The Beach Experience in Buxton

The Beach Experience

Canadian Hole

Halfway between Avon and Buxton on the soundside is the CHNS Haulover Day Use Area, known locally and internationally as Canadian Hole.

The wind conditions here are as good as can be found anywhere, and since the advent of windsurfing in the 1980s, Canadian Hole has been the gold standard for wind sports on the Outer Banks.

What is particularly nice about Canadian Hole, although it is popular with winds sport enthusiasts, there is a nice small beach perfect for families who may wish to swim in the sound.

The Park Service has done a fantastic job of upgrading the facilities. There is ample parking, restrooms and showers available.


The surfing at Buxton is legendary.

North of the lighthouse, on the CHNS lifeguard beach there’s usually some good surf to ride, especially in the fall with tropical systems pushing waves ashore. South of the elbow at Cape Hatteras, the beach faces south and east. Look for amazing conditions anytime a storm forms to the south of the Outer Banks.

During the summer conditions are usually perfect for novices or longboards. Fall generally has the most consistent waves, especially for better surfers.

It doesn’t happen often, but winter storms will sometimes bring 12’-15’ waves into the surf zone at Buxton. Grab a drysuit and find someone with a jet ski.

The Beach

The beach just north of the lighthouse includes public access and lifeguards provided by the National Park Service. It is a wonderful beach.

There are extensive beaches south of the lighthouse as well. However, those beaches are accessed by ORV only and a CHNS ORV permit will be needed.