National Parks Week on the Crystal Coast

National Parks Week: 4 Parks to Explore on the Crystal Coast

April 15-23, 2017

“National Park Week is America’s largest celebration of national heritage. It’s about making great connections, exploring amazing places, discovering open spaces, enjoying affordable vacations, and enhancing America’s best idea—the national parks!”

-National Park Service


 It is almost a pleasure to get lost here with its bridges spanning sparkling waters, marshes of waving grasses, flocks of birds swirling like autumn leaves, and cool wooded sanctuaries harboring vintage residences. It is also good to know there is a helpful soul at virtually every turn of the road, at gift shops, convenience stores, gas stations, real estate offices, boat building concerns, marinas, seafood concessions, pizza and burger joints.


Situated in Atlantic Beach, Fort Macon is packed to the brim with southern history. When you tour, take the time to have a tour guide show you the ropes.

There are cannons galore as well as great informative videos to begin your visit. There is history on the stairs, on the walls and even on the doors. Be sure not to miss an inch on your trip back in time.



The Cape Lookout national seashore consists of 66 miles of beautifully undeveloped coastline stretching in barrier islands from Ocracoke to Beaufort inlet. A short 3 mile boat ride off-shore takes you to the barrier islands of Cape Lookout National Seashore where you can enjoy activities like shelling, fishing, birding, camping, lighthouse climbing and touring historic villages. Enjoy the time searching for horses on Shackleford Banks, across the way. The Cape Lookout Lighthouse is the perfect backdrop for a fun filled day at the beach! You can even bring your dog!

There are not any restaurants so be sure to pack a lunch, sun screen, water and other necessary supplies!


Find Paradise on the unspoiled sands of this barrier island and National Park Hammocks Beach State Park is one of the few locations along the coast that remain nearly completely untouched. Ride a passenger ferry over to the island and spend the day exploring or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous. Load up your gear and reserve a camp site on the sound or ocean.

The ferry operates every half hour throughout the day during the summer season, giving you the chance to spend the entire day exploring the 4 mile long island. Once the ferry docks, there is 1/2 mile trail that leads to the beach where you can swim, shell, kayak or camp overnight.

Bring everything you need, there isn’t anywhere on the island for food and drinks!

Ferry Services:

Hammocks Beach State Park | Swansboro

(910)326-4881



Check out our publications to learn more about the National Parks on the Crystal Coast. If you take pictures while exploring these National Parks, please share them with us! Have a blast exploring!