Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Rodanthe, NC

  • Published 2022/03/11

Packed with beauty and tranquility, the best things to do in Rodanthe, North Carolina, will leave you feeling refreshed after a weekend-long getaway.

Rodanthe is a gorgeous gem tucked in Dare County’s shores on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

This census-designated place (CDP) and Waves and Salvo are part of the Chicamacomico settlement.

In 1874, the US Postal Service declined to utilize several of the lengthy Indian names popular in Outer Banks towns at the time of the census.

According to local legends, Rodanthe was called after a non-native flower, Rodantha.

Incredible adventures have always taken place in Rodanthe, from daring beachfront rescues to stormy hurricanes to the magnificent beach holidays of today.

Visitors to Rodanthe may enjoy the romanticism of wind-swept beaches and quiet seaside cottages, modern Outer Banks facilities, like outstanding kitesurfing schools and launching places, local gift stores, and locally managed eateries.

It’s well worth the trip to a place that’s off the grid offering some of the most fantastic water sports facilities on the East Coast.

Immerse Yourself in Nature at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

Birds flying over Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

Wileydoc /

It’s an excellent way to get an up-close look at nature in its purest form.

Although there aren’t many huge signs, hotels, or shops to show the way, this destination, which spans 13 miles of Cape Hatteras National Seashore property, is easy to miss.

Sandscape dunes on Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

Cvandyke /

Because there is no development, tourists may enjoy stunning vistas and peaceful nature paths that are great for off-the-beaten-path adventures in this unspoiled area.

The refuge is well-known for housing approximately 400 different kinds of migratory birds and other animals, so any excursion here is guaranteed to result in some spectacular bird sightings and images.

Body of water at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

Melinda Fawver /

Explore the area’s 30,000+ acres on foot or by kayak, either on one of the area’s many nature paths or in the ocean.

You’ll be able to experience the Outer Banks at its most wild when you’re surrounded just by the wind and native songbirds.

Sunset at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

Ken Lund from Reno, Nevada, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Rent a Boat or a Jet Ski at Charlie’s Boat Rentals

Looking to experience ocean adventure?

Since 2005, Charlie’s Boat Rentals has been a family-owned and operated business.

Hatteras Island is home to two of its offices.

In Wave, North Carolina, you will find its marina, while its jet skis, paddleboards, and kayaks may be found in Rodanthe, North Carolina.

Avon, Buxton, and Frisco are all within a short drive, as are Nags Head and Manteo.

Its boat rentals are located on the south end of the island, where you can be the captain for the day or the week.

Spend the Night at Rodanthe Watersports and Campground

Camp waterfront and instill a love for the great outdoors in your family at affordable rates while escaping the daily grind.

Our beachfront location on the Pamlico Sound provides the ideal setting for your peaceful holiday.

Whether you’re camping in a tent or an RV, the seaside campsite is the place to be.

There is a bathhouse with hot showers and a water/electric hookup available for your convenience.

It’s located right on the sea, so it’s simple to go to the shallow, warm water for the whole family.

The beach, skate park, restaurants, fishing pier, and shopping are all within walking distance of this family-run campsite.

After exploring the area by water or on land, watch the sunset from the campground.

Grab Your Fishing Supplies at Hatteras Jack

Check out Hatteras Jack to stock up on all the fishing supplies you’ll need!

Custom rods and reels are the specialties of Hatteras Jack.

For a Hatteras Island fishing trip, they have all the bait and tackle you’ll need.

Century fishing rods, the greatest in fishing and competitive casting, are available in addition to their bespoke rods and reels.

Hatteras Jack teaches anglers of all levels, from novices to specialists, in a wide range of fishing-related topics.

Visit the Historical Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station

Exterior of Historical Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station

Elizabeth from burlington, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As one of Rodanthe’s most treasured landmarks, the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station stands tall.

Hatteras Island visitors have been drawn to this ancient rescue station for decades, and it sits on the outskirts of Rodanthe, a tiny fishing village.

Even after being ravaged by storms, ocean and sound side floods, and fierce gusts of wind, the Hatteras Island and Outer Banks rescue station stand proudly as a testament to its rich history of saving lives.

As the National Life Saving Service’s flagship stations, the 16 stations in Dare County, North Carolina, would influence the contemporary US Coast Guard through their operations and heroic efforts.

The Chicamacomico crew performed dozens of remarkable rescues from the station.

