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“a family tradition”

Fort Macon State Park
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed November 10, 2013

I have been coming to Fort Macon nearly every summer since I was a toddler -- and that was over 60 years ago. The fort itself is a wonderful site for kids of all ages to explore. It's quite an adventure, roaming from cell to cell in the cool brick interior of the fort walls. Several rooms are set up as museum exhibits, detailing the life of a soldier [or a prisoner] within these walls, specifically during the Civil War and on thru WWI. There are interactive displays and personal accounts recorded and played thru speaker systems. During the summer months, there are delightful free concerts of local musicians, when the public gathers on the parade ground lawn, blankets and chairs, in the cool of the evening. Thoughout the year, there are various demonstrations of artillery and camp life, delivered by enthusiastic and well-versed State Park Rangers.

Recently, the park expanded with the thoughtfully planned building of a separate museum facility which is truly outstanding. An excellent film introduces the visitor to the military history of the fort. Exhibits and displays throughout this handsome building have much to offer, whatever your interests might be. There is an engaging short film and display on the natural history of the oceanfront ecosystem. And an eye-opening exhibit of man's effect on the ecology. Many of the displays are hands-on or in other ways intereactive. Something to attract every age of visitor. And the large attractive gift shop is way too tempting to pass up. Anything from colored glass vases to multiple rows of books, games, toys, jewelry, will lure you in and you're not likely to leave empty-handed.

The old fort itself has always been a very special place for my family, from long before the exhibits were developed. We have walked the ramparts with 3 generations of children. During WWII, when my father was stationed at "Swamp Lejeune" with the US Marines, and my mother was a resident of Morehead City, they came to the beachfront around the fort at night and observed the bombing of German U-boats just off the coast. Half a century later, in 1997, my father passed away, and 6 of his grandchildren [from NC, KY, GA and CO] made a pilgrimage together to the fort after his memorial service and respectfully lowered the flag to half-mast in his honor.

1  Thank Anne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"civil war"
in 84 reviews
"beach access"
in 35 reviews
"visitor center"
in 44 reviews
"gift shop"
in 55 reviews
"nice beach"
in 17 reviews
"air conditioned"
in 21 reviews
"interesting history"
in 22 reviews
"guided tour"
in 21 reviews
"drop offs"
in 10 reviews
"steep steps"
in 9 reviews
"welcome center"
in 11 reviews
"piece of history"
in 13 reviews
"nature trail"
in 11 reviews
"love history"
in 12 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 18 reviews
"free admission"
in 9 reviews
"history lesson"
in 10 reviews
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665 - 669 of 880 reviews

Reviewed November 6, 2013

Had been to the area twice before and had not visited before - glad we finally went there. The visitor center exhibits and video were a very creative blend of the history of the fort and the ecology of the barrier island - both were interesting and well put together, from the video on the history to the exhibit hall that moves you through the various parts of the island's ecosystem..

Outside the exhibit center, the fort itself is impressive and is quite a workout to walk around it.

PS - It is free - seen very few parks this impressive just open for all to enjoy

Thank H_Viator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2013

Loads of history and guide was very knowledgeable. Great visitors center which must have cost a fortune to build.

Thank Kenneth S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2013 via mobile

It's a good place to take in some fresh air and history if that's your thing. Great fishing spot on the inlet. Did I mention it's free?

Thank buoywonder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 14, 2013

We stay in a condo down the beach, but this is about the park is just about the only public beach access that you don't have to pay $10 to park. You can walk out to the point and see Shackleford Banks and Morehead city.

Thank pammy0261
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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