Cape Lookout National Seashore
Cape Lookout National Seashore offers 56 miles of enticing, undeveloped beach sand, accessible only by boat. The crowned jewel of the area is Cape Lookout Lighthouse, known affectionately as our Diamond Lady due to the diamond pattern of her dress. She has kept watch over these dunes for more than a century, and visitors can learn more about her and the history of this Seashore at the Cape Lookout Visitor Center at the end of Harker's Island. A quick ferry ride gains you access to the beaches for further exploration – including the wild horses of Shackleford Banks – or take your own boat into the surrounding waters for exceptional fishing. Campsites are also available, adding to the secluded allure of this natural paradise.
Since 2021, Cape Lookout National Seashore boasts an IDSP (International Dark Sky Park) designation due to the exceptional quality of its nocturnal environment. Cape Lookout provides uniquely clear dark skies with minimal light pollution, providing ideal conditions for viewing constellations and even the Milky Way with the unaided eye. As of 2022, Cape Lookout National Seashore is the only International Dark Sky Park in the coastal northeast. Visitors can reach the seashore through the local ferry in the evenings or go on guided tours hosted by local operators including the Island Express Ferry Service, The Crystal Coast Stargazers and events hosted by the National Parks Service.