Must-Do Activities for Your Luxury Hatteras Island Vacation

  • Posted on

12 Must-Do Activities on Your Luxury Hatteras Island Vacation

Hatteras Island, nestled in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, is a haven for vacationers seeking luxury, adventure, and natural beauty. With its stunning beaches, rich history, and a plethora of activities, Hatteras Island promises an unforgettable vacation experience. Whether you’re planning a family getaway, a romantic retreat, or an adventure-filled trip, here are 12 must-do activities on Hatteras Island that will ensure you make the most of your stay.

1. Visit the Iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

The Nation's Tallest Lighthouse

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, standing at an impressive 210 feet, is the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States. Originally constructed in 1870, the lighthouse was moved 2,900 feet inland in 1999 to protect it from shoreline erosion. Climbing the 257 steps to the top offers breathtaking panoramic views of the island and the Atlantic Ocean. The lighthouse is not only a symbol of maritime history but also a beacon of preservation efforts.

Why You Should Visit

  • Historical Significance: Learn about the rich maritime history and the innovative engineering involved in moving the lighthouse.
  • Spectacular Views: Enjoy unparalleled views of the island and the surrounding waters.
  • Photographic Opportunity: Capture stunning photos of the iconic structure and the scenic vistas.

2. Relax at Frisco Beach

A Beach Lover’s Paradise

Frisco Beach is renowned for its serene atmosphere, soft sandy shores, and pristine waters. It’s the perfect spot for sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing. The beach’s gentle waves make it an ideal location for families and those looking to enjoy a relaxing day by the sea.

Activities to Enjoy

  • Swimming and Surfing: Dive into the refreshing waters or ride the waves on your surfboard.
  • Beachcombing: Explore the shoreline for unique shells and sea glass.
  • Picnicking: Pack a picnic and enjoy a meal with a view of the ocean.

3. Explore the Hatteras Island Ocean Center

Educational and Recreational Hub

The Hatteras Island Ocean Center offers a variety of activities that cater to all ages. From interactive exhibits to guided nature walks, the center is dedicated to educating visitors about the island’s unique ecosystems and marine life.

Highlights of the Ocean Center

  • Exhibits: Learn about the island’s coastal habitats, wildlife, and conservation efforts.
  • Wetlands Walk: Take a guided tour through the coastal wetlands and discover the diverse flora and fauna.
  • Kayaking and Paddleboarding: Rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the surrounding waters.

4. Cast a Line at Avon Fishing Pier

A Fisherman’s Dream

Built in 1963, the Avon Fishing Pier is a beloved landmark and a hotspot for fishing enthusiasts. Extending over 600 feet into the Atlantic Ocean, the pier provides ample opportunities to catch a variety of fish, including red drum, bluefish, and flounder.

Why Visit Avon Fishing Pier

  • Fishing: Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice, the pier offers excellent fishing conditions.
  • Scenic Views: Enjoy stunning views of the ocean and the shoreline.
  • Family-Friendly: The pier is a great spot for a family outing, with plenty of space for children to safely explore.

5. Discover Local Art at Pea Island Art Gallery

A Cultural Gem

Located in Salvo, NC, the Pea Island Art Gallery showcases a diverse collection of works by local artists. From ceramics and woodwork to fine art and jewelry, the gallery offers a unique glimpse into the creativity and talent of the Outer Banks community.

What to Expect

  • Variety of Art: Browse through an extensive collection of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and handmade crafts.
  • Workshops: Participate in art workshops and learn new techniques from local artists.
  • Unique Souvenirs: Find one-of-a-kind pieces to take home as a memento of your trip.

6. Go Horseback Riding on the Beach

An Unforgettable Experience

Hatteras Island offers affordable horseback riding tours that take you along its beautiful beaches. Suitable for all ages and skill levels, these tours provide a unique way to experience the island’s natural beauty.

Benefits of Horseback Riding

  • Scenic Ride: Enjoy a leisurely ride along the shoreline with stunning ocean views.
  • Family-Friendly: No age limit means everyone in the family can join in on the fun.
  • Memorable Experience: Create lasting memories as you trot along the beach with the sound of waves crashing beside you.

7. Savor Fresh Seafood at Buxton Seafood

A Seafood Lover’s Delight

Buxton Seafood is a must-visit for anyone who loves fresh, local seafood. The market offers a wide selection of seafood, including tuna, clams, and blue crabs. You can also find a variety of spices and sauces to enhance your culinary creations.

