Cape Lookout

Near Cedar Island

Cape Lookout National Seashore is well known for its surf fishing, extensive beaches, and more, bu that wasn't always the case. The islands were once home to fishermen, whalers, and stockmen. The area is just east of North Carolina's mainland. The Cape also works to protect the southern section of this barrier island system. Visitors enjoy the beaches for the beautiful warm summer days, but for the sea turtles and shorebirds, the beaches area nursery for the young.

The light station, made up of both a lighthouse tower and quarters for the keepers and other needed buildings, was the first lighthouse built on the Cape. The second lighthouse was built near Cape Lookout and has been in the same spot for over 150 years. Although the light station is accessible all year, the lighthouse itself is open for self-guided tours seasonally. Depending on the time and conditions, the lighthouse does close when it is deemed unsafe. Tickets to the site an be purchased every Wednesday through Sunday at the light station visitors center. Keep in mind that if you want to visit the lighthouse, the climb is strenuous as is it is roughly 207 steps, which is approximately equal to climbing a 12 story building.

A popular Cape lookout activity includes visiting the beach. Shelling or collecting seashells is very popular as a variety of shells can be found washed up on the shores. Guests are allowed to collect up to two gallons of uninhabited shells per person, per day. Guests can also enjoy swimming in the ocean. During the spring and fall, fishing off the Atlantic Coast becomes a popular activity. Purchase your fishing license from local bait and tackle shops as well as some other retailers. Stop in and make sure that you enjoy all the activities that the Cape has to offer.