Recently Viewed 0
Favorites 0

Cape Hatteras

History of Cape Hatteras

The area now known as Cape Hatteras National Seashore has a long and rich heritage. The islands that make up the seashore have been home to Native Americans, farmers, watermen, enslaved people, lighthouse keepers, surfmen, and many others who continue to shape the heritage of the area. The people have witnessed events that include hurricanes, the death of Blackbeard the pirate, Civil War battles, the construction of the grand lighthouses, the birth of the USCG in the lifesaving stations, and hundreds of shipwrecks. Please note that the names "Cape Hatteras" and "Hatteras Island" are interchangeable.

When to Go

The most popular time to book a Cape Hatteras vacation is the summer. Summer on the Outer Banks of North Carolina has the warmest months of the year and contains the most sunshine. With this comes the days that are mostly filled with other visitors. Spring and fall on Cape Hatteras, while cooler, do provide for some great beach days. In addition, during these seasons, the roads, stores, and restaurants are less crowded. The price of rentals is a little lower and there is more availability/the largest selection. You will find some festivals on the Outer Banks during the spring and fall as well.

During the winter months, the weather (and the water) is cooler and there are fewer people in town. Also, many businesses close during the winter to give their teams time for some rest. However, the winter provides peace and tranquility to support full relaxation with the uncrowded, quiet beaches (only the sound of the waves!) and there are still sunshine-filled days for a great getaway. Being further south, this area is prone to being in the path of hurricanes. Just listen to the weather forecasts and make sure you are prepared.

Cape Hatteras Vacation Rentals
Where to Stay on Cape Hatteras

There are over 60 KEES vacation rentals in Cape Hatteras, NC. From a 1-bedroom to a 14-bedroom; condos or houses, waterfront or inland, KEES vacation rental homes in Cape Hatteras are sure to fit your needs. There are homes with private pools and hot tubs and within walking distance (right down the street!) to the ocean. Listen to the waves from your balcony. We offer internet access and include professional housekeepers to welcome you with a clean and fresh Cape Hatteras vacation rental. Worried about leaving your pets at home? Make sure you search for the KEES Hatteras Island pet-friendly rentals. Dogs are allowed on the beach year-round (with a leash). Our Cape Hatteras vacation rental homes are within proximity to the peaceful beaches along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. All of the KEES vacation rentals include our standard vacation rental amenities. Search our website for the perfect rentals on Cape Hatteras.

Sample Daily Cape Hatteras Agendas



  • Enjoy the drive across the newly built Marc Basnight Bridge.
  • Stop by the Bodie Lighthouse on your way down
  • Enjoy your contactless check-in at 4:00pm
  • Unpack and settle in
  • Take a walk on the nearest beach
  • Grab dinner at The Froggy Dog
    Hang out on your outdoor deck


DAY 2 - A Day at the Beach

  • Enjoy coffee on your deck
  • Visit the Orange Blossom Bakery and grab some famous Apple Uglies for your group
  • Gather family/friends and belongings and head to the beach
  • Relax under the private cabana and chairs that you rented
  • Return to your vacation rental and enjoy an outdoor shower
  • Order pizza delivered for dinner and play in the recreation room of your rental


DAY 3 - Watersports Day

  • Go to breakfast at the Dough Shack
  • Visit Real Watersports and do some body boarding, kiteboarding or rent a kayak
  • Enjoy lunch at Waterman's Grill while you are there
  • Visit local gift stores
  • Grill dinner at your vacation rental home
  • Hang out in the pool and/or hot tub


DAY 4 - Spend a Day at the Tri-Villages

  • Grab some coffee at Ugly Mugs
  • Go to Waves Market and Deli and grab some sandwiches, snacks and drinks
  • If you brought your 4x4, pack your beach gear, fishing poles, bait, canopy and deflate your tires(If you don't have a 4x4, there are place on the Outer Banks to rent one)
  • Go to Cape Hatteras National Seashore ORV Ramp 23 with your 4x4 truck and drive on the beach
  • Park your truck, set up your "camp"
  • Return to your KEES vacation rental, wash off with your outside shower
  • Go to dinner at Pangea Tavern
  • Come back to your KEES vacation rental and sit outside on your deck


DAY 5 - A Day of History and Exploration in Buxton/Hatteras/Frisco

  • Grab something to eat at Kat's Deli
  • Go to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Challenge yourself to climb it - take pictures!
  • Drive to the Buxton Woods Reserves. Grab your binoculars and camera phones to take pictures of the array of birds you will find on the nature trail.
  • Next up, the Frisco Native American Museum followed by the Graveyard of the Atlantic
  • Grab a late lunch at Hatteras Sol
    Return to your KEES vacation rental and relax by the pool
  • Have the grill master make everyone's favorite meal
  • Gather around the spacious living area and enjoy a movie


