Hatteras Island along North Carolina's Outer Banks has beauty, serenity and calm. Yes, you can find plenty to do, such as fishing and wind surfing. But Hatteras also is the place to sit on the beach, walk on the beach and nap on the beach. The best part about Hatteras? Most of what makes it special is free.
A black skimmer at the north end of Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, located on the north end of Hatteras Island, N.C. The refuge is home to 400 species of birds and offers a variety of free educational programs.
The renovated Bodie Island Lighthouse on North Carolina's Outer Banks. (Jan. 10, 2013)
The beach in Frisco, N.C., on Hatteras Island. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore makes up much of Hatteras Island, meaning there's no development except in the seven villages -- Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco and Hatteras. (Sept. 2, 2010)
A ferry from Ocracoke Island arrives in Hatteras, N.C. At the end of Hatteras Island, near the museum, you can take a free ferry from Hatteras Island to Ocracoke Island, which is still part of the national seashore. The ferry takes about 40 minutes. (Aug. 24, 2011)
Beachgoers at Cape Hatteras, N.C. (Aug. 24, 2011)
Some 600 shipwrecks litter the Hatteras coastline, giving rise to its nickname, Graveyard of the Atlantic. The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras is dedicated to local seafaring history.