• Cape Lookout

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. A short three-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. There’s something for everyone at Cape Lookout; you can even bring your dog!

HOT SPOTS

The Diamond Lady Lighthouse, Cape Lookout Lighthouse

THE CAPE LOOKOUT LIGHTHOUSE: Though you can’t currently climb to the top of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, you can still enjoy a visit for some incredible photo opportunities. Learn about the history of our Diamond Lady and take a quick ferry ride over to the island to explore the beaches. 

Duck Decoys

CORE SOUND WATERFOWL MUSEUM: Visit Core Sound Waterfowl Museum “at the end of the road” where Core Sound traditions are lived and shared every day throughout the year. Learn about the traditions, the people, and the place that bind Core Sounders and attract thousands of visitors to our region year after year. 

LOCAL FAVORITES

Camping tent on the beach with light inside it

CAMPING: Want to stay a little while longer while visiting Cape Lookout? We don’t blame you! Take your tent or 4-wheel drive vehicle, and everything you would need for an overnight stay and experience all the Cape Lookout National Seashore has to offer. Camping permits are required and can be obtained at the park’s visitor center free of charge. 

Banker Pony, Shackleford Wild Horse grazing

SHACKLEFORD WILD HORSES: Enjoy a ferry ride to see the herd of over 110 wild horses believed to have descended from Iberian (Spanish) horses. These wild horses roam freely on their respective barrier islands and have long been of interest to the scientific community, wildlife organizations, visitors, and locals.

SHELLING: Did you know that Cape Lookout National Seashore is home to the state’s shell, the Scotch Bonnet, as well as gorgeous Conch shells? For the best experience, go out early in the morning, after a storm, low tide, and in the off-season. Visitors are allowed to collect up to 5 gallons. Take only empty shells!