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Shackleford Banks

Features Animals
2 miles south of Harkers Island, Harkers Island, NC
+1 252-728-2250
Review Highlights
Step Back Three Maybe Four Centuries

The Shackleford Banks, one of the Atlantic coast’s barrier islands, is a mere 20-minute boat ride... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Peter K
Chevy Chase, MD
Best activity in the area

The price for the ferry is very reasonable for a day at the beach. Wild horses, great shelling, or... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Bellingham, Washington
Read all 173 reviews
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  • Excellent83%
  • Very good12%
  • Average3%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“wild horses” (55 reviews)
“ocean side” (23 reviews)
“conch shells” (13 reviews)
2 miles south of Harkers Island, Harkers Island, NC
+1 252-728-2250
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Reviews (173)
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1 - 10 of 171 reviews

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The Shackleford Banks, one of the Atlantic coast’s barrier islands, is a mere 20-minute boat ride from the seaside town of Beaufort, N.C. We saw nothing other than Columbus would have, had he ventured up that way, no stores, roads, motels, houses, not even an...More

Thank Peter K
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The price for the ferry is very reasonable for a day at the beach. Wild horses, great shelling, or just relaxing. We saw a pod of dolphins playing about 50 off shore on the Sound side of the island while we were swimming and waiting...More

Thank UWDad
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Uninhabited island (except for the wild horses). Accessible only by small ferry boats from Beaufort or Harkers Island. Can camp overnight. Great place for shelling.

Thank garris3404
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We took island express ferry to see the horses on shackleford banks. The boat ride is 15-20 minutes. If you have motion sickness, you will survive if on the small boat. On the bigger boat, 100% no issues. The horses were out upon our 11am...More

Thank NCTraveler032
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Grab the Island Express Ferry from Beaufort and you will be on Shackleford in just a few mins. Its a pleasant ride and the crew will offer explanations of what you're seeing and tips for Shackleford. We went in mid August in the AM and...More

1  Thank Caltone42
Reviewed August 2, 2017

We went here to see the wild horses and were not disappointed. We took the ferry over and suggest you make reservations in advance. We also suggest water, sunscreen, and summer/swim attire at the bare minimum. Some passengers came with tons of stuff and more...More

1  Thank Jjmat49022
Reviewed July 31, 2017 via mobile

Loved the experience of learning about shelling, how to find shells, the Spanish ponies and the small island. Spent a couple of hours romping across the island and into the water desperately trying to find conch shells with no luck but did see about 7...More

Thank Kathypcf
Reviewed July 20, 2017 via mobile

A true hidden gem. I almost don't want to rave about it because currently the area is very unpopulated... and that is what makes it so special. But giving my honest opinion it was awesome. So glad we went and we are looking forward to...More

Thank gladacya
Reviewed July 19, 2017 via mobile

We had visited corolla the day before looking for horses and we did see a few but read about Shackleford Banks after that. We took the ferry over hoping to see some more. It was amazing. They were out in the water and on a...More

1  Thank Denny K
Reviewed July 10, 2017 via mobile

We went on an eco tour to Shackleford and had an amazing experience! We had not been off the ferry long at all before we saw our first harem of wild horses. Our guide, Charlie, did a wonderful job guiding us around the island and...More

1  Thank HonestReviewGuy913
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Nearby Attractions
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Island Express Ferry Service
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Beaufort Historic Site Old Burying Ground
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Questions & Answers
Samantha D
May 31, 2017|
Response from Mayra R | Reviewed this property |
Yes, but in certain places the island has very strong currents that can easily pull a swimmer out to sea. If you ask the captain on the boat, he can point out the dangerous places, particularly on one side of the island. The... More
Parijat S
April 16, 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Karen D | Property representative |
When bringing youngsters, always consider how far you are going to want to walk and that they may not be able to handle a long stay at the beach. Until they get older, plan on a shorter visit to the island. If you don't... More
Debbie W
March 11, 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Karen D | Property representative |
The horses can be found in various locations on the island depending on the phase of the tide, the wind direction and other factors. But, perhaps the "easiest" location is the eastern salt marshes at low tide, the horses... More