DAY 6 - Spend a day in Ocracoke

  • Grab a cup of coffee while you watch the sunrise over the Atlantic
  • Drive down Hwy 12 South with the beach on one side and the sound on the other
  • Stay in the lane to get on the Ocracoke Ferry
  • Enjoy the 75-minute ride across the water
  • Stop for lunch at Jason's Restaurant
  • Have some drinks at 1718 Brewing
  • Venture around town to Island Artworks, visit the British Cemetery
  • Stay around for dinner at SmacNally's Bar and Grill and then grab ice cream at Ocracoke Fudge and Ice Cream before heading back on the ferry to enjoy a relaxing night at the vacation rental.


DAY 7 - Time to Leave

  • Say farewell to the beach with a long morning coffee walk
  • Pack and check-out
  • Grab breakfast at The Dunes Restaurant in Nags Head
  • Shop the Outer Banks Outlet Mall
  • Visit Diggers’ Dungeon on the Currituck Mainland
  • Head home

Recommended Things To Do

  • Bodie Island Lighthouse
  • Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
  • Ocracoke Island Lighthouse


  • Hatteras Watersports
  • Real Watersports
  • Kitty Hawk Kites
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Kayaking
  • Surfing
  • Kiteboarding
  • Standup Paddleboarding
  • Scuba Diving
  • Swimming
  • Bodyboarding
  • Jet skis
  • Sailing charters


  • Oregon Inlet Fishing Center
  • Rodanthe Fishing Pier
  • Avon Fishing Pier


  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore
  • Parks/Trails
  • Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
  • Birdwatching
  • Hatteras Island Beach Horseback Riding
  • Buxton Woods Reserve
  • Hatteras Island Ocean Center
  • Cape Point
  • WWII British Sailor Cemetery
  • Ocracoke Preservation Society and Museum
  • British Cemetery


  • Pea Island Beach
  • Coquina Beach
  • ORV Ramp 4
  • Rodanthe Beach Access
  • Salvo Day Use Area
  • Sandy Bay Day Use Area


  • Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station
  • The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum
  • Frisco Native America Museum & Natural History Center
  • Salvo Post Office
  • Billy Mitchel airport (Frisco Airstrip)
  • Museum of the Sea


  • Frisco Rod and Gun store
  • Conner's Grocery Store
  • Local Surf Shops
  • Local Art Galleries
  • Local Gift Shops

Food Recommendations


  • Lisa's Pizza
  • Waterman's Grill
  • Waves Market
  • Hoy Lechon Food Truck
  • Taqueria Las Ahumaderas Food Truck


  • Pangea Tavern
  • Bro's Sandwich Shack
  • Mad Crabber
  • Ugly Mugs
  • Nino's Pizza
  • Froggy Dog

Buxton and Frisco

  • Buxton Munch
  • Orange Blossom
  • Fattys
  • Tavern on 12
  • Cafe Pamlico
  • Frisco Sandwich Co

Hatteras Village

  • Dancing Turtle
  • Hatteras Sol
  • Dinkys
  • Kat's Deli
  • The Wreck

Ocracoke Island

  • Howard's Pub
  • 1718 Brewing
  • Jason's Restaurant
  • Dajios
  • Flying Melon
  • Ocracoke Coffee Company
  • Smacnallys
  • Eduardos

Buxton and Frisco

  • Buxton Munch
  • Orange Blossom
  • Fattys
  • Tavern on 12
  • Cafe Pamlico
  • Frisco Sandwich Co

Browse Cape Hatteras Vacation Rentals

Planning Your Cape Hatteras Wedding

The beaches of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, controlled by the National Park Services, provide beautiful settings for beach weddings. Please note that you are required to have a permit to get married on Cape Hatteras National Seashore. (Visit the National Park Service's website for more information.) Most brides and grooms choose to get married in front of hotels, beach vacation rentals, or in front of businesses down on Cape Hatteras. If you choose to rent a large oceanfront Hatteras Island vacation rental and get married on the beach, contact KEES Outer Banks to help you find a home suitable for all of your wedding needs - to include hosting a beachfront wedding and/or reception.

Weddings are also permitted on the grounds of the Bodie Island, Hatteras, and Ocracoke Lighthouses. Between the third (3rd) Friday in April through Columbus Day, weddings at the lighthouses must occur before 9:00am or after 6:00pm. No chair or arch set-up is permitted at the lighthouses.

Please note that National Park Service does not allow the throwing of birdseed, balloons, amplified music, chairs, arbors, etc. Most people choose to have their ceremony on the beach by the beautiful sand dunes and then have their reception at a hotel, vacation rental home, or local business.

