Things To Do on Hatteras Island NC

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Things To Do at Cape Hatteras

Last updated 9/28/2023

Things To Do in Hatteras NC

Things To Do On Hatteras Island

Hatteras Island, North Carolina is a hidden gem in the Outer Banks that is sure to leave a lasting impression on its visitors. Whether you're looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life or seeking an adventure-filled vacation, Hatteras Island is the perfect destination for you. With its pristine beaches, beautiful wildlife, and endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, there's never a dull moment on Hatteras Island. After you find your perfect vacation rental, here are several things to do while visiting this magnificent place.

Explore the Beaches

One of the most popular activities on Hatteras Island is to soak up the sun on its beautiful beaches. With miles of pristine sand, warm waters and gentle waves, this is the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun. Whether you prefer sunbathing on a beach chair, taking a dip in the ocean, or lounging in the sand, the beaches of Hatteras Island are the perfect place to escape from the world and unwind.  This is possible from both sides of Hatteras Island!  Enjoy the well known sandy beaches from the oceanfront, or experience the lesser known sandy beaches with calmer, shallow waters on the soundfront!  In addition to sunbathing and swimming, visitors can also participate in a number of water-based activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding, surf fishing and more.

Learn to Paddleboard on Hatteras Island

Whether you are a novice or experienced paddleboarder, Hatteras Island is an excellent place to learn how to paddleboard.  Hatteras Island has 55 miles of beautiful soundfront and oceanfront coastline where anyone can enjoy this laid back sport.  If you are an experienced paddleboarder, try it out the ocean.  For the novice, the soundfront is calmer and easier to stay up, although even calm ocean days can be a great time for paddleboarding behind the waves.

Take a Walk on the Beach

Take a leisurely walk on the beach and enjoy the sights and sounds of Hatteras Island. With its endless stretches of sand and calm waters, this is the perfect place for a morning or evening walk. Hatteras Island allows you to take in the beauty of the sunrise or sunset over water from the same island!  Enjoy the peace and quiet of this idyllic location.

Outer Banks Horseback Riding

The Outer Banks is a unique spot with activities and landscapes you won't experience anywhere else.  Hatteras Island in particular is a beautiful place to go horseback riding. The island is home to miles of pristine beaches, lush forests, and rolling dunes. There are several companies that offer horseback riding tours on Hatteras Island, and they offer a variety of rides to suit all levels of experience.

If you're a beginner, you can take a short ride through the woods or along the beach. More experienced riders can take longer rides that explore more remote areas of the island.  No matter what your experience level, horseback riding on Hatteras Island is a great way to experience the beauty of the Outer Banks. You'll get to see the island from a whole new perspective, and you'll have the chance to bond with a beautiful animal.

Outer Banks Horseback Riding Companies

If you're looking for a unique and unforgettable experience, I highly recommend horseback riding on Hatteras Island. You won't be disappointed.  Here are a few places that offer horseback riding in the Outer Banks where you can book online:

Take a Beach Tour

Hatteras Island Beach and Village Tours is a unique local experience for those who want an experience on Hatteras Island or Ocracoke Island they won't forget!  These tours last up to 4 hours and are great for large or small groups.  This is a great way to learn and experience the simple & natural wonders of these islands.  Who knows, maybe you'll run across a sea turtle nest - which are common along Hatteras Island.

Visit an Outer Banks Lighthouse

The Outer Banks is home to several lighthouses, many of which you can climb to the top for a view like you've never seen before!  Check each lighthouse web site in advance in case the lighthouse is undergoing any maintenance or closures.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse - Hatteras Island

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest and one of the most recognizable landmarks on the island and is a must-visit for all visitors. Climb the stairs to the top of the lighthouse for a panoramic view of the island and the surrounding waters. Take a guided tour of the lighthouse and learn about its history and significance to the local community.

