Visiting the Cape Lookout Lighthouse

Boats drop anchor in front of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse.

NPS Photo

Making Memories at Cape Lookout

Cape Lookout Lighthouse is an aid to navigation, a symbol of home, a vacation spot, a place of work, and a welcome beacon for visitors coming to Cape Lookout National Seashore. Thousands of visitors cross the sound every year to visit Cape Lookout, and to explore the surrounding seashore.

Snow on the Cape Lookout Lighthouse Keeper's Quarters
NPS Photo

That’s a Keeper!

Before you leave the lighthouse, don’t forget to stop by the Lighthouse Keeper’s House. This house was built in 1873. When Cape Lookout was operated by the Light House Service, Keepers lived on Core Banks with their families. Today, the bottom part of the house operates as a museum staffed by volunteers. The Keeper's Quarters is open from mid-March to the end of October.

Walking the Boardwalk

Besides seeing the lighthouse, you can walk around the boardwalk, searching for plants and animals native to the seashore. From early May through early August, monarch butteries are swarming the bushes on the path. Be careful where you step! Have you never seen the ocean before? Walk to the end of the boardwalk, to the pedestrian beach to relax to the sound waves crashing. This part of the beach is closed to vehicle driving, making it a perfect destination to build sand castles and search for seashells. While walking to the ocean, don’t forget to look for the foundation of the original 1812 lighthouse. Between the current lighthouse and the boardwalk, look for a large mound of sand. There, you will find a pieces of concrete and bricks. Remember, it is illegal to remove any artifacts from the seashore. You are only allowed to take seashells and pinecones!

Blue boardwalk surrounded trees and sand leading to a sign that says "Cape Lookout Light Station."
During the summer, the boardwalk is hot. Carry your furry friends and wear shoes when walking.

NPS Photo/Sabrina Godin

Last updated: July 1, 2024

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

131 Charles St
Harkers Island, NC 28531


252 728-2250

Contact Us