Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Cape Hatteras National Seashore
4.5
About
A national seashore preserve that has the most extensive stretch of undeveloped seashore along the Atlantic coast.
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The area
Address
Best nearby
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Attractions
1 within 6 miles
See what travelers are saying
  • Donna R
    Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri29 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely drive!
    This is a lovely drive, from the southern area of Nags Head, out to the Lighthouse. You can stop and walk to the beach at any number of places along the road. Bodie Island Lighthouse came with a bonus: a boardwalk over the swamp with much wildlife to view. We drove out to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse -- interesting museum, fantastic to know that they actually moved the Light back in 1999 to save it from the sea. The Bodie Light was open to climbing this year, but not the Hatteras.
    Visited June 2023
    Written June 23, 2023
  • Lisa S
    Hummelstown, Pennsylvania10,201 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Drive
    Drove from Nags Head to Hatteras. Saw Bodie and Hatteras Lighthouses. Ate lunch at Kat’s Deli in Hatteras, recommend. Interesting to see the heavy machinery moving the sand vs snow back from the road! Pretty drive.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 16, 2023
  • csserious2
    Chantilly, Virginia819 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A lot to offer, dunes, seagulls, sunset and above all, solitude
    Cape Hatteras has a lot to offer, perhaps the seashore got the most with sand dunes, sea gulls and blue tranquil water, not to mention the golden sunset with whole bunch of hues. We passed through the seashore on our way to Buxton and enjoyed all the treasures of the sea shore. If you like to spend some quality time in silence and solitude, a plan for sunrise or sunset would perfectly fit the bill.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 10, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles594 reviews
Excellent
486
Very good
76
Average
19
Poor
5
Terrible
8

Sarah S
Westminster, CO1,092 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019
Wow, we had the best of times and the most stressful of times trying to experience Cape Hatteras National Seashore as we had planned. One of the visitor centers in is located in the historic Bodie Island Lighthouse Double Keepers' Quarters at the end of a short park road off of NC Highway 12 across from Coquina Beach. This is where we started and it was a pretty little center with very helpful rangers and gift shop. There was a short walk along a boardwalk. We got signed up for the junior ranger program. We went to our place for the night and the next day checked out the visitor center at Hatteras Island, which had a another lighthouse, a two-story museum and more great rangers. We were given cute Cape Hatteras National Seashore trading cards and a great ranger encouraged us to complete the ranger program there rather than at the visitor center at Ocracoke as I had planned. We would have been in trouble because somehow I had missed the only way from Hatteras to Ocracoke was via ferry. I had a reservation for the ferry from Ocracoke to the mainland at 1:30 but did not know you could not drive from Buxton to Ocracoke. It was quite humorous because Siri had our car pictured just going through the ocean. When we got to the ferry line to Ocracoke, the kind guy working there took pity and let us get to the front of the line because we had one hour to get to the next ferry terminal. As we waited for the ferry we searched for food for lunch but the time of year we went meant the shops were all pretty closed. Anyway, it was very exciting experiencing this whole unique region of the world and I was humbled by missing a major piece of research!
Written April 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Konasmother
Monterey, TN203 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Couples
My husband and I had visited Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in it’s original location, many years ago. They were trying everything they could think of, at that time, to shore up the beach, as the sea was attempting to claim the light. Cape Hatteras is the tallest lighthouse in the US. Built at the point the Gulf Stream meets the Labrador current, the turbulence is legendary, and fog is a major factor. In fact, the original light was extended in height because it was basically ineffective during the presence of fog. We were fortunate enough to climb her when we first visited, but the steps were closed for maintenance on this trip. The view from the top is one that you have to see to believe! Simply amazing! So…we were anxious to see the lighthouse’s new home, as it was moved away from the shoreline several years ago. She is still so regal!

