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The Outer Banks of North Carolina

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Outer Banks Visitors Bureau (RI)
Operated by The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, this conveniently located center provides information on attractions, events and directions. The center also offers an accommodations reservation center, rest rooms, public phones, and picnic area. Rest areas are open 365 days a year; welcome center is open 363 days (closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day), from 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. (summer till 6 p.m.). The center features a convenient, drive-up waste dump station. (877) 629-4386 or (252) 473-2138. outerbanks.org
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Outer Banks Visitors Bureau (WB)
Operated by The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, the center provides information on attractions, events and directions. The center also offers rest rooms, public phones and picnic area. Rest areas are open 365 days a year; welcome center is open from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. standard daylight hours and 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. during daylight savings time. (877) 629-4386. outerbanks.org
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Outer Banks Visitors Bureau (AB)
Located at Milepost 1 in Kitty Hawk, and operated by The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, the center provides information on attractions, events and directions. The center also offers an accommodations reservation center, rest rooms, public phones, and picnic area. Rest areas are open 365 days a year; welcome center is open 363 (closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day), from 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. (Dec, Jan, Feb till 5 p.m. and Jun, Jul, Aug till 6 p.m.) (877) 629-4386. outerbanks.org
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Outer Banks History Center
Located across from the Manteo waterfront within the Roanoke Island Festival Park complex, The Outer Banks History Center is a regional archives and research library administered by the North Carolina State Archives (Department of Cultural Resources) with the mission of collecting and preserving the history and culture of the North Carolina coast. Collections include personal and organizational papers; books; photographs; periodicals and newspapers; maps (1584+) and drawings; public records on microfilm; oral histories and other audio and video recordings; ephemera; and original works of art. Exhibits are presented in the History Center Gallery throughout the year on topics as varied as the history of the region itself.




Location:
Roanoke Island Festival complex




Hours:
Reading Room open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. weekdays, except state holidays, and the gallery is open 7 days a week with hours changing seasonally.




Admission:
Free




Contact Information
Route 400, Ice Plant Island
P.O. Box 250
Manteo, NC 27954
(252) 473-2655
Website
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The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse
The Outer Banks newest lighthouse is also its smallest. Instead of a brick beacon towering over a barrier-island beach, this lighthouse is more akin to a lightkeeper's house perched over the water. The original 1857 screwpile lighthouse that aided mariners in Croatan Sound was a cottage built over the water, with the lighthouse serving as both beacon and residence. The reconstructed lighthouse was opened in 2004 by the Town of Manteo, in cooperation with the NC Maritime Museum and Roanoke Island Festival Park. The lighthouse contains exhibits highlighting Roanoke Island's maritime history and information on the lighthouse and its keepers.

Location
End of the pier on the Manteo Waterfront


Hours
Tuesday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Contact Information
(252) 475-1750
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Roanoke Island Festival Park
An interactive family attraction that celebrates the first English settlement in America. The centerpiece of the 25-acre island park adjacent to Manteo, is, Elizabeth II, a representation of one of the seven English ships from the Roanoke Voyage of 1585. Costumed Elizabethan sailors greet visitors and help them experience sixteenth century seafaring life. Also visit the Settlement site, Roanoke Adventure Museum and see "The Legend of Two-Path" film.

In 2008, the outdoor American Indian Town and Cultural Education Center opens. The town site will offer a wide vareity of activities, including building a dug-out canoe, working a fish trap, planting and harvesting crops and more. The on-site art gallery, fossil pit, museum store, and marsh-side boardwalks are free and open to all.


Location
Across from the Manteo Waterfront and 5 miles from the beaches.


Hours
Open mid-February to December 31. Hours vary seasonally.


Admission
Adult: $8
Student (6 - 17): $5
Child (5 and under): Free
Tickets are good for two consecutive days.


Contact Information
(252) 475-1500
Website
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The Lost Colony
1409 National Park Drive
Manteo, NC 27954, USA
(252) 473-3414
Experience a 423 year-old mystery and MORE! An exciting, action-packed drama about America's beginnings. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Green, the production tells the story of the English colonists who vanished without a trace. Celebrate their legacy through this dramatic spectacle of music and dance. The lavish costumes designed by five-time Tony Aware-winner William Ivey Long.

