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Overview

Part of North Carolina's Outer Banks along the Atlantic coast, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a 72-mile stretch of barrier islands from Nag's Head to Ocracoke Island. It is the country's first national seashore. The windswept natural beauty and striking lack of development of the area are breathtaking. Despite the desolation, there is actually a lot to do. Rich with marshes, woods, dunes and pristine beaches, the park is home to migrating waterfowl and there are several ways to view wildlife, including a visit to Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Some excellent museums shed light on the area's nautical history, including the ...

Part of North Carolina's Outer Banks along the Atlantic coast, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a 72-mile stretch of barrier islands from Nag's Head to Ocracoke Island. It is the country's first national seashore. The windswept natural beauty and striking lack of development of the area are breathtaking. Despite the desolation, there is actually a lot to do. Rich with marshes, woods, dunes and pristine beaches, the park is home to migrating waterfowl and there are several ways to view wildlife, including a visit to Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Some excellent museums shed light on the area's nautical history, including the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, which tells the story of some of the 1500 ships that have wrecked along the craggy barrier. The most famous monument is the 205-foot Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, which, thanks to degrading shoreline, was moved in 1999 in an amazing feat of civil engineering. You can climb the 248-stair spiral staircase for impeccable views of the coast.

Debra Landau
About the Expert

Debra Landau has written eight Lonely Planet guidebooks, including books on the USA, Caribbean, and the South.

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Debra Landau for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The portion of the Outer Banks of North Carolina from Bodie Island to Ocracoke Island, stretching more than 70 miles.
  • Research: Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summertime, from June to mid-September