places to go on hatteras island

Nothing can put a damper on your beach day like the headaches and hassles of locating a good spot for the day. Whether you have gear to carry or 3 kids and the family dog in tow, you don’t want to have to walk a mile and a half just to stake out your spot in the sand. Never fear dear readers; on my most recent trip to the Outer Banks, I found some great spots for free! Here’s my guide to the places to go on Hatteras Island.

Places to Go on Hatteras Island

Cape Hatteras National Seashore Preserve is home to the most extensive stretch of undeveloped seashore along the Atlantic coast. Managed by the National Park Service, it encompasses Hatteras Island, Bodie Island, and Ocracoke Island. Today, we’ll share tips for easy parking on Hatteras Island, home to beautiful beaches and fantastic fishing.

Hatteras Landing

Hatteras Landing is at the heart of the action in the idyllic fishing hamlet of Hatteras Village. With restaurants, bars, shops, fishing charters and more, visitors can park in the expansive lot while they patronize any of the businesses located at Hatteras Landing.

Sandy Bay Day Use Area

Another free parking area on the south side of the island, this stretch of natural beauty is enjoyed by beachgoers of all ages. This is the perfect spot for a day on the beach with your family. Enjoy a picnic on the beach, splash in the waves, or if you’re feeling adventurous, try your luck at kiteboarding.

Ocean Center

The Ocean Center offers a wide variety of educational and recreational activities for people of all ages.  With beach access, ample free parking and a location within walking distance of central Hatteras Village, the Ocean Center is a great destination for visitors and locals alike.

Frisco Beach

Offering six miles of gorgeous beaches, you can find free parking at the public access lot for Frisco Beach with restrooms and showers. Is horseback riding on the beach on your bucket list? If so, head to Equine Adventures and check that one off!

Cape Hatteras Visitor’s Center

A large free parking lot awaits at the Cape Hatteras Visitor’s Center. An excellent resource for travelers, and point of interest, the center is also home to the Museum of the Sea and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. If you continue along Lighthouse Road, you will find two additional parking loops, with easy access to the beach nearby.

There you have it, readers. Now, you too can park like a pro on Hatteras Island. Your friends and family will be amazed when you pull into a free spot, just steps away from sparkling, sun-kissed shores. We won’t tell that you had a little help from Sandy Saltwater, let them marvel at your skills.