Cape Lookout National Seashore, Harkers Island

(4.8/5 based on 200+ reviews on the web)
Cape Lookout National Seashore preserves a 56-mile long section of the Southern Outer Banks, or Crystal Coast, of North Carolina, USA, running from Ocracoke Inlet on the northeast to Beaufort Inlet on the southeast. Three undeveloped barrier islands make up the seashore - North and South Core Banks and Shackleford Banks. The seashore includes two historic villages on Core Banks, Shackleford's wild horses, and the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, which has a black-and-white diamond pattern. A visitors center for the seashore is located on Harkers Island.The National Park Service, as part of their Centennial Initiative celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016, is planning to rehabilitate the Lighthouse and restore the Cape Lookout and Portsmouth Village Historic Districts.HistoryThe National Seashore was authorized on March 10, 1966. It was named a North Carolina Natural Heritage Area on May 23, 1986. The seashore was designated the Carolinian-South Atlantic Biosphere Reserve on June 16, 1986. Near noon on September 9, 2007, Tropical Storm Gabrielle made landfall at this exact point with winds of 60mi/h. Damage was light but flooding and beach erosion affected this lookout. On August 27, 2011, Hurricane Irene made landfall near Cape Lookout as a Category 1 storm with 85 mph sustained winds. Hurricane Arthur also made landfall near Cape Lookout as a Category 2 storm with 100 mph sustained winds.
Using our custom trip planner, Harkers Island attractions like Cape Lookout National Seashore can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
Create a full Harkers Island itinerary

Plan your trip to Harkers Island

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.
  • This review is for the National Park Service Hateras Island. We could not go to Cape Lookout because the winds were high. The park services has an interactive section with information about the area. ...  more »
  • Visiting Cape Lookout has been on our list of NC places to see for several years, now we want to go back as soon as possible! We seem to visit the lighthouses when they are under renovation, here it w...  more »
  • We took the early morning boat at 9:30 and came back about 1:45 which gave us plenty of time to walk along the seashore and visit the old village. The lighthouse isn't open this time of year so we cou...  more »