Hatteras & Ocracoke Beaches-Spectacular

The beach at Rodanthe, looking north.

The beach at Rodanthe, looking north.

The beaches on Hatteras Island Ocracoke are spectacular. How spectacular? Ocracoke is not longer rated by Dr. Beach, Steve Leatherman, who is considered the preeminent world authority on beaches. The reason it is no longer included is because in 2007 it was rated #1 in the US and when a beach is ranked #1 it comes off the list.

Hatteras consistently makes his top ten list, so it’s not far behind.

Hatteras beaches tend to be wide with very soft sand. Toward the north end, around Rodanthe the sand tends to be a little more coarse, but all of the beaches are wonderful.

Most of Hatteras Island is part of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, although the northern end is part of Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and is administered by US Fish & Wildlife. The National Park Service offers two lifeguard patrolled beaches:Hatteras Island: Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Beach, next to the Old Cape Hatteras Lighthouse site and on Ocracoke Island at the Ocracoke Day Use Beach about a half mile north of Ocracoke Village.

Dare County just completed a beach access bathhouse and parking lot in Rodanthe. The site may be the best on the Outer Banks.

For anyone using National Park Service beaches, there are restrictions in some areas. Look for roped off dunes and beaches with signs warning that the area is a habitat site, usually for piping plover, sometimes the American oyster catcher. Do not enter those areas. Park rangers will issue citations are even the most casual incursion and since the areas are clearly marked and easily avoided there is no reason to enter.

Wright Kite Festival Next

Giant lobster kite flying at the Wright Kite Festival.

Giant lobster kite flying at the Wright Kite Festival.

We almost didn’t get our July 4th fireworks in last night here on the Outer Banks. A huge storm blew through in the afternoon—almost blew the door off the hinges at the Kitty Hawk Kites main store at Jockey’s Ridge Crossing, but by 6:00 the sky had cleared and when the fireworks lit the sky at Nags Head Pier, it was a beautiful evening to watch the show.

From the top of Jockey’s Ridge, the Manteo and Nags Head fireworks are clearly visible. The action isn’t quite as close as being on the beach on in downtown Manteo, but it’s a very different and glorious way to watch the show.

The next big event for Kitty Hawk Kites is the Wright Kite Festival held at the Wright Brothers Memorial on Saturday and Sunday, July 18 and 19, 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. both days.

The Wright Kite Festival is a fantastic family event. Giant kites fill the sky all day, so there will be no doubt that something is happening on the grounds. But what makes this so wonderful is how family oriented it is. There are kite flying demos and lessons; for anyone who is unsure about flying a stunt kite, this is a great opportunity to see what it’s all about.

For kids there is kite making time, and the kites really fly.

It will be two great days at the Memorial, so for anyone visiting the Outer Banks that week, stop by and have some fun.

The Wright Kite Festival is a great example of how the National Park Service and local businesses can work together to make the Outer Banks experience a little more special. The festival, which is at least 35 years old, can only occur because of the active participation of the Park Service.

The Wright Kite Festival Schedule of Activities:

Large Display Kites

10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Kite Flying Lessons

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Kite Making

12:00 PM – 3:00 PM