The original complex now serves as a museum and souvenir store, showcasing some of the team’s most daring efforts.

Try to squeeze in a few minutes of sightseeing on your next Outer Banks vacation to see this historical northern destination.

Dedicated volunteers have conserved and protected the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station, which demonstrates the indigenous culture’s innate bravery, toughness, and pride in a wind-swept setting.

Go Skateboarding at Rodanthe Skate Park

Rodanthe Skate Park, a new public amenity, was inaugurated on May 5, 2018, in Rodanthe, Georgia.

Tri-village area inhabitants, particularly children, have been eagerly awaiting the construction of a 7,000-square-foot park.

The skate park, located on the north side of the community building, was developed and built by Artisan Skateparks of Kitty Hawk, an established skate park developer.

Several skate parks have been developed in the northern Outer Banks region and Dare County and the Fessenden Center skate park in Buxton by Artisan Skateparks.

Skaters may enjoy the sunshine while their relatives and friends rest under a covered tent and observe the activity from a safe distance in this area.

Experience Zen with Tri-Village Yoga

Tri-Village Yoga is located on Hatteras Island’s north end and serves yogis and fitness lovers.

It aims to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable practicing at their own speed, at their own level, and with their own breath, whether they are just passing through or call this place home.

Yoga sessions include restorative, gentle, vinyasa, slow flow, and Zumba and HIIT.

Just walk up a few minutes early to register and get comfy on your mat; there’s no need to reserve in advance.

Renting a yoga mat is an option.

Classes are held during weekday mornings and evenings.

Take Photographs with the Stunning Oregon Inlet Life-Saving Station

View of the Oregon Inlet Life-Saving Station

Cvandyke /

Oregon Inlet’s third and final station was a Quonochontaug-style station.

The $6,860.70 project was finished in February of 1898.

A common and reasonable blunder is to mistake the historic Pea Island Station for the ancient Oregon Inlet Life-Saving Station.

It is logical to believe that it is the Pea Island Station because it is positioned on its northern point.

Abandoned Oregon Inlet Life-Saving Station

Realest Nature /

Three factors exacerbate this: Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge road signs identify this area as the “Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge” because of recent exterior renovations, the island’s isolation, and the proximity of the Marc Basnight Bridge.

Search “Pea Island Life-Saving Station” on the internet and click on “images” to see how often this is mislabeled.

A picture of the Old Oregon Inlet station may be found in nearly every one of the images.

Exterior of a house at Oregon Inlet Life-Saving Station

Jason Schronce /

Join the Festivities at Wings Over Water

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge hosts the annual Wings Over Water on the Outer Banks.

Each year, this wildlife festival serves as a fundraiser for the refuge and features more than 90 different tours and events focused on birding, kayaking, photography, natural history, and art.

The week-long festival, which takes place in October, offers a wide variety of educational events, lectures, and opportunities to meet and greet with other birders from throughout the globe.

Visitors have the option to participate in art and photography classes, go on guided birding tours, take a tram or kayak tour of a National Wildlife Refuge, and much more.

Do note that certain activities need a small charge to participate.

Release Your Stress with Cape Hatteras Massage

Studies find massage reduces daily stress and tension and induces a deeper state of relaxation.

As well as promoting deeper breathing and reducing recovery time from intense activities, it can also aid with low back pain and improve posture by increasing blood flow, decreasing chronic tension, and increasing range of motion.

Rodanthe is a great place to have a relaxing massage.

Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco, and Hatteras, are just a few towns where Cape Hatteras Massage provides mobile massage services.

Relax in the privacy of your own home or holiday rental during your massage session.

The massage therapist, Robin Kukiel, has been a practitioner since 2006.

Chill at Neptunes Kitchen and Dive Bar

Neptune’s Kitchen and Dive Bar in Rodanthe, NC, is a local favorite among Tri-Village residents.

Try it out for yourself, and you’ll understand why.

Menu items include sandwiches, seafood dinners, steamer plates, steaks, appetizers, and a kids’ menu.

Most people come here for the waterfront setting and outdoor eating, which offers spectacular views of the sound, sunsets, and watersports.

There is a wide selection of fresh and locally-sourced seafood, unique cocktails, and a great view at the restaurant.

Go Fishing at Hatteras Island Fishing Pier

Silhouette of Hatteras Island Fishing Pier

JuneJ /

The island of Hatteras is a vacationer’s paradise.

