, getting familiar with the family business. After college, Brian and his wife Beth came back to Kill Devil Hills and began working together at Miller’s. Brian and Beth officially purchased the restaurant from Eddie and Lou in 2007. A few years later they opened American Pie together, and both restaurants now carry on the Miller family tradition of quality, excellence and hospitality.


“I learned everything about the restaurant business from my parents,” Miller says. “They ran the business together for all those years, and now my wife and I are doing the same. “Throughout the summer, we’re feeding around 2,000 people a day in our two restaurants. It’s a challenge we embrace every season, and we get a lot of fulfillment from making it all work.”


The Millers focus on two main specialties: high quality foods and unparalleled service. Seafood at Miller’s is fresh and locally caught, and they serve high-quality Angus beef, fresh pastas and homemade desserts. At American Pie, guests enjoy hand-tossed pizzas and homemade ice cream.


“We put a lot of time and effort into ensuring the products we bring in are top-notch,” Miller says. “Our customers know that when they visit our restaurants, they’ll be getting the quality and consistency they’ve come to know and love.”