Outer Banks Spotlight on the Village of Waves
We're on a road trip through the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Have you been along for the ride? Hope so! We're currently making our way through the Tri-Villages of Hatteras Island. Last time we were seeing the sights in Rodanthe and now we're moving on to the Village of Waves. Sandwiched between Rodanthe to the north and Salvo to the south (stay tuned for more on this village in our next OBX spotlight post), Waves is a beach lover's dream—as you can probably already tell just from the name.
Come on, let's explore a little more about this beautiful beach destination on the Outer Banks nestled in the northern part of Hatteras Island.
History of Waves
Waves has developed an identity of its own, though it wasn't always that way. The whole Tri-Village region of northern Hatteras Island was once known as Chicamacomico, named after the local Native Americas that lived here, with a small portion of the area known as Wimble Shores. You can still find the name Wimble Shores in Waves to this day, as there's a road with the same name and a vacation home community bearing that moniker.
In 1874, the U.S. Postal Service changed the name of the entire northern portion of the Tri-Villages to Rodanthe, and as the community slowly began to expand to include more locals, fishermen, and Lifesaving Station employees and their families, Waves became big enough to be called South Rodanthe. It wasn't until 1939 that the village came into its own when the U.S. Postal Service named it Waves and gave it a local post office to prove it.
Waves remained pretty remote and relatively undeveloped, explored by the occasional adventurous hunters and fishermen until the 1960s when the Herbert C Bonner Bridge opened. It was only then that vacationers from the established northern Outer Banks towns of Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk finally had a ferry-free way to explore the beaches of Hatteras Island. It wasn't until the the early 1980s that Waves became a certifiable vacation destination, with well over a hundred vacation rental homes for Outer Banks visitors to enjoy.
The Beaches of WavesAs you might infer from its name, Waves is all about the beach and the water. It's a watersports haven for adventurous enthusiasts with two of the largest watersports companies around located in the village. REAL Watersports and Kitty Hawk Kites are nationally renowned leaders in the industry and include everything from kayak and wave runner rentals to hang gliding, windsurfing and kiteboarding rentals and lessons. Both the REAL Watersports and Kitty Hawk Kites complexes offer soundfront cafes, pro shops, and all the rental equipment you need to set out on your OBX adventure. They also teach lessons, classes and even camps to help you along the way.
Since the beaches of Hatteras Island are managed by the National Park Service as part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, you may want to check out the Park Service rules to be sure you know what is and isn't allowed on the beaches. The rules are pretty limited but still worth looking at. Beachgoers can bring their leashed pets , enjoy a beach bonfire, and drive on the beach with the proper permits. Metal detecting is not permitted in the National Parks and there are no lifeguards on duty in Waves.
Outer Banks vacationers in search of quiet beaches, miles of sand, and plenty of water to play in can find unending opportunities to explore all of these during their time in Waves.
Things To Do in Waves
As we've already mentioned, getting out on the water is one of the best things to do during your time in Waves. Surfing, shelling, fishing are among the others. In town, you'll find a handful of charming cafes and unique coastal shops. There are also both small and nationally-recognized campgrounds in Waves for those who like to really get up-close-and-personal with the great outdoors.
You're only a half-hour from the major northern Outer Banks attractions, so you'll always be close enough to anything you want to do or see here on the OBX. Fill your days with beachfront fun and starry skied nights, enjoy quaint and locally owned restaurants, take the kids out for shopping and ice cream, or head out on the water adventure of your choosing.
If you happen to be here in June, be sure to check out the Triple-S Kiteboarding Invitational that happens annually in Waves. The competition really heats up during this kiteboarding competition that brings pros from all around the world battling it out to be the best, or just enjoying a day of exhibition tricks and rides in the Pamlico Sound. Though the competition is by invitation only, the event is open to any and all spectators, and Waves vacationers find it worth the stroll to watch the amazing acrobatics by some of the world's best kiteboarders. Mark your calendars!
As you can see, Waves is a small (sometimes overlooked) OBX town with big coastal charm. Why not take a closer look? We know you'll love it.
If you missed any of our OBX Spotlight series, you can catch up here. Then start planning your next Outer Banks vacation!
Have you visited or vacationed in the village of Waves on the Outer Banks? What did you love most?