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“A slice of coastal history”

Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Historic Site & Museum
Ranked #1 of 6 things to do in Rodanthe
Certificate of Excellence
Elizabeth City, NC
Level Contributor
476 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 190 helpful votes
“A slice of coastal history”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2012

Good museum, but there is an admission fee. The property is right on the oceanfront, and the guides are excellent.

Visited April 2011
Thank Grice-Fearing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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309 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Daytona Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
100 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Glad I stopped here!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2011

The Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station is right on the way to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and well worth the stop if you have any interest at all in the maritime history of NC. There are many artifacts to see and they have programs that are included in your admission. I would recommend checking their website for the times of the programs (I wish I had!!) Every week the active Coast Guard units from the Hatteras area perform a full apparatus drill on the beach which sounds very impressive. Also there is information about what happened to the Lost Colony (Could a mystery be solved?!) Most of the self-guided tour is not air conditioned/heated except by nature. It would take someone about 1.5-2 hours to really go through everything if you read the information explaining the displays and went out to the beach to see the set-up area for the Breeches buoy. The presentations and/or drill would probably add another hour or more. The website is http://www.chicamacomico.net/ Check it out!

Visited July 2011
2 Thank Tulip76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“A must stop place on the Outer Banks”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2011

This was a fascinating place to stop to learn about the Life Saving Service (now today's Coast Guard). The rooms had lots of items of interest to look at. It was hard to imagine fitting 7 adults in one of the old life saving boats on display. The Midgett house was well maintained and an interesting look at life in the early 1900's. What really makes this stop worthwhile is the couple who run the site, James and Linda. They are incredibly friendly. And, the 2PM story time is a must. The title changes for each day of the week. We were there on a Monday and so heard about the filming of Nights in Rodanthe. I'm not going to say anything more as Linda is a great storyteller. I only wish we'd been able to attend every story hour. The gift shop is also great - lots of different types of items... Oh, and the inn from Nights in Rodanthe is just down the street... It was a great afternoon for us and started off our time in the Outer Banks perfectly.

Visited June 2011
Thank CindyDColorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
66 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Absolutely a great place to visit!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2011

Thanks, again, to tripadvisor I found this gem I might otherwise have overlooked. I am so glad I heard about it!
We went on a Thursday so we could watch the beach apparatus drill which was amazing to see...go if you can! It was very informative but also quite a feat to watch. One of the local active Coast Guard units has members who volunteer their time to present the drill to the public and it really helps you to appreciate the men who manned life saving stations.
The historic site was interesting to visit on its own and has been lovingly restored by members of the historical society. The individuals working at the site that day were kind and engaging, making the visit that much better.
Do yourself a favor and take a couple of hours out of your visit to the Outer Banks and visit this site.

Visited June 2011
Thank hersheyfolks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens, GA
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Wonderful History Lesson”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2010

My husband, father and I spent a lovely afternoon at the lifesaving station in August. The main lifesaving station houses a gift shop and a museum that documents the history of the place. The building is original, and was one of many stations established on North Carolina's Outer Banks. The purpose of these stations was to help ships that ran into trouble in the "Graveyard of the Atlantic". The lifesaving service was a precursor to todays Coast Guard. We toured two buildings that once housed rescue boats. One of them still contains an original boat used in many historic rescues. You can climb to the observation tower in the main building for a wonderful view of the sound and the sea. The Midgett house is also open to tour and is filled with antiques that give you a sense of what life used to be like on the outer banks. From the station, you can walk to the beach. This give you an idea of how far the men working here had to carry their lifesaving boat in order to reach the surf, and it makes you respect them tremendously. Of all the neat things here, however, the two coolest are the couple who have spent countless hours and a lot of passion restoring and staffing the place. I believe they said it is the only lifesaving station in North Carolina that is still in it's original condition, (Others exist, but have been converted into restaurants, etc.) For sure, visitors should go to the afternoon story time and hear about daring rescues conducted from the station. The proprietors are more than happy to spend extra time answering questions and telling stories. A delightful day trip for the whole family

3 Thank mjenn2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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