Visit the Hatteras Island Visitor Center & Museum of the Sea

The Outer Banks is filled with many historic National Parks and other fun educational side trips that you and your family can enjoy while on vacation. Visiting these places can not only help you relax a bit, but maybe get in a few extra homeschooling lessons along the way. Staying in one of our beautiful Outer Banks vacation rentals will allow you and your family to be able to explore these two unique places. Let’s take a longer look at both the Hatteras Island Visitor Center and Museum of the Sea before your next visit. 

Hatteras Island Visitor Center

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is roughly a 1-hour drive from South Nags Head making it the perfect destination to inspire a scenic drive. Here you and your family will be able to explore the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and see how majestic it is. The breathtaking views you will see from atop of the lighthouse will allow you to see how beautiful the entire area is as the light washes over the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is 210ft high making it the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States.

There is a park store where you and your family will be able to purchase souvenirs & books to take back home and remember this day by. The visitor center is open daily except for Christmas from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. However, before you make plans to visit, be sure to make sure they are open. Stop by the information desk and ask for a park brochure, map, and a list of the daily events happening while you’re on site. 

There is plenty of parking and restrooms available here to accommodate everyone. Throughout the spring, summer and autumn months, join a park ranger on a ranger-led program to learn about lighthouses, barrier island geology, sea turtles, surf fishing and more!  

Museum of the Sea

The Museum of the Sea is located within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and sits alongside the Hatteras Island Visitor Center. This museum is not like any other museum that you may have ever seen. It includes the Double Lighthouse Keepers’ Quarters built for the two lighthouse assistants who lived on site with their families. While the Lighthouse Keeper did not live in this large home, he had his living quarters just off the Double Keepers’ Quarters’ right. Both homes are still standing and are beautiful inside and out. Inside the museum, you will learn more about the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse through some fantastic exhibits focused on maritime history of the Outer Banks. There are so many interesting artifacts, exhibits, and photographs located within the Museum of the Sea that everyone in your group will walk away with learning something new. 

While there are many other fun parks located on the Outer Banks, we wanted to share these with you. If you haven’t booked your next visit to stay in one of our Outer Banks vacation rentals, give us a call today. We look forward to hearing about your trip to the Hatteras Island Visitor Center and Museum of the Sea soon!

Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates is one of the most trusted vacation rental managers in the local area by growing into a market leader in the Vacation Rental and Sales Industry. Joe Lamb Jr. and his family have played a vital and intricate role in the Outer Banks Community for decades. 

Over the past 50+ years, Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates have worked diligently to help promote the Outer Banks for the amazing beach and family vacation destination that it is, helping to increase tourism in the area and grow our beautiful community. 

Here is more specific info about Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on their website on this page.

Nor’easters Create Perfect Conditions for Big Surf Waves

Surfing the break at Kitty Hawk, March 7. Photo, Brent Nultemeier.
Surfing the break at Kitty Hawk, March 7. Photo, Brent Nultemeier.

Amazing Conditions Greet Surfers on Wednesday

Maybe it was the back to back nor’easters that created the perfect conditions for the waves that rolled in on Wednesday. Maybe it was the wind shifting just enough to the west to stack those massive waves, so they were no longer an unreadable swirl of currents.

Whatever it was, something happened yesterday to create an almost perfect winter surfing day.

Make no mistake, this was a day for the best only. Ten and twelve foot waves—and a few bigger—breaking 75 yards offshore are conditions only suited for the most experienced, but the action for those few who did get out there was incredible.

Significant Impacts Experienced

That is not to lessen the impact of the storms that battered the Outer Banks this past week. Somehow NCDOT has managed to get the S Curves north of Rodanthe opened almost immediately after being completely under water. A remarkable feat, but it also means Hatteras Island is not cut off from the rest of the world.

North of Oregon Inlet the relentless pounding of that perfect combination of storms pushed seawater over parts of the Beach Road in Nags Head and on the north end of Kitty Hawk.

In spite of the overwash, it does look as though the beaches that were nourished have held up well. Nourishment is used for shoreline and infrastructure protection. Five days of 12-15’ waves with a strong onshore wind is going to push water inland no matter what.

