NC 12 nourishment update - Cape Hatteras Motel

Welcome to Vacation Season 2017 At Cape Hatteras Motel

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!

More Beach To Love Nourishment - Cape Hatteras Motel

Buxton Beach Nourishment Update – May 25, 2017

At a pre-construction meeting on Wednesday, May 24, Weeks Marine announced that the pumping of sand for the Buxton project is now estimated to begin in mid-June.

Representatives from the company reported that the subline for the project is en route and scheduled to arrive early next week. Once in Dare County, the subline will be assembled (approximately 8,000 feet of 30 inch steel pipe) and laid in place underwater. The booster pump, necessary to pump sand to the north end of the project area, will also soon be en route. The C.R. McCaskill, the cutter head dredge assigned to the project, will arrive once the subline has been placed.

The starting point for the project, where offshore pipes connect with the onshore pipes, is approximately 1,000 feet north of the northern boundary for the village of Buxton. Construction will initially proceed to the north until reaching the temporary resource protection area that has been established by the National Park Service to protect nesting birds. At that point, crews will move back to the project’s initial starting point and move south until the resource protection area is no longer in place and work will then resume to the north. After work is completed to the northern project boundary, work will resume to the south until the project is completed.

Once construction begins, the project is expected to be completed in approximately 90 days under normal conditions.

For more information, please visit

Circle of Life - Cape Hatteras Motel

The Circle of Life at Cape Hatteras Motel in Buxton

Because we interact with the public on a daily basis at Cape Hatteras Motel, we tend to see all facets of life played out here as our guests bring all their joys, hope, and sometimes sorrows with them to the beach.

For many people, Cape Hatteras is an integral part of their lives and they want to share their most special moments at the beach. Most times the occasions are the happy ones. We love to find out that someone popped the question on a beautiful moonlit night on our porch or along the beach at sunrise. We are delighted to witness weddings – some planned and some spontaneous – with the waves, the birds, and the sea providing an incredible backdrop to a marriage ceremony. We mark many anniversaries – from the first to the 50th and beyond – and often times we’re the same motel that hosted the honeymoon. There are birthdays and graduation celebrations and annual family reunions. We have conversations with our repeat guests and we watch their children become young men and women who in turn begin bringing their families as their parents become grandparents.

Today in the space of 30 minutes we were reminded of the wonderful circle of life. We welcomed a young couple with their 6 month old son. They remarked that they love the beach and they want him to learn to love it as well. He may not recall this first visit, but no doubt there will be more visits in years to come.

Just a few moments after that, I witnessed a small gathering of guests, my assumption is family and friends, who were engaged in the very moving and meaningful gesture of spreading ashes in the surf. Clearly this was someone’s end of life wish – to become a part of the sand, sea and surf here at Cape Hatteras near our motel. There isn’t much that is more touching than to know we played such a huge part in someone’s life that they would want us to play a role in this final act.

We realize that a motel is just a backdrop to many important memories. But for us, being here for you is why we do what we do and we’re grateful that even in the background we are a part of your lives.

We look forward to creating and sharing many more special days with you!

More Beach To Love Nourishment - Cape Hatteras Motel

Buxton Beach Nourishment Update – May 8, 2017

Weeks Marine, the contractor for the Buxton beach nourishment project, has announced the first day of pumping has been postponed from the originally projected date of May 21 to sometime within the last week of May.

The starting point for the project, where the offshore pipes connect with the onshore pipes, will be located at the oceanfront approximately 1000 feet north of the northern boundary of the village of Buxton. Weeks Marine has announced project construction will initially proceed to the north of the starting point.

The whole project is expected to be completed within 90 days under normal conditions – approximately 55 days for the project area north of the starting point and approximately 35 days for the southern portion.

For more information about beach nourishment projects taking place in Dare County in 2017, please visit

Honoring Clifford Morrow - Cape hatteras Motel

“Honoring a Life Well Lived”

The Cape Hatteras Motel officially opened the “Clifford Morrow” Gallery last night. Located in the new office area, the gallery features the work of this Pennsylvania native turned OBX retiree who was the father of Jan Morrow Dawson, who along with her husband Dave, run the Cape Hatteras Motel.

Morrow, a distinguished artist throughout his career with the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, began a love affair with the Outer Banks, and in particular the Buxton area, with his family in the mid 1960’s. He knew immediately he wanted to retire there and made that happen in the late 1980’s. Once he and his wife Dolores moved to the island, he set up a studio and began to turn his talents toward capturing the beauty of Cape Hatteras. Through prints, pottery, sculpture, and more he created a special feel for the natural world that surrounded him here. He even used the unique shape of a wave to design the new altar at Our Lady of the Seas Church in Buxton.  His work was sold at several galleries in the area, until illness put a stop to his ability to work.

