Waterfront Inn on North Carolina's Outer Banks
Hatteras Island was once a quiet, rural fishing area, lined with serene beaches and little villages free of electricity until the 1950s. In 1963, the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge was completed, connecting Hatteras Island to mainland North Carolina for the first time. Visitors streamed in, beach houses sprang up, and fishing tournaments and seafood festivals breathed new life into the island.
At the southernmost point of Hatteras Island and in the middle of Hatteras Village sits The Breakwater Inn. The newly-built resort, which faces the Pamlico Sound, has a long fishing dock and sweeping views of the coast; boats can pull up to the private marina.
Fresh, blackened sweet sea scallops, blue-crab ravioli, and steamed littleneck clams sourced from the nearby sea are all regulars on the menu at the onsite Breakwater Restaurant. After dinner, head back to a deluxe sound front or king suite room, all of which have kitchens and private decks that look out over the sound. In the morning, a light continental breakfast awaits in the lobby.
Hatteras, North Carolina: The Lost Colony, Shipwrecks, and Surfing
Hatteras Island has more than its fair share of fascinating history: in 1587, John White and 116 English colonists landed here, befriending the native Croatan tribe before eventually establishing a colony on another Outer Banks island about an hour away. When John White returned three years later, the colonists had vanished without a trace, leaving only the word "Croatan" carved into a tree and a trail of bonnets as a clue to their whereabouts. Many believe that the "lost colonists,” as they’re now called, returned to Hatteras Island to live with the Croatans, but the truth remains a mystery.
If the lost colonists did, in fact, settle in Hatteras, they could hardly have picked a better spot—the long, thin island is warm and sunny, and has long drawn crowds with its beautiful beaches and abundance of fish. The island is also known for its waves— the Eastern Surfing Association holds its yearly championship here, and kayaking and windsurfing are popular activities. Back on land, walk to Hatteras Village to dine on fresh, local seafood or find souvenirs at the mom-and-pop shops dotting the village.
For more historical lore, check out the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. The museum memorializes the numerous shipwrecks along the North Carolina Outer Banks, once known as one of the deadliest areas for sailors to pass through in the world—some of the reports of ghostly shipwrecks are spine-tingling.
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