Nothing beats an ice-cold beverage while relaxing on the beach. Nothing is worse than reaching for an icy drink and finding your cans swimming. Coolers are essential for family days on the sand. A good modern cooler will keep food and drinks fresh for days. In addition to beverages, fishermen rely coolers to keep bait fresh, and hopefully the catch of the day. Walk onto any beach or pier in North or South Carolina and you’ll see a plethora of cooler models and sizes. Cooler technology has advanced rapidly in modern years. Top-end hard-sided coolers can keep ice frozen for a week. Soft coolers are easier for one person to carry onto a beach, but can still keep food cool for days. Cooler materials and price points vary wildly, so we put together this guide with our recommendations for your coastal vacation.
While the main means of accommodations on Hatteras Island are vacation rentals, the island does offer more than a dozen motels that are scattered throughout all seven villages. Perfect for long weekend getaways or off-season retreats, the hotels on Hatteras Island vary greatly, giving visitors plenty of options.
About Hatteras Island Hotels
Avon Village and the tri-villages have the least number of hotels available for guests, with each region featuring just one locally owned motel. (There are a number of campgrounds in these regions as well, especially in the tri-villages of Rodanthe, Waves and Salvo.)
Most of the hotels on Hatteras Island are within walking distance of the ocean, the sound, or both.
Hatteras Island's oceanfront hotels are primarily found in Buxton, close to the northern entrance to the town. These hotels are also within close proximity of a handful of restaurants, tackle stores, and other central services.
Buxton is also home to a nationally famous boutique hotel, the Inn on Pamlico Sound, which has been featured in USA Today, The Washington Post, National Geographic Traveler, and even the Times of London.
There are no chain hotels on Hatteras Island - all of the hotels are locally owned and operated.
Amenities for guests vary by establishment, but many local hotels and motels feature outdoor pools, free Wi-Fi, excellent beach or sound access, on-site restaurants, or all of the above. (Waterfront motels may also offer soundfront or oceanfront views and / or private balconies.)
Booking a Hatteras Island Hotel
Visitors will want to book a Hatteras Island hotel or motel room as far in advance as possible, especially for popular long holiday weekends like Memorial Day or Labor Day.
The shoulder-season fall months are especially popular for motel and hotel guests, as this is prime fishing season, and many of the island's hotels are close to the famed Red Drum Tackle store as well as the Cape Point 4WD access ramp.
The majority of motels and hotels on Hatteras Island have websites where guests can tour the facilities, review seasonal rates, and / or book online. Guests are also free to call the local motels during operating hours, (typically 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. or so), to reserve a room.
Many of the local hotels and motels are pet friendly and can accommodate a pet for a small additional fee.
Many local hotels and motels are also handicapped accessible, although visitors will want to be able to confirm this with the individual establishment before a stay.
In general, hotel and motel rates are at their highest on Hatteras Island from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The rates fall slightly in the fall and spring months, and are at their lowest during the winter. A number of motels may close during the off-season, which is generally designated as December through February or March.
Some motels and hotels may offer discounts for weekday stays, off-season stays, or for AAA members or military personnel. In addition, some higher-end hotels may offer special packages for holidays, events, or other trip-worthy celebrations, (like a romantic stay or a girl's getaway.) Ask ahead for any available discounts and promotions.