Cape Hatteras & Cape Lookout National Seashore
The southern two-thirds of the Outer Banks are now included in the nature reserve formed by the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Cape Lookout National Seashore. Since these long, thin coastal islands lying between Pamlico Sound to the west and the open Atlantic to the east have been spared the invasion of mass tourism they form an undisturbed habitat for rare plants and for numbers of seabirds and migrants. Beside Bodie Island lighthouse is an observation platform.
Wright Brothers National Memorial
In the dunes of Kill Devil Hills on Bodie Island (mileposts 7 and 8 on U.S. 158) is the Wright Brothers National Memorial where the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright made the first powered flight in history on December 17th 1903. Their aircraft, piloted by Orville, rose into the air for 12 seconds, covering the short distance marked by the memorial stones. Close by are the brothers' two shed workshops, and in the Visitor Center is a documentary exhibition. The tall Memorial stands on the hill from which the Wrights launched experimental gliders.
Address: 1401 National Park Drive, Manteo, NC 27954, United States
Opening hours: May 25 to Sep 3: 9am-6pm
Sep 4 to May 24: 9am-5pm
Sep 4 to May 24: 9am-5pm
Always closed on: Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in USD: Annual pass or membership $20.00, Adult $4.00, Child 15 & under FREE, Senior over 62 FREE
Useful tips: Admission valid for 7 days.
Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge on Hatteras Island encompasses 5,834 acres of land that includes beaches, dunes, upland, fresh and brackish water ponds, salt flats, and salt marshes. The area provides habitat for numerous birds, wildlife, reptiles, and amphibians. Some of the threatened species that use this area are peregrine falcons, loggerhead sea turtles, and piping plovers.Wildlife viewing is the main attraction at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and visitors can take a guided canoe tour of the area.
Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station Historic Site, Rodanthe
The Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Historic Site is a seven-acre complex containing eight historic buildings. It is the largest, most complete United States Life-Saving Service (USLSS) complex in the nation and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 1874 Station was the first operational station in North Carolina and is the second oldest government structure on Hatteras Island. It is one of only two original 1874 stations open to the public in the nation. A newer station was built in 1911 and is now fully restored. The entire site became an active U.S. Coast Guard station in 1915, when the USLSS merged with the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service that year. It is the scene of the most highly awarded maritime rescue in U.S. history, the S.S. Mirlo in 1918. Site was decommissioned in 1954. There are four additional outbuildings, including a period-furnished cook house, and an original Hatteras Island 10-room, two story home built in 1907. The Chicamacomico Historical Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, now owns and operates the site as a museum and educational facility.
The seaside village of Manteo is a great spot to explore North Carolina's seashore. Seaside trails and a pier are just some of the areas that can be explored. Or if the water is not your cup of tea, Manteo has a historic downtown that has been wonderfully restored over the years. Manteo has an active festival and event calendar, be sure to check in to see what's happening when you plan to be in town.
Roanoke Island Festival Park
Roanoke Island Festival Park is where to go to learn about and experience the history of Roanoke Island. The island is known for being the site of the first temporary English settlement in the Americas.Here visitors will find Elizabeth II, a re-created 16th century ship with costumed interpreters playing the role of sailors.Also in the park is the Roanoke Adventure Museum, featuring 400 years of Outer Banks history, an Art Gallery, and much more.Roanoke Island Festival Park is located directly across from the Manteo waterfront.
Address: 1 Festival Park, Manteo, NC 27954-9396, United States
Opening hours: Feb 22 to Dec 30: 9am-5pm
Always closed on: Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), New Year's Eve (Dec 31), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26)
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $8.00, Child 17 & under $5.00, Child 5 & under FREE
North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island
The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island near Manteo, features the largest ocean tank in the state at close to 1,200,000 litres / 300,000 gallons. Here visitors of all ages can see all manner of aquatic life up close and personal. Of particular note is the aquatic petting zoo where visitors can touch and feel various small aquatic animals and plants. Over 1 million people per year visit the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island.
Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge has paddling trails, a wildlife drive, two wildlife trails, and a variety of wildlife. Refuge tram tours, canoe tours, and wildlife watching opportunities are also available.
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