Take some time away this Thanksgiving to enjoy an escape with loved ones surrounded by sand, sun, water, and plenty of Thanksgiving fun. North Carolina’s Outer Banks, and especially Cape Hatteras, have something for everyone during a well-deserved North Carolina Thanksgiving respite. Relax and unwind indoors or out or participate in one of the many fun outdoor activities.

Book a Hatteras Island Holiday Rental Here!

Surfin’ Turkey 5K and Puppy Drum Run

Get your exercise before the big meal. The annual event is one of the area’s Thanksgiving holiday highlights. The event supports the Hatteras Island Youth Education Fund. The event starts at the Hatteras Village Civic Center. The Surfin’ Turkey 5K starts at 8 a.m. and covers a three-mile stretch around Hatteras Village. The Puppy Drum Fun Run begins at 9 a.m. and covers just a half mile. Competitors are encouraged to wear their holiday best costumes. On-site registration is available and includes a goody bag, T-shirt, and more.

Avon Fishing Pier

For the anglers of the group, there are plenty of places and ways to drop a line and try their luck. The waters of Cape Hatteras boast some of the best fall fishing in the world! Charter a boat, stick to shore, or head to the Avon Fishing Pier to see what’s biting. The pier is open 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. and wanders 665 feet out into the Atlantic. That means fishing off the end will no doubt net some interesting catches you won’t find if you stay closer to shore. When you arrive, admire the crooked bends in the pier, a testament to time and Mother Nature beating away at what is the only operating pier on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore today.


Schedule plenty of beach time this Thanksgiving. Without the harsh beat of the summer sun, it’s easier to stay out and enjoy the day a little longer. Lay out in the sun and sunbathe, get your exercise with a walk or run on the sand, or plant your umbrella and have a picnic with Thanksgiving leftovers or sit and read with the waves lapping in the background. If you’re willing to get a little wet, try your hand at stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, or canoeing the marshes and wildlife sanctuaries. Up the adrenaline with jet skis, parasailing, or surf lessons.

Beach Horseback Ride

Seasoned equestrians and first-time riders alike will enjoy the unique way to experience the beach. The stunning backdrop of the beach and waves of the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Hatteras is a “trail” ride to remember. Call or email to make reservations with your preferred company, and be prepared to provide ages, height, and weight of riders so they can pair you with the horse that is most appropriate for each person’s needs.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

The majestic and historic black and white structure protects one of the most hazardous sections of the whole Atlantic Coast. The grounds surrounding the structure are open 24/7, all year long, and offer beautiful views. The climb of the 248-stair iron spiral staircase is closed due to restoration efforts.

Hatteras Island Ocean Center

The center is part of the Outer Banks National Scenic Highway, which stretches across Bodie, Hatteras, and Ocracoke Islands, Down East, and the Pamlico Sound. The center is a great stop along the route for all the nature lovers in your group and is within walking distance of central Hatteras Village! Explore on a kayak nature tour, join the “Turtle Patrol” and learn about the area’s sea turtles and view active nests, or learn about birding in the Outer Banks.

Hatteras Weather Bureau Station

Along with the area around the historic lighthouse, make sure to add a tour of this historic wood-frame building to your Thanksgiving itinerary. Built in 1901, the station was in active use 1902-1946. The station provided data on conditions in the Atlantic Ocean from a fixed location farther into the ocean environment than any other on the Atlantic Coast at the time. After being decommissioned as a weather station, the building became living quarters for Weather Bureau personnel investigating the area and has since been used as a research station by universities investigating marine invertebrates.

Spa Day

Relax completely this Thanksgiving on your Cape Hatteras retreat. Whether it’s in anticipation of the big meal, or to relax after the big production, book a manicure, pedicure, massage, or body treatment. Select spas even offer a salon where you can get a new hairstyle. Some even offer special men’s services that cater to their specific needs, so everyone in the group can go home rested and rejuvenated.

Spend Thanksgiving in Cape Hatteras

While planning all the fun activities and adventures to include during your Thanksgiving Cape Hatteras retreat, make sure that booking comfortable and stylish accommodations are a priority. Book a vacation rental with Lighthouse View Oceanfront Lodging. We have accommodations as small as 1-bedroom for your solo or sweetheart getaway, all the way up to a 6-bedroom single-family home so you can share the Thanksgiving fun with all your loved ones.

Contact us today!