Bodie Island Lighthouse - Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Bodie Island Lighthouse is located at the north end of Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  In case you were wondering, the correct pronunciation of Bodie Lighthouse is the same pronunciation as "Body".  This lighthouse is surrounded by wetlands and allows you to experience nature and learn some history at the same time.

Ocracoke Lighthouse - Ocracoke Island

While not open for climbing, Ocracoke Lighthouse is a great place to visit on a day trip to Ocracoke Island.  While you're there, check out many of the other attractions and beaches available only on Ocracoke Island.

Drive on the Beaches

Take your vehicle off-road and enjoy Hatteras Island beaches!  Make sure to check the rules for driving on Outer Banks beaches, then find the best beach access ramp.  Do yourself a favor and air down your tires.  Don't end up one of the many off-road first timers that gets their vehicle stuck in the sand from not airing down their tires.

Enjoy a Wildlife Safari

Hatteras Island is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including sea turtles, dolphins, whales, and ospreys. Take a wildlife safari tour and learn about the local wildlife and the measures being taken to protect it. This is an educational and enjoyable experience for the whole family.  November through mid-April is the ideal time for whale watching, dolphins on the other hand can be seen year round in from the oceanfront at Hatteras Island.  There are many suitable oceanfront homes for whale or dolphin watching.  You can even catch whale plumes of mist from your oceanfront deck at the right time of year!

Take a Scenic Drive

There are many excellent spots in North Carolina to take a scenic drive.  The Outer Banks Scenic Byway is one of the best scenic drives in the state of NC.  Better yet, you can stay in the comfort of your own vehicle and stop of at many of the great restaurants, shops and more in the Outer Banks whether it's raining or sunny outside!  Many families with kids take scenic drives to the Outer Banks since there are so many things to do with kids.

Where is the outdoor Barbie attraction on Ocracoke Island?

Ocracoke Island is home to a unique outdoor Barbie collection on Jackson Circle.  This Barbie attraction has a collection of clothed & unclothed barbie dolls hanging from trees.  If you're a Barbie fan taking a trip to Ocracoke Island, it's worth a stop!  Photography is welcome.

Try a Hatteras Island Escape Room

Escape Hatteras, located in Fricso, is the first Hatteras Island escape room. It's up to you to escape the room using your intelligence, team cooperation, creativity and problem-solving skills. One of the rooms is based on the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. This is a great activity for ages 5 and older, and up to six people can be in the escape room at one time.

Go Fishing

Hatteras Island is known for its abundant fishing opportunities. Whether you're a seasoned angler or a beginner, you'll find plenty of opportunities to catch a variety of fish, including tuna, red drum, and blue marlin. Take a fishing charter and experience the thrill of fishing in the open ocean, or try your hand at surf fishing on the beach.  You will find many fishing spots located along Hatteras Island.  Feel free to check the Fishing Report before going out.  Youth under age 16 are exempt from needing any fishing license.

Beach Adventure

If you're traveling with your furry friend, Hatteras Island is the perfect place to bring them. With miles of dog friendly beaches, this is the perfect place to take your dog on a beach adventure. Walk the shoreline, play in the waves, and enjoy the beauty of this island paradise with your four-legged friend.  Many of the towns along Highway 12 have paved sidewalks for safely walking your pets on Hatteras Island, however the beaches are always pet friendly!

Explore the Local Culture

Hatteras Island has a rich history and cultural heritage that is worth exploring. Visit local museums and galleries to learn about the history and culture of the island, attend one of the many festivals and events that are held throughout the year, or experience the many unique restaurants Hatteras Island has to offer. From the Hatteras Island Ocean Festival to the Hatteras Island Arts and Crafts Fair, there's always something happening on Hatteras Island.

In conclusion, Hatteras Island is a true paradise that offers something for everyone. Whether you're looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an adventure-filled getaway, Hatteras Island has it all. So pack your bags, find an oceanfront or soundfront home to fit your group, grab your sunscreen and head to this idyllic island to experience all that it has to offer.

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