Hatteras After Dark
The Night Owl’s Guide to Hatteras Island
That’s a question I’ve asked myself many times during my trips. I have never been a fan of going to bed early, around eight or nine I’m still ready for my next adventure. But when it’s late and you’re in an unfamiliar area, it can be hard to know what’s out there.
This list of nightlife activities is here to give you ideas on how to complete your nights on Hatteras Island, from family to parents only activities.
Cape Hatteras is bursting with things to do. Food, bars, and entertainment spots are just a few of the things the island offers. While other activities can be created through the natural environment of the Outer Banks.
Entertainment for the Whole Family
- Frisco Mini Golf and Go Karts – Frisco
- HWY 12 Amusements – Rodanthe
- Uncle Eddy’s Frozen Custard & 18 Hole Mini Golf – Buxton
For those who love a little competition on vacation, these attractions are guaranteed to light up your night with family fun! Frisco Mini Golf and Go Karts is a long-time locally-owned attraction. With options to relax through a charming eighteen hole mini-golf course, butt heads with bumper cars, or live out your Mario Kart fantasies on the go-kart track. It is a blast to finish off the day and tire out the kids (and yourself) before bedtime.
HWY 12 Amusements is another compelling option for the gang. As soon as you enter, the liveliness of flashing lights and the sounds of arcade games fill the air. Mini-bowling and Mini-golf are fun for the family, but where HWY 12 shines is the multi-floored laser tag and massive outdoor rock climbing. The laser tag arena creates a fun pandemonium – there’s no way you can play just once.
These spots are perfect for a late-night dessert. Uncle Eddy’s Frozen Custard has a wide variety of custards with a gift shop and two lounge areas for leisure. While you enjoy your cone, you can also play mini-golf underneath soft lights and beautiful greenery.
Hatteras Sno-balls is a shack style snow cone shop with an outdoor seating area. It has a charming beach shop aura, with its a walk-up window and patio.
Late-night Grub and Nightlife
- Lighthouse Sports Bar – Buxton
- Turner’s High Moon Bar & Grill – Avon
- Stingwray’s Bar & Grill – Rodanthe
- Waves Market and Deli – Waves
- Pangea Tavern – Avon
- The Froggy Dog – Avon
These late-night establishments across the island are best for the sleepless. If you’ve had a long beach day or getting a case of the midnight munchies, these locally owned restaurants, and bars truly satisfy. After a fun night, local transit services can help get you back to your vacation home safely.
- Island Taxi: (252)-441-2500
- Island Hopper Shuttle: (252) 995-6771
The Great Outdoors
The once vibrant beach is completely transformed by night. The fun, loud, and bright shore becomes a serene and mysterious experience. The sound of the waves, light of the moon, and the skittering of the ghost crabs keep you company. Beach accesses along Highway 12 are perfect for taking long walks or stargazing.
Ghost crab hunting is also a popular nightly pastime and one you’ll love because it’s FREE! These pale creatures are most active during the night and pose little to no harm at all. Bringing the kids out to chase them is exciting, however, be careful not to hurt them. Just take a flashlight and your sleuthing skills, and you’re ready to go!
The Lighthouse is even more magical at night. Sitting on the steps under a cloudless sky is unmatched and guaranteed to leave a new memory.
While some folks are eager to head to the beach, others are grabbing their gear and heading soundside. Still water and the reflection of the moonlight create a glistening scene. And there is no better way to enjoy it than on a kayak surrounded only by the largest sound on the east coast. Pamlico Sound’s calm water is phenomenal for kayaking during the night, amidst nothing and no-one but you, and the sky. I highly recommend a full-moon ride at least once in your life.
These are the quiet ends to full days that will leave a lasting impression on you. With the simple elegance that makes Hatteras Island so unique.
Ready for your own late-night adventure?
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