A place to engage your senses

The sound of ocean waves, the starry night sky, or the calm of the salt marshes, you can experience it all. Shaped by the forces of water, wind, and storms these islands are ever changing. The plants, wildlife, and people who live here adapt continually. Whether you are walking on the beach, kayaking on the sound, or climbing the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse there is something for everyone to explore!


Every Kid in a Park logo of three kids playing in a field next to two brown trees.

Every Kid in a Park

Fourth-graders and their families can discover federal lands—national parks, wildlife refuges, national forests, and more—for free!

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A seal basking on the beaches of Ocracoke Island

Marine Mammal Strandings

All marine mammal sightings—dolphins, whales, and seals—should be reported to the Cape Hatteras Stranding Hotline: 252-216-6892.

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Waterfowl flying overhead.

Waterfowl Hunting

The 2015–2016 waterfowl hunting information is now available!

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Recreation.gov logo

ORV Permit Purchases Available Online

Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) permits can be purchased online through Recreation.gov.

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Social media sites for Cape Hatteras National Seashore: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr

Let's Be Social

Connect with your favorite seashore whether on the beach or back home. Join the conversation or peruse some of the picturesque views.

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The Bodie Island Lighthouse rising into the sky.

Light Stations

Not all lighthouses have the same mission—Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras Lighthouses warn of danger, while Ocracoke Lighthouse signals safety.

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National Park Service Volunteer badge


Cape Hatteras National Seashore is always looking for volunteers to help out keep the seashore a special place.

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Sea turtle on the beach

Sea Turtles at the Seashore

Sea turtles are summertime visitors to the beaches of Cape Hatteras National Seashore. For public nest excavation information, call 252-475-9629.

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Rip current escape diagram

Ocean Swim Safety

Be safe while enjoying the beaches of Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Learn how to spot and escape deadly rip currents.

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Did You Know?