Home Blog Things To Do on Hatteras Island When It Rains


When I think of my beach vacation I picture baking in the hot sun with the music on, riding an over-sized unicorn raft in the waves like it’s a mechanical bull with one arm around its neck and the other arm focused on not spilling my freshly made (and rather delicious) Margarita. Beach hair, friends and family running amuck and someone is definitely taking a Frisbee to the face because they either:

a) Just aren’t skilled, bless their heart
b) Were at the wrong place at the wrong time*
c) Got neck-deep into the Margaritas
d) All of the above

*DISCLAIMER: This actually happened to me last week…

Let me tell you what I don’t picture on my beach vacation: rain. BUT it happens. Unfortunately, the weather gods cannot always be wrangled and thus, from time to time, it rains at the beach. For this very purpose, we have put together a list of fun things to do in Hatteras Island when the rain tries to ruin your vacay but you refuse to let it.


1. Caffeinate
Chill at one of Hatteras Island’s coffee shops such as Uglie Mugs or Dancing Turtle. Providing signature coffee drinks, smoothies, teas and more, this is a great way to get pumped up before a day out on the town! Or sit down with a good book and spend a couple hours while the rain passes by.

2. Hit the Shops
This is an obvious given. Take this time to find a little memento of your trip to Hatteras—a sweatshirt, a t-shirt, a hermit crab…?

You can also peruse the various Hatteras boutiques for that perfect sundress or pair of sandals. Stock up on locally made jewelry perfect for you, but also perfect for gifts! Who says you can’t start Christmas shopping in July?

3. Snuggle Up with a Book
Didn’t pack a beach read? Don’t sweat it! We don’t have a Barnes & Noble, but we do have Buxton Village Books which is way better! This cute little shop on Highway 12 in Buxton is filled to the brim with tons of good reads. Current on the hot reading lists and new releases, you can find anything from a good literary legend to the latest cult classic.

4. Restaurant Hop
Yes, I am suggesting that you definitely stuff your face. One thing Hatteras Island is good for is some delicious eats. Seafood can be cooked a million different ways and we have a thing or two to show you. Don’t like chicken of the sea? Don’t panic, we have chicken of the land too! Some of our favorite spots? Dinky’s Waterfront Grill, Hatteras Sol, and Sonny’s Waterfront.

5. Treat Yo’ Self
Make it a spa day! Schedule a massage with one of the island’s finest massage therapists. You’ll be so relaxed you’ll walk out of that place feeling like a wet noodle!* Line up a refreshing facial package and make a day out of it!

*DISCLAIMER #2:   This also happened to me and people thought I had gotten into the Margaritas, when in fact, I had not.

6. Learn About Hatteras Island History
There are some pretty cool educational museums/historical landmarks that are worth the visit if you’re interested in how Hatteras Island came to be such a cool little island. The Frisco Native American Museum & Natural History Center is packed with really cool artifacts and a wealth of information about the Native Americans and their life on Hatteras Island. Tour the grounds of the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station and learn about the island’s ancestors who risked their lives to save those whose perilous journey led them into the Graveyard of the Atlantic. And then hit the south end of the island to learn more about those treacherous shoals at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum.

7. Get Artsy
You could easily fill up a couple of days perusing the island’s art gallery selection. Almost every village has at least one and some of them offer classes! Create a fairy house or make a funky piece of pottery when you visit Kinnakeet Clay Studio and Showroom or try a “paint and sip” class at one of the galleries down south.