From Hollywood to Hatteras Island, Rodanthe famously sets the scene for a quiet, coastal getaway. A small beach town at the easternmost point of North Carolina, this historic village of the Outer Banks is a part of the greater settlement of Chicamacomico, an Algonquin word meaning “sinking down sand”—an appropriate name, as shifting sands and whirling winds are constantly recreating Rodanthe’s coast. Home to the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station, the first of its kind on the Carolina coast, and the setting for Nicholas Sparks’ romantic novel Nights in Rodanthe, Rodanthe is full of simple wonders that tell a unique story of life and love.
Rodanthe is essentially the birthplace of the U.S. Coast Guard; the original 1874 station, and the seven more that later safeguarded the Outer Banks, were flagships for the modern U.S. Coast Guard that still stand as one of the town’s most historic and cherished treasures. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station functions today as a museum full of true tales of bravery and sacrifice.
These themes are, in fact, running threads throughout the story of this Carolina town—a story that inspired none other than famous romantic novelist Nicholas Sparks. Those longing to experience that narrative of romance and solitude can even stay at the very meetingplace of Sparks’ protagonists: the Inn at Rodanthe. Decorated to emulate its depiction in the motion picture adaptation, the Inn serves as a popular vacation rental and a perfect representative of a quaint, seaside stay on Hatteras Island.
Fun in the Sun
With some of the best water sports access on the East Coast, Rodanthe also knows how to incorporate adventure into a seaside stay. Popular kiteboarding schools, windsurfing, and boating access along the Pamlico Sound easily offer a wave of excitement, while local restaurants and family-run shops eagerly open their doors to those wandering by. Also, just north of Rodanthe is the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, a 30,000 acre home to 500 species of birds and other wildlife perfect for birding, fishing, crabbing, and kayaking.
Pointing North Carolina’s nose deep into the sea, this tiny town is one of isolated beauty: blue skies, soft dunes, and sand-shielded solitude. With windswept beaches, rocky waters, and quiet coastal cottages, Rodanthe is a small town full of stories to tell.