Rodanthe became famous for the Nicholas Sparks movie ‘Nights in Rodanthe,’ but has been home to locals as a place where beaches are as beautiful as the scenery. Visitors love the secluded, quiet cottages and adventure sports like kiteboarding. Come away for a romantic getaway, vacation or to experience the best water sports on the East Coast in Rodanthe.

Rodanthe on Hatteras Island

Rodanthe is located on Hatteras Island, North Carolina. Surrounded by the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, there are 70 miles to explore. Visitors and locals love adventure water sports like kiteboarding and windsurfing but camping, sightseeing and lighthouses are also part of the charm of this picturesque town. Waves and Salvo are nearby towns that boast a secluded, isolated beachfront holiday filled with charm and history. Known historically as “Chicamacomico,” Rodanthe NC got its name from an Algonquin word meaning ‘sinking down sand.’ English settlers changed the name but it still remains in use for some places on the island. Here are some great places to visit in Rodanthe:

  • Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station: the first fire station established on the coast of North Carolina and eventually became the US Coast Guard
  • Pamlico Sound: features miles of shoreline that goes from Manteo’s borders to Portsmouth Island and Cape Lookout National Seashore. Visitors and locals love kiteboarding and windsurfing here due to high winds and great surf
  • Rodanthe Fishing Pier: fish for drum, mullet, and other small fish off the historic pier
  • Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge: 13 miles of land that are a desired landing spot for over 400 different species of migratory birds like Great Blue Herons or White Pelicans. Features a visitors’ center, nature trails and marshland to explore


Park Office

  • 954 Marshall C. Collins Drive,
    PO Box 1000, Manteo, NC 27954


  • Sunrise to Midnight, unless otherwise posted or allowed by special permits.

Park GPS Coordinates

  • Lattidude: 35.6004
  • Longitude: -75.4656

Rodanthe NC

Rodanthe NC is near the small villages of Waves and Salvo on Hatteras Island. Surrounded by the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, it is a beautiful place known for windsurfing, kiteboarding, or as a beautiful spot to enjoy the coastline. Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic Ocean surround Rodanthe with vistas that were put on display in the 2008 movie “Nights in Rodanthe” filmed partly in location there including the Inn at Rodanthe which still stands and offers rooms for rent to visitors.

What to Do in Rodanthe

Visitors to Rodanthe find a plethora of things to do from being on the water to spending time enjoying a bite to eat while watching the sunset at one of many restaurants and dining spots. Whether it’s adventure or relaxation, here are some of the can’t-miss things to see and do in Rodanthe:

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge: Cross over the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge and visitors end up at the wildlife refuge which is 13 miles long and 30,000 acres encompass this beautiful refuge. Hatteras Island is a region on the ‘Atlantic Flyway,’ a route for East Coast migratory birds to take on their way north or south each season. Each year the annual Wings Over Water festival takes place at the refuge to bring birders from around the world to enjoy a week of activities including field trips, tours led by volunteer guides and kayak expeditions on the sound to learn nature photography.

Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station

Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station: Visit a historic station commissioned in 1871, one of six others that formed the foundation for US Coast Guard. Tours are offered to visitors to learn the history of this historic and unique building.

Rodanthe Fishing Pier

Rodanthe Fishing Pier: hosts fishermen looking for a great catch off the pier. Daily and weekly fishing passes are sold along with sightseeing passes. Annually a Kids’ Fishing Tournament draws families with local businesses offering prizes. The Pier House sells bait, tackle, and more as well as offering a place to rest, get a bite to eat and play some video games.


Pamlico Sound

Pamlico Sound: enjoy watersports like kiteboarding or windsurfing here. Offers some of the best views on Hatteras that also offers great fishing and beaches. The sound is fed by Oregon Inlet, Hatteras Inlet, and Ocracoke Inlet that connects it to the Atlantic Ocean but stays relatively shallow which makes it fun for water sport enthusiasts.

Dining & Shopping in Rodanthe

While visiting Rodanthe, NC it is a small village with a lot to offer. Stop by Hatteras Jack to grab fishing gear and lures on your way to spend time on the water.  Head out to visit Hatteras Island Surf and Sail offering lessons in windsurfing, stand up paddle boarding and offering high quality gear. Shops mostly focus on water sports, coastal apparel and fishing gear but don’t forget to stop by a few dining spots when you visit. Neptunes Kitchen and Dive Bar offers fresh seafood platterse, appetizers and amazing views of the sound at sunset. Sip on a cocktail while taking it all in. Watermen’s Bar and Grill is less frill more chill as a relaxed spot to eat by the water, enjoy live music and grab some beach take-out.

Where to Stay in Rodanthe

Hatteras hotels are popular in Rodanthe, Waves and Salvo because of their charm and beauty as well as location near the water. Historic properties that are well maintained are offered to visitors as smaller hotels and motels along with beautiful vacation property rentals. What many people may not realize is how popular camping is in Rodanthe. It is well known as a spot that attracts thousands of visitors to sleep rough in a tent or bring small campers. Four-legged friends are invited to Hatteras Island Pet Resort or at various properties around Rodanthe. Be sure to check out North Beach Campground on Highway 12, a popular spot for nightly campsite rentals with water, electric and sewage offered. Bathouses offer hot and cold showers. Camp Hatteras Resort is on 50 acres with full hook ups, an RV site, and planned activities in summer to include crafts, karaoke, mini golf, a game room, playground, watersport rentals and more.

Rodanthe FAQ

Rodanthe is 23 miles south of Whalebone Junction where US 64 and US 158 connect. Travelers can also take NC Highway 12 South to reach it.

Three syllables make up the name of this village with a long ‘O’ and ‘E’ sound said like ‘Row-Danth’ee.’

Historically, this name refers to the original inhabitants of Native American origin who lived here. The word is found on street names, landmarks and the historic Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station, open to visitors.


Scenes from the movie were filmed in Rodanthe on Hatteras Island. The Inn at Rodanthe was the bed and breakfast set in the movie but is a vacation home rented out to visitors. Some scenes were shot on the Rodanthe Pier with other scenes being filmed in neighboring towns.

Surfing spots in Rodanthe are best at S-Curves and Rodanthe Pier. The S-Curves are a stretch of NC Highway 12 north of town. The pier is located in the center of Rodanthe. Waves and water are perfect for surfing here with lots of locals and visitors enjoying the scene.