Upon his death in 2011 he left many items in his studio.  After Mrs. Morrow passed in October of last year, Jan and Dave began the bittersweet task of working through a lifetime of art work, which culminated in the creation of the gallery. In addition to Mr. Morrow’s work, there is a room of other beach art, and local products including salt from Hatteras Saltworks also made in Buxton, and “Skeeter Beater” – a product made locally to assist guests and locals alike with those pesky summer insects!

Whether you are a guest at the motel or just driving by, you are invited to visit the gallery, which is open anytime the motel office is open. Perhaps you will find that special something that reminds you of your happy place, to take home with you. Or maybe you would just like to see the work of an artist who found his happy place right here, and had the ability to forever share it with others.


Honoring Clifford Morrow - Cape Hatteras Motel

Honoring Clifford Morrow - Cape Hatteras Motel

Honoring Clifford Morrow - Cape Hatteras Motel

More Beach To Love Nourishment - Cape Hatteras Motel

Buxton Beach Nourishment Update – April 24, 2017

Weeks Marine, the contractor for the Buxton beach nourishment project, plans to begin mobilizing equipment and pipes in early May. Equipment and pipes will be stored near the south end of the project area at the decommissioned US Coast Guard Base.

The first day of pumping sand is anticipated to be around May 21. The starting point for the project, where the offshore pipes connect with the onshore pipes, will be located at the oceanfront approximately 1000 feet north of the northern boundary of the village of Buxton. Weeks Marine is coordinating with the National Park Service to finalize their plan regarding whether pumping will initially proceed to the north or to the south.  The whole project is expected to be completed within 90 days under normal conditions – approximately 55 days for the project area north of the starting point and approximately 35 days for the southern portion.


Link to the release on the Dare County website.

Croatoan Archeological Society - Cape Hatteras Motel

Digging History on Hatteras Island

Join our home-grown Hatteras Island family and volunteer historians with the Croatoan Archaeological Society, finding international fame for the OBX with what they’re digging up.

Lost Colony found?

See for yourself the new artifacts on display at the Hatteras Village Library!

Video produced by Aaron Tuell with the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau.

Cape Hatteras Motel is a proud sponsor of the Croatoan Archeological Society and enjoys supporting the team and their work on Hatteras Island.

Easter new update - Cape Hatteras Motel

What’s NEW For 2017 At Cape Hatteras Motel

Easter is almost here and that means the 2017 Beach season is upon us. We are looking forward to a season filled with happy vacation memories for our guests. It’s time to review a few items as you prepare for your visit, and also update you on a few changes at the motel.

As always, it’s a good idea to take a look at our website before your arrival, especially if you are a first-time guest. Give us a call at the motel [(252) 995-5611] if you have any questions about your reservation, room type, or activities here on Hatteras Island or nearby.

While traveling here you will note the work ongoing at the two bridge sites — one at Oregon Inlet and the other on Pea Island. Depending on the time and day you arrive there may be some lane closures so allow for that in your schedule. These bridges are extremely important to the life and vitality of Hatteras Island so we hope you will not let the minor inconvenience of slower traffic burden you. We will be here at the end of your journey! The construction is truly fascinating to see.

This summer beach re-nourisment will be ongoing in the Buxton area frm June 1- August 31, but we do not yet know from the contractors about the time-frame the work will be done in front of our motel. Please take a look at our previous blog-post about the “More Beach to Love” project and if you are vacationing with us during June, July or August stay tuned to the website or Facebook for more information. We are planning several family-friendly fun activities for the 5-6 days when we will experience the work. We want to make it a special time for all our guests, one that you can say upon reflection quite happily “I was there when they grew beach in 2017.” It will be an interesting process, and the end result is a more stable beach that you and your family and friends can enjoy for years to come. It also means Highway 12 is a bit more secure and less vulnerable, which is a very good thing!

During the winter we moved our office! So when you arrive please look to the end units on the lower level of the soundside. The office is clearly marked and we now have a ramp to the office as well. We’re excited about this new space and we think it will make your check-ins and check-outs go even more smoothly. What’s more, we’ve added some gallery space to the office and we are featuring not only artwork but also some local products that you can enjoy here or take home, include “Hatteras Sea Salts” and “Skeeter Beater.” The Clifford Morrow portion of the gallery celebrates the life and art of a man who made Hatteras Island his retirement home and whose work captures the essence of the natural beauty here. You’ll find great ideas for special Christmas, birthday or anniversary gifts.

