Avon is Hatteras Island's central village, located 30 miles south of Oregon Inlet and about 20 miles north of Hatteras Inlet. The island's only major supermarket brings most vacationers here at one time or another. Avon is also the home office of Outer Beaches Realty where you'll find our outdoor swimming pool, available exclusively to our guests.
Avon was in times gone by known as Kinnakeet and people from that area still refer to themselves as Kinnakeeters. The name Kinnekeet was changed to Avon by the US postal service. In early days most people lived on the West side of the Island towards the soundside. Presumably to be more protected from the offshore winds during storms. This area was completely flat, sandy white beaches and you could see from ocean to sound in a glance. The dunes you currently see here are not given to Avon by nature, but rather were brought in to protect the exposed island from winds and stormwash. People who grew up in this area remember the tides washing through Avon several times a year. People would build their houses up off of the ground using pilings, or actually cut holes in the floors for drainage.
Kinnekeeters were by trade skilled fishermen and shipbuilders. Avon was a maritime forest, so there were great quantities of oak and cedar easily available. The area was known for producing schooners made from these forests. The trees were cut down for shipbuilding and as with any natural resource, unless properly cared for it disappears, hence the island was essentially stripped clean of trees.
Avon enjoys world renown as a premier destination for the sport of windsurfing and kiteboarding. As these sports have grown, local shops offering lessons and rental equipment flourish. Two minutes south of Avon, is a very narrow part of the island where the ocean and sound are very close together. In the 1500's this was a natural inlet, but with shifting sands these islands change and the shallow inlet disappeared. Still, being very narrow and noting that opening this inlet would save boats hours from having to go around north to Oregon inlet or travel south to Hatteras Inlet to get from ocean to sound or from sound to ocean, villagers began hauling ships over this narrow strip of land where it became known as "haulover".
In the last twenty five years or so, with the popularity of windsurfing Avon has exploded with people coming here from all over to enjoy some of the best windsurfing in the states. So many Canadians came to this spot that it became known as Canadian Hole rather than Haulover.
Bring your boards or just come to watch the thrill and beauty of hundreds of wind enthusiasts launching themselves from sea to sky. Regardless of whether you surf or not, the sight of the many brightly colored sails and kites out on the sound is absolutely breathtaking in beauty. Dancing gracefully over the small waves in the breezes, the windsurfers display incredible skill. This is simply one of those things that have to be left to "seeing is believing" and is not to be missed on a warm windy evening. The sound sunset is magnificent in and of itself, now add to that picture the dancing windsurfers in the foreground and you have a memory not likely forgotten.
Today, Avon still has a harbor where most local residents still earn their livings from commercial fishing. If you were to follow a truck leaving the fish house, you might go to places as far as Baltimore or New York.
The beaches of Avon are perhaps the most scenic on Hatteras Island. Most oceanfront cottages border the dunes, providing beach views and short walks to the surf.
Bring your bikes or rent them from Island Cycles. You can bike the entire village along Highway 12 in just a few minutes. Pedal up to the ice cream parlor next to Outer Beaches' office for the best ice cream on the island. Many other activities can be found here such as fishing, golfing and parasailing. Come be our guest at Outer Beaches Realty and let us help make your vacation a truly relaxing, beautiful memory.