This is a lovely, peaceful spot tucked away right next to the sound. There isn't a street in front of the cottage because the sound is literally right there, and the view from the new windows is truly amazing. We found this to be an excellent home base for our adventures. You have ferry options from 2 locations, both within a half hour drive. We took a ferry from Harkers Island to Cape Lookout, and a different ferry from Beaufort to Shackleford Banks.
Lessons we learned in case it's helpful during your travels:
If you have the opportunity to take a ferry to Cape Lookout, we would definitely recommend using Island Express Ferry Service (from Harkers Island or Beaufort.) If climbing to the top of the lighthouse is important to you, do that first thing when you arrive on the island...when we were there the lighthouse was closing early, around 2pm I think. After that, you should hop right on (what they call) the shuttle. This is a truck that drives people across the island to the Point and this is not to be missed. It's a jaw-droppingly gorgeous bit of beach, unlike any other place I have been. Once there you can stay as long as you'd like to swim, collect shells, have a picnic if you packed one...the shuttle comes back every 30 minutes. You can pay the $10 for the shuttle right when you book your ferry reservations online, that way you don't have to figure it out after arriving at the island.
As for Shackleford Banks, the same ferry service can take you there, however our experience (in the unexpected rain) would have been pretty lousy if we hadn't paid a tiny bit more to take the Crystal Coast Lady ferry on their wild horse and seashell island expedition. You won't regret it. Kay and Charlie, an older couple who were the guides for our hike across the island, made it so special. And yes, we saw many horses. :) After the 2 hours is over you are welcome to stay on the island as long as you'd like, just let the ferry know when to come back. As long as you like walking (my 7 yr old managed it) and can handle seeing horse poo (quite a lot of it) this is a really special adventure not to be missed.
If you are heading to the Yates Cottage during the warmer months, don't forget bug spray...the mosquitos we're crazy at times.
Than you, Diane and Greg, for sharing this special place with us.