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Fishing on the Outer Banks NC is a way of life, especially on Hatteras Island. With a little more than 50 miles of shoreline on the oceanside and soundside of this special barrier island, anglers of any age and experience level can enjoy the fellowship and competition that fishing has to offer. You get a line and I’ll get a pole and together we’ll explore the array of fishing opportunities on Hatteras Island.

Fishing License Requirements

According to the NC Wildlife Department, as of January 1, 2007, any individuals 16 years or older who want to recreationally finfish in any water designated as coastal or joint waters of North Carolina must purchase a NC Coastal Recreational Fishing License (CRFL). Children under 16 are exempt. There are two other exemptions in which a blanket license is in place and a CRFL license is not needed:

  1. An individual fishing from a charter boat; and
  2. An individual fishing from a pier.

Anglers should know the current marine fisheries regulations, including size and creel limits. Below are the current prices for fishing licenses for NC residents and out-of-state visitors to the Outer Banks.

Annual Coastal Recreational Fishing License

10-day Coastal Recreational Fishing License

Visit any bait and tackle shop or pier on Hatteras Island to purchase a fishing license. The staff will also be able to share with you the types of fish that are biting, their approximate location and any impending weather conditions you need to be aware of.

Cape Point – here fishy, fishy, fishy

You may have heard that Hatteras Island, specifically Cape Point, is one of the best locations on the East Coast for fishing. Cape Point’s location is adjacent to Diamond Shoals, the Labrador Current, the Gulf Stream of the Atlantic Ocean and the entrance to the safe waters of the Pamlico Sound for breeding and where adolescent fish species can mature. This prime location provides different types of fish throughout each season on the Outer Banks NC. The Spring and Fall months enjoy the greatest variety and provide the most record-setting catches in length or weight or both.  Here’s a list of the top 15 types of fish that frequent our coastal paradise:

  1. Sea Mullet
  2. Croakers
  3. Spanish
  4. Cobia
  5. Wahoo
  6. Blue Fish
  7. Spot
  8. Pompano
  9. Trout
  10. Flounder
  11. Blow Toads
  12. Stripers
  13. Drum – Red, Black and Puppy
  14. Shark Fish
  15. Sheepshead

Two additional fish are caught frequently along Hatteras Island, especially around the piers in Rodanthe and Avon – stingray and skate. They are not much harder to clean than other types of fish. And they are just as delicious! The next time you hook a stingray or skate, consider having them for dinner.

3 Rigs You Need for Surf Fishing

In the August 10, 2013 edition of Popular Mechanics, T. Edward Nickens, suggests the following rod and reel combinations:

  1. Fishfinder Rig

The bait line slides up and down the main line, allowing live bait to swim freely. That’s crucial for fish that carry their prize some distance before swallowing. Use a circle hook—a hook with the barb bent back toward the shank—and the fish will hook themselves. A bonus: Fish rarely swallow circle hooks, making it easier to release fish and let them live to fight another day.

  1. Fireball Rig

Brightly colored floats on the dropper lines lift the bait off the sea bottom so it can’t be picked apart by tiny fish and marauding crabs. The fireball rig attracts fish that hunt by sight.

  1. Double-Drop Bottom Rig

Extend two dropper lines, each tipped with a hook, from the main line. A sinker anchors the rig in place. Some bottom rigs use colored beads, which make them more visible in rough, roily waters. Bait with fresh shrimp or live mole crabs.

Each village on Hatteras Island has at least one bait and tackle shop that can assist you with each of the surf fishing rigs named above. Each shop and pier are staffed with seasoned anglers. They will insure you are using a 10 to 12-foot rod to cast longer into the surf; supply you with fresh bait; and review the tide chart with you, since fish are more active during outgoing and incoming tides.

Fishing Charters

Hatteras Island offers a variety of fishing charters. Our vacation planners at Shore Details can help find the charter that best suits your family or fishing party. You can choose a half day or full day adventure. Your fishing excursion can be off shore or inshore. The charter can be public or private. The charter boat can be small, medium, large or extra-large! There is truly a fishing charter to fit every request and budget.

Most of the fishing trips offered on Hatteras Island are offshore excursions. Hatteras Village is only 15 miles from the Gulf Stream, making it one of the easiest launching points for offshore fishing. Inshore fishing charters are also available and quite popular due to their lower cost. Local inshore charters can provide customized, family-friendly fishing trips that stick close to shore, target local species, and visit small islands which are locally known for exceptional shelling and clamming.

Fishing – An Outer Banks Tradition

Just as your vacation to Hatteras Island is a tradition, so is fishing on the Outer Banks. Anglers have been visiting here in search of that prize catch for hundreds of years. Whether you stand at the waters edge and cast a line or enjoy a charter boat experience in the Pamlico Sound or the Gulfstream of the Atlantic, there is something special about the feel of a rod and reel in your hands. Hatteras Island is and will continue to be recognized as one of the best fishing vacation destinations along the East Coast.  Visit often, cast safely and have fun!

Happy summer vacation on the Outer Banks NC! This month’s blog will feature beach activities and beach games that use ordinary items you may already have, or items that can be purchased at the dollar store and most importantly, items that don’t take up much space in the car. We’ve kept all age groups in mind, from toddlers to great grandparents. After all, your time on Hatteras Island is all about spending time together, having fun and memories that last a lifetime.

