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Cape Lookout Seashore Information In NC, Lighthouse Visitors, And More

Cape Lookout National Seashore Information in NC as it relates to the National Park Service, lighthouse, visitors guide and tourism, camping, and ferry operations. Additionally, data on this page will update frequently as we discover new information from social media relating to events, fishing, camping, and sea turtle nests.

Readers are strongly encouraged to share this article on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter so that others can get involved in the conversation using the form at the bottom of this article.

Cape Lookout National Seashore is a major attraction, visitors, and tourism destination on the Outer Banks of Eastern NC. This attraction is only accessible by private boat or passenger ferry from Harkers Island, Beaufort, and Morehead City NC.

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aerial view lookout

Areas in close proximity to Cape Lookout lighthouse: Shackleford Banks (home of the wild horses also known as banker ponies), Ocracoke Island, Harkers Island, Beaufort, Morehead City, and Atlantic Beach NC.

Carteret County

Mailing Address: 131 Charles St, Harkers Island, NC 28531

Telephone Number: (252) 728-2250

Fax: (252) 728-2160

By email


How old is the lighthouse? 160 years old, first lighted on November 1, 1859.

If you want to view a virtual tour that is guided by a park ranger and features area events and public interest via your cell phone then we invite you to do that.

Ferry Operations: In the Spring, Summer, and early Fall months, passenger ferry service shuttles passengers to and from the area every 30 minutes. Ferry service operations generally leave from Morehead City, Beaufort, and Harkers Island. However, there are smaller boat passenger ferries that operate our of Davis, Atlantic, Portsmouth Island, and Ocracoke.

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List Of Approved Ferry Services:

Island Express Ferry Service departs from Harkers Island ( 252-728-7433 ) and Beaufort NC ( 252-728-7433 ). Book your trip now. This ferry service also services Shackleford Banks.

To Great Island Cabin Area and Core South Banks:

List of Approved Ferry Services:

Davis Shore Ferry Service (vehicle and passenger): Leaves from Davis, NC (252-729-3474 ).

Cape Lookout Cabin and Camps Ferry Service (vehicle and passenger): Leaves from Davis, NC (252-729-9751).

To Long Point Cabin Area and North Core Banks:

List of Approved Ferry Services:

Morris Marine (vehicle and passenger): Leaves from Atlantic, NC (252-225-4261).

To Portsmouth Village:

Rudy Austin’s Portsmouth Island Boat Tours (passenger): Leaves Ocracoke Island (252-928-4361).

Beach shuttle truck service operates from mid-May to mid-September between the light station and lookout point. Call (252) 728-7433 for more information.

Lighthouse Information: Open for climbing from the 3rd weekend in May to the 3rd weekend in September on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10:15 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. Tours of up to 10 people begin every 30 minutes and are self-guided. Regular admission is $8, children 12 and under, seniors, and the disabled is $4. National Park Service rangers will close the lighthouse for climbing in the event of high winds, lightning, severe weather, or any event that makes climbing unsafe. The climb is 207 steps to the top (12 stories) in hot and humid conditions. Children must be 44 inches tall to climb the lighthouse.

Rental Cabins

For Long Point Cabins Rental Rates (20 cabins, some with AC, wheelchair accessible, duplex) or Great Island Cabins Rental Rates (26 cabins) call 1-877-444-6777 or recreation.gov for reservations.

Things To Do: Cape Lookout is a literally ecosystem in itself with some of the most remote and enigmatic views anywhere on the East Coast. People visit this national seashore from all over the world to take advantage of wild horse and whale watching, photography, rare find seashells, watching vulnerable species sea turtles leave their nest, hiking, fishing, kayaking and canoeing, boating, diving, duck hunting, and shore bird watching.

Diving: With over 250 shipwrecks along the South Core Banks and North Core Banks from early history travels, lookout is a world traveled destination for diving tours and guided diving tours.

Hurricane Information

We will update this section anytime a hurricane or tropical storm is threatening this area, along with providing closure and disaster recovery effort information.

The national seashore is open after Hurricane Florence is 2018 and Hurricane Dorian in 2019.


October, 2019: Seashore officials report that they are working with the Avon pier concessionaire to document damage and figure out the best way to repair and restore the pier.

October, 2019: All Core Banks are under serious red flag rip currents warning related to Hurricane Lorenzo out in the Atlantic Ocean.

October, 2019: Rangers report that 50 NEW cuts from the Ocean to Pamlico Sound near the North Core Banks were cut during Hurricane Dorian. Also related, 38 historic home on Portsmouth village sustained wind or flood damage.

Discussions: Using the comment section below, we encourage you to ask questions, respond to questions, send us pictures and video of your past visits to this national park. We are happy to answer or find local information as it relates to lighthouse climbing, ATV access, diving, cabin rentals, ferry service, hiking, canoeing and kayaking, boating and fishing guides, or any information you can think of.

Be sure to check back often as we populate this page with news information about various events that take place on the seashore and to get information about the vulnerable sea turtle nesting views that take place.

sky map information
aerial view to Ocracoke
looking at Harkers Island

Michael Sharp

Native of Carteret County NC, Father to Makayla and Savannah. You can add me on Facebook. Interest include web development, encryption, and other technologies.

2 thoughts on “Cape Lookout Seashore Information In NC, Lighthouse Visitors, And More

  • May 13, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    As we kick off tourism season, please remember to be mindful of the wildlife protection zones as this time of the year sea turtle hatchlings and many species of nesting birds are active along the beach and dunes.

  • November 21, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    In November of 2020 a North Atlantic right whale calf was found dead on the beach which is disheartening because these whales are considered endangered. From what I understand biologist took DNA samples to discover the family of the calf which should help scientist understand why this marine mammal died and also to discover more about this species to help them thrive again.


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