Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Cape Hatteras has both a romantic and a violent reputation that it earned over the past five centuries since European explorers and those who followed them knew of the seashore’s existence. The wicked currents, obscured shoals, and beastly winds carried many ships and wayfarers to their ends off the shores of the cape. Since that time, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, created in 1937, has redeemed the area’s reputation, making it one of the go-to places on the Eastern Seaboard. Despite repeated pummeling by storms, including hurricanes, this seashore is a prime spot for vacationers looking for the sound of ocean waves, the starry sky, or the calm of open salt marshes. There is plenty of ground to cover in this reserve that occupies 30,351 acres of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, where migratory birds nest and endangered sea turtles lay their eggs on the golden sandy beaches or in the dunes immediately beyond. People come to these islands through Nags Head or Ocracoke Village, NC, from urban areas like Virginia Beach, VA, and Greenville, NC.

Things to Do

Things To Do Near Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Each of the three main islands in this National Seashore — Bodie, Hatteras, and Ocracoke — offers more than hiking trails to exercise the legs. Visitors can climb to the heights of lighthouses to find spectacular views of the Outer Banks and the ocean surrounding them. People come from miles around to walk the beaches and to listen to the pounding surf. It's also fascinating to watch the brave surfers who ride waves up and down the islands, and fishing along the shore is another favorite activity that brings visitors from far and wide. At night, visitors sit stunned by the sight of a spectacular sky. 

Hiking Trails



Nearby Shops and Restaurants

map-marker-alt-regular How to Get There

How To Get To Cape Hatteras National Seashore

There are several roads to Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Nags Head is the entrance to the seashore that is the most used. To get to Nags Head from Raleigh, NC, get onto Interstate 440 East (I-440 E), and drive for 2.4 miles. Take the right ramp onto Interstate 87 North (I-87 N), and go for 17 miles. Keep left to get onto United States Highway 64 (US-64), and continue east for 169 miles into Nags Head.

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore is open year round. At times, the seashore is closed for emergencies, often because of hurricanes or extreme storms.


1401 National Park Drive, Manteo, NC 27954

Fee: Entry fee $0

Cape Hatteras is home to some of the greatest mysteries in United States history. The incredible number of shipwrecks, the intrepid rescuers, the pirates of legend, and the repeated hammering by hurricanes make visiting the cape a number-one priority for many Americans. Whether you are looking into the mystery of the Roanoke Island colonists’ disappearances, an ancestor who was lost onboard a wrecked ship, or the strange life and habits of the endangered sea turtle, a visit to Cape Hatteras National Seashore should be on your bucket list. The most comfortable way to stay and to explore the cape is by using an RV. Visit one of the RVshare sites above to find a local RV for you and your family to rent.