Fun Beach Games

Frisbee Golf

Instead of a typical game of frisbee just between two people, play frisbee golf that can include everyone. All that is needed is a target, such as a beach towel or the line of beach chairs that you already have set up. Take turns trying to throw the frisbee as close to the target as possible. Of course, smaller kids should throw from a line drawn in the sand that is closer to the target than the older kids or adults. Tips on throwing a frisbee:

Keep the frisbee parallel to the ground, curl it towards your body, extend your arm, snap your wrist and watch the frisbee sail through the air.

Water Bucket Relay

Kids, old and young, love relay races! The supplies needed are plastic spoons and beach buckets or plastic cups anchored firmly in the sand. Have the smaller kids fill up their spoon with ocean water and run back to fill up their cup. Adults may only be allowed to walk back and forth between their cup and the tideline. The water bucket relay is an exercise in balance, focus and agility as participants attempt to keep the water from spilling out of their spoon.

Beach Treasure Hunt

The list of items that are “hunted” can be as long or as short as your hunters can accomplish. The list can be given verbally a few at time, in writing in the form of list or displayed in pictures. The beach provides a variety of items to be collected. All the hunters really need is a bucket in which to place their treasures once found.  The hunter that finds the most items is the winner! Here is a list of the 10 most popular items for a beach treasure hunt:

  1. Shell
  2. Smooth pebble/rock
  3. Flip-flops
  4. Sunglasses
  5. Sunscreen
  6. Seaweed
  7. Driftwood
  8. Something that smells
  9. Something of a certain shape (round, square, or triangle)
  10. Something of a specific color


Things to do at the Beach

Fly a Kite

Kids always seem to squeal with delight as they run along the beach with a kite flying behind them. Kites can be purchased in toy stores, dollar stores or made by kids during the beach visit. Here’s how to make a homemade kite:

  1. Find two sticks and tie them together in a lower case “t” using string or twine.
  2. Unfold a piece of newspaper; place the stick frame on top of the newspaper; fold the ends of the newspaper around the stick frame and tape into place.
  3. Tie string or twine at the center of the frame where the sticks cross one another as the lead line for the kite.

Family beach vacations just wouldn’t be complete without flying a kite. The wind currents on Hatteras Island NC provide a steady ocean breeze, perfect for kite flying!

Build a Sand Castle

A family beach vacation to Hatteras Island NC would not be complete without building a sand castle! This beach activity can include all members of the family. Capture the creation of your sand castle by taking pictures as it rises out of the sand into a structure… especially if it is built near the tideline where it is subject to the waves taking it out to sea. Tools needed for a sand castle include a bucket, small shovel and rake, shells, a small stick, a plastic spoon and a spray bottle and additional bucket filled with water. In Redbook’s July 2008 magazine, Justin Gordon, an award-winning professional sand sculptor offered the following tips for constructing a sand castle.

“Use moist sand. Squeeze a ball of sand in your hand for a few seconds. If the ball stays together when you roll it around in the palm, it’s perfect sand for a castle. The best place to find this sand is below the tide line. Start with a densely packed mound of sand. To get the best density, build up the mound gradually. Add 6 inches of sand, pack down firmly with your fists, then pour half a bucket of water on top. You can never add too much water; any excess will just drain out. Repeat until you’ve reached your desired height. Shave away sand in thin layers. This way, you’ll have more control when you’re carving design details. Plus, it’s easier to take away sand than it is to add it back.”

We have a few suggestions of our own to building the perfect sand castle:

  1. Keep the design simple;
  2. Give lots of encouragement to the younger kids; and
  3. Decorate your castle with seashells!

No trip to the beach is complete without digging in the sand. Create fun!

Beach Activities and Beach Games for All

You came to Hatteras Island to enjoy the beach. The staff at Shore Details strives to help you in any way that we can. The ideas we have outlined are designed to provide families with simple beach activities and beach games that everyone can enjoy and participate in.  Typical beach related items that families normally bring to the beach such as a sand bucket, shovel, rake, frisbee, plastic spoon and spray bottle are all that is needed to have participate in an activity or play a game. Enjoy your week on the Outer Banks NC. We are glad you are here!

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Kid-Friendly Activities on Hatteras Island, OBX

Kid Friendly Activities on Hatteras Islandimageby bonnie kittleMemorial Day Weekend on Hatteras Island is the official kick-off to our summer vacation rental season. As you plan and pack for your week at the beach, we wanted to share some inexpensive or free ideas for those vacationing with kids. These suggestions are fun, kid-friendly activities for families to enjoy during your Hatteras Island vacation.

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UFO House in Frisco

After the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in Buxton, the UFO House in Frisco is the second most visited structure on Hatteras Island. Located just south of the Milepost 66 marker on the ocean side of Highway 12, a shiny silver flying saucer welcomes visitors and geo cashers year after year. This Futuro House, designed in 1968, by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, is one of 61 structures left in the world from nearly 100 that were constructed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It’s current owner, LeRoy Reynolds, sometimes dresses in a green alien suit to greet visitors! The UFO House in Frisco is a landmark on Google Maps. Even though the door appears open, the inside of the house is not open to the public. Feel free to park and take pictures of the spaceship and the stuffed alien in the window. Leave a treasure in the chest for the next visitor and help yourself to a treasure. Kids and adults will enjoy visiting this special Hatteras Island landmark where one can dream to infinity… and beyond.

