Outer Banks Spotlight on the Village of Salvo

Outer Banks Spotlight on the Village of Salvo

We're currently touring Hatteras Island in the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina. We've been exploring the tri-village area of Rodanthe, Waves—and now our next stop, Salvo. How much do you know about this little OBX village with its quiet shores, untouched beauty and interesting maritime history? Let's find out!




Photo Credit: OuterBanks.com

History of Salvo

If you’ve been following our Outer Banks Spotlight series, you already know that this area of Rodanthe, Waves and Salvo were originally three distinct early settlements once referred to simply as the Chicamacomico Banks. Back in the day, this area was heavily wooded and these three small settlements were only separated by creeks and bridges. The original name for Rodanthe was actually North Chicamacomico and then Waves was simply called South Chicamacomico. At that time Salvo was originally referred to as Clarks or sometimes Clarksville.


It eventually received its official village name but it’s not what you might expect. It’s an interesting story, to say the least. Legend has it that during the Civil War, a Union ship commander passing the island asked his navigation officer what the name of the village was that he was seeing as they passed close by. While looking at his nautical charts, the crewman said that he could not see any name listed. The commander ordered him to, "Give it a salvo anyway," which is basically a greeting by cannon firing. In haste, the crewman logged the word "salvo" on the chart. Future charts were written with the word Salvo on them and that name actually stuck as the official name in 1901, when the village of Salvo received its own post office.

You can read more about the interesting history of Salvo here.



The Beaches of Salvo

Salvo provides Outer Banks vacationers with uninterrupted beach time and very few distractions from the pristine sandy beaches and sparkling blue waters of the Atlantic. Though its only a half-hour drive from the more popular northern OBX towns, Salvo feels like it's in a world all its own. The sandy hills and expansive waters of Pamlico Sound make it a perfect destination for those who enjoy kiteboarding, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking and fishing. 

The beaches of Hatteras Island are managed by the National Park Service as part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, so their guidelines apply to Salvo as well. Because of that, you'll notice that there is no development past the dune line allowing for unobstructed ocean views and natural coastal beauty as far as the eye can see. The seclusion and privacy of Salvo are big draws for those looking for a true getaway on the Outer Banks where you'll find plenty of sun, sand and surf coupled with tranquility, peace and quiet. 


Things To Do

Things To Do in Salvo

Salvo is bordered by 15 miles of undeveloped shoreline and edged by maritime forests, marshes and soundfront beaches. Unmarked nature trails are waiting to be explored. Here are a few of our favorite things to do in Salvo. 

Salvo Day Use Area: This is a public park maintained by the National Park Service. It lies on the shores of Pamlico Sound where inviting  and calm soundside waters lap the sandy beach area. With picnic tables, water access, restrooms and soundfront parking, the Salvo Day Use Area is ideal for families, watersports enthusiasts, fishermen—and just about anyone looking for water views and peaceful surroundings. 

Local variety stores and tackle shops: You won't find much in the way of shopping here except for a few local stores and quaint shops, and those who vacation here like it that way. You're only 30 minutes away from the Northern Outer Banks areas, where it's an easy drive to shopping galore. 

Fishing: Whether you surf fish from the shoreline or drop a line in the soundside waters, you're sure to be hooked. 

Watersports: With perfect soundfront access and launching accessibility, it's no wonder that Salvo, just like Rodanthe and Waves, is a watersport lover's paradise. Watch the kiteboarders or join in the fun and see what it's all about. 

Hiking and Biking: Explore Salvo on two wheels or two feet. Check out the village, the beach and the trails for a Salvo adventure that's sure to please.


We hope you've enjoyed this little tour through Salvo. If you missed any of other OBX Spotlight stops along the way, you can catch up by clicking on that category on the sidebar of our blog, on the righthand side. 

If you're ready to spend some time on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, you can start planning your next OBX beach vacation right here. Let us know if we can help! 

 Have you spent any time in the OBX village of Salvo? If so, what did you love most about this quaint North Carolina beach destination?

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