Home Blog Best Things to Do on Hatteras Island in September


Shoulder seasons are the ideal time to visit Hatteras Island as the weather continues to be consistently warm, but visitor numbers have dwindled considerably as school is back in session. Restaurant waits are basically non-existent, grocery lines aren’t nearly as long, and you’re likely not going to get smacked in the face with some kid’s Frisbee two parties down at the beach because that kid is in class and you can spread out—go ahead, take as much beach as you need. Starfish on that beach towel. Not a soul is watching.


1. Dine out:

After Labor Day, the restaurant lines become significantly shorter, and as school is back in session, they also become much quieter, so dining out can be quite a treat! What better time to try the “Small Course Crawl”?

2. Dine in:

Mix it up and put that 5-star kitchen in your vacation rental to good use. Drop by one of the seafood markets and add some local flare to your favorite dish.

3. The Beach:

It goes without saying that while traveling to the beach, you should probably make sure to go to the beach itself. Again, with fewer folks on-island, there is far more room to spread out and play.  But the pretty skies and warm weather combined with the warm waters coming off of August’s blazing temps truly make it unbeatable!

4. Sunset Chasing:

Fall is the prime sunset season on Hatteras Island. Park yourself anywhere on the sound side…neither you nor your Instagram will regret it!

5. Day at the Docks:

A celebration of watermen and community heritage, Day at the Docks is traditionally full-swing on Saturday but truly begins on Friday with lectures, Taste of NC, and so on. On Saturday check out the Chowder Cook-Off, Seafood Throw Down, Crab Races, Fish Print T-Shirt Painting, and more!

6. Shelling:

Shelling is basically a sport on Hatteras Island, and during the peak months, it’s a competitive one. With folks out at 5 am cladded with flashlights, headlamps, and bags for their treasures, it’s not a bad idea to get up early if you want in on the good stuff. While early morning shelling is never a bad idea anyway, with fewer people and it getting light later, 5 am might be a bit of a stretch. Cheers to sleep AND shells!

7. A Day Trip to Ocracoke:

Fewer folks means shorter ferry lines. And later in the season you’ve usually got a pretty good guarantee that you can stand out on the deck and be warm, but not self-ignite, which is important since you can’t turn your car on while the ferry is moving. Fall skies make for a nice ride as well as some great selfies!