Ghost Crab Hunting

There is nothing scary about this free event that happens nightly on the Outer Banks NC. Ghost crabs are the small, iridescent creatures that scamper the beaches by the light of the moon in search of a late night snack. All you need is a flashlight, a camera… really just a cell phone will do, since most of them have both a flashlight and camera features. By hunting we don’t mean catching or killing the ghost crabs. All of the time spent on our beaches, as in other areas of nature, it is better to take only pictures and leave only footprints.

Ghost crabs are on average about 2″ wide across. They feature long legs with one dominant claw, perfect for throwing sand as they burrow tunnels in the shoreline. Their eyes that are perched on stalks and can rotate a full 360 degrees. Their name derives from their pale, sandy color, which makes them almost invisible against the shoreline until they start moving. The ghost crabs that inhabit the Outer Banks is the Atlantic Ghost Crab, one species of over 20 species of ghost crabs worldwide.

Ghost Crab Hunting- Kid-Friendly Activities on Hatteras Islandimageby-bonnie-kittle

Ghost crabs are not big fans of the sunshine. They spend most of their beach days tucked well inside their holes. The tracks can be up to 4′ ft. deep and may include many branch tunnels, allowing a network of protection from the elements and predators. The entrance to their tunnels will only be a couple inches wide on the surface. You may have noticed while at the beach during the daytime, these small, half-dollar sized holes in the sand. Underneath the surface millions of ghost crabs are waiting for the sun to set so they can have their time on the beach.

Ghost crabs are notoriously shy, and with 360-degree vision, are very sensitive to any action that occurs around them. The ghost crab really stakes a beach claim at night, when the majority of humans have disappeared, leaving the ghost crabs to enjoy the shoreline all to themselves. This is when the ghost crabs feed, foraging on coquina clams, mole or “sand crabs,” or any other recently deceased small sea critter. Nighttime is also when ghost crabs seek out a mate. Once a ghost crab is captured in a flashlight beam, it will stand motionless for a moment while it collects its bearings. This is an ideal time to take a few photos and get an up-close look at the critter before it scurries away.

When it comes to the best beaches to find ghost crabs, the quieter and more secluded the better. Beaches with little night traffic, including pedestrians, beach bonfires, or vehicular traffic, are the best ghost crab hunting grounds. Luckily, Hatteras Island is perfect! Vacationers can simply walk to the nearest beach pathway to start their hunting expedition.

Ghost crabs are essentially harmless and will very quickly shy away from humans. Ghost crab hunters essentially only need two things, a quiet Outer Banks night and a flashlight, to have a successful “hunt.” This is a free activity that everyone in the family can participate in, especially young children, as the excitement of spotting a crab generally elicits squeals of excitement. A family of ghost crab hunters can get some incredible pictures and some equally incredible vacation memories of some Outer Banks nocturnal, local natives.

Hermit Crab Races – mid-June to Labor Day Weekend in September

This is a fun-filled Hatteras Island sport! Choose your hermit crab and cheer it on as it races with the other crustaceans toward the finish line.

Both retailers offer nautical gifts and home decor, t-shirts and treats for both humans and dogs. A vacation on Hatteras Island would not be complete without a visit to Dillon’s Corner or Scotch Bonnet Gifts. A visit on race day is all the more memorable.

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Putt-Putt Golf

Putt Putt Golf Kid-Friendly Activities on Hatteras Islandimageby-bonnie-kittleA round of miniature golf while vacationing in the Outer Banks is family tradition. It is one of the best ways to spend time with your kids. Putt-Putt Golf gets everyone in the family actively enjoying our coastal paradise. And let’s be honest, there is at least one memorable moment that will be talked about for years to come. Hatteras Island has two miniature golf courses:

  1. Uncle Eddy’s in Buxton – they have an ice cream shop too!
  2. Frisco Mini Golf – they have Go Karts!

We hope you get a hole in one during your time on the greens!

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Making a Memory

Vacations on Hatteras Island are all about making a memory with your children. Our vacation planners at Shore Details can help you plan or suggest other age appropriate activities for your kids. Spending time together on the beach, playing a round of putt-putt golf, cheering for their hermit crab to win the race, visiting a spaceship in one of the most unlikely places on earth and hunting for ghost crabs are all kid-friendly activities sure to make many Outer Banks memories.


Historical Sites of Hatteras Island, NC

Hatteras Island is a place of beauty and rich in history. Anytime pirates, Native Americans, shipwrecks, and an entire colony vanishes there is bound to be historical sites worth visiting. History buffs are guaranteed to find landmarks, structures of significance and information that is truthful and embellished along the coast line of the Outer Banks NC. We look forward to sharing these and other historical destinations of Hatteras Island with you on your next visit.

Frisco Native American Museum

The Frisco Native American Museum opened in 1987. That may not sound historical, but it was 50+ years in the making and the building itself, which dates back to 1880, has a bountiful history as a general store, gathering place, post office, and shell shop.

Founders, Carl and Joyce Bornfriend who married in 1986 discovered a mutual love for historical preservation. They were also both educators who brought more than a half-century of experience to the task of creating the museum. They became the heritage keepers at a time when many people did not realize the importance of preserving Native American artifacts.

For the first four years, Carl and Joyce operated the museum on the weekends during the school year and full-time during their summer break. The museum was able to acquire the land for the nature trails in 1989 and open a new gift shop. And in 1990, Carl was able to retire from the school division and operate the museum full-time. A spacious pavilion was constructed on the nature trail in 1991.

