If you haven’t recently seen all over news outlets on the internet, a new beach has popped up off of the Outer Banks coast! A new sand island has formed off the coast. First noticed in April, this mile long sand bar has gotten bigger over time. It’s been described as “the mother of all sandbars,” by County Commissioner Danny Couch. The island was named by 11-year-old Caleb Regan. Caleb visited the island with his father over Memorial Day weekend. They discovered scattered shells all over the island, and Shelly Island seemed like a fitting name.

Shelly Island // Image via CBS News courtesy of @chadonka on Instagram

Sharks off of Shelly Island // Image via Coastal Helicopters, LLC 

Although Shelly Island is a unique addition to our awesome island, it’s best to look at from a distance if you’re not experienced in the water. Seeing the island up high from a helicopter or airplane tour (check out OBX Biplanes or  Barrier Island Aviation) is a great way to see it. If you do decide to adventure out to the island, it’s best to tackled by experienced kayakers or paddle boarders, but definitely DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SWIM. While the waters are shallow that connect Oregon Inlet, rip currents are a major threat and the shallow waters are home to dozens of sharks. We don’t know how long Shelly Island will be around for, (it could disappear just as fast as it appeared) but you should definitely take the opportunity to get a view of this anomaly this summer!


Hatteras is a unique island that is part of the Outer Banks. Full of history, beauty, and local culture, Hatteras is an exceptional gem that you’ll definitely want to visit. Check out our Top 10 Things To Do in Hatteras guide and start planning your Hatteras getaway today!

1 – Lighthouse Climbs

Cape Hatteras is home to two different lighthouses; the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and the Bodie Island Lighthouse. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse boasts 257 steps while the Bodie Island Lighthouse has just over 200. The climb isn’t for those who have heart, respiratory, or other medical conditions but climbing is up to your discretion. The view from the ground is as stunning as the view from the top of the lighthouses so even if you’re unable to climb, you still won’t miss out!

2 – Visit Avon Pier

Enjoy a morning sunrise or spend the day fishing away at Avon Fishing Pier.  First opened in 1963, Avon Pier is home to many famous catches and the giant Red Drum that like to swim around the pier. A fishing license is not required to fish on Avon Pier and if you don’t have the right gear, the Pier House has you covered.

3 – Ferry Ride

Hatteras is home to the Hatteras/Ocracoke Ferry. Plan a trip down to Ocracoke and hop off the Ferry. The ferry ride is only about 40-45 minutes long. The Ferry can transport your car, bike, or even you just on foot! Take a ride across the Pamlico Sound to Ocracoke for a day you’ll never forget.

4 – Visit Frisco Native American Museum

The Frisco Native American Museum is a treasure on Hatteras Island. The Native American Museum showcases historical artifacts like drums, weapons, clothing and more from different local Native American tribes. There are also nature trails that wind through several acres of Hatteras forest. Along the trail, you can also dig for fossils in the fossil pile. Fun and education meet at this little museum!

5 – REAL Watersports

REAL Watersports offers a place to shop for surf, skim, skate, and kiteboarding gear. Cape Hatteras is recognized as the best place to kiteboard in the world and is one of the top surfing destinations on the East Coast. If you’re in town on July 21st, REAL hosts Roxy Beach day; a day full of surfing, beach yoga, kiteboarding, and more (and it’s all free!) REAL Watersports also offers kiteboarding, surfing, and stand-up paddle boarding lessons. Try a new sport and who knows, you might be the next professional surfer or kiteboarder!

6 – Chicamacomico Life Saving Station

Chica-what?! Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station (pronounced CHICK-a-mah-COM-ick-o) was one of seven lifesaving stations commissioned in 1871. Learn about the history of Live Saving Stations in North Carolina and how they helped contribute to what the United States Coast Guard is today.

7 – Pea Island Art Gallery

View artwork from over 100 local and regional artists at the Pea Island Art Gallery. With pieces like pottery, glass, jewelry, wood, sculpture, and more there’s something for everyone to look at. If you really fall in love with a certain piece of art, you can buy it to bring home with you!

8 – Tour by Air

A unique way to experience Hatteras Island is by viewing it by air! Burrus Flying Service has three different tours you can choose from. The South Tour will fly you over Hatteras inlet and move toward Ocracoke.  The Cape Tour takes you over the Pamlico Sound and the Canadian Hole where you can get a sky view of windsurfers. The North Tour takes you over the sound towards Waves and Salvo where you can see different shipwrecks from a bird’s eye view!

9 – Eat Locally

Hatteras Island is known for being a fishing community, like many other towns on the Outer Banks. With fishing communities comes the freshest seafood you will ever find and let us tell you, there’s nothing like it. Hatteras restaurants like Café Pamlico feature dishes made from seafood right from the waters of Hatteras and all over the Outer Banks.

10 – Beach It

No commercialization means a lot more room and a greater connection to nature and the beauty of the beach. Unlike other Outer Banks beaches, the Hatteras seashore has no other buildings or homes right on top of the beach. Hatteras beaches are pet-friendly and 4-wheel drive capable (with a permit). Spend a beach day in the ocean or relaxing in the sand. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

With all of these activities to do and more, why not plan your next vacation on Hatteras Island? Resort Realty offers many different vacation homes in Hatteras that will suit your every need. Check them out and book your next Outer Banks vacation in Hatteras with us today!


