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“What a beautiful place to visit!”

Cape Lookout National Seashore
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Popular recreation area for surf fishing and shelling, these 28,500 acres of undeveloped barrier islands are accessible only by boat
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Roanoke, VA
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“What a beautiful place to visit!”
Reviewed June 9, 2014

I'm so glad I was able to visit. If possible try to go early before it gets to hot. You may want to take water too. If you like collecting shells there is a truck ride available to the point of the island that I would highly recommend. There were many nice shells we found this past Friday. This is an absolutely beautiful place to walk, shell, fish, etc... I could have stayed all day! Hope you get a chance to go!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank sirjohnwhitcomb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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243 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Huntersville NC
Level 5 Contributor
65 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“What an experience!”
Reviewed June 8, 2014

We took the ferry (boat) from Harkers Island over to cape lookout. The open ocean is a little rough so keep that in mind. Also, you have to do a lot of walking and climbing once you get there. But it is all well worth the effort! The most beautiful area I have ever seen. We found so many huge shells, about 16 in all so definitely get a shell bag for $2 when you pay for the ferry ride. The island is very natural with a lot of wildlife. We did not climb the lighthouse, but I bet the view from the top is unforgettable. On the way back we saw the shakelford horses swim across the sound from sandbars back to the island. It was a sight to behold! Our ferry driver was great to give us information about the island, the horses and where to go once we got onto the island. My husband wondered what we would do for a few hours, but we stayed until the very last ferry brought us back. It was that amazing. The best $30 we have ever spent! This is a must do on your list while you are in the area.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank DebbieH260
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Smyrna, Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
248 reviews
108 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 170 helpful votes
“Pure, Unadulturated Beach!”
Reviewed May 31, 2014

I found myself at this national seashore on a trip to visit it's landmark lighthouse. This is a pure beach, totally undeveloped aside from the lighthouse and the structures used by the National Park Service. To reach the seashore, you'll need to travel by ferry or boat. The Island Ferry Adventures company holds a contract with the park service, and $15 gets you a round trip ticket from Harker's Island to the cape with a small carry-on. This is a passengers-only ferry, though you may bring pets and extra baggage for a fee. With that being said, if you're aquaphobic or get motion sick very easily, this may not be the right trip for you. This part of North Carolina does feature the feral, banker horses, and I was fortunate enough to see some during my visit! Outside of fishing or playing in the ocean or the sound, this beach also lends itself to hikers and campers. You can also ride the mule train for a fee and make your way to the point and collect seashells if that's your thing. Also, you'll also notice a very distinct accent that the locals have--it sounds like a bit of Celtic influence mixed in with a Southern American dialect, and it's quite interesting! This park is trash-free park; there are no trash receptacles once you leave the mainland, and whatever you take to the island must go back with you. There ARE restrooms on site, but there is no soap or paper towel, which would obviously generate trash. If you'd like to rinse off after a little fun in the sand and surf, you can use the showers on site, but soap is prohibited for use. There is a gift shop available if you're interested in purchasing souvenirs from your visit, but there isn't anywhere to purchase food or beverages. Do note, though, that the gift shop does have a few necessities such as batteries for anyone who may be planning to camp and stay a while. If you don't mind a boat ride to an unadulterated, completely natural beach, this could be for you!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Dez P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Long Point Cabins, Portsmouth Island”
Reviewed March 24, 2014

Stayed 3 nights in Cabin 14. Note the even number cabins are the ones closest to the ocean. The cabins are duplexes with odd and even numbers. Recreation.gov lists the oceanfront cabins as the odd numbers. Long Point cabins are on the North Core Island. Access is by Morris Marina in Atlantic, NC. My wife and I have a Toyota 4Runner and went over with 2 kayaks strapped to the roof. The roundtrip fee for the ferry was $75 for the vehicle and $14 for 2 people. Kari at Morris Marina is very friendly and can answer all of your questions about Portsmouth Island. The North Core is 22 miles of uninhabited beach all open to your ATV or ORV. Portsmouth village is to the north end and we found the best fishing on the south end. Visiting the village can be easy but it wasn't while we were there. The road leading in to the village was flooded and we ended up kayaking in about a half mile rather than trudge through the high water that was covering the road. The road closer to the village was dry and we left our kayaks and walked in the rest of the way. Lot of interesting history in the village where today there are no inhabitants. As for the rest of the visit, shell collecting is fantastic, the fellow visitors are friendly and helpful and you never know what you'll see washed up on the beach. Our wildlife highlight was seeing a giant harbor seal giving himself a rest on the beach. There was a constant stream of dolphins traveling along the coast and jumping through the waves. We visited in mid-March and there were no bugs. The NPS staff was on site during the day and were available to answer questions and to sell gasoline and ice. Bring everything else you need as there are no stores.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
22 Thank DCTraveler3716
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beaufort, North Carolina
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Most beautiful Lighthouse on the east coast”
Reviewed January 26, 2014

Everything. The availability, the fishing, swimming, etc. Treasure every trip over there, and going to the end of Harkers Isl. to just look over at it.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Hilda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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