Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Weekend Getaway: Avon

Posted August 4, 2006

Ding. Dong. Avon calling. I can't help but think of that silly old television commercial for the cosmetics company every time I drive through this Outer Banks village. Avon is our latest Tar Heel Traveler Weekend Getaway destination. Avon is situated in the mid section of Hatteras Island. It's 30 miles south of Oregon Inlet and 20 miles north of Hatteras Inlet. Kinnakeet was the original name of Avon and the people were called Kinnakeeters. But the US Postal Service spoiled the fun in 1883 by changing the name to Avon after establishing a tiny post office here ten years earlier. The dunes you see in Avon today were not part of the early settlement. There were no beach erosion controls back then. Tides washed through the village several times a year. Locals built their homes on pilings or cut holes in the floor for drainage. This used to be a shipbuilding center because of the area's once thick maritime forest with impressive stands of oak and cedar. Today Avon is a prime spot for windsurfing and kiteboarding. Check the license plates. Many Canadians make a yearly pilgrimage to Avon. Look around for what is called Canadian Hole here. Things to do this weekend? Well, great seafood abounds. There are many stellar restaurants. We'll also head down to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and put in a strenuous climb. We'll also take a stroll through the maritime forest at Buxton near the lighthouse. We might even take the ferry over to Ocracoke and watch the sunset. Fishing is great here. We'll also take time to just listen to the waves and the wind and enjoy temperatures that are typically five to ten degrees cooler than Raleigh. Avon spelled backward is Nova. But this is no fading star. Avon continues to rise in popularity because of its charm and rich seafaring history.

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