This eastern North Carolina wildlife refuge protects and preserves habitat for a variety of wildlife, including red wolves, American alligators, black bears, red-cockaded woodpeckers and a variety of migratory birds. Fishing, hunting, paddling, wildlife observation, photography, environmenta…

The 165-foot Bodie Island Lighthouse has just over 200 steps, equal to climbing a 10-story building. Climbers must be at last 42 inches tall. The visitors center and gift shop in the keepers quarters building are open year round, but the lighthouse is open to climbing only between mid-April …

Standing tall over Cape Hatteras, this 198.5-foot lighthouse is open for climbing between late April and mid-October. The climb is 257 steps, equivalent to a 12-story building. Climbers must be at least 42 inches tall. The Museum of the Sea in the keepers quarters is open year round.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore stretches 70 miles from Nags to Ocracoke Island, protecting a huge portion of the Outer Banks from development and preserving habitat for native wildlife. A great variety of outdoor recreation is available here, including swimming, beach combing, hunting, fish…

Chicamacomico is the most complete of all the remaining U.S. Life Saving Service stations in North Carolina and one of the most complete in the nation. Visitors can explore two stations and five outbuildings and learn about the valiant men who risked their lives to rescue shipwrecked sailors…

Built in 1873, the Currituck Beach Lighthouse is the northernmost lighthouse on the Outer Banks. It's open for climbing from late March through Thanksgiving weekend, with a free climb each year on its birthday on December 1. Visitors of all ages can climb the 220 steps for a panoramic view o…

This National Park Service site protects and preserves portions of England’s first New World settlements from 1584 to 1590 as well as the cultural heritage of the Native Americans, European Americans and African Americans who have lived on Roanoke Island. Visitors can explore a museum and an…

This museum is a nonprofit educational foundation created for the purpose of preserving Native American artifacts, art, and culture. Exhibit galleries, nature trails and a gift shop offer an immersion experience into Native American culture. Visitors will see a nationally recognized collecti…

This museum is named in honor of the Outer Banks’ nickname, Graveyard of the Atlantic, which refers to the thousands of shipwrecks that have occurred on this coast for centuries. Exhibits are dedicated to the preservation and presentation of the state’s coastal and shipwreck history, with em…

At this restored farm site, you can explore Roanoke Island life as it was more than 150 years ago. Interpreters in period attire carry out the daily activities of farm life circa 1847, including woodworking, cooking, blacksmithing and planting, harvesting and food preparation. Visitors can s…

A state-run facility, Jennette’s Pier offers world-class fishing and angling instruction, public beaches, a bathhouse, free parking, an aquarium, a gift shop and tackle shop, youth adventure camps and family-oriented educational programs. Visit the website or call to ask about times and pric…

The tallest living sand dune on the Atlantic coast is an epic location for outdoor recreation such as hiking, kite-flying, hang-gliding, sunset viewing and more. For kids, it’s a giant sandbox providing hours of entertainment. A 384-foot handicapped accessible boardwalk is available, and wit…

The Visitor Center represents the 11 National Wildlife Refuges in northeastern North Carolina with interactive exhibits, audio-visual presentations and programs of interest to all ages. You can find information about visiting the refuges here. The Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society operates a g…

This facility allows visitors to explore many of the state’s ecosystems and learn about the animals that inhabit them. Highlights are alligators, American river otters, the 3,000-square-foot Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation Center, touch tanks, and the 285,000-gallon tank featuring t…

The 75-foot Ocracoke Lighthouse is not open for climbing, but it’s a nice scenic site that makes the perfect photo opportunity.

This educational facility explores coastal North Carolina’s wildlife, natural history and heritage. Run by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, the center offers both indoor and outdoor attractions, including a fish tank, a decoy collection and a maritime history collection. Fre…

Pea Island NWR was established in 1938 to preserve and protect habitat for a variety of wildlife, including sea turtles and nesting, resting and wintering migratory birds. The bird list for the refuge boasts more than 365 species, and the wildlife list has 25 species of mammals, 24 species o…

This 25-acre interactive historic site represents the first English settlement attempts of 1585. Visitors can learn more about this history on the Elizabeth II, a 16th-century representative sailing ship; in American Indian Town that explores Algonquian culture; in the Settlement Site with c…

The Elizabethan Gardens is a 10.5-acre public garden within Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. They are a tribute to the first English colonists in the New World at the site of the original settlement. The gardens and displays provide educational opportunities that encourage an appreciatio…

Paul Green’s Symphonic Outdoor Drama has been performed each summer since 1937, and 2017 marks its 80th anniversary. More than 100 actors, dancers, singers and technicians put on this show, changing it slightly each year while always staying true to the tradition. Dancing, singing, battles, …

Whalehead is a restored 1920s Art Nouveau-style residence that is now open to the public for tours. This architectural treasure was built by Edward Collins Knight, Jr. and his wife, Marie Louise Lebel Bonat Knight, who shared a passion for waterfowl hunting. They built the 21,000-square-foot…

As the location where Wilbur and Orville Wright first successfully flew an airplane in 1903, this site celebrates the Wright brothers’ historic achievement and the many that have followed in the subsequent 113 years. Visitors can see the Wrights’ original take off and landing lines; the reco…