On Sundays, The Lost Colony alternates with a Sunday Broadway Series.

Location
Waterside Theatre in Fort Raleigh National Historic Site


Hours
May 30 - August 18 at 8:30 p.m. (Sunday - Friday).


Admission
Producer's Circle: $20
Adult: $16
Senior (62 and above): $15
Groups (20 or more): $14
Children (11 and under): $8 (Children 11 and under accompanied by a paying adult are admitted free on Monday and half price on Friday).


Services
Pre-show Backstage Tours are available on performance nights at 6:30 p.m., reservations required. Backstage Tour tickets are available through the box office at (252) 473-3414.


Facilities
Gift shop, restrooms and free parking.


Contact Information
Box Office: (252) 473-3414
Order Online or call (866) 468-7630
Website
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Elizabethan Gardens
1411 National Park Drive
Manteo, NC 27954, USA
(252) 473-3234

Majestic trees greet visitors at this 16th century pleasure garden created by The Garden Club of North Carolina as a living memorial to the lost colonists. Highlights include the thatched gazebo, Shakespearean herb garden, flower bordered walkways, antique garden statuary and formal sunken gardens.

Location
Located within Fort Raleigh adjacent to Waterside Theatre at 1411 National Park Drive.

Hours
Open year-round. Hours vary with season.


Admission
Adults: $8.00
Youth (6 - 18): $5.00
Children (5 and under): Free


Group Tours
Please call in advance to schedule your tour date and time.
Group tours of 20+: $7/person (1 free admission with every 20 paid)
Youth Group Tours: $4/youth (1 free admission with every 20 paid)

Facilities
Gift and Plant shop and free parking.


Contact
1411 National Park Drive
Manteo, NC 27954
(252) 473-3234
Website

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Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
Sir Walter Raleigh's explorers and colonists attempted to found settlements here on the North end of Roanoke Island in 1585. It is home to the Waterside Theatre, where you'll find The Lost Colony, a symphonic outdoor drama. You'll also find a visitor's center, interpretive programs, bookstore, and nature trail.




Location
Off Hwy. 64/264, on the north end of Roanoke Island.




Hours
Open year-round. Closed Christmas Day.




Admission
Free




Services
Museum and film; interpretive tours may be available.




Facilities
Visitor Center and restrooms.




Contact Information
National Park Service
Manteo, NC 27954
(252) 473-5772
Website
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North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island
The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island presents the aquatic environments of coastal Carolina through its theme "Water of The Outer Banks." The aquarium's variety of exhibits promises to educate and entertain visitors. Journey through coastal freshwaters to see river otters, turtles, and American alligators. Explore saltwater habitats from grass flats to Gulf Stream waters. Gently stroke a stingray or touch a hermit crab at the touch tanks. Watch as fish and sharks cruise by the 35-foot long viewing window of the 285,000-gallon "Graveyard of the Atlantic" tank. History buffs will marvel at the one-third scale replica of the USS Monitor.

Step into "Storms" to get an inside, personal look at Outer Banks hurricanes and nor'easters. Visit "Aquarium Confidential" the new exhibit that captures the behind the scenes life at the aquarium. Member Site of Historic Albemarle Tour,
www.historicalbemarletour.com

Location
Just off of Hwy. 64/264, Airport Road on the north end of Roanoke Island.

Hours
Open daily year-round, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day.

Admission
Adults: $8
Seniors: $7
Children: Ages 6-17: $6
5 and under: FREE
North Carolina Aquarium Society members: FREE
North Carolina school groups that register in advance: FREE

Services
Special programs daily.

Facilities
Gift shop, restrooms, waterfront picnic area, food service (summer only), parking.

Contact Information
(252) 473-3494
Website
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Jockeys Ridge State Park
This 426-acre park has the largest natural living sand dune on the East Coast. Two self-guided trails and nature programs available year-round. Hang gliding, kite flying, hiking, visitor's center, small gift shop, museum, picnic facilities and restrooms.


