Outer Banks/Cape Hatteras
The barrier islands of the Outer Banks separate the quiet inlet coastal waters from the treacherous currents and Diamond Shoals of the Atlantic Ocean. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse stands guard over the area, alerting passing ships of danger while providing a glimpse at lighthouse living in the 19th century. Cape Hatteras National Seashore is home to water sports, as well as gorgeous seaside vistas.
A Guiding Light
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is one of the most recognizable and beloved lighthouses in the world. A sentinel guarding this dangerous stretch of the Outer Banks known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” its beacon guides ships safely through dangerous currents and deadly shoals with an arc of visibility that reaches 20 miles out to sea. Wearing a coat of black and white candy-cane stripes, this is the tallest brick lighthouse in North America, towering 208 feet above sand dunes and a maritime forest. Climb the 257-step spiral staircase for a magnificent view of the Atlantic Ocean.
Divide and Conquer
The Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a narrow strip of sand dividing the Atlantic Ocean and Pamlico Sound. The country’s first national seashore is the perfect place to catch a wave for intense surfing, bodyboarding, windsurfing or ocean kayaking. This is where the Wave Jam windsurfing competition and the Eastern Surfing Association’s championships are held annually. For calmer waters, drift into the blue estuary of Pamlico Sound, where you can dive in for a guided snorkeling tour, take a spin on a paddleboard, kayak around the Sound or cast out a line to enjoy some of the best fishing in the region. For nighttime entertainment, see the “Lost Colony,” in Manteo. The long-running play explores the disappearance of the Roanoke settlement in 1587.
The Perfect Day
Cape Hatteras National Seashore consists of 70 miles of exceptional national park shoreline. Explore rugged terrain, spend a day walking the windswept sands searching for shells or grab the binoculars and search the skies for more than 360 species of birds.
History and Mysteries
The Atlantic Ocean is home to history, mysteries and the deadly Diamond Shoals. Explore the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, which pays homage to the rich seafaring history of the Outer Banks.
Wright This Way
Soar into the skies with a stop at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, which commemorates the morning of December 17, 1903, when Orville and Wilbur Wright recorded the world’s first controlled powered flight, covering 120 feet in just under 12 seconds.
For More Information
Outer Banks Visitors Bureau
Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina