Cape Hatteras becomes an enchanting locale once summer sings its swan song. Visiting during the North Carolina fall season allows you to experience the island as it comes aglow in golden hues. Walk along miles of tranquil beaches, with the autumn breeze carrying you along. Admire the iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse as it stands tall against the pastel-colored sky. Notice how the seagulls and pelicans soar along the shimmering coast, searching for their next catch.
In imitation of the birds, anglers also line up along the many piers of Cape Hatters to reel in their next great catch. With less crowds, begin your fall journey in Cape Hatteras with uninterrupted moments of peace, exhilarating water sports in the crisp ocean air, and starlit nights that reveal a canopy of stars in all their glory. Read on to discover what your personal Cape Hatteras fall journey can look like.
Day 1 – Morning Arrival and Beach Time
You’ve finally made it to Cape Hatteras. As you make your way to your accommodations, you can’t help but smile as you observe the untouched landscapes and serene shores beckoning you for a visit. You pull over and walk down to the coast. Take a deep breath and feel the salty sea breeze on your skin. With cooler weather comes less traffic on the beach, meaning you’ll have stretches of the beach to enjoy all to yourself with the ones you love.
Pull up a beach chair and spend the day unwinding. Crack open that book you’ve been meaning to finish and listen to the soundtrack of waves crashing and seagulls singing. When the ocean calls, rise to the occasion, and get your feet wet in the cool refreshing waters of the Atlantic. Collect shells, build sandcastles, and relax. Your Cape Hatteras fall journey is off to a great start.
Day 2 – Historical Exploration
Learn the origin story of Cape Hatteras with a visit to the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. Get lost discovering tales of pirates, shipwrecks, and rich maritime history. After learning all the tales of swashbucklers and exploration in the morning, head over to climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in the afternoon. Prep yourself with sufficient water and food as you begin to ascend the 257 steps of the lighthouse. The climb is most definitely worth it. When you arrive at the top, you will be in awe of the vast panorama of sea, sky, and shifting sands.
Day 3 – Fishing and Evening Campfire
As mentioned in the intro, fall is an angler’s dream, and one of the most popular things to do in Cape Hatteras during the season. If you’re a longtime angler or have never cast a line in your life, you’ll have a whale of a time. Learn the tricks of the trade from long time fishers who know these waters like the back of their hand. Cast a line from the beach or pier, or perhaps join a deep-sea charter. A beach bonfire is the cherry on top of a sundae of a day. Be sure to pick up your beach fire permit to safely enjoy a bonfire on the Cape Hatteras shoreline. As the sun dips, set up a campfire on the beach. Roast marshmallows and tell stories of your adventures under the moonlight.
Day 4 – Wildlife Watching and Nature Trails
Head over to Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge located on the north end of Hatteras Island. It is here where migratory birds come to nest, rest, and spend their winters. Walk the nature trails and enjoy the beautiful scenery and abundant wildlife. Finish the day with a sunset picnic, savoring the golden hues.
Day 5 – Windsurfing and Kiteboarding
The windy weather of Cape Hatteras makes it an awesome destination for windsurfing and kiteboarding. Whether you’re an expert or a beginner, fall’s gusty breezes provide perfect conditions. Take a lesson or simply enjoy watching the pros dance on the waves.
Day 6 – Off-Road Adventure and Star Gazing
Pick up a permit and rent a 4×4 to drive on the beaches where off-roading is permitted in Hatteras Island. Experience the thrill of driving on the sands. As night falls, with minimal light pollution, Cape Hatteras offers a celestial treat. The autumn skies are crystal-clear, revealing constellations, planets, and even the Milky Way!
Day 7 – Local Crafts and Farewell Dinner
Visit the local artisans and craftsmen of Cape Hatteras. Check out the glass blowers, artists and jewelry makers that call this place home. Their love of the island is shown in their art so be sure to pick up a unique souvenir of Cape Hatteras. Conclude your trip with a farewell dinner at a local eatery like Tavern on 12 or Rusty’s Surf & Turf. Enjoy some fresh seafood and reflect on a week of amazing North Carolina Fall adventures.
Come experience this journey and so much more when you visit Cape Hatteras. Choose the right place to stay with the professionals at Lighthouse View Oceanfront Lodging. Contact us today to discover your new Cape Hatteras home away from home, especially for Fall holidays like Halloween.