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


Tons of us have a travel bucket list. Italy, Morocco, New Zealand, Peru–the list is endless! But sometimes you just need to get out of town for a few days. Some time to recharge and get a break from your normal day-to-day routine. There’s no need to sacrifice something you want out of a vacation when you can have it all, and we happen to know of a little place where you can have just that! There are obviously a ton of reasons to visit Hatteras Island, but for now we’ve gathered our top 7 reasons to add this little hot spot to your short travel list. Reason number 6?

Reason #6: Learning

Learning on Hatteras Island

Everyone wants something different out of their vacation. Some want to eat and drink their way through the week, some want action and adventure, some want rest and relaxation and some want to be stimulated through learning. Any of those subsets of people would be happy vacationing on Hatteras Island, but the learner would be particularly intrigued as our history game is strong.

Frisco Native American Museum

Learning on Hatteras Island

Hatteras Island is rich with the history of our Native American ancestors. Dedicating their lives to preserve the voice of the natives is Joyce and Carl Bornfriend, owners and founders of the Frisco Native American Museum in the second southernmost village on Hatteras Island. While the building doesn’t seem of great size from the outside, you can easily lose yourself in the maze of exhibits that fill the multi-level space. Within them you’ll find everything from jewelry to moccasins to authentic headdresses, animal skins, saddles, art, items they made and used in their day-to-day lives such as tools, hunting devices, pottery, baskets, blankets and much, much more. Artifacts and replicas alike will take you back to a time when man lived strictly off the land as the collection is well curated and displayed for the ease of spectator understanding. If planned accordingly, you can also visit their annual “pow wow” that draws visitors from all over the country. And before you go, be sure to visit their fantastic gift shop for souvenirs and gifts that you won’t find anywhere else!

Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station

Learning on Hatteras Island

When driving onto the island, you will find the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station roughly half a mile into the village on Highway 12 as you are coming into Rodanthe. Restored by the Chicamacomico Historical Association (est. 1974) at the direction of community activist Woodrow Edwards, the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station encompasses seven acres and eight original buildings. You can walk the grounds and through the buildings to see what life was like during those times and learn about the missions of the men who saved many a life from finding its final resting place in the Graveyard of the Atlantic. Another unique activity offered in the height of the season is staged reenactments in which folks are dressed in fully traditional garb, creating a fun and exciting learning experience for folks of all ages.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Learning on Hatteras Island

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in the village of Buxton is an island treasure on multiple levels. Not only has it, too, saved multiple lives performing its intended purpose as a beacon of warning for ships sailing in the dangerous Graveyard of the Atlantic, but it is also the tallest lighthouse in North America, standing at 208 feet tall. In 1999, the lighthouse made a historic move a mere 1,500 feet away to its current location in order to prevent it from falling into the nearby Atlantic Ocean. Islanders and visitors alike gathered to see the structure moved from one point to another and still come from all over to see this important part of history and surf the break at the old lighthouse location referred to by locals as “the first jetty”, as it is the first of three jetties that were put in place in the early 1970’s to prevent erosion near the lighthouse. While the jetties did cause less erosion in the Buxton area, they ultimately failed their intended purpose, hence the necessary move in 1999.

The old lightkeepers quarters now serve as a museum and giftshop, and the National Park Service frequently hosts activities such as their “Full Moon Climb” during the warmer months on Hatteras Island.