Hurricane Emily in 1992 caused significant damage to the museum. However, in 1995 the recovery brought about a two-story addition, which provided a research facility, preparation areas, expanded storage space and the opportunity to convert the old gift shop into a Natural History Center!

In 2005, the museum underwent another major renovation, adding more than a thousand square feet of new display area, relocating the gift shop, creating a small bookstore, construction of a small observation room in the Natural History Center overlooking the bird sanctuary and construction of a floating dock on the nature trail.

The nature trail was re-designed in 2010, creating a dance circle under the trees. The new circle debuted with the 1st Annual Living History Weekend entitled, Dancing Moccasins and the 12th Annual Inter-Tribal Pow Wow, Journey Home.

Avon Fishing Pier

It’s a Hatteras Island landmark. The Avon Fishing Pier was the first pier constructed on Hatteras Island. It opened in 1962. It is 600 feet long and completely wooden. It is constructed with buckled planks which cause the pier to look like it is uneven and unlevel as it bobs up and down with the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. The red drum fish, that make seasonal appearances, attract fishermen from all over the country. The Avon Fishing Pier sealed its reputation as a world-class fisherman’s destination in 1984 when a world-record breaking red drum, clocking in at a little over 94 pounds, was caught just yards away from the pier structure. Since then, drum hunters have flocked to the Avon Pier in hopes of making their own record-breaking catch.

Red drum is not the only fish in town on Hatteras Island though. Spot, bluefish, mullet, pompano, cobia and mackerel can be caught, depending on the season. Honestly, any day spent on the Avon Fishing Pier is a great day! The pier has plenty of benches, several fish cleaning tables and a wide landing at the end of the structure to ensure everyone that wants to, can cast a line.

The pier hosts the annual 4th of July Fireworks display. Local experts set up and shoot off hundreds of fireworks which can be seen from virtually every vantage point in Avon. Thousands gather around the pier beaches for the best views, and there’s often live music and food vendors available on the premises as well. The Avon Fishing Pier is also home to several fishing tournaments, including the Junior Fishing Tournament, and of course, an annual Red Drum Tournament which coincides with the “drum run” season, when thousands of red drum can be spotted just yards off the beach.

The pier house is staffed with local experts who are reliable resources as to what’s biting and when. There is a gift shop and convenience store on the premises; and a restaurant and 18-hole mini golf course located close by that are open seasonally. Like all Hatteras Island beaches, the shoreline bordering the pier is a public beach and is open for all visitors. Walk the wooden planks, feel the sway of the pilings and listen for the tales of angler’s conquests on this local icon, The Avon Fishing Pier.

Canadian Hole

In between the villages of Avon and Buxton is one of Hatteras Island’s most scenic locations, Canadian Hole. The National Park Service (NPS) constructed four-wheel-drive beach access ramps in the mid-1950s along with campgrounds and public parking areas. This particular sound front location was initially visited by locals and visitors with small, easy to launch skiffs and the sunset lovers who would pull in for one of the island’s most scenic spots to watch the evening show.

In the early 1980s, visitors from upstate New York and Canada, who had started windsurfing across the Great Lakes, began experimenting on the waters off the Pamlico Sound, launching from the spacious yet desolate beaches of what is now Canadian Hole, appropriately named to honor its roots as a windsurfing paradise, discovered and popularized by Canadians.

It is now the focal point of exceptional East Coast windsurfing. Hatteras Island visitors will notice clusters of vehicles and expansive colorful kites swooping across the open waters of the Pamlico Sound during the spring, summer and fall months. Windsurfers can enjoy steady 15-20 mph winds that are sustained by the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, as well as a 30 mile-wide body of saltwater with few obstructions that’s positively ideal for long, fast glides. Every year, windsurfers will travel thousands of miles just to access this small stretch of shoreline, and after a day of riding the local winds, all will attest that the journey is well worth it.

You do not have to a windsurfer or kiteboarder to enjoy the charm of Canadian Hole. The area is ideal for families with young children, beachcombers looking for treasures, romantics who enjoy a sound sunset, kayakers and stand up paddle boarders who have discovered that Canadian Hole is an ideal place to launch their sport of choice. Another wonderful Outer Banks destination, recognized globally, where memories last a lifetime.

History is All Around on Hatteras Island

We certainly don’t want to overlook the obvious historical places such as the Chicamacomico Life Saving Station established in 1874, a predecessor to the modern U. S. Coast Guard. The station features fantastic architecture and special summer programs and events for families. This year celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Mirlo Rescue; or The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum located at the tip of Hatteras Village where artifacts and historical information on shipwrecks and life-saving stories will entertain you for hours; and of course, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, authorized in 1794 and first lit in October 1803, powered by whale oil. Simply put, multiple visits to Hatteras Island will be necessary to fully enjoy all the historical sites the southern beaches of the Outer Banks NC have to offer. We look forward to your visit and we’ll have the lighthouses lit to welcome you.

OBX, An Adventure Destination

Hatteras Island is the ultimate adventure vacation destination for singles, couples, families or a group of friends. Whether you are staying for a weekend or a week, the southern villages of the Outer Banks provide numerous outdoor adventure opportunities. Shore Details’ reservation team is your one-stop resource for exploring Hatteras Island, which is sure to become your favorite outdoor adventure vacation spot. Read on for a sampling of adventure excursions on Hatteras Island.

