Hatteras Island OBX Recreation Activities - Golf, Tennis, Parasailing, Watersports and More

Hatteras Island Sports and Recreation

Many visitors come to Hatteras Island for the fantastic fishing, kiteboarding, windsurfing and surfing, but even without a board there are plenty of outdoor activities on the Outer Banks for the sports enthusiasts. Whether you stick to the sports that have made the Outer Banks famous, or decide to wander off the beaten path on a hiking or biking adventure, it’s clear that Hatteras Island is the perfect refuge for outdoor lovers and sports enthusiasts of all kinds.

Quick Recreation Guide

  • Many recreational activities don’t require a lot of strength or endurance
  • For a low level, try kayaking, paddleboarding or cycling
  • For a mid level, try boogie boarding, parasailing or tennis
  • For a higher level, try kiteboarding or surfing
  • Recreation equipment is available to rent at local shops
  • Always remember to stay hydrated. If you’ll be exploring nature, bring along bug repellant.


Explore the Pamlico Sound waters by kayak, for some of the best bird and wildlife watching around. Local companies like Ocean Atlantic Rentals offer hourly and weekly kayak rentals, and some local stores, like Kitty Hawk Kites, even offer guided nature tours throughout the Outer Banks. You can put your kayak in the water in many locations along the soundside of the island.


For distance cyclists, there’s no better route than right along NC Highway 12, designated in 2009 as a National Scenic Byway. With a bike lane that extends for 55 miles, and a flat, even route throughout the entire stretch,  (aka, no hills), Highway 12 attracts cyclists from all over the world who want to go the distance and enjoy some amazing scenery along the way.

Looking for a more leisurely ride? Explore the trails along the Pamlico Sound and maritime forests. For example, the National Park Service grounds around the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse offers a multitude of trails, or the Salvo Day Use Area has small paved unused roads winding along the sound. Kinnakeet in Avon and Hatteras Village are especially nice for bicycle rides with historic houses and scenic architecture and island historical spots.

Nature Walks

The same trails that attract cyclists are also perfect for hikers who want to explore this unique island environment. Start with the 3/4 mile self-guided trail by the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, or travel the back roads in Buxton and Frisco that have wooded paths through the Hatteras Island maritime forest, one of the largest on the East Coast. Remember that many of these trails are unmarked, so take your time and keep your bearings.

ParasailingHatteras Island activities are fun and exciting

For a view of the Outer Banks that is simply unparalleled, take to the sky and try a parasailing adventure across the Pamlico Sound. Several local companies offer these amazing flight seeing tours of the Outer Banks. Take a friend or go it alone, but be sure to book well in advance, as parasailing is a popular way to explore Hatteras Island.


There are a multitude of excellent seaside courses up and down the Outer Banks for the golfer in your group. You’ll find three 18 hole courses on the Outer Banks: Nags Head Golf Links, a Scottish-style championship course, Sea Scapes Golf Links, a championship course in Kitty Hawk, and Duck Woods Country Club, a championship course that winds through woodlands, canals and natural wetlands.


For tennis enthusiasts, there are a number of courts available on Hatteras island. Some vacation rental communities, like the Mirlo Beach Community in Rodanthe and Kinnakeet Shores in Avon have community courts on the premises. A number of Surf or Sound Realty homes offer access to these tennis courts. Simply look for the “Community Tennis Court” bullet when browsing through the amenities of our vacation rental homes. There are also public tennis courts in the village of Buxton, located next to the Cape Hatteras High School on NC Highway 12.

Horseback Riding

With miles of pristine coastline, Hatteras Island has been named one of the top beaches for horseback riding. Hatteras Island Horseback Riding and Equine Adventures are two locally-owned companies that provide this bucket list experience. Enjoy a peaceful seaside ride with the whole family in Hatteras or a trail ride through part of the 995 acre Buxton woods to the wide open beach in Frisco.