This is it! It’s the Memorial Day weekend and that is officially the start of the summer vacation season here on the Outer Banks.
We are looking forward to a fantastic summer at Cape Hatteras Motel. We hope that you have started your vacation countdown! Whether you are coming in this weekend or we’ll see you in late August, we want to pass along some important reminders about travel.
No matter how you get to Hatteras Island (from the north or via the ferry from the south) you will end your travels on Highway 12. Please note that in mid-May the speed limits change in many of the villages on Hatteras Island from 45 to 35. Also there are always 25 mile per hour zones in both Buxton and Hatteras Villages. Between Buxton and Frisco the limits change back and forth several times.
This holiday weekend it has been said there will be more people on the highways than have been in many years, so expect some delays and allow for that in your planning. We will be here when you arrive, so take your time and pack your patience! If you are driving through Currituck, you will see the massive construction project for the new waterpark, H2OBX. It hasn’t opened yet, but the sight can be quite a distraction, especially if you have children in the car. There will likely be some “gapers” delays in that area as people slow down and take a look.
There will also likely be the same kinds of delays on the Oregon Inlet Bridge as folks look at the construction of the new bridge. It is jaw-dropping. And if you are traveling during the week days, there will be one-lane restrictions as you cross. These generally move along quickly, but the more traffic, the longer the delays. There is also ongoing construction on the new bridge on Pea Island.
Many people are surprised to learn we have a huge deer population on the island. They are especially active at night and you will see them in all parts of the island — both at the National Seashore and in the villages as well. If you see one cross the road ahead of you, always look for the second as that is generally the case.
If we have thunderstorms at any time during the summer, they bring copious amounts of rain for a short period of time and often roads will flood. PLEASE don’t speed through the water. The water usually subsides pretty quickly and the roads dry out.
And finally, there will be many drivers on the road who aren’t familiar with Hatteras Island, and vacationers who are excited and not necessarily thinking about vehicle or pedestrian safety. Watch out for sudden stops, turns made without signals, and children running out onto the highway. We also have a fair number of bicyclists who travel on Highway 12, and as we don’t have a designated bike trail in the southern villages, it is important to slow down, give way, and share the road.
Make getting here a part of the fun! We’ll take care of everything else once you arrive and we want you here safe and sound. Here’s to many wonderful vacation memories to be made in the Summer of ’17!