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“Offbeat, cheap, and friendly”

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Rodanthe Watersports and Campground
Reviewed 14 November 2014

I loved this place, but I'm into the offbeat and interesting. I've traveled a lot on a budgey and have done a lot of adventurous things in my life, so I've learned to be flexible. I'm a 65 year old grandmother who camps by herself. The $25.00 a night (I have a little teardrop) pricetag was extremely helpful. I went for the first time in June this year. It was my first time camping alone and I have to say, the young men working there were very kind, patient, and helpful. They even backed in my camper into my space for me as it was kind of tricky.

Your experience is largely going to depend on the weather and time of year. The spaces fill up fast on a peak weekend and neighbors can be irritating.

The campground is on high ground directly on the sound with panoramic views so the wind can be qute stiff, and if you don't have a tent or a camper that can stand up to very high winds, I'd opt for going somewhere else.

The spaces are large, but very close together. I had four young men with potty mouths telling crude jokes in a tent next to me, but after a firm request and a bit of grandmotherly shaming they quieted down and I didn't hear anymore trouble from them. Of course, they didn't make eye contact with me the whole weekend. ;)

The owner is a surfer dude with not particularly wonderful people skills, a bit rough around the edges, and a stickler for his rules. He has been doing this for years and has seen his fair share of whiners and jerks. Don't expect him to be your babysitter, in other words. He is particularly strict about no refunds regardless of the weather or your personal issues. That is clearly stated on the website.

Basically this is a rustic campground with a clean bathhouse in an excellent location. For $25.00 a night year around what do you expect? If you want luxury go across the street to the KOA and pay twice as much.

By the way, there is an extra special handtossed pizza restaurant right next door.

Room Tip: Book in advance to get a large waterfront space, and ask if there is one at the end so you won't...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
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4  Thank Deborah D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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19 - 23 of 37 reviews

Reviewed 21 July 2014

Upon arrival I found the facility to stand up to the reviews. Staff was very polite and helpful. There are a handful of campers that stay there frequently and there was a very welcoming feel from everyone. The campground is like sleeping in your families back yard on the sound! There are no game rooms or swimming pools. It is camping. But everything was there for our camping needs. The staff allowed us to use the Kayaks at no charge for short paddling trips around the sound. Also the sound side is so nice for pets and kids. No waves, calm and warmer water than the ocean side. The facility has clean bathrooms with running hot water. It is very windy at times so if your tenting I would advise a beach tent not a woods tent. Something that can handle the wind. Don't forget mosquito spray! It is a 30-40 minute drive to Nags Head but it is a nice scenic drive! There are a few restaurants in the area. Nothing over the top fancy but solid meals at ok prices. Do your grocery shopping before you check in because supplies are limited at local stores. Stores are within a 5 minute drive.They have all the small things you need but bulk grocery shopping should be done on the way in as there is nowhere to get larger items and it is a drive to the big food stores. All in all we enjoyed our stay at Rodanthe Watersports, and would recommend to any family looking to get away from the everyday trends of TV and shopping malls. Enjoy!

Room Tip: Tent camping off of the sound isn't as windy. The RV's serve as a wind block to some point.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank john y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2014

Let me start by saying that I was thrilled when I found this campground. Never having visited the Outer Banks before, I wanted my first experience to be fun and memborable. SO, when I saw the reviews of Rodanthe Watersports and Campground, I was encouraged that I had found a great spot. I called to make reservations and verified that it was a good place to tent camp and was assured it was. When my boyfriend and I arrived, it was very windy and putting the tent up was difficult to say the least. But, none the less we did not let that discourage us. The first night we were there the winds were awful (20+ mph). Our tent was rated at 35+ mph. The tent was staked and reinforced as best we could given the small area we had to work with. We were thrilled when the tent was still standing the next morning. However, after going off for half of the day we returned to find out it had collapsed and was broken to where we could not stay in it. We went to speak to managment to advise of the situation and try and find a hotel in the area. They offered us the use of a tent as they stated there were no refunds. This was fine however the winds were still horrible and rain was in the forecast. My boyfriend, who is law enforcement and a disabled vet, asked if there was anyway we could work out something given we still had two days left we had already paid for. The person, who I assume was the owner, finally stated he would give us a 30 min jet ski ride. After we packed up we went to sign up for our ride. He then stated he had thought about it and did not feel obligated to give us anything. He then proceeded to tell my boyfriend that he was large and we would need to do two separate rides which we could do for 10 minutes and chip in for gas. At this point I was done. What happened to customer service and trying to ensure your customers are happy? This was totally unacceptable and I would never recommend this campground to anyone.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank mandym78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2012

