Waves, NC

Waves is part of the ‘Tri-Villages’ of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo. Visitors come for water sports, great restaurants, and unmatched oceanfront and sound-front beaches. While everyone is focused on catching a ‘big wave,’ this more miniature village of Waves has a big heart with coastal appeal, quaint shops, and miles of unique shoreline to explore.

Village of Waves On Hatteras Island

Waves is located on Hatteras Island in mid to south Outer Banks next to Rodanthe and Salvo. The village, while small, offers big waves, which is how it lives up to its name. Shops, training, and facilities all exist in Waves to offer adventure seekers some thrills out on the open water and low-key watersports like kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) nearby. For anyone who loves to get out and explore, it is a great way to see the OBX from the water, but also check out some other great things happening in Waves. Surfers aren’t the only water lovers in Waves. Fishermen come to nab some great catches. Several restaurants in Waves offer meals all day long, including fresh fish, beachy foods, American cuisine, and more. Nosh on some great grub before or after hitting the surf and stop by the specialty shops nearby for souvenirs or supplies. With so much to see and do around Waves, there is no time to sit and be bored. Unless finding quiet time is your thing, the beaches and sound are great places to find quiet time in nature when the crowds dissipate (early morning or late evening in high season) and off-season excursions to soothe the soul.

village of Waves

The village of Waves is on Hatteras Island, part of Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The ‘tri villages’ of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo are close together in what used to be considered ‘Wimble Shores,’ named after local Native Americans. “South Rodanthe” is another name for Waves which has many vacation homes for rent and plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the surf and sand. Adventurers come for the water but stay for the natural beauty of this village in Outer Banks, NC.

Stay and Play In Waves NC

The town of Waves has many types of accommodation for visitors. Vacation rental homes are one of the most extensive options in several places. Outer Banks prides itself on not having many ‘big box’ type hotels and resorts, instead focusing on the ‘small town charm’ that makes it great. Single-family beach cottages to oceanfront estates offering luxury amenities are offered each year. Real estate and property management services provide the spaces, representing over 1000 rental homes throughout the island, including Waves. Spend time on the beach in your rental or nearby, and never be far from the natural waves that give the village its name. 

Ocean Waves Campground.

If your wish list includes more of a rustic feel, try the Ocean Waves Campground. Located across Croatan Sound in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore in Waves, the campground is ¼ mile past the KOA and offers guests 68 full hook-up campsites for a relaxing and quiet time on the beach and spending time enjoying the weather and new company. The surrounding area has a lot of places to stay to access Waves that are not right in the village but in the tri-village area in Rodanthe or Salvo. Spaces book quickly, especially for the high summer season, so book in advance to get the best deals and spots.

Dining & Shopping Around Waves

Since Waves is a more miniature village in Hatteras; there are fewer places to shop than elsewhere on OBX. Shoppers can visit the greater tri-village area to shop boutiques but will be surprised to find a few places around, like a coastal surf shop that sells Life is Good apparel. Forbes Candies, Gifts, and Tea offer famous fudge or salt water taffy. Try their coffee and smoothies before heading out for a dip in the water. Watermen’s Bar & Grill is probably the most prominent place in Waves to get complete service food from breakfast through dinner. They served Carolina Brewery beers on tap, rum, and more to help you relax and enjoy the view with a nice meal. Kitty Hawk Kites offers kayaking, jet skiing, charter fishing, jet boat rides, nature tours, and more. Visit them to learn more about how to get out and about in Waves and see it from another perspective.

The Natural Beauty OF Waves

Waves claims to be home to two shops with training and facilities. These two places offer nationally renowned lessons and activities in and around Waves. Kitty Hawk Kites has the equipment, classes, and more for kayaking, hang gliding and surfing. Kiteboarding is super popular, with REAL Watersports offering world-class facilities and equipment to get people out on the water trying this adventure sport. Students can take it easy at good front cafes at either location or grab post-ride refreshments. Classes are offered throughout the year. Kiteboarding is an exciting experience with no better place to try than Waves. The beach is the main thing here, and visitors travel all over to experience it.

Some of the best things to do in and near the water in Waves besides water sports include fishing, surf fishing along the coastline, 4×4 driving on the beaches (with a permit), and relaxing with some walks around the beach areas and visiting neighboring towns.

Waves NC FAQ

Waves are located in northern Hatteras Island, nestled between Rodanthe and Salvo. The towns blend and are like this, called the ‘tri-villages.’

Most people visit Waves for water sports like surfing or kiteboarding, but many others like kayaking and paddle boarding. Lessons and equipment rentals are available from local shops and retailers.

Beach access points are all around Waves. The shoreline is part of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, meaning beaches are open to the public. There are some private access points if you rent homes, but many other spots are available to everyone.

Several attractions are in nearby villages, like Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station or the Rodanthe Fishing Pier, along with other interests on OBX. Watersport events come to the area, like competitions and significant fishing and water sports events. There is always something to do in Waves.