We look forward to welcoming you in 2017! Don’t hesitate to call us at [252-995-5611] if you have questions or need additional information. See you soon!

The Cape Hatteras Motel Team

Easter new update - Cape Hatteras Motel

Easter new update - Cape Hatteras Motel

10 Best Islands - Cape Hatteras Motel

OBX Voted Southern Living’s No. 1 Best Southern Island

The votes are in: here is a video presentation of Southern Living’s ten best islands below the Mason-Dixon line for 2017.

Guess who won No. 1!?!


More Beach To Love Nourishment - Cape Hatteras Motel

“More Beach to Love” Restoration In Buxton

That’s the catch phrase from Dare County for this summer’s beach re-nourishment projects in several coastal communities including Buxton.

Plans for the project were explained to community members and property owners at a meeting at the Fessenden Center in Buxton Tuesday evening. The Buxton project is a collaborative effort which includes Dare County, the National Park Service (Cape Hatteras National Seashore), Coastal Science and Engineering, and Weeks Marine.

The following are important take-aways not only for guests of Cape Hatteras Motel, but anyone planning to visit our area this summer.

1. The project will be 2.9 miles in length from just south of Avon near Canadian Hole to the old lighthouse foundations.
2. Approximately 2.6 million yards of sand will be relocated.
3. The borrow area (where the dredging will occur) will be about a mile and a half off-shore.
4. The project will proceed in sections. During the time the work is being done in a given section (about 5-6 days per 1000 foot section), the beach will be closed off. If a section of beach is wide enough there will be a back-shore corridor for public access. The pubic is welcome to view the work from that corridor but Weeks will maintain strict safety guidelines in and around the work area.
5. The primary staging area will be at the south end of the entire project at the decommissioned USCG facility.
6. The end result will be an additional 140 feet of sand on the beach.
7. The timetable is all approximate and is subject to change as the project is weather dependent. As of now the start date is June 1 and end date is August 31.
9. During the time the work is in front of the motel, guests can expect to see large pipes and heavy equipment. The work will be 24/7. There will be construction lights on overnight. There will be the sound of bulldozers backing up. However, AC units will likely drown out some/all of the noise overnight. The dredge (which is the noisiest part of the operation) will be too far off-shore to be heard. The work will progress 200-250 feet a day in a 1000 foot section.
10. Dare County has created a website “” with information, updates, and FAQs. Please visit this website often. The County will also be developing a mobile app to track the progress of the work. On the website you may sign up for e-mail notifications specific to the Buxton project. It will be easy to unsubscribe from the notifications once the information is no longer pertinent to your vacation.
10. You may also get information from the Cape Hatteras Motel Facebook page, the Island Free Press, and/or Radio Hatteras.
11. There will be required sea turtle monitoring during the duration of the project.
12. The quality of the sand will be closely monitored and will be equal to, or better than, the sand currently on the beach. They are not pumping rocks and mud.

We know that there will be a certain amount of disruption during the days that the work is in front of the motel. We ask our guests to remember how long we in the Buxton community have waited for this work to occur, and how important Highway 12 is to the viability of our island community. Especially at our motel we are weary of ocean over-wash and the expense of sand removal. Some of you have been here during storms. Many of you have seen videos and photos of what a hurricane or ‘nor-easter can do.

We will do everything we can to make sure your vacation is enjoyable. An amount of flexibility and understanding will be required. There will be beach access to the north or south depending on which way the work progresses.  The work will be fascinating, and it will be exciting to be here and be a part of the energy surrounding the entire endeavor. The entities involved will have individuals on site to answer questions or concerns. We will also have contact information at the County level to address questions and concerns that we at the motel can not answer to your satisfaction.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. We know how much you love the Buxton area, and we also know you want it to be sustainable in the years ahead. This re-nourishment effort, which has to occur in the summer months when the weather is least likely to be severe, will go a long way to insuring our stability for the next several years. We look forward to seeing you in the summer of 2017!

Please contact the office and ask for Jan or Dave if you have any questions at 252-995-5611. We will do our best to answer them for you or get you the answers you need.  Thank you!


Beach Restoration - Cape Hatteras Motel

Beach Nourishment - Cape Hatteras Motel

Beach Restoration - Cape Hatteras Motel

Beach Nourishment - Cape Hatteras Motel