We are very humbled and delighted to share a customer and friend’s post about our coffee shop. Thank you, Dustin, for sharing your kind words and thoughts about our little slice of heaven:
The Dancing Turtle Coffee Shop
A Hidden Gem Amongst Many Treasures
By Dustin Peele
N 35° 13.0227 by W 75° 41.7452, this isn’t your old combination to your high school locker, it’s not last night’s winning lottery numbers, and it’s not Fibonacci’s Sequence you learned in Algebra. No, these are the GPS coordinates to the Dancing Turtle Coffee Shop located on Hatteras Island. The Dancing Turtle is a quaint little coffee shop nestled deep in the heart of Hatteras Village. This locally owned and operated establishment has been serving coffee by the cup load since 2004 and offers a wide array of both caffeinated and decaffeinated pick me up’s as well as an assortment of goodies. One might ask what makes this such a magical place and the answer is quite the adventure.
Hatteras Island is long strip of white sandy beaches that make up part of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. This narrow strip of sand that’s positioned out in the Atlantic Ocean acts as a buffer to the mainland when threatening storms are on the horizon, typically hurricanes in the summer and hard Nor’ Easters as the locals call them, in the winter. Hatteras Island has been declared a National Seashore however it allows year round inhabitants, this is only one of two places to do so, the other being Yellowstone National Park.
Once you have arrived on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore you’ll notice there is only one road on and off the island, the infamous Highway 12, this is where the real adventure begins. As you traverse down this windy little sand covered stretch of pavement, you’ll feel as if you are traveling back in time to a simpler place. You’ll pass the Bodie Island lighthouse and go over the Bonner Bridge from where fisherman and woman can be seen hauling in the days catch. You’ll pass through the Tri-Village area where you can read about the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station and all the people that were saved during World War II or see the remnants of an old ship wreck jettisoning out from the ocean depths during the ebbing tide. Your journey will then take you into the village of Buxton where you can see the famous Cape Hatteras Lighthouse with its parlor like black and white stripes. Continuing further down this lonely road you finally arrive in Hatteras Village and the birth place of the Dancing Turtle.
Hatteras Village is a sleepy little fishing community that few call home. However, don’t let its size persuade you into thinking there isn’t much to do here. If staying in the village you can wake up early to the sound of roaring diesel engines from the fleet of Charter Boats heading out of Hatteras Harbor Marina and walk right across the street to the Dancing Turtle Coffee Shop. As I walked up the steps towards the front door the first thing I noticed was the outdoor seating area and what a wonderful view it had of the Marina across the street. Several locals were enjoying their chosen stimulant and watching the sun raise over the Pamlico Sound. After the shock and awe effect of the location wears off you open the door and you’re instantly overcome with the intoxicating aroma of fresh brewed coffee. After you come to your senses the friendly staff that’s concocting these amazing drinks will greet you and invite you in as if you have been friends all your life. At first glance the décor will delight as it’s a mix of the owner’s eclectic style and modern sophistication with nothing out of place. Upon further investigation one can see that the wall art is done by local artist and the photos consist of the owners along with their friendly dog’s Jackson and Haddie and all the adventures they’ve had together. If seating is a concern you can literally “rest” assured there will be somewhere for you to relax because the inside is arranged just right with several love seats, couches, and tables for you to melt in and forget all your worries.
Now comes the real challenge for most visitors, what to order? If you’re like me, it can be a bit intimidating when trying to order something different from your everyday run of the mill Latte like you get from other more Seattle based green and white laced coffee chains. Here the baristas take extra care to ensure you get exactly what you want. Everything is made to order and if you’re not satisfied they will gladly make you something new. Here you are treated like family not just another sale, this is why the Dancing Turtle is where you’ll find the locals sipping their morning cup of joe.
Someone more famous than I once said “variety is the spice of life”, this is something the Dancing Turtle has really built their core business off of. They offer 13 different types of coffee that you can purchase by the pound or half pound in either whole bean or ground to your liking. They also offer a rotating already brewed flavored blend that changes daily, my favorite is the Coconut Crunch on Saturdays, along with brews from Costa Rica, Peru, Indonesia and other locations around the world that even the most disconcerting coffee drinker would find irresistible. If coffee isn’t part of your morning ritual, the Dancing Turtle has an abundant selection of teas from across the globe. If the Summer time heat is already too much to handle and you’re looking for something to cool you off then you’re in luck because the Dancing Turtle offers all their coffee drinks in an iced version as well as Summer time tropical smoothies for the little ones. If you come with an appetite you have vast assortment of fancy chocolates, cookies, muffins, and other pastries.
Along with an outstanding variety of sips and bites the Dancing Turtle has free Wi-Fi for the on the go business person and a whole slew of art work, t-shirts, and other Dancing Turtle memorabilia for the shopaholics. They even offer gifts for that very special four legged friend of yours that’s been in-house tested by the CLO (Chief Love Officer) of the Dancing Turtle, Mr. Jackson himself. The Dancing Turtle truly has something to offer to everyone and invites anyone to come for a morning filled with fellowship and bliss but to find this hidden gem you must be up for the adventure that awaits you. For more information about the Dancing Turtle please visit their website at www.thedancingturtle.com.