We stayed in Nags Head which is a heavy tourist area, as is everything north on the barrier islands. But traveling south, toward the National Seashore, the stark difference in amazing. It gives you a look at what the entire area must have been years ago….glimpses of the ocean between the dunes! There are a few shops to visit, but in researching that area, I found a number of retail businesses and restaurants that were no longer there. It’s a peaceful area, and worth the drive if for no other reason, than to understand what the Outer Banks used to be.
Written November 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dakota L
Loyalhanna, PA98 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Couples
My wife and I visited during our first trip down to the Outer Banks and it did not disappoint. We are national park stamp collectors and thoroughly enjoy the peaceful bliss of experiencing what the National Parks have to offer. The lighthouses were our first stops and they were monstrous in person but a thing of remarkable beauty. The seashores are quiet, the sound of the waves and gulls are peaceful and quaint. Sometimes the best in life is taking a gentle stroll and listening to the nature around you. Definitely recommend Bodie Island Lighthouse as it was the best best view of the area with a small boardwalk and pier as well. North Carolina shorelines are immaculate
Written August 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TJ
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Couples
I planned a trip predicated on beach drives. Purchased an ORV permit no problem. Don't plan on using said permit. Once purchased (their website would not populate my information on permit), I was unable to print my permit due to rec.gov issue. Being in possession of a printed permit is a requirement for ORV access. After 3 hours on hold I was told too bad, so sad. Stay away if your plans involve beach driving.
Written October 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Donna R
Lake of the Ozarks, MO29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023
This is a lovely drive, from the southern area of Nags Head, out to the Lighthouse. You can stop and walk to the beach at any number of places along the road. Bodie Island Lighthouse came with a bonus: a boardwalk over the swamp with much wildlife to view. We drove out to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse -- interesting museum, fantastic to know that they actually moved the Light back in 1999 to save it from the sea. The Bodie Light was open to climbing this year, but not the Hatteras.
Written June 23, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Elsa C. L.
New York City, NY4,618 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Couples
The Atlantic Ocean in Hatteras has perfect temperature! Refreshing to dip in. It is blue or green or a combination of both on a sunny day. It has no seaweeds, no pointy, sharp rocks and no jelly fish. The sand is clean. So is the water which is also clear.

There is warning posted about rip tides. The waves could push one down as well but fun.

Beautiful beaches all over its length!
Written August 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joe McNamara
Thurmont, MD9 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Family
The natural resources were beautiful. Endless stretches of empty beach with only the occasional fisherman in sight. Small town communities about every 15 to 20 miles apart that offers shopping, food, gas, some entertainment. Otherwise nothing but dunes, beach and soundside beauty. There are soundside pull offs that offer anything from bird watching, swimming, kayak put in’s or just a quit place to set and watch the sunset into the sound.
Ocean side has great surf fishing and a fishing bridge (Bonner fishing bridge) that extends out into the Oregon Inlet. At the end of the road. Yes, Rt.12 does end in a sense. But good news is you can hop onboard of the Ocracoke ferry. This hour+ ferry ride is free and lands you on Black boards hideout. Ocracoke island. Rt.12 continues from there. There is another ferry on the other end of the island that takes you to the mainland. You have to pay for that ferry and I believe you have to schedule a boarding time. So, enjoy Ocracoke then return to Cape Hatteras on a returning ferry.
Written June 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

csserious2
Chantilly, VA819 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
Cape Hatteras has a lot to offer, perhaps the seashore got the most with sand dunes, sea gulls and blue tranquil water, not to mention the golden sunset with whole bunch of hues. We passed through the seashore on our way to Buxton and enjoyed all the treasures of the sea shore. If you like to spend some quality time in silence and solitude, a plan for sunrise or sunset would perfectly fit the bill.
Written October 10, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mwooduk
Miami, FL8,945 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Family
We came here with our son and four young grandsons, the beach is beautiful and there were plenty of shells. The waves are quite dangerous at times with a strong riptide but there is a lifeguard on duty here and they were called into action two or three times. Very good beach for boogie boarding and surfing, my only complaint is that the portable toilet by the carport was absolutely disgusting and none of us could use it!
Written July 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

obx96
4 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022 • Couples
We rented with Outer Beaches for several years with no problems...we loved them. Then Vacasa took them and Hatteras Realty over. This year we had a lovely house booked that we stayed in before. Got a call from Vacasa several months beforehand and was told that the house was damaged by a noreaster and wouldn't be available. I was offered a 'comparable' house (oceanfront, same amt of bedrooms, etc.) When we got there, we found out it wasn't comparable AT ALL. Right off the bat, the front door lock needed to be replaced, it took us at least 10 minutes to get it open, the tumblers were so rusted inside. My husband got slivers of rust stuck in his hand from trying to get it open. Decks were rickety, boards bent under my less than 120 lb. sister's weight, sections of the railing were literally falling off (a serious danger if we would have had little kids with us), the carpet was filthy, sand all over the floors, screens completely missing or ripped. We called about it, and were told someone would be out to fix the deck railing sometime that week, and to expect a call first. We got no call, and no one showed up, either. To top it all off, I found out that the house that we were supposed to stay in originally wasn't damaged, the owner decided he didn't want to deal with Vacasa, so he went with another company, as is his right. But the fact remains that I was LIED TO. (As a retired Realtor, this really disgusts me. It's highly unethical to lie to clients!)
Needless to say, we will avoid Vacasa like the plague from now on!
Written September 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Cape Hatteras National Seashore - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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