At first glance though, it looks like the overwash in Kitty Hawk was not nearly as severe as it has been in the past, and critical areas of the Beach Road that have been washed out as recently as last year, were not affected at all.

It looks as though there is another storm brewing, forecast to push offshore this weekend. Like the past two, the brunt of its power will be to the north of the Outer Banks…but the waves will certainly be rolling in.

Power of Nor’easter Tosses Container Ship Cargo to Ocean

Ocean overwash in Kitty Hawk, day three of the storm.
Ocean overwash in Kitty Hawk, day three of the storm.

Wind and Waves Damage Cargo Ship

The container ship Maersk Shanghai, bound for Charleston, SC lost 70-73 containers 17 miles off Oregon Inlet Saturday night the Coast Guard has reported. That puts into perspective just how powerful the March nor’easter that is pounding the East Coast is.

At the time the containers fell into the sea, according to a Duck Field Research Buoy in the area, seas were running at 24’, although there may have been larger waves in the area. The winds at the time were from the north at 40-50 mph.

This is not the first time a container ship has lost its cargo off the Outer Banks. In 2006 a container filled with Doritos fell overboard, much to the delight of local tortilla chip lovers. This time, however, no one knows what’s in the containers, or if they will wash up on local beaches.

Nor’easter Slowly Exiting

It’s a third day of pounding surf and some soundside flooding here on the Outer Banks. The winds have been holding steady from the NNW for the past few days—which puts us on the backside of the nor’easter. As the winds rotate around the storm center, they move from the northeast to the northwest and at some point they’ll shift to the south. Which is not forecast to happen until sometime early Tuesday morning.

Slowly but surely, and not nearly as fast as we hoping, this massive March nor’easter is moving away from the Outer Banks.

Hatteras Island seems to to have really taken a beating with flooding reported from Pamlico Sound overwash and some ocean overwash. The S Curves north of Rodanthe are impassable and vehicle traffic to Hatteras Island is not possible right now.

North of Oregon Inlet, there has been some soundside flooding, especially in Manteo and at times on Colington Road, but it has not been too bad.

After three days of steady pounding and 15’ waves we are seeing some ocean overwash. It remains to be seen how well recently nourished beaches will hold up after this first significant test.

Hatteras Power Blackout-Northern Beaches Unaffected

Digging for the severed cable at the south end of the Bonner Bridge construction zone. Photo, Outer Banks Voice.
Digging for the severed cable at the south end of the Bonner Bridge construction zone. Photo, Outer Banks Voice.

The news just came out a little while ago, that Hatteras Island is being evacuated. This is a manmade catastrophe, and has nothing whatsoever to do with Mother Nature.

What Happened?

Early yesterday morning, PCL Construction who is building the new Bonner Bridge, was pounding a piling into the south end of Oregon Inlet.

When they cut through a power cable carrying electricity to Hatteras Island and Ocracoke the effect was immediate. All power south of Oregon Inlet was immediately lost.

Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates visitors, please note—this does not effect anything from Nags Head north, where our Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates properties are located.

But the effect on our friends on Hatteras Island and Ocracoke is dramatic and difficult to witness.

Although there are emergency generators on hand, and more are coming, they are designed to handle emergency power loads only. The generators cannot handle air conditioning and residents have been told to expect rolling blackouts.

Evacuations Ordered

Hyde County ordered Ocracoke evacuated yesterday, Thursday, and Dare County ordered Hatteras Island evacuated today. Governor Roy Cooper has declared a state of emergency, allowing some weight restrictions to be lifted on trucks to more efficiently move supplies and more generators.

There is considerable uncertainty about how long repairs will take. Cape Hatteras Electric Coop (CHEC) who manages the power grid on Hatters Island put out a statement saying,  “CHEC is working to assess the extent of the damage and plan for the repair. Assuming that the cooperative has the materials on hand, repairs could take several days to complete. If materials are not available locally, repairs could take weeks.”

The latest information is the original contractor who laid the power cable is on hand and PCL is working to excavate the site and inspect the cable.