What’s Available

  • Fresh Seafood: Enjoy the freshest catch of the day, straight from the local waters.
  • Local Specialties: Try local delicacies like blue crabs when they’re in season.
  • Gourmet Ingredients: Find the perfect spices and sauces to complement your seafood dishes.

8. Participate in Art Lessons and Workshops

Unleash Your Creativity

Hatteras Island is home to numerous art galleries that offer lessons and workshops. Whether you’re interested in painting, pottery, or other crafts, these classes provide a fun and educational way to spend your time.

Workshop Highlights

  • Unlimited Supplies: Enjoy access to a wide range of supplies, including specialty paints, stencils, and brushes.
  • Expert Guidance: Learn from experienced artists who can offer tips and techniques.
  • Finished Products: Create your own piece of art to take home as a souvenir.

9. Explore Buxton Woods Coastal Reserve

A Natural Haven

Buxton Woods Coastal Reserve is a protected area that offers a glimpse into the diverse ecosystems of Hatteras Island. The reserve is home to a variety of plant and animal species and provides excellent opportunities for hiking and wildlife observation.

Why Visit Buxton Woods

  • Biodiversity: Discover the unique flora and fauna of the coastal forest.
  • Hiking Trails: Explore the scenic trails that wind through the reserve.
  • Wildlife Watching: Keep an eye out for local wildlife, including birds, deer, and other animals.

10. Visit Kinnakeet Clay Studio & Showroom

A Pottery Enthusiast’s Dream

Located in Avon, NC, Kinnakeet Clay Studio & Showroom offers a unique experience for those interested in pottery. The studio provides classes and workshops, allowing visitors to try their hand at creating their own ceramic pieces.

What to Expect

  • Hands-On Classes: Learn pottery techniques from skilled instructors.
  • Showroom: Browse the showroom for beautiful ceramic pieces created by local artists.
  • Unique Gifts: Purchase handmade pottery as a special gift or keepsake.

11. Stay at a Luxury Hatteras Island Vacation Rental

Unmatched Comfort and Convenience

Hatteras Island Vacation Rentals offers a variety of luxurious accommodations, from oceanfront homes to soundfront properties. These rentals come equipped with premium amenities, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay.

Features of Hatteras Island Vacation Rentals

  • Waterfront Locations: Choose from oceanfront or soundfront properties with stunning views.
  • Pet-Friendly: Bring your furry friends along for the vacation, as many rentals are dog-friendly.
  • Private Amenities: Enjoy private pools, hot tubs, game rooms, and more.
  • Convenient Access: Benefit from keyless check-in, free WiFi, and close proximity to local attractions.

Examples of Luxury Rentals

  • Lady of Dare: A 6-bedroom oceanfront home in Avon, NC, featuring a private pool, hot tub, game room, and unbeatable ocean views.
  • Seas the Breeze I & Seas the Breeze II: These adjacent 10-bedroom soundfront homes offer elevator access, private pools, hot tubs, game rooms, theater rooms, exercise rooms, and private docks. Ideal for large groups or family reunions.
  • Sounds Sea'rious: A new 10-bedroom soundfront rental in Avon, NC, perfect for watersports enthusiasts, featuring a two-tier pool deck, private beach, and stunning views over Pamlico Sound.

12. Plan Your Outer Banks Vacation with Hatteras Island Vacation Rentals

Why Choose Hatteras Island Vacation Rentals

  • Premier Vacation Homes: Stay in top-quality, well-maintained homes in the best locations.
  • Owner Managed: Enjoy the highest level of customer service from owner-managed properties.
  • Pet Friendly: Bring your pets along, as many rentals are dog-friendly.
  • Advance Bookings: Plan ahead and book your vacation rental up to two years in advance.
  • Price Match Guarantee: If you find a better price elsewhere, Hatteras Island Vacation Rentals will match it prior to booking.
  • Premium Amenities: Experience luxury with private heated pools, hot tubs, game rooms, and more.

Additional Services

  • Beach Gear Rentals: Rent everything you need for a day at the beach.
  • Vacation Planning: Get tips and advice on the best time to visit, local weather, and must-see attractions.
  • Special Offers: Sign up for special offers and receive $100 towards your next vacation rental.


Hatteras Island offers a perfect blend of relaxation, adventure, and luxury. From the historic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse to the serene beaches and vibrant local art scene, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Staying at a luxurious Hatteras Island vacation rental will enhance your experience, providing the comfort and amenities needed for a truly memorable trip. Plan your next vacation to Hatteras Island and discover all the wonders this beautiful destination has to offer.