Rodanthe – Home to Highway 12 Amusements

The 13,000 square foot entertainment complex is filled with adventure:

  1. Concessions
  2. Tickets for Activities and ticket redemption center
  3. Four lanes of bowling
  4. Arcade games
  5. Indoor rope climbing course
  6. Laser Tag – a two-story arena with an observation area for onlookers
  7. Rock climbing wall on the outside of the building – 45-feet tall and illuminated at night
  8. Outdoor 18-hole miniature golf course on the edge of the Pamlico Sound

Highway 12 Amusements offers activities available on rainy days and sunny days, mornings, afternoons and evenings. Locals and vacationers alike on Hatteras Island can get their adventure thrills fix at the big, red building in Rodanthe.

Avon Harbor Sailing

This your chance to sail away! Learn the basics of sailing aboard a MacGregor 26’ vessel. Yes, you can take a sailing lesson from a seasoned mariner while you are on vacation. Plan a half day or full day family sailing excursion on the Pamlico Sound. With an average depth of 5 to 6 feet, the Pamlico Sound is home to many migratory birds that feed on several species of fish. Loggerhead Turtles hatch here annually and begin their aquatic life in the Pamlico Sound. Have Captain Jay sail you by the Old Little Kinnakeet Station, just north of Avon Village, where the community of Little Kinnakeet thrived until the lifesaving station closed. The National Park Services’ restoration of this historical landmark will provide history buffs with yet another glimpse of life between early European settlers and Native Americans, in this case the Pamlico Tribe, from which the Pamlico Sound is named. Avon Harbor Sailing’s sunset cruise provides you with a private view of a Hatteras Sunset. With nothing but open water, the entire horizon lights up in hues of orange, pink and purple, and presents a fantastic nightly show that is not to be missed. Summer visitors should also keep an eye out for the small baiting mullet, which make nightly leaps out of the water in the dozens if not the hundreds and add an extra element of pure entertainment to a Pamlico Soundfront sunset. Captain Jay will even pick you up and return you to your rental house, if you are staying in a waterfront home in Avon! Call ahead for departure times and availability at 252-305-6839.

Salvo Day Use Area

Bring your own kiteboards, windsurfing boards, kayaks and your stand-up paddle boards for a day of recreation on the outskirts of Salvo Village. The Salvo Day Use Area has ample parking, public restrooms, picnic areas and a soundfront beach area perfect to launch your favorite water sporting activity. Popular from spring until fall, the Salvo Day Use Area still remains consistently uncrowded with plenty of room for families and water sports lovers alike.

Equine Adventures, A Frisco Favorite

Explore Hatteras Island on horseback! An experienced guide will provide a two-hour tour of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, rich in historical shipwrecks, pirate tales, lost treasure and lost love. If you and family members want to explore this outdoor adventure destination, just as the early American settlers… on horseback, saddle up!

Established in 2001, visitors name Equine Adventures as one of those “must do’s” while visiting Hatteras Island.

Buxton – Shining the Light

Most every visitor who comes to Hatteras Island will make a stop in Buxton, either for the exceptional fishing off Cape Point, the amazing kiteboarding and windsurfing at the Canadian Hole, or for the incredible views from the top of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Buxton arguably has the lion’s share of attractions on Hatteras Island, and over a million visitors a year make a trek to see the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in Buxton alone. Visitors can explore the lighthouse grounds and stand in the shadow of the massive structure free of charge. For a small additional fee, visitors can actually climb the 257 steps to the very top for a bird’s eye view that spans from Avon all the way to Hatteras, and even Ocracoke on a particularly clear day. The lighthouse is open for climbers seasonally, generally from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and climbing tours occur every 20 minutes and tickets can be purchased on site. See firsthand, the beam of light that spans 20 miles into the ocean, protecting mariners from Diamond Shoals, one of the most treacherous stretches of the Atlantic Ocean. The lighthouse is also the world’s tallest brick lighthouse at a staggering 208′ tall.

Adventure Awaits

The southern villages of the Outer Banks NC welcomes returning vacationers year after year due to the abundance of outdoor adventures. Let Shore Details assist you with planning activities during your stay on Hatteras Island. We have the inside scoop on recreational activities, from beginner to advanced skill levels; on or in the water; and on land, for all age groups. Each adventure makes for unique photographic opportunities and memories to last a lifetime of the people that mean the most to you and of our beautiful Outer Banks.

Shore Details wants as many family members to enjoy vacation time on Hatteras Island, including the furry, four-legged family members. Rather than board your dog at the local kennel or arrange for a pet sitter to be in your home, consider bringing your dog with you to the Outer Banks NC. Shore Details specializes in dog friendly vacations!

Advantages of Dog Friendly Vacations

Let’s review the top three advantages of bringing your dog on vacation:

  1. Less stress for you and your dog. Even though you are in a different house, it is comforting to know your dog is getting the best of care, since he/she is with you while on vacation. Your dog will be less likely to suffer with separation anxiety being with its own family members. You will not have to schedule drop off and pick up times from a kennel. You will have peace of mind knowing that your dog is not exposed to fleas, conjunctivitis, kennel cough or any other health issue that can happen while being boarded.
  2. More attentive, quality time spent with your dog. Dog friendly vacations have more relaxed schedules. With no work or school commitments, there is more time to sleep in, take a walk on the beach, go for a car ride and toss a ball in the yard of your pet friendly vacation rental.
  3. Easier on your pocketbook. While dog friendly vacation rentals do charge a pet fee, compared to kennel fees or pet sitting charges, the pet fee is the most affordable option financially; and giving a nod to Mastercard, time with your fur baby is priceless.

