Make the Most of Check-in Day

Check-in day is the most exhilarating and important day of a vacation. How the first day goes can often determine the rest of the week. And though you may be ready to set down your bags, you may have to wait a little while longer. While we work our magic getting your house in pristine condition, don’t wait on us, go out and seize the day and all that Cape Hatteras has to offer.

Check out our map to the best check-in day activities here or at the bottom of the page!

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But before you start your adventure, you’ll probably need to make a few bathroom breaks. Don’t worry, there are plenty of places to stop. Along highway 12 are a few bathhouses and rest areas. Pea Island Visitor Center, Canadian Hole, and the Frisco Bathhouse are just a few places with dedicated restrooms and breathing areas to enjoy the Pamlico Sound or the beach. Be sure to let your pets and little ones out and stretch, use the bathroom, and walk a little to take a break from the long drive. A good idea to make the most out of these stops is to bring swimming gear separate from luggage, as well as a cooler with picnic items so you can go without the hassle of finding everything.

The early bird gets the worm. If you have the whole day ahead of you on check-in, go make your first memories! The options for a full day are limitless. REAL Watersports for example; they provide half and full day lessons involving foiling, surfing, and much more. Not quite ready to jump in the water? Then maybe a day on the water. The ferry is the best (and only) way to travel to Ocracoke Island. Try the new passenger ferry which takes you directly to the town of Ocracoke, where everything is within walking distance. Bikes and golf carts are popular ways to get around; see why and try them for yourself!

Photo by Alicia Thorpe

Taking a break to enjoy nature is a way to release any stress and anxiety. The sound and the beach are two excellent places to relax, but nature trails are unique visits. Near the lighthouse are pet-friendly nature trails that stretch for miles or short loops. Take a lunch with your family at the picnic tables near the entrance and spend a few hours with nature.

While you’re near the lighthouse, go ahead and take a visit! Daily climbs are available for a small price, and the surrounding historical buildings are open for free!

If the sun’s beating down on you, there are plenty of shops and restaurants with air conditioning. Maybe buy some beach-wear shopping or grab a phone charger that you left at home. Afterward, eat a nice air-conditioned meal or ice cream to reward your family for the patience of driving. The shopping centers at Hatteras and Avon are sure to have whatever you need for your vacation and a souvenir or two.

The countless restaurants of Hatteras Island each offer something special, try a different one each day. After a bite to eat, treat yourself to the many Ice cream shops all over the island. Some are small and styling, while others are large and elegant.

The kids are sure to be excited and antsy, so tiring them out first may be the best option. A natural option like the beach lets them quickly exhaust their energy, but go-karting and laser tag should also do the trick. Frisco Mini-Golf and Go-Karts, and HWY 12 Amusements are here to give kids and parents alike an experience of competition, adrenaline, and fun.


Driving and sitting in a car can be quite draining, and sometimes the energy to do anything just isnt there. Spa Koru is there for your relaxing needs. Visit their spa for a soothing massage and set the tone for the rest of your stay.

Our guaranteed check-in time is 6pm. By the time you’re done with first-day adventures, we will have your home ready for you. Make sure to get a good nights rest!

For more to do on your check-in day, check out this personalized map with everything mentioned and more!

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