Beach Camping at Cape Hatteras

Posted on 09/28/2020 in misc

We normally stay up near Kitty Hawk for our annual-ish Outer Banks weekend, but with the camper we decided to go farther south to Hatteras.

A few days prior to our trip Hurricane Teddy passed by well offshore, but still sent enough water crashing west to flood Hwy 12 on Hatteras island. 72 hours before our trip the highway was buried under 2 feet of sand and water in places. Big props to NC DOT for getting that cleaned up in a hurry. All that was left when we hit the island Friday afternoon was some scattered sand, a few puddles, and creepy 20 feet high man-made sand dunes where they had cleared the road.

Hwy 12 on Hatteras Island
Hwy 12 on Hatteras Island

We stayed at the Hatteras KOA - which is right there on 12 between the road and the ocean. It’s a nice enough KOA. It was only about 50% full on this late September weekend. I suspect I wouldn’t like it when packed as the sites are really right on top of each other. The site I had reserved was too wet for use, so I got a free upgrade to a full hookup site. However, we were 100 yards from the ocean, so it’s hard to complain too much about anything. The vibe there is different than what I’m used to on a campground. It’s more tourists on a beach vacation, not much of a camping vibe happening at all. For example, we noticed that not many other campers there had campfires at night. The remnants of tropical storm beta passed by Friday night, giving us a game night in the camper as it poured all night. I won both cribbage and scrabble. We also passed the time on a decorating project in the camper. I think we are now mostly done “making it ours.”

KOA Cape Hatteras
Hwy 12 on Hatteras Island

KOA Camp Hatteras
Hwy 12 on Hatteras Island

Camper interior
Hwy 12 on Hatteras Island

Saturday was beach day. It was not ideal beach weather, but a bad day...no wait. There are no bad days at the beach. I mostly sat and read, with occasional breaks to jump into the ocean. We stayed at the beach until dark ominous clouds sent us to the safety of the camper around 4 PM. The beach means seafood to me, so we skipped the traditional camping type meals and did takeout from Atlantic Coast Cafe, which is directly across the street from the campground. If ever in the area plan to eat there and it was quite good. So good in fact that we did takeout from there for dinner on Sunday too.

Beach on Saturday
Hwy 12 on Hatteras Island

Sunday was a repeat of Saturday, except we got more sun at the beach than we did Saturday, once the morning fog burned off.

Beach on Sunday
Hwy 12 on Hatteras Island

So I guess that is a wrap on our first summer owning a camper. We aren’t done camping yet as we have two trips planned in October, and November camping is TBD.

I’m already planning our 2021 adventures.