The North Carolina Coast

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The North Carolina Coast - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Cape Lookout Lighthouse

    Body Of Water/Waterfall

    When the original 1812 lighthouse proved too short and unstable, the 1859 structure was built to replace it. The double walls allow the tower...Read More

  • 2. Fort Fisher State Historic Site

    Military Site

    This is one of the South's largest and most important earthworks fortifications from the Civil War, so tough it was known as the Southern Gibraltar...Read More

  • 3. Ocracoke Island Beaches

    Beach–Sight

    The 16 miles of undeveloped shoreline here are often considered some of the best beaches in America. These beaches are among the least populated...Read More

  • 4. Tryon Palace

    Castle/Palace/Chateau

    This elegant reconstructed 1770 Georgian building was the colonial capitol and originally the home of Royal Governor William Tryon. The palace...Read More

  • 5. Wright Brothers National Memorial

    Museum/Gallery

    One of the most popular photo sites on the Outer Banks, 5 miles south of Kitty Hawk, this 60-foot granite airplane's tail stands as a tribute...Read More

  • 6. Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site

    Archaeological Site/Ruins

    About 10 miles north of Southport, you can explore the ruins and excavations of a colonial town and see the Civil War earthworks of Fort Anderson...Read More

  • 7. Cape Lookout Beach

    Beach–Sight

    White sand beaches, blue-green waters, and a tall lighthouse mark this quiet beach at the southern tip of Cape Lookout National Seashore. A...Read More

  • 8. Jockey's Ridge State Park

    Museum/Gallery

    The 420 acres of this park encompass the tallest sand dune system on the East Coast (about 80 to 100 feet). Walk along the 384-foot boardwalk...Read More

  • 9. Lake Phelps

    Archaeological Site/Ruins

    At 16,600 acres, 5 miles across, and about 4 feet deep, Lake Phelps is North Carolina's second-largest natural lake. It's also part of Pettigrew...Read More

  • 10. Portsmouth Village

    Portsmouth Island | Body Of Water/Waterfall

    Inhabited from 1753 until the early 1970s, the village listed 685 permanent residents at its peak in 1860, according to the census that year...Read More

  • 11. Shackleford Banks

    Beach–Sight

    Wild, wooded, and undeveloped, this 7½-mile-long barrier island, the southernmost part of Cape Lookout National Seashore, is made even more...Read More

  • 12. Somerset Place

    House/Mansion/Villa

    Drive about an hour inland (or a short detour if you're arriving on U.S. Route 64 from the west) to see one of North Carolina's best-preserved...Read More

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