Hatteras Island NC Town Information and Guide
Hatteras Island is the centerpiece for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, a 72-mile stretch of perhaps the most undeveloped expanse of natural beaches in the country encompassing Bodie Island to the north of Ocracoke Island at its southern boundary.
Hatteras Island and its villages have grown to become one of the number one places in the world for wind and water sports, world-class fishing, and fantastic surf. This is where people go to get far away from the world's cares, yet it is close enough for a weekend getaway drive.
Averaging less than a mile wide and in most places much less, Hatteras Island is the most remote and undeveloped link in the chain of sandy barrier islands that make up The Outer Banks of North Carolina. Shaped by the whim of wind and water over eons, Hatteras Island is still a work of mother nature in progress.
There are no incorporated towns on Hatteras but a series of seven villages, each with its own distinct charm and history. The name Hatteras has been applied to several inlets at one time or another in the Outer Banks' written history, the cape off Buxton, the island itself, one national seashore, and the southernmost village in Dare County.
Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, no longer an island unto itself, makes up the northernmost 13 miles of Hatteras Island and is generally regarded as a birdwatchers' paradise. Consider it a global rest stop for birds migrating in the fall and spring hundreds or thousands of miles. You can roam the park, kayak, or view as many as 300 species like splendid gray swans, blue heron, oystercatchers, and falcon.
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, "America's Lighthouse," is the tallest at 208 feet. The familiar black and white striped brick sentinel is the second of three beacons built at Buxton. Climb its 268 steps to the top for a spectacular view for miles around. Under its gaze and along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore are thousands of shipwrecks dating back to the beginnings of our nation.
Dubbed the Graveyard of the Atlantic, this region of the North Carolina coast once claimed many ships and their crews due to the treacherous shoals and underwater sandbars that never sat still for any map. Today, you can visit the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras Village and see what the sea has given back.
Other points of interest include the Frisco Native American Museum, a tribute to the tribes that once dominated the Outer Banks, members of the Algonkian family of tribes.
Be sure to ride the free ferry ride to Ocracoke Island for a leisurely 40-minute cruise to the acclaimed home of Blackbeard, the Pirate.
Visit the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station in Rodanthe, where the U.S. Coast Guard started.