If your travels have led you to the slender piece of paradise known as Cape Hatteras, well then, you’re in for a real treat. Located in the heart of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Cape Hatteras destination full of lighthouses, pristine beaches, and a rich nautical history.

This Cape Hatteras travel guide is crafted to lead you through a 3- to 7-day journey filled with the sights, sounds and soul of Cape Hatteras. You’re encouraged to explore its quiet beaches where locals find peace, and to eat at the restaurants where locals and anglers tell their tales. Get ready to peel back the layers of Cape Hatteras for an extraordinary adventure.

Book Vacation Rentals in Cape Hatteras Direct Here!

Day 1: Arrival and Exploration

Welcome to Cape Hatteras, where the air carries a hint of salt and the promise of adventure. Spend your first day getting into the groove of the island. Make yourself comfortable in any of the charming accommodations provided by Lighthouse View Oceanfront Lodging. The selection of cottages and beach homes are dotted along the coastline and give you beachfront views that will take your breath away.

After waking up slowly, and enjoying a homemade breakfast prepared in your cottage kitchen – you’re ready for some exploring. No visit to Hatteras is complete without paying homage to its iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Standing tall against the sky, this black and white beacon has guided sailors for over a century.

Insider tip: Visit in the late afternoon when the sun casts a golden glow over the landscape, perfect for an Instagram-worthy shot. Avoid the midday rush for a quieter and calmer experience, and don’t forget to explore the surrounding grounds. Learn of the lighthouse’s history and walk the beautiful nature paths.

After a day of travel and exploration, grab a bite to eat at the fine dining restaurant known as Café Pamlico. The catch of the day is always fresh, and the stories from the sea are as diverse as the dishes. Try the crab cakes or grilled mahi-mahi, seasoned with local spices that echo the island’s heritage. After such a filling and delicious meal, try to get some rest because the next day is filled with more exploring.

Day 2: Beach Day and Maritime History

Today, you’ve packed some food in the form of sandwiches and charcuterie because you’ll be spending your day at the beach. Begin your day with a visit to Frisco beach. These soft stretches of sand offer you a peaceful retreat from the world. You’ve got your book, snacks, beach toys and everything else you need for a good day in the sunshine.

After you are full of vitamin sea and have received a healthy dose of sunshine, it’s time to cool off at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. This treasure trove of artifacts and stories sheds light onto the shipwrecks, battles, and lives shaped that have been shaped and changed by the sea. Don’t miss the exhibit on Blackbeard, the infamous pirate who once roamed these waters.

Wrap up your day with a casual meal at Diamond Shoals Restaurant. This spot is known for its surf and turf, featuring its very own sushi bar. On this particular night, you should opt for the captain’s platter and clam chowder.

As the day fades, consider a beach bonfire on the Cape Hatteras shoreline (only where regulations allow), for a perfect ending to day two. Gather around the flames, roast marshmallows, and be soothed by the sound of the waves underneath the stars.

Day 3: Adventure and Nature

Day three is for some water fun. Cape Hatteras is home to a variety of water sports, offering some of the best surfing and kiteboarding on the East Coast.

Start your day with a burst of adrenaline by taking surf or kiteboarding lessons from one of the local instructors at REAL Watersports. These seasoned professionals offer insights not just into the sport but know the ocean waves like the back of their hands (and boards).

After the morning’s excitement, slow down and continue your connection with the natural world at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge is a stop for many different migratory birds and native wildlife. Bring your binoculars and tread softly along the trails, where you might spot snow geese, piping plovers, or even a sea turtle if you’re lucky.

Cap off your day with a meal that celebrates the farm-to-table movement, Hatteras Sol Waterside Grill. The portions are large and packed full of flavor. The appetizers and fresh catch of the day will have you smiling from ear to ear.

Day 4: Cultural Immersion and Relaxation

Immerse yourself in the local arts scene by visiting a gallery or craft shop that showcases the work of Outer Banks artists. The creativity found here is as vast as the ocean, with pieces inspired by the natural beauty and cultural history of the area. Admire the paintings, pottery, and jewelry that encapsulate the beauty of Cape Hatteras expressed through its artists.

After nourishing your mind with art, pamper your body with a visit to In Touch Massage and Wellness. Unwind and reflect on the adventures of the past days.

There’s no better way to end a day in Hatteras than with live sunset dinner cruise. Gain a new perspective of the island from the water, accompanied by the soothing sounds of the waves and the kaleidoscope of colors in the sky, and blissful tunes as you dine. Life is so much sweeter by the sea.

Day 5: Fishing and History

It’s time for an adventure on the high seas with a charter boat trip with a local captain whose tales are as legendary as the fish you’re aiming to catch. Fishing in the waters off Cape Hatteras lets you reel in anything from mahi-mahi to blue marlin. As you enjoy your time on the water, you’ll learn all about the marine ecosystem from those who know it well. Remember to bring sunscreen, a hat, and your sense of adventure.

After your morning at sea, delve into the history of the island by touring the historic villages of Hatteras. Each village has its own story, from the early Native American inhabitants to the European settlers and beyond. Pay special attention to the tales of local legends, including those of shipwrecks and pirate hideaways. These stories highlight the resilient spirit of the Outer Banks and its community.

