Hatteras Island Beaches

Cape Hatteras Beaches

During your next Outer Banks beach vacation make sure to visit the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area on Hatteras Island.  The individual beaches can differ from one stretch of the 70 mile National Seashore to another, with ever-shifting sandbars and tide lines. Their common thread is their beautiful, pristine condition that attracts thousands of visitors to the Outer Banks every year, and ranks the Cape Hatteras National Seashore as one of the best beaches in America, and a regular on many top beaches lists, including "America's Top 10 Beaches" by renowned expert, Dr. Beach.

One of the remarkable characteristics that keeps vacationers returning to Hatteras Island year after year is the unpopulated nature of the beaches. It’s easy to pull over on a deserted stretch of NC Highway 12, or simply walk out of an oceanfront rental home, and find a piece of shoreline all to yourself. During the fall and spring months, it’s possible to enjoy a long walk along the beach without encountering another person, and even on Hatteras Island’s most popular holidays, like 4th of July, finding a secluded spot all to yourself is nearly always easy to do.

The vacation rental homes that border the ocean are protected by a line of grassy sand dunes, blooming with sea oats in the summer. This protects the seven villages throughout the seashore, but also gives beachgoers privacy from the rental homes behind the dune line. On Hatteras Island, you’ll find no busy boardwalks, no restaurants or bars set up right on the beach, and no cement and pavement roads or walkways that cut through the shoreline. You'll simply find miles of sand and blue Atlantic Ocean.

Cape Hatteras Beaches Subset

Seashells by the Seashore

For beachcombers, there is no better spot on the East Coast to hunt for sea glass and seashells. With its geographic locale 30 miles into the Atlantic Ocean, good beach finds continually wash up on these barrier islands. An early morning walk after a high or low tide can reap wonderful results, as a multitude of shells, including Whelks, Scallops, Scotch Bonnets, Augers, Clams, Moon Snails, Olive Shells, and Coquinas routinely find their way onto the shore.

Surf Fishing

The same currents and conditions that bring in the great sea shells also bring in the great fishing, and avid Outer Banks anglers flock to these beaches for some of the best surf fishing in North Carolina. Big game fish are landed regularly, and it’s not unusual to catch red drum, sea mullet, flounder, spanish mackerels, croakers, and cobias, simply by casting from the beach.

For vacationers who love an unspoiled and natural beach, Hatteras Island has miles of reasons to love its unpopulated, pristine shoreline. As one of the largest National Seashores in the world, it’s easy to see why despite its popularity and recognition as one of the best US beaches, the Cape Hatteras seashore can still seem like a well-kept secret beach vacation destination.