Your dog will be exposed to new sights, smells and experiences unique to the Outer Banks. Include your dog in the fun of a Hatteras Island vacation since he/she is a part of your family.

Dog Friendly Places on Hatteras Island

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore governs the laws associated with having your dog on the beaches of Hatteras Island NC. For the safety of your pet, other families and their pets and the animals that inhabit coastal North Carolina, please keep your fur baby on a 6 ft leash, clean up after your dog and never leave your dog unattended. A full list of the National Seashore requirements can be found at

Outer Banks Pet Celebrations

  1. WOOFstock is a festival that features local fur-loving exhibitors and activities for your entire family, complete with contests for your dog. WOOFstock also features live music, a dog photographer and concessions available for both dogs and humans. This event is held at Elizabethan Gardens. The Third Annual WOOFstock will be from 10 am – 1 pm on Saturday, May 12, 2018. Standard admission rates for members, non-members and canine visitors apply.
  2. Wags and Whiskers Gala is held annually in November to celebrate the gift of animals in our lives. This one-of-a-kind event is an evening of music, dancing, buffet dinner, silent auction and an educational forum where non-profit animal organizations and the entire Outer Banks community unite to celebrate and support programs for animals and their caregivers. Coastal Humane Society, Feline Hope, Friends of Felines – Cape Hatteras Island, and the Outer Banks SPCA are the nonprofit charitable organizations in Dare County that benefit from the Gala.

More Tips for Vacationing with Pets

Taking your animals on vacation comes with an extra set of responsibilities, writes Debby Mayne in her December 2017 article for The Spruce.  Have your pet checked by his/her vet to ensure they’re healthy enough to travel. Make sure all their vaccinations are up to date and keep their health record with you in case you are asked for it during your trip. Mayne suggests the following tips before you take you family pet on a car trip:

  1. Get your dog used to riding in the car. Start out with short trips and then extend them for longer periods of time.
  2. Take your pet around other people if he/she isn’t used to strangers. Observe and reward him/her for good behavior.
  3. Have a safe place for your family pet to ride. This may be a doggie car seat, a travel crate, or special harness. If you don’t already have something, discuss options with your veterinarian.
  4. Don’t allow your animals to ride in your lap or with their heads sticking out of the window. This is dangerous and can injure your fur baby.
  5. Make sure your pet has a collar with contact information, in case he/she gets separated from you.
  6. Have plenty of drinkable water available. Investigate getting a drip bottle that is activated by the animal’s tongue. Stop often to fill a water bowl to keep him/her from becoming dehydrated.
  7. Make frequent stops to let your pet relieve themselves.

Shore Detail’s experienced Vacation Services department can assist you with all aspects of a dog friendly vacation to Hatteras Island NC. We would appreciate a picture of your furry loved one enjoying their time on vacation. Life is always better… with your dog at the beach!

Shore Details Concierge at Your Service

Let’s be honest. Vacation Planning is hard work. There is SOOOO much information available online, it can be overwhelming. And, regrettably, some of the information from third parties can be misleading. That’s why Shore Details created its own Vacation Planning department. We can create a vacation that is tailored to your wants and needs.

Our vacation planning team is just like a concierge team at a 5-Star hotel. The definition of concierge is a professional caretaker, personal attendant or trusted confidant. We demonstrate that definition daily for our clients. Travel is an ever changing, multi-faceted investment. Shore Details’ knowledgeable vacation planners are here to save you time and money.  Like financial planning or medical advice, sometimes it truly is in your best interest to contact a professional. Please allow us to design a personalized vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for you and your family and friends – be our guest!


    1. Learn from a local.


    • Our employees live here and work here on Hatteras Island. Our team of community minded individuals, is personally invested in the southern beaches of the Outer Banks, collectively referred to as Hatteras Island. They each work closely with our clients to determine their likes and dislikes, because the more we know about the things that matter most to our clients – the better equipped we are to craft unique and wonderful experiences that will leave them with a lifetime of memories.

  1. Share your dream.
    A vacation to Hatteras Island means different things to different people. Please tell us the following:

  1. Discounts are possible.
    • Returning guests – Many homeowners offer a discount on next year’s reservation year to encourage you to be a repeat guest. In addition to this being a financial value, it can be emotionally satisfying – you know where the house is, its floorplan and its amenities.
    • Winter guests – January, February and March vacationers benefit from the best deals. Granted, it can be cold and windy, but the beach is beautiful every day of the year. These winter months also offer the best “shelling” as currents churn up the ocean and bring a variety of sea shells on to land. And for the record, the Outer Banks is not a ghost town during the winter. Yes, some restaurants and outdoor recreational venues do close for the winter. It is a great time for them to renovate their businesses for the new year. However, most restaurants, stores and attractions such as our natural parks and the aquarium are open year-round.
    • Shoulder Season guests – April and May in the Spring and September, October in the Fall represent the “shoulder season” on the front end and back end of our island’s “high season” defined as Memorial Day through Labor Day. These shoulder season months are delightful! The weather is neither too hot or too cold. Daylight Savings Time is in effect providing abundant sunshine with amazing sunsets daily.

