Radio Hatteras - Cape Hatteras Motel

“Keeping It Local” – Meet the Press, Hatteras Style

For many visitors, being on vacation also means disconnecting from the outside world — no TV, no radio and sometimes even a break from social media. But for others, it’s fun to be able to tap into the local scene and on Hatteras Island we have two very fine island-specific media outlets to enjoy. Radio Hatteras (101.5 WHDZ FM in Buxton and just recently 99.9 WHDX in Waves) is a community-supported non-profit endeavor run by a group of committed volunteers. The station provides an eclectic mix of musical programming featuring nearly all genres and often provides nightly specials like “Electric Beach” or “Bluegrass.”  There are also slots for local musicians. But the station is especially important to islanders during times of bad weather, when reports from other parts of the state or even Dare County, don’t provide island-specific information.


The station’s mission is “to provide island-specific broadcast radio communications that enhance the safety and quality of life of Hatteras Island residents, visitors, and property owners.”  With live streaming capabilities on-line Radio Hatteras you can find out what is happening to your property or your favorite vacation get-away when travel to the island may be difficult or impossible. This is an especially valuable resource for monitoring current road conditions when highway NC 12 is impacted by weather, bridge construction and any other events. The station also provides important announcements for visitors during the summer season and special programs like “To the Point” provide an in-depth look into issues impacting the area. Hosted by Irene Nolan of the Island Free Press, this program gives everyone a better understanding of what it is like to live here all year – a question we are asked often.


Speaking of Irene Nolan, she is the editor of our on-line newspaper, Island Free Press. On this site you can find local news, commentary, beach access and park issues, classified ads, real estate and business updates, fishing reports and more. The site is supported by local businesses and is a great way to feel like a local (and be better informed) all during the year. You can subscribe to the Island Free Press through e-mail and have it dropped into your inbox once a week, or like Radio Hatteras, you can “friend” the Island Free Press on Facebook and get updated regularly as items are published.


Both of these ventures take a significant amount of effort to produce and we are fortunate to have something so local. While we love Raleigh and Norfolk, and even the upper reaches of  Bodie Island, nothing beats knowing what is really happening in your own backyard.


Irene Nolan, Island Free Press - Cape Hatteras Motel

Learn About Sea Turtles With A Real NPS Ranger - Cape Hatteras Motel

Learn About Sea Turtles Like A Ninja From A Real NPS Ranger On Hatteras Island

ATTENTION ALL KIDS … of all ages!!

Cape Hatteras National Seashore is offering a fun way to learn about sea turtles. Every Tuesday through Friday until September 5th, a kid-friendly park ranger activity will be conducted on the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse grounds. Meet at the Keepers of the Light Amphitheater at 11:30am.

Learn like a ninja and have a great time with a National Park Ranger!

Learn more about sea turtles and other great events, dining spots and activities at the official Outer Banks Events Calendar.

Learn About Sea Turtles Like A Ninja From A Real NPS Ranger - Cape Hatteras Motel

Fessendon Center - Cape Hatteras Motel

More To These Beaches Than Sand On Hatteras Island

Sometimes they are faded, and sometimes you drive right past them and they don’t really register with your consciousness. But along our Outer Banks you will find numerous historical placards along the highway denoting a special time or place related to the island’s history. They remind all of us that there is so much more to this area than meets the eye. It might be worth a few minutes to stop and read them, to learn a bit more about the rich history of this sandbar.

Just a few hundred yards from the motel in either direction you will find two of these signs – one commemorating the radio transmission of Fesseden (our local recreation center is the Fessenden Center – did you know that?) and the other relates to the location of the notorious Diamond Shoals after which the local restaurant is named. Further on down the island you will see mention of Billy Mitchell (the Frisco airstrip is named in his honor) and another commemorates the Monitor Sanctuary. From the earliest native American settlements, to the Civil War, to the World Wars, until recent times, the strategic location of Hatteras has been a part of many significant historical events. It’s fascinating to learn more about the people who helped shape Hatteras Island from the time of the Croatoan until today. There are several excellent places to visit, and it really is worth a bit of time to step off the beach and explore.

On our recommended list are: the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras Village, the old Weather Service Office in Hatteras, the Native American Museum in Frisco, the Lighthouse Keepers Museum in Buxton, the British Cemetery in Buxton and the Chicamacomico Rescue Station in Rodanthe. If you visit Ocracoke, the Waterman’s Museum at Silver Lake provides a captivating look at the fishing industry of old, and there is a British Cemetery there as well. For the very hearty adventurer, a day trip to Portsmouth Island is a once in a lifetime look at a once thriving maritime community now abandoned. There is also a wealth of books (both fiction and non-fiction) available at most gift shops and the bookstore, many of which are by local authors with generations-long connections to the Outer Banks.  We weren’t always a vacation destination. In fact, in terms of history, that’s a very recent development. People lived, worked, fished, farmed, and yes, even raised cattle on this island well into the 20th century. Their dogged determination through years of hurricanes, nor’easters, and true isolation have helped shape the island as it is today.