Professional, experienced wedding vendors of all types, ranging from planners, caterers, photographers, DJs, bands, florists, salons, and more, are readily available to help create and complete the Hatteras Island wedding you envision. Several churches on Hatteras Island allow weddings for out-of-town guests. In addition, local ministers will perform ceremonies at your outdoor location.

The Inn at Pamlico Sound is also an option for a wedding venue. Located in Buxton, this waterfront boutique hotel is perfect for your guests and family. There is a restaurant on site (Cafe Pamlico) to handle all food and beverage requests.

Hatteras Island/Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, is a place of pure natural beauty. It is comprised of seven villages following 70 miles of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, with the Atlantic Ocean greeting you on the side as you travel down NC Route 12. Each village has its unique characteristics, and it is fun to explore each one. Hatteras Island vacation rentals provide you with a sense of peace and tranquility, away from the more populated northern beaches of the Outer Banks. There are several locally owned galleries and shops that will allow you to find cute items to buy that you cannot find anywhere else.

An Artist retreat...The best art is created in solitude, for good reason: it's only when we are alone that we can reach into ourselves and find truth, beauty, soul. Some of the most famous philosophers took daily walks, and it was on these walks that they found their deepest thoughts. Hatteras Islands is the perfect retreat for those looking for solitude.

Whether you’re a serious birder or a casual birdwatcher, the winter is the best time to enjoy the birds around the Outer Banks. Snow geese, tundra swan, and more than 25 species of ducks are here in great numbers, wintering on the beaches, sounds, marshes, lakes, and ponds in the national wildlife refuges, national seashore, and other areas.

The only real con of a vacation rental in Hatteras is the threat of hurricanes or tropical storms, but if you browse the internet and find out the weather forecast, you will be fine.

Hatteras Island is easily accessible from your car or plane. Most visitors arrive in vehicles on NC's Highway 12. Another vehicle-traveling passenger arrives on ferries from southwest to Ocracoke Island.

Going to Ocracoke Island is a nice day trip from Cape Hatteras. You can drive your car onto the ferry or take the passenger ferry. The Hatteras Ferry runs roughly every hour from 5:00 a.m. until midnight in the off-season, and adds half-hour departures as well in the summer months, from 8:00 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. During the height of the summer season, the ferry departs every 15 minutes or so during popular departure times. A complete schedule can be found online here.

The smaller ferries that serve the Hatteras / Ocracoke routes have restrooms as well as a small air-conditioned indoor passenger lounge with bus-style seating and a water fountain on board. There are no vending machines on the ferry.

Boarding the Hatteras Ferry: Visitors will be directed to line up in designated "lanes" by NCDOT personnel. From there, each ferry is boarded on a first arrived, first served basis, (with the exception of vehicles in the Priority Lane to the far left.)

About the Hatteras Ferry: The Hatteras Ferry route is short and scenic and lasts roughly 75 minutes. The route crosses the Hatteras Island and unloads at the northern Ocracoke Island ferry terminal. The terminal features vending machines and restrooms and is located about 13 miles away from Ocracoke Village. Traffic is at its worst on the weekends, and during the middle of the day in the summer months.

Yes, visitors may access one of the conveniently located beach off-road vehicle ramps throughout Hatteras Island, but you will need to get a permit to do so. If you need to get a permit, visit Cape Hatteras National Seashore Orv Permit, Cape Hatteras National Seashore -, or call 1-877-444-6777.

Also, make sure you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle and deflate the tires before getting on the beach. A tire pressure of less than 20 psi is recommended for most vehicles. The softer the sand, the lower the pressure needed. Re-inflate tires to normal pressure as soon as possible after you return to paved roads. If you get stuck and cannot get your vehicle out, your best bet is to call a commercial towing service.

The dangerous twelve-mile-long sandbar called Diamond Shoals' forces southbound ships into a dangerous current. Hundreds and possibly thousands of shipwrecks in this area have given it the reputation as the Graveyard of the Atlantic due to many wrecks that ended in tragedy. A museum called the Graveyard of the Atlantic was established which is a maritime museum dedicated to the Outer Banks’ maritime history and shipwrecks.

Why KEES for Your Cape Hatteras Vacation Rental?
KEES FlexStay | Outer Banks Vacation Rentals
KEES FlexStay™

Your Vacation Your Way!

1% Down for KEES Outer Banks Vacation Rental
Low Down Payment

Book your Outer Banks vacation in advance for only 1% down!

KEES Cleaning Standard
KEES Cleaning Standard

Cleaning standards and measures we take for our guests' OBX stay