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!

Features

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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Collage of Cape Hatteras Civil War to Civil Rights trading cards

Civil War to Civil Rights Trading Cards

Discover six of the more than 500 stories about America's journey from the Civil War to Civil Rights.

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National Park Service Volunteer badge

Volunteer

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

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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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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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Sea turtle on the beach

Sea Turtles at the Seashore

Sea turtles are summertime visitors to the beaches of Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

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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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Preparing the base of the lighthouse for the move

Moving the Tallest Lighthouse in North America

In 1999 the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was moved; no easy task. It took a lot of planning before the 2,900-foot journey could take place.

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Did You Know?