Outer Banks Spotlight on the Village of Frisco
We're nearing the southern end of Hatteras Island on our town-to-town tour of the OBX featured in Élan Vacations Outer Banks Spotlight series. We're driving down NC Highway 12 and heading into the unincorporated village of Frisco, NC. Situated on the outer fringe of Buxton Woods between the villages of Buxton and Hatteras, tiny Frisco offers big appeal all its own.
Families love Frisco, as do beach lovers, nature enthusiasts, history buffs, fishermen and campers—just to name a few. Let's get up-close-and-personal with this OBX vacation destination and get to know Frisco a little better.
The History of Frisco
Originally known as Trent (sometimes Trent Woods) until 1898, Frisco now has its own post office and own zip code, but you'll still hear it referred to as Trent by some of the longtime locals here.
Like many of the other Outer Banks towns and villages, Frisco is rich in Native American history, with a heavy Croatan influence. This branch of the Algonquins settled here and flourished for centuries on the abundant local seafood and beneficial coastal environment which they called home. Recent archeological studies have unearthed piles and piles of discarded oyster and clam shells, which points back to the rich seafood diet the Croatans enjoyed here.
Another recent notable discovery was by the late David S. Phelps of East Carolina University in Greenville, who in 1998, discovered a 16th century signet gold ring that was attributed to the English "Kendall" family. Upon further research, Phelps found that two men from the Kendall family may have been members of The Lost Colony, as well.
Native American influence and English settlement are only part of Frisco's story and history. Military history is another. On September 5, 1923, General Billy Mitchell of what was then the Army Air Service used a tiny airstrip at Frisco to launch a series of bombing run demonstrations against battleship targets off the Outer Banks. This exhibition left no question to the effectiveness and necessity of air power, and was a major impetus in establishing the United States' modern Air Force. Who knew this small portion of the Outer Banks had such a big impact on our nation's military advancement and history? Now you do!
Settle in to coastal life and get away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland here. Frisco is a beach lover's paradise with wipe open beaches and uncrowded shorelines. Frisco has the benefit of being a south-facing beach, so you get to see the sunrise over the ocean and the sunset over the sound. Frisco also has a gradually sloping ocean floor where beachgoers can easily walk out into the ocean for about 50-100 feet or more, and never miss a step or lose footing to holes and steep ocean trenches. This feature makes Frisco very kid- and family-friendly. In addition to the ease of water access and this gentle sloping, which allows for more intact shells including Scotch Bonnets, whelks, conchs and sand dollars—beachgoers can find excellent beach combing opportunities and shelling conditions on any given day.
Frisco Beach is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, as are the other Hatteras Island beaches. Here are a few of the highlights of what you need to know:
- 4x4 driving and fires on the beach allowed with permits
- leashed pets allowed on beaches but not designated swimming areas
- surf fishing abounds
- fireworks and metal detecting are not permitted
- no lifeguards on Frisco beach
Attractions & Things to Do in Frisco, NC
Besides getting your fill of sun, sand and surf, there are some other noteworthy attractions and things to do in Frisco. Check these out!
Frisco Native American Museum: Due to its rich and intricate Native American history, Frisco is home to the Native American Museum on Hatteras Island. This locally run and operated attraction has been a fixture on the island for years. Visitors are highly encouraged to stop by and learn more about the Native American history found on Hatteras and throughout the entire United States.
Frisco Woods Campground: Camping is a popular activity on the more remote areas of Cape Hatteras and Hatteras Island. Frisco Woods Campground offers primitive tent camping, RV camping, and cabins with electricity and air conditioning for those who aren't inclined to rough it too much. Located on the waterfront of Pamlico Sound, Frisco Woods Campground makes for a fun-filled camping adventure for couples, families or anyone who appreciates spectacular coastal views and lots of fresh salt air.
Local Amusements & Adventures: Kiteboarding, windsurfing, go-karting, mini golf, art galleries, horseback riding on the beach and flight tours are some of the many Frisco favorites when it comes to coastal adventures and amusements to be found. The aerial sightseeing tours of Hatteras Island and the guided horseback tours come highly recommended!
Where to Stay on the Outer Banks
Outer Banks vacation rentals are the best way to go when it comes to accommodations. No matter where you choose to stay on the OBX, you're sure to find the perfect place for you and your family.
If you missed any of our stops along the way, catch up on our OBX Spotlights here:
We have one more stop left on our Outer Banks tour. The OBX Spotlight on Hatteras Village is coming soon. Follow Élan Vacations blog so you don't miss a thing. See you next time!
When is your next Outer Banks beach vacation and which town or village are you staying in?