Continuing the beach theme, here is another favorite spot. Hatteras is an easy fly-in, which just so happens to be next to my favorite type of destination: a beach. Driving to Hatteras is no easy task since the nearest mainland connection is a bridge located many miles north (~60 miles) in Manteo. I love how flying works like a time machine, making distant destinations easier to reach. Billy Mitchell airport is located in Frisco, NC and has a campground located a short walk northeast of the airport. A longer walk (~5 miles) to the east will bring you to the lighthouse and more campgrounds. Navigating to the lighthouse is relatively straightforward, just keep walking along the coast until you reach cape point. Then turn left and walk north about another mile until you reach the lighthouse.
The airport is 3000 ft long, 75 ft wide and is at an elevation of 17 feet above sea level. Named after Brigadier General “Billy” Mitchell who served as a combat pilot and was ultimately promoted brigadier general in World War I. He was a proponent of increasing air power in the US military and is considered by many to be the father of the United States Air Force. In 1923, he demonstrated the powerful impact of bombardment by aircraft by bombing retired battleships USS Virginia and USS New Jersey, quickly sinking these ships anchored 20 miles off the Hatteras coast. For the demonstration, he departed the Hatteras Airfield in a Martin Bomber (below).
Things to do in Hatteras: climb the lighthouse, camp near the beach, watch sea turtles protect their next generation burying nests of eggs. The National Park Service website is extensive and is a great resource for more information.
Photo credit: National Parks Service