Top 10 Hatteras


bodie island blog

Bodie Island Lighthouse



Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station


hatteras beach blog

Cape Hatteras Beach



Winter on the Outer Banks is something magical. Time seems to slow down but there’s beauty in the stillness. Most local restaurants shut down in the colder months so employees and owners alike can get some much needed rest and relaxation until the warmer, busier season kicks up again. However, when holidays like Valentine’s Day rolls around, it makes it hard to find a restaurant that’s actually open. Luckily, a few Outer Banks eateries do stay open all year-round and some even open back up for you to spend Valentine’s Day with your loved one.

Basnight’s Lone Cedar Cafe – Nags Head
Enjoy fresh, local seafood at Basnight’s Lone Cedar Cafe. Lone Cedar takes pride in serving some of the freshest seafood and home grown herbs and greens right here on the Outer Banks. They even give you the option to bring in your own, cleaned catch of the day and they’ll prepare it for you however you like! This Valentine’s Day, Lone Cedar will be offering dinner specials, along with the full menu. Lone Cedar does not accept reservations so make sure you arrive at 4:30 when dinner starts to get a table and enjoy an out of this world meal with your significant other. Visit Lone Cedars’ website for more information and menu options.

Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant and Tavern – Nags Head

For a dining experience that has a little something for anyone, spend your Valentine’s Day dinner at Kelly’s. Their menu consists of local seafood options, fresh meats, pasta, and vegetarian options. With every meal, Kelly’s serves their famous sweet potato biscuits that are to die for. Kelly’s does accept reservations so give them a call at 252-441-4116 or visit their website to view their menu and photos. Kelly’s offers the option to make a reservation online as well.

Blue Moon Beach Grill – Nags Head

Small, cozy, and quirky, Blue Moon Beach Grill is a local restaurant you don’t want to miss out on this Valentine’s Day. With their specialty being in Southern comfort food (like their famous shrimp and grits) expect nothing less than being treated like family. Blue Moon offers an exceptional dining experience at an affordable price. Blue Moon is open all year-round from 11:30 AM to 9:00 PM. Make sure you get there early to beat the dinner rush; Blue Moon does not accept reservations. Check out Blue Moon’s website for more information and take a peek at their menu.

Trio – Kitty Hawk

For a lighter fare and live entertainment, visit TRiO Bar and Bistro. TRiO hosts an immense selection of wine, beer, and cheese for you and your love to sample and a bistro menu of gourmet sandwiches, salads, desserts, and more. This Valentine’s Day, TRiO is hosting a 5 course dinner featuring off menu dishes couples will revel in. The dinner will also be paired with your choice of wine or beer. Advance registration for this event is required. Visit TRiO’s website for more information on the eatery and to register for the dinner event.

Salt Box Cafe – Kill Devil Hills, Colington Harbor

This cottage style restaurant serves the perfect intimate background for you and your sweetheart. The Salt Box Cafe focuses on locally farmed ingredients, seafood, meat, and vegetables to give you the dining experience you’ve only dreamed of. With options available like maple glazed duck breast and grilled local cobia, you and your love will have the best Valentine’s Day yet. Dinner is 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Salt Box Cafe does recommend making a reservation. Call 252-255-5594 to make your reservation. In the meantime, visit the Salt Box Cafe website to see everything they have to offer.

Aqua Restaurant – Duck

This Valentine’s Day, take a trip to Aqua and enjoy waterfront dining that’s sure to make sparks fly with your honey. Aqua offers locally farmed ingredients, fish, and meat to ensure a truly local dining experience. Different selections of beer and wine are available to pair with your meal and live music is played while you dine. You’ll find options like Cornish game hen, seafood pasta, and much more on their menu. After dinner, treat your sweetheart to something sweet off of Aqua’s extensive dessert menu. Reservations can be made over the phone by calling 252-261-9700 or online reservations are available on Aqua’s website.

Cafe Pamlico – Buxton

If casual fine dining is what you and your beloved are looking for this Valentine’s Day, look no further than Cafe Pamlico. With fresh local seafood coming from Buxton’s waters, the restaurant garden, Hatteras island or the Tidewater Region, you’ll be no less than impressed with whatever you order. Cafe Pamlico also offers a variety of vegan, vegetarian, and dietary needs options as well. Cafe Pamlico recommends making a reservation. You can call 252-995-4500 or the front desk at 866-PAMLICO (726-5426) for questions and reservations as well. Check out Cafe Pamlico’s website in the meantime to see all they have to offer.

Striper’s Bar and Grille – Manteo

This 3 floor restaurant will offer couples breathtaking views over the Albemarle Sound and appetizing dinner options that will make your Valentine’s Day sizzle. Striper’s Bar and Grille serves local seafood along with freshly made in house sides and dressings to complete your meal. Enjoy a romantic sunset over the sound as you dine with your loved one. Striper’s also offers catch and cook. You can bring in your own fresh caught and cleaned fish and Striper’s chefs will prepare it to your liking! Striper’s does accept reservations at 252-475-1021 or at 252-475-1022. Visit their website to view even more of their menu


Make this Valentine’s Day one to remember for years to come at any of these Outer Banks restaurants. Whether you’re visiting or you live here all year-round, plan an Outer Banks get away with you and your valentine in one of our cozier vacation homes!


Basnight’s Lone Cedar Cafelone cedar

Blue Moon Beach Grillblue moon

Salt Box Cafesalt box