Bordering Buxton, Frisco feels like Hatteras Island before it was “discovered” by generations of vacationers. Quiet and small, Frisco offers up a bit of seclusion while putting the restaurants, groceries and activities of Buxton and Hatteras Village within easy reach.
Frisco was named in 1898 when a post office was established and the former names of Trent and Trent Woods were rejected. Trent Woods was an appropriate name as the village is heavily wooded, but the newly-appointed postmaster, a wanderlust-filled fellow who arrived here a few years before when he shipwrecked offshore, wanted to name the town for one of his favorite cities: San Francisco. Already having a San Francisco in the postal system, the shorter “Frisco” was used.
Back in the Trent Woods days, Frisco supplied lumber to Buxton’s boat building trade, but families here also sold firewood, seaweed, and Yaupon Tea (a tea brewed from a member of the Holly family popular during the Revolutionary War). Today, Frisco is tourism-focused. The Frisco Woods Campground with its wooden cabins, tent sites and RV hookups along the edge of Pamlico Sound, the National Parks Service campground on the Atlantic Ocean side of the island, and ORV ramps near the Lighthouse are popular draws, as are fishing, surfing, and whiling away the hours on the beach. Additionally, horseback riding along the shore and kitesurfing, paddleboarding and fishing in the Sound, particularly at Sandy Bay between Frisco and Hatteras Village, offer more to do.
Camping at Frisco Woods calls to many, but more visitors opt for vacation homes. Ranging from small, quaint cottages to multi-level, multi-family contemporary vacation rentals, there’s quite a range of options. A few restaurants, including The Gingerbread House Bakery, one of several spots claiming to have “The Island’s Best Pizza,” give Frisco vacationers the chance to stick close to home, but if you’re here for more than a few days you’ll eat a meal or two in a neighboring village.
At the Frisco Native American and Natural History Museum, you can take a look at Hatteras Island’s past – and maybe find some clues as to the fate of The Lost Colony of Roanoke Island – and get a sense of this place prior to the arrival of English settlers. A handful of art galleries reveal a more contemporary look at life in Frisco and on Hatteras Island and will give you the chance to take home a truly one-of-a-kind memento of your trip.