Make your vacation a bit deeper and richer this year by taking a moment to think back to what made Hatteras Island. It will be the best souvenir you can bring home!

Rocking Chair Mystique - Cape Hatteras Motel

Hatteras Island Rocking Chair Mystique

We are fortunate to be known for many things at our motel including great views and helpful, friendly service. But perhaps more than anything, our guests know us, and love us, for our rocking chairs.

Southern airports have long been known for their rockers (think Charlotte, NC) where weary travelers can rest for a moment between connections either looking ahead to a new adventure or reminiscing of the one just past.

For the Cape Hatteras Motel, rocking chairs represent the essence of an Outer Banks stay. A vacation’s worth of memories located in a piece of wooden furniture. Throughout the summer we notice our rockers being used for all sorts of memory-making:

1- First on the list would be beverages consumed in the rockers – steaming fresh coffee in the mornings as the sun rises, iced tea during a break on a hot afternoon, and of course the adult beverage of choice as the day winds down.

2- Rockers are also a great spot to catch up on reading – newspapers, best sellers, light summer fare, or brochures on interesting yet-to-be-tried OBX activities.

3- Rockers make great places to catch a nap. This is especially true on a day when a bit of light rain falls onto the beach and the sounds of the wind and rain are positively spell-binding.

4- Little ones love to nestle onto parents and grandparents laps for naps, or for important discussions that only young children can have about what they are seeing and learning at the beach.

5- Rockers make a safe place to watch off-shore thunderstorms when the thunder rolls along the sea and the lightening becomes the best fireworks show around.

6- But perhaps the most important function of the rocking chair is to rock cares away. When a visitor can leave the world behind and dream new dreams, find peace of mind, or just do absolutely nothing at all then we have achieved our goal of providing the perfect space for the perfect vacation.

Bros Sandwich Shack Avon - Cape Hatteras Motel

Nat Geo & Yelp Say Bros Sandwich Shack In Avon #1 American Burger

“From its humble beginnings as a scrappy street food, the burger rose to a position of global dominance as the most instantly recognizable sandwich on Earth. Its influence—like that of the United States, which is generally considered the hamburger’s birthplace—is felt the world over.”

Read how National Geographic Travel and Yelp helped identify America’s Best Burgers.

#1 = Bros Sandwich Shack

Hatteras Beach Dads - Cape Hatteras Motel

Hatteras Beach Dads

Beach Dads are everyone’s super heroes. With Fathers’ Day weekend coming up this the perfect time to honor the guys who make our vacations extra special.

Beach Dads are the men who love to wear funky clothes on vacation; shirts and shorts that suddenly emerge from the darkest corners of the closets where they reside during the rest of the year. And they like to wear hats — lots of cool and interesting hats not seen at any other times or places. Footwear is a whole different topic, but yes, we love our Dads with socks and sandals too!

Beach Dads know how to make sand castles, fly kites, put bait on hooks, and find ghost crabs with flashlights. They are expert car-packers and know all the crazy songs to sing coming down Highway 12. Whether your memories are of Dad looking at a map to find the best route here from faraway places, or your Dad uses a GPS today (which usually can’t find us!), Dads tend to be the drivers for most of the journey. They know exactly which restaurants have the best lunches and snacks, they remember all the gas stations where they always stop, and sometimes they miraculously drive all night so that when you open your eyes, you’re almost here!

When you first ventured into the water, Beach Dad held onto you for dear life as you learned to play in, and respect, the ocean.  Beach Dad taught you about tides, and how to find the Big Dipper in the beautiful, dark Hatteras sky. Beach Dads with four-wheel drives locate the perfect spot to spend the day on the beach.  Beach Dads can grill the best burgers, catch the biggest fish, and tell the best stories.

Beach Dad mellows out by the end of the vacation, and it’s so good to see Beach Dad and Beach Mom really relax.  Dads who work hard all year deserve a break, and an OBX vacation often is the perfect place for that wonderful vacation. But just like Beach Moms, whether you have a Beach Dad, a Mountain Dad, a Lake Dad, a City Dad or a Dad who is now just a precious memory – be sure to pause on Fathers’ Day and say “thank you’ – in person or in your heart.

Happy Fathers’ Day from all of us at Cape Hatteras Motel!