In summary, one call to Shore Details really does answer all your questions. Vacation planning to Hatteras Island that is personalized to your wants and needs with attention to the details, is our specialty. We know you are looking forward to your beach vacation. We are excited to meet you if this is your first visit or welcome you back to your home away from home if you are a returning guest. Call today (252) 357-7121, we want to do everything we can to make it a memorable experience. We’ll see you soon…by the shore!

Hatteras Island is a wonderful location for a weekend or week-long girlfriends getaway.

Shore Details can customize your girls trip based on length of stay, amenities desired and the number of ladies participating in the girls retreat. First, decide if your time together will be adventuresome or purely relaxing or a combination of the two. Shore Details can help you plan a kayak tour, stand-up paddle board lessons, jet ski rentals and an off-shore fishing trip for adventure seeking girlfriends. If relaxation is the focus, Shore Details will arrange for a massage therapist or yoga instructor to come to your vacation home to provide personalized services. Likewise, Shore Details can arrange a private chef to prepare some or all your meals.

For example, Kathy and Deborah from West Virginia build an annual one-week girls trip into their calendar. They’ve been taking trips every year for the past decade. The last three years, they have visited the Outer Banks. Deborah explained that the OBX has so many things to see and do, they couldn’t experience everything and still have enough beach time the first year they visited. With each return visit Kathy says the trips are a chance to relax without being responsible for anyone.

Discover the perks of a trip with the gals – and find out how to make it happen

“Let go of guilt”, says Laura Manske, travel journalist and author of Family Travel: The Farther You Go, the Closer You Get. “Just the thought of ducking out on your family – even for a little while – is enough to make you feel bad. And once that guilt creeps in, you can say goodbye to allowing yourself a little girl time. The truth is, there’s nothing to feel guilty about. You may think that by traveling with friends you’re taking something away from your family. But the opposite is true. Focusing on yourself and the joy of camaraderie increases your sense of fulfillment, confidence and resiliency. You become a better wife and, if you have kids, a better mom.” Manske offers the following tips to break free of the guilt for good.

Manske emphasizes, “Even if all is right in your world, vacationing with girlfriends is energizing and empowering.”

Consequently, the travel industry has taken notice with books and guides for girls trips. “It goes beyond girls just wanting to have fun. Women traveling without men or families is a sign they feel entitled to take time off from caregiving,” says Heather Gibson, a professor of tourism at the University of Florida who studies female travel. Many women who work maintain most of the responsibilities at home. Gibson’s research helps us understand how we can best juggle work and life. “There has to be some space in life where people get a chance to talk to one other and to feel connected,” she says. There is no time like the present to start building or continuing your own legacy of loyalty and laughter with your girlfriends by reserving a vacation rental and using our Vacation Concierge Service at Shore Details. Happy New Year!

Thinking of visiting Hatteras now that the summer crowds have died down? Here are nine reasons why you should turn that ‘maybe’ into a ‘definitely yes’.

Awesome Surf
While not as famous as some of the other surf spots around the country, Hatteras Island is a wave-catcher’s paradise, especially in the fall. Head to Rodanthe, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, or one of the other high-quality surfing beaches on the island and find out why.

Clear Beaches and Roads
We all love the summer… and therein lies the problem. The tourists who flock to Hatteras in the summer are almost non-existent in the beautiful fall season, so expect (almost) traffic-free roads and gorgeously clear beaches.

Incredible Sunrises and Sunsets
Get up early enough on Hatteras in the fall and a spellbinding sunrise over the Atlantic is your reward. Missed it? Not to worry, simply hang around until dusk for a similarly sumptuous spectacle as the sun sets over the mainland.

Cheaper Rates
It goes without saying that all that demand tends to push prices up during the peak season. Instead, why not head here in the fall and enjoy a Hatteras adventure for a much more wallet-friendly price.

Beach Bonfires
A beach bonfire a is a great way to stay warm and enjoy the romance of a Hatteras evening. Make sure you get a permit from the National Park service first and stay within the permitted locations and times. From November 16th throughout the rest of the fall, beach fires are allowed in most locations around the island; until November 15th, they are restricted to areas around Coquina Beach parking lot, the villages of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco and Hatteras, and at Ocracoke during the day.
Remember to fully extinguish the fire after use, and to stay within the provisions of your permit.

Great Kiteboarding Options
Hatteras is known as an excellent location for watersports, thanks to its position out on the Atlantic coast. Try your hand at kiteboarding, surfing, and other sports as that fall wind picks up. Just remember to stay safe!

Ideal Fishing Conditions
The seas around Hatteras are famous for Blue Marlin, making the island one of the world’s best ocean fishing sites. Get out on the waves and see what you can catch.

Perfect for Bird Watching
For those who prefer fauna of the airborne variety, Hatteras is also perfect. There is a fascinating range of birds found across the island, particularly when the snow geese, Canada geese, and tundra swans fly in for the winter, but it is up on Pea Island in the north of Hatteras where the most incredible array of our feathered friends is to be found.

It’s Time for a Treasure Hunt
Take your family on a treasure hunt for sea glass around the island’s beaches. Once the Atlantic waves and the coarse sand of Hatteras’ beaches have ground away the sharp edges, washed up glass makes a for a beautiful memento of your stay on the captivating island.

Why Is the Outer Banks Rated Top Ten Family Beach Vacation?

The Outer Banks has been a favorite family beach vacation for tourists in the know for years. In 2017, this former pirate hideaway has grabbed the national spotlight once again with its sixth-place ranking in U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 Best Vacations Guide. What makes the Outer Banks rated top family beach vacation among perennial favorites such as Ocean City, Maui, Hilton Head, and Honolulu?