I found the campground on this site so I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. It is small and further from the beach than I expected; but overall it fit my needs perfectly. The site was clean and since I booked well in advance, I was able to nab a premium space away from the dumpster and graveyard. Everyone I met was very friendly. I was a bit concerned because I do not enjoy watersports, so I was afraid I might stand out like a sore thumb; however most of the campers were "beach dogs" like myself.

The campground was half empty my first two nights and the bathrooms were kept clean. I noticed as the campground filled up, the bathrooms became...less clean. It is a good idea to wear "shower flops" in every campground bathroom you ever visit, RWC is no exception.

Finally - Be prepared for the wind. I stayed in late July and the wind NEVER stopped blowing.

Room Tip: If you can nab the campsite all the way to the left on the water you will not have anything on your...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank underground_man15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2012

I am seriously thinking of staying here again with my family, the next time we go to the Outer Banks.

You can get $5 off coupons if you mention that you saw their ad somewhere, like the magnet on the cash register at the coffee-house across the street, for example.

At most campsites on the islands you cannot reserve, but at Rodanthe Watersports and Campground you can make advanced reservations.

Short Story...

If you don't mind cramped tent-lots, you can do all the watersports, and traveling, adventuring, tourism, and dining, based out of this site.

Be prepared for high-winds and rain or storms to shake your tent. If you are prepared its not bad, but bring the right tent and sleeping gear and stakes. Also, remember... the 30mph wind can be refreshing in summer, and a good way to keep mosquitos off of you!

Affordability does not equal Luxury.

You can't beat the price at $20-$30 night -- so just know what you're value requirements are.


Long story...

A big part of this campsite is attitude. Can you cope with casual and lack of privace or space for a few days? or not?

If you stay here, it's small but charming in some unique way, so it would help to a good attitude and find the best in things, because this site does have a lot going for it (just not much privacy for tents). But people with RV's or campers would be fine, if they didn't need too much space, assuming they appreciated pretty water-fronts and sunsets and clear-skies, and the benefits of being somewhat centrally located to so many interesting places and tourist stops, like the beach, restaurants, Hatteras lighthouse, fishing charters, grocery needs, coffee-houses, historical sites, Kitty Hawk... all sorts of things to do and see around here.

However it seems to be the low-price for these conveniences that makes this place work out.

Yes, I've stayed in better camp-sites, I've stayed in worse ones, but this site has affordability, and a lot of charm going for it.

It seems rather clean, small, safe, and well-located, with watersports and rentals available almost literally just a step out of your tent door.

The Pamlico Sound is something like 3ft-10ft deep all the way as far as you can go, so it's really a great spot for kayaking or waverunners, and the beach is 1 block's walk to the East, where you can boogie-board or surf, or whatever you're into.

This campground is a great way to save money and spend some outdoor adventure time with the family, and if anything, maybe the trick is to save up for a small RV or trailer to really make the most of this tight squeeze.

But regardless if your tent is blowing across the parking lot, or if the neighbors just ate a dozen burritos, or if the gravestones at camp site 10 spooks you out on Halloween.... you will be saving money each night compared to staying anywhere else, that seems to start upwards of $30-$40/night.

If you want luxury, safety from the elements, or privacy, go somewhere more expensive, or to a hotel!

Room Tip: If you don't want to be near the graveyard or the dumpsters, or if you don't want to be expo...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank k p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Rodanthe Watersports and Campground

Address: 24170 Highway 12, Hatteras Island, Rodanthe, NC 27968
Region: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Coast > Outer Banks > Rodanthe
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Rodanthe
Number of rooms: 32
Also Known As:
Rodanthe Watersports And Campground Hotel Rodanthe

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