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 enjoying the beach, kayaking the sound, or climbing the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse there is something for everyone to explore!
A place to engage your senses
Climbing the Lighthouses
From the third Friday in April through Columbus Day, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and the Bodie Island Lighthouse are open for climbing.
Nesting Shorebirds on the Seashore
Each summer, coastal birds find Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches the ideal place to find mates, nest, and raise their young.
Sea Turtles on the Seashore
Sea turtles are summertime visitors to Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches. For public nest excavations, call 252–475–9629.
Swimming in the Ocean
The ocean is a wonderful place to swim—if you are careful. Know what to expect before you go in the water.
Some of the most beloved residents of Ocracoke Island—with ancestors going back to the 1730s—are now cared for by the National Park Service.
Please call the Cape Hatteras Stranding Hotline at 252–216–6892 to report any marine mammal sightings—dolphins, whales, and seals.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore has some of the darkest skies east of the Mississippi River—come wish upon a star!