On the Outer Banks, Adventure Still Calls

Why is the Outer Banks so well-loved by families? Perhaps it is because this place still has that sense of adventure that calls to all of us come vacation time. Perhaps it’s because it’s where humankind officially first took flight. Perhaps it’s because of the legendary pirates who once called it home. It’s all that—and a line of windswept beaches that haven’t fallen prey to the cheap carnival barkers and the freak shows that line most other Eastern beach towns. It’s still Nature—in the raw.

Relive History

Explore where humans first took flight: Your family will be thrilled to see the spot where the Wright Brothers first took flight in the windy dunes of Kill Devil Hills. Afterwards, head to Jockey’s Ridge State Park to experience the power of the wind for yourself at the East Coast’s highest sand dune. Hike to the top (bring your shoes in the summer—the sand gets hot) or take the shortcut on the site’s boardwalk. Experience hang gliding, just like the Wright Brothers, fly a kite, or go sandboarding—there are fun activities for every member of the family. Nature oddity lovers can hit the surrounding trails in search of fulgurites, tubes of glass that form when lightning strikes sand.

Visit where pirates once roamed: Take a ferry over to Ocracoke Island and see where the renegade pirate Blackbeard took his final stand. While parents sip white wine and munch down on shrimp right off the boat at one of the island’s dockside cafés, kids can gaze out over the water and imagine life as a pirate holed up on this oceanside paradise.

Investigate a long-unsolved mystery: On Roanoke Island, your family can relive what it must have been like for the country’s first colonists as you watch the reenactment of the Lost Colony—a mass disappearance that the world’s best sleuths have never solved.

Indulge your own pirate fantasies: Kids and grownups alike will thrill to the excitement of reliving the life of a pirate at the Pirate Adventures of the Outer Banks. Get the kids suited up in pirate gear and watch as the merry band of pirates welcome you aboard a real ship. Find hidden treasure; experience the heart-pounding thrill of firing a cannon (no worries—it’s a water cannon), and much more.

Create Your Own Outer Banks Adventure

Explore the beaches: Long-ago escapades aren’t the only adventures your family will enjoy. Windsurf, swim, fish, or hike miles of beaches to your hearts’ content. Family favorites from one corner of the island to the other. Each town has it’s own unique and attractions. Avon, beloved by surfers for their huge waves, Duck—where you can bring Fido along to splash in the water, and Hatteras—with its breathtaking scenery and uncrowded beaches.

Expand your appreciation of nature: Spend some time reconnecting with nature at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Delight at the blue crabs that scamper along the beach. If you’re lucky, you may even see a sea turtle or two. Wonder at the abundance of bird and plant life in the salt marshes. Climb up into the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse to see the ocean from a whole new perspective.

For a True Taste of the Outer Banks, Dine Like the Locals

Ditch your chain restaurant habit and embrace the local fare. The Outer Banks is a veritable paradise for seafood lovers. From the long-time local favorites, like the pirate-themed Jolly Roger in Kill Devil Hills to the Southern comfort of the Blue Moon Beach Grill in Nags Head, there’s something for every palate. Freshly caught shrimp and soft-shell crabs in season are usually standard fare at most Outer Banks eateries. If you prefer to cook your own and are lucky enough to have a rental with a full kitchen, check out the I Got Your Crabs Seafood Market and Steam Bar for the daily selection. For a quick bite before you head to the beach, grab a to-go from one of the many sandwich shops or taco stands along your route. Don’t forget to indulge yourself at the iconic local sweet spot, Duck Donuts—with several locations throughout the island chain.

Have Fun, But Stay Safe

Beach safety: For families with children or inexperienced swimmers, be sure to make sure a lifeguard is on duty before you hit the waves. Wear life jackets for extra protection. Tell your children to stay out of the path of surfers to avoid accidents. Even adults should stay out of the water if you see a red flag flying. Red flags warn of high surf, strong currents, or other water hazards. In most communities, it’s illegal—as well as unsafe—to enter the water during those times. On the Outer Banks, you’ll sometimes share the water with jellyfish. Although they are lovely to look at, don’t touch them. Some of them can deliver a sting. Vinegar, meat tenderizer, or a special gel you can buy at most beach shops will relieve the pain.

Dune safety: Before you tackle hang gliding, take a lesson or two before you fly solo. Never fly a kite if you hear thunder, no matter how distant it sounds.

Storm safety: Weather storms inside. With few high buildings to attract lightning, the possibility of getting struck is high. Don’t chance it. Stay inside and enjoy watching the power of nature from your room.

Before You Leave, Reserve a Spot to Stay

Because the Outer Banks is such a popular vacation spot, hotel rooms and vacation home rental reservations fill up early, especially during peak times. Here’s how to nab the best spot to call home during your family’s Outer Banks vacation:

Consider the length of your stay: For overnight stays, a hotel may do. If you’re spending more than a couple of days, however, it may be a better bet to rent a vacation home. More privacy, the option to cook your own meals, and more space to spread out can make a long stay more enjoyable.

Consider your family situation: When you travel with children or teens, vacation homes are usually the best choice. Not only does it provide more value for the price, but the kids can let loose and be as noisy as they like.

For more information on finding the perfect rental home for your family’s Outer Banks vacation, contact the local home experts at Shore Details today.