Home Blog Top 7 Reasons to Add Hatteras Island to Your Short Travel List: Exploring


Spending months planning a trip isn’t always feasible, but getting away for a week can be. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, all you have to do is head to Hatteras Island to get some divine relaxation. No need to hop three planes, a train, two buses and a cab to get to your vacation hot-spot when you can pop in the car, turn up the tunes and drive a few hours to the beach. Bonus? It’s more than just 70 miles of unadulterated seashore and tranquility! There’s sights, there’s shopping, there’s food and more! We’ve put together a list of our top 7 reasons to head to our sandbar in paradise and guess what reason number five is…

Reason #5: Exploring

Exploring on Hatteras Island

Adventuring your way through Hatteras Island on hikes through the maritime forest, kiteboarding in the Pamlico and fishing in the Gulf Stream is phenomenal on most days, but when you can’t muster the energy to be bold, exploring the area piece by piece will be enough to make your IG explode! Take a day of your trip and do the island hop and visit the surrounding areas. Hop a ferry, ride a bike and drive a car to see the sights of the Outer Banks!

Roanoke Island

Exploring on Hatteras Island

Home to the Elizabeth II, the Elizabethan Gardens and Roanoke Island Farm, drive into Manteo and head north for a day of fun and history. Explore the NC aquarium on Roanoke Island and get up close and personal with sting rays, horseshoe crabs and some white-spotted bamboo sharks! Then scurry on over to the “Open Ocean”, a 285K gallon exhibit complete with various sharks and large game fish. Afterwards pop on over to Island Farm and travel back into life in the 1800’s. Explore the exhibits, buildings and grazing livestock on the Etheridge Farmstead before heading over to the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, the preserved location of Roanoke Colony, the first English settlement in today’s United States of America in 1587. Step into the shoes of America’s first settlers, who would later disappear, leaving behind the centuries old mystery of the “Lost Colony”.  Circle back and end your day at Roanoke Island Festival Park. Climb aboard the Elizabeth II, a representation of one of the seven English ships of the Roanoke Voyage of 1585. Recreate life on the ship and the tale of exploring a strange new world.

Ocracoke Island

Exploring on Hatteras Island

Hop a ferry and head on over to Ocracoke Island for a day in a tiny village with a lot of heart. While driving may seem the most convenient, go the extra mile and bike your way to this fun little town. There is roughly 15 minutes of driving time between the ferry and the village itself, which may seem intimidating if you’re going to be on bike all day, but never fear because there is a pony pasture pit-stop about half way if you need a peaceful rest. The village attractions themselves are close enough that driving the town seems like more start and stop than anything, but on bike you can get a sense of what island-life is like, and see the unique ins and outs that you may miss by car…truthfully just trying to stay out of the way of those on bike or foot. Some must sees beyond the ponies are the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse and the Ghostwalk Tours. Some must tries are the delish eats at the dockside SMacnally’s Raw Bar & Grill, breakfast/lunch at Pony Island Restaurant, tacos at Eduardo’s Taco Stand and wine and beer at Zillie’s Island Pantry. Catch the late ferry and do dinner at the well established Back Porch or Dajio or turn up the heat at the authentic Thai Moon.

Bodie Island

Exploring on Hatteras Island

While Bodie Island is largely thought of as the area between Oregon Inlet and Whalebone Junction, it is technically adjoined with the Currituck Banks to form one contiguous peninsula where there was once an inlet in the area that is now known as Nags Head. Home to both the Bodie Island Light and the Currituck Beach Light, you can create your own lighthouse tour when combining these two historic landmarks with the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse, and of course, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Learn fun facts about flight when you visit the Wright Brothers National Monument and the East Coast’s largest sand dune, Jockey’s Ridge. Additionally, you’ll find a full day’s worth of shopping and eats in the more built-up and bustling portion of the Outer Banks.