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Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Historic Site & Museum
Ranked #1 of 6 things to do in Rodanthe
Certificate of Excellence
Arlington, VA
Level Contributor
62 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Hidden Gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 12, 2013

We visit North Carolina's Outer Banks every year. Like many vacationers, we've tended to zip by the Chicamacomico Life Saving Station and museum without a second glance. This year, we decided to check it out and we're glad we took the time. The Station is truly a time capsule, lovingly restored and cared for by dedicated interpreters who willingly help you understand what you see. On the day we visited, there happened to be a "food talk" from a local chef, explaining island cuisine as it would have been in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Then a older native of Hatteras Island explained how they cooked on the wood burning stove and the use of various cast iron implements on display in the station's kitchen. She was a genuine "Hoi Toider" (don't know what that means...see the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_tider). She was a delight to hear. On Thursday afternoons, the station volunteers demonstrate a "life saving drill" to show how the equipment was employed.

I know...you're at the beach to do the beach thing, but this is a part of the local history you'll be glad you took the time to appreciate. Please visit.

Visited June 2013
Thank jimgaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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307 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York
Level Contributor
103 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“A Part of Our History We Need to Know”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 16, 2013

This is the number 1 attraction in the Outer Banks. I rate it above the dunes. The Life Saving Stations led to the formation of the Coast Guard. This setting has original items and buildings that should be carefully preserved so future generations can see what life was like in the past. It also explains about the incredible rescues the men who manned the Life Saving Stations performed. Take the younger generation and let them see how these men lived and how they struggled with nature before our modern devices were available.

Visited May 2013
Thank NYWanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
188 reviews
94 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Light Saving Station - Forerunner of Coast Guard!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 22, 2013

I got lucky as the station was not scheduled to open until mid-April. On the way south to Hatteras, the “Open” flag was hanging. The docents were more than friendly and courteous, they were downright proud of the history and heroics of those who manned these stations back in 1874. Walking through the various buildings, you got a real sense of what life was like for these people. Numerous artifacts from the golden age of sea rescue were placed where they would have been when the station was functioning.

The U. S. Life Saving Service was the forerunner to our U. S. Coast Guard.

From a U. S. L. S. S. keeper’s journal, “The book says ya gotta go out; it don’t say nothin’ ‘bout coming back!”

Visited April 2013
Thank TravelinJoe47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Altoona, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“interesting history”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2013

this place has an amazing history, there's a lot I didn't know about Hatteras Island and the ship wrecks

Visited May 2012
1 Thank Jessi Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
30 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Charming, restored, always wonderful”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2012

One of the most interesting pieces of architecture still surviving on the southern Outer Banks. A couple of decades ago many came up with the wherewithal to preserve this incredible site and building with its audacious l(truly) local histories.
Surfmans Motto
"The book says you have to go out. It don’t say nothing about coming back!”

*try to go on a special event early evening when there's a Fish Fry on site or nearby.

Visited July 2012
1 Thank Marjorca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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