The seashore is a 56 mile long section of the Outer Banks of North Carolina running from Ocracoke Inlet on the northeast to Beaufort Inlet on the southeast.
The three undeveloped barrier islands which make up the seashore - North Core Banks, South Core Banks and Shackleford Banks - may seem barren and isolated but they offer many natural and historical features that can make a visit very rewarding.
Activities include sightseeing at Portsmouth Village, Lighthouse Complex; observing plants and wildlife on all three islands; picnicking, shelling, fishing, swimming and sunbathing.
Cape Lookout Lighthouse Keepers' Quarters
- Exhibits focus on lighthouse history and early shipwrecks and rescues. The bookstore stocks books and children's items all related to some aspect of Cape Lookout National Seashore. Located on South Core Banks near Bardens Inlet. This area is reachable only by private boat or
Harkers Island Visitor Center
- Exhibits tell the story of the island communities, the Life Saving Service and other local history. Also featured is information on sea turtles and the Shackleford horses. The indoor theater offers 2 short films. The bookstore stocks books, tapes, videos and children's items all related to some aspect of Cape Lookout National Seashore. Public restrooms and a nearby picnic area are also available. The Harkers Island Visitor Center is located on the east end of Harkers Island at the end of Harkers Island Road. (252) 728-2250.
Cape Lookout National Seashore's Visitor
Center is located on the eastern end of Harkers Island,
approximately 20 mi (30 km) east of Beaufort, NC and 30 mi (50
km)south of the Cedar Island terminus of the North Carolina State
Ferry route from Ocracoke Island to Cedar Island.
From Beaufort: Take
U.S. 70 east to Harkers Island Road (SR 1332/SR 1335).
From Cedar Island:
Take SR 12 south past the Atlantic turnoff to US 70 west. Continue
on US 70 to Harkers Island Road (SR1332/SR 1335).
Cape Lookout National Seashore is accessible only through
private ferries leaving from Harkers Island, Davis, Atlantic, Beaufort, Morehead City and Ocracoke or your personal boat.
Ferries leaving from the communities of Harkers Island, Beaufort, Morehead City and Ocracoke, NC carry passengers only. The ferries from Davis and Atlantic, NC can transport passengers and 4-wheel drive vehicles.