Kitesurfing and windsurfing are popular pastimes in the area because of Rodanthe’s extensive beaches, high dunes, crystal blue sea, and plenty of fishing.

It’s a popular destination for tourists because of the island’s tranquility, its distinct culture, and its wave-riding currents.

If you go to Hatteras Island during peak season, you’ll see many tourists and residents sitting on the various piers, fishing, and socializing.

Fishermen at Hatteras Island Fishing Pier

Xavier Ascanio /

Walking onto an Outer Banks pier gives you a sense of being near the ocean.

You’ll be able to breathe in the fresh air and take in the beauty of the sea.

Hatteras piers are lovely places to spend your days.

There are two famous piers for angling on Hatteras Island: the Hatteras Island Fishing Pier and the Avon Fishing Pier.

However, the amenities and rates of both fishing piers differ significantly, but both provide excellent fishing facilities and expansive ocean views.

Sunset view at Hatteras Island Fishing Pier

David B. Petersen /

Learn Kiteboarding at Kitty Hawk Kites Kiteboarding School

Kitty Hawk Kites sells kiteboarding gear and equipment online and on-site.

The largest hang gliding school globally is located at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head, NC, founded in 1974 by pioneer hang glider John Harris.

The popularity of kiteboarding has multiplied over the past few years.

To keep up with this growth, Kitty Hawk launched a kitesurfing school in Rodanthe, North Carolina.

Kayaks, SUPs, surfboards, skimboards, wetsuits, and more are available at Kitty Hawk Surf Co., including new and used models.

Surfwear, sportswear, and footwear companies are also available.

Kitty Hawk Surf Co., the only Hobie Kayak outlet on the Outer Banks, will assist you with your kayak fishing requirements, whether you need to buy or rent a kayak or pick up essential supplies.

Fish for red drum, speckled trout, flounder, and more with the aid of expert guides on one of their kayak fishing tours.

Have a Staycation at Waves Village Watersports Resort

Resort visitors have access to some of the nicest beachfront vacation rental condominiums on NC’s outer banks, as well as a wealth of watersports, wind sports, and other family-friendly amenities.

Three-bedroom, 3-bath units are available at this one-of-a-kind Outer Banks resort, one of only two of its kind, providing guests with stunning ocean views and beachfront access.

No matter if you’re a seasoned surfer, kiteboarder, or kayaker, Waves Village Watersports Resort is the perfect Outer Banks vacation spot for you and your family.

In our vacation rental condominiums, you’ll find everything you need to ensure a fantastic Outer Banks trip!

The beachfront pool, free Wi-Fi, a private hot tub with views of the water and sunsets, a gas grill, exquisite decor, and a 50-inch widescreen TV with surround sound are included in each unit.

The resort is also located near several popular Outer Banks activities, a restaurant, and coffee shop, and an area of the beach where kiteboarding, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding may all be done in the sea.

Schedule a kiteboarding lesson with an expert for the trip of a lifetime!

Celebrate Old Christmas with the Locals

Almost every location develops a set of customs that distinguish it from other areas.

However, the celebration of Old Christmas on the Hatteras Island Village of Rodanthe appears to have carried it a step further.

It’s a tradition that dates back to colonial times, but its origins stretch far further back in time than that.

When Great Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752, the residents of Rodanthe ignored it because they were isolated, obstinate, and independent.

As a result, a magnificent custom known as the Rodanthe Old Christmas has endured for more than 260 years.

Over the years, the celebrations have undergone a few changes.

At one time, Old Christmas was a time for resolving long-standing resentments and grudges…often with a black eye, according to accounts.

On January 6, Rodanthe’s Old Christmas celebrations include a carol sing-along with fife and drum music to welcome in Old Buck, the village’s local mascot.

According to folklore, it was also a time for young women to see their future spouses for the first time and for communities to lay their differences to rest, typically with a drunken brawl.

Even if it’s less raucous now, the trip into communal spirit is still spectacular.

The Rodanthe Community Center hosts the annual Rodanthe Old Christmas celebration each year.

Final Thoughts

Rodanthe is a stunning destination for history buffs who want to learn more about the area’s rich maritime past.

If you want to find out more, all you have to do is pay a visit to this picturesque locale.

Trying the best things to do in Rodanthe is an enriching experience that will leave you wanting to stay longer.

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