Cape Lookout National Seashore

Exploring with the Locals: Cape Lookout National Seashore

The Cape Lookout National Seashore consists of 56 miles of beautifully undeveloped coastline stretching in barrier islands from Ocracoke to Beaufort Inlet. Visiting these pristine sands is a great way to immerse yourself in the history and breathtaking scenery here. Bring your family (even your dog!) and come explore the Cape Lookout Seashore together!

Spending a few hours

Stop by the Harkers Island Visitor Center where you can explore the exhibits, watch the park film, walk the nature trails and more. At the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, you can soak up the sun and salt water on the beach, venture into the Keeper’s Quarters museum and climb to the top of the lighthouse for spectacular sweeping views of the coast from 160 feet in the air. On Shackleford Banks, you’ll find a sheller’s delight; conchs, sand dollars, whelks and even the state shell – the Scotch Bonnet! It’s also a great spot to relax and watch for wild banker ponies. In Portsmouth Village, take a step back in time with a guided tour of the village, the Salter House and Visitor Center.

Playing the whole day

With an entire day, you can plan an extended trip such as a short kayaking session or a private ferry tour of the seashore. You will have ample time to search for horses on Shackleford Banks and explore down to the point of Cape Lookout. Along the way you’ll see a variety of shorebirds, find a treasure trove of seashells and you’ll want to watch for dolphins and whales along the way.

Ferry Services

Hammocks Beach State Park

Swansboro (910) 326-4881

Shackleford Banks & Cape Lookout

Island Ferry Adventures | Beaufort

(252) 728-7555

Lookout Cruises | Beaufort

(252) 504-SAIL

Outer Banks Ferry | Beaufort

(252) 728-4129

Calico Jacks Ferry | Harkers Island

(252) 728-3575

Harkers Island Fishing Center

(252) 728-3907

Island Ferry Adventures | Harkers Island

(252) 728-6181

Local Yokel Ferry and Tours | Harkers Island

(252) 728-2759