For dinner, have a meal at Dinky’s Waterfront Restaurant. The ambiance is low-key, and the food is delicious. Definitely get the crab stack and the oysters Rockefeller. Finish everything off with a slice of tart key lime pie. That will put a cap on a fun filled day five.

Day 6: Leisure Time

Day 6 is for choosing your own adventure. Whether you’re gliding through the waters of the Pamlico Sound or discovering the charms of Ocracoke Island, day six is about embracing the laid-back lifestyle that defines the Outer Banks.

Opting for a paddleboard or kayak ride through the Pamlico Sound immerses you into the serene side of Cape Hatteras. The calm waters of the Sound make it an ideal spot for both beginners and experienced paddlers. The quiet splashes of your paddle provide a soundtrack to the breathtaking views of marshlands, wildlife, and the distant lighthouse standing as a sentinel over the landscape. Observe the local birdlife and see fish gently gliding under your board or kayak. You might even spot a dolphin in the distance. It’s a moment of tranquility that enriches your soul and deepens your connection to Cape Hatteras.

If you prefer to take it a bit easier and have less work, hop on the ferry to Ocracoke Island. Ocracoke is home to a quaint village charm, with a slower pace of life – like you’re taking a trip back in time. Peruse its unique shops, local restaurants, live like the locals. Relax on the beach and soak up some sun. Make sure you stop at Eduardo’s Taco Stand for some delicious and flavorful Mexican food on the Island.

Day 7: Local Moments and Goodbyes

Day seven sadly concludes your time in Cape Hatteras. Before you say goodbye, make sure to visit the Avon Farmers Market. The Avon Farmers Market showcases of the freshest fruits, vegetables, and herbs, straight from the gardens and farms of local growers of Cape Hatteras.

Artists also set up here and sell their handmade crafts. Each piece, whether it’s jewelry, pottery, or textiles, tells a story of the Outer Banks. These crafts are not just souvenirs. They’re pieces of Hatteras life created by the talented people who call this place home.

The aroma of freshly baked bread, pastries, and other confections fills the air, drawing you to the stalls of local bakers. These baked goods are made with love and often feature traditional recipes passed down through generations.

Purchase a sweet treat or snack and savor the local flavors one last time before you leave Cape Hatteras. Take a piece of Cape Hatteras home with you. It could be anything, from a jar of homemade jam, a piece of art, or simply the memory of warm hospitality from a local vendor.

Discover the Magic of Cape Hatteras

As your Cape Hatteras visitor guide ends, we hope you’ve learned about some of the unique places that make this island so special. From its windswept beaches and historic lighthouses to the warm hospitality of its people, Cape Hatteras is a place where adventures await around every corner.

The waves of the sea set the pace for your visit to Cape Hatteras. Come here to find relaxation, adventure, and a deeper connection with nature and history. The beauty of the Outer Banks will fill your heart. Remember, the true spirit of Cape Hatteras is found not just in its landmarks, but in the stories shared, the friendships forged, and the memories created. So, come with an open mind and leave with a heart and soul that’s been enriched by the experiences that only be found on Cape Hatteras.

Live the Full Hatteras Experience with Lighthouse View Oceanfront Lodging

Lighthouse View Oceanfront Lodging is happy to host you in any of their cozy and comfortable vacation rentals. Call their cottages and condos your Cape Hatteras home away from home. With centrally located accommodations, you’ll never be too far away from experiencing Cape Hatteras to the full.

Each accommodation, from cozy cottages to spacious condos, is designed with your comfort in mind. The amenities that cater to every need and decor that reflects the coastal ambiance, Lighthouse View ensures that your stay is as relaxing as it is memorable. The convenience of having your own kitchen, living space, and direct beach access means that your Hatteras adventure can unfold at your own pace.

As you plan your trip to Cape Hatteras, remember that the choice of lodging can profoundly influence your experience. Lighthouse View Oceanfront Lodging doesn’t just offer a place to stay; it offers an immersive entry point into the heart and soul of the Outer Banks. From the moment you arrive, greeted by the sight of the lighthouse and the sound of the waves, you’ll know you’ve chosen wisely.

Your days at Cape Hatteras, filled with exploration, relaxation, and discovery, will be complemented by the comfort and community found at Lighthouse View. And as you depart, with sand in your shoes and memories in your heart, you’ll carry with you the essence of Hatteras, a reminder of the time spent in a place where the horizon is wide, and the welcome is warm.

Book Your Stay with Lighthouse View Today

Stay central to the exciting destinations laid out in this Cape Hatteras visitor guide with a vacation rental provided by Lighthouse View Oceanfront Lodging. Check out the selection of vacation rentals from whole cottages to oceanfront suites and rooms and select the one that meets your unique travel needs and preferences. Coming to Cape Hatteras with a group? Go for a cottage that can host everyone comfortably with multi-rooms and communal spaces. For more information, reach out to Lighthouse View Oceanfront Lodging today.

Contact Us Today!