Location
US 158 Bypass, Milepost 12 1/2, Nags Head.


Hours
Open year-round. Hours vary according to season.


Admission
Free


Services
Interpretive tours available (arrangements must be made in advance).


Facilities
Restrooms, visitor's center, free parking, picnic area. Also, handicapped accessible boardwalk with overlook and a soundside access with parking.


Contact Information
(252) 441-7132
http://www.jockeysridgestatepark.com/
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Nature Conservancy at Nags Head Woods

A 1,400-acre maritime forest with more than five miles of self-guided hiking trails ranging from easy to strenuous in difficulty level. Nags Head Woods features a diversity of plant and animal life that is unusual to find on a barrier island. Towering oaks, hickories, and beech trees, some hundreds of years old, rise from the sand and create a canopy of trees more typical of the mountains of the eastern United States. Over 100 species of birds have been documented at Nags Head Woods and over 50 bird species nest here. Fifteen species of amphibians and 28 species of reptiles have been documented as well. The freshwater ponds are inhabited by seven species of fish and many reptiles and amphibians in addition to a great diversity of floating aquatic plant life, including the rare water violet.

The Preserve also hosts rich Outer Banks cultural history. During the 19th century and through the 1930s, Nags Head Woods was a thriving village community with 13 homesites, two churches, a school, a store, farms, a gristmill and a shingle factory. There are artifacts remaining of village life: a home foundation, cemeteries and other signs of previous human habitation in the forest.

To safeguard the sensitive diversity and history of the Preserve, trails are for foot traffic only. Dogs, bicycles and horses are welcome on the gravel roadway, but not on the trails.

Be safe on the trails and know your limits. Wear appropriate clothing and shoes; take a trail map and water with you on the hike; in warmer months bring along some insect repellant.



Location
To visit the preserve take US 158 to Kill Devil Hills. Turn west near Mile Post 9 1/2 on Ocean Acres Drive (McDonald’s and Pigman’s BBQ are at the stoplight). Drive through a residential neighborhood for one mile; parking is on the left. Walk up the boardwalk where trail maps and guides are available at the outdoor information counter.



Hours
Dawn to dusk every day of the year.




Admission
Free


Facilities
Parking, self-guided trails, outdoor information counter


Contact Information
(252) 441-2525
Website

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Wright Brothers National Memorial
Site of the world's first controlled powered flight on December 17, 1903. The Visitor Center features full-scale reproductions of the Wright 1903 Powered Flyer and interpretive presentations. A centennial pavilion boasts an exhibit hall with special exhibits, including a replica of the 1902 Wright Glider and a multipurpose auditorium.




The grounds include historical markers of each attempted powered flight, replica camp buildings and a 60-foot granite monument on top of Big Kill Devil Hill (a 90-foot dune) honoring the Wright brothers.

Location
Milepost 8, Kill Devil Hills

Hours
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (hours are extended during summer months). Open year-round. Closed Christmas Day.



Entrance Fees
$4 per person - valid for 7 days
Free - 16 and under
$10 - Annual Park Pass
Free - Golden Age, Golden Access, or National Parks Pass

Commercial Vehicles
$40 - Vans / Small buses holding 7 - 25 people.
$100 - Commercial Tour Buses

National Park Service Passes
Golden Access - Free - Valid for a lifetime
Golden Age - $10 - Valid for a lifetime
National Parks Pass - $50 - Valid for one year
Golden Eagle holograms - $15 - valid for one year

Note
School sponsored programs may be eligible for a waiver of fees.

Services
Interpretive tours available.

Facilities
Visitor Center facilities include a bookstore, rest rooms, and telephones.

Contact Information
(252) 441-7430
Website
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The Monument to a Century of Flight
Created and dedicated during the First Flight Centennial in 2003, the monument depicts the human odyssey of flight in a single century from earthbound into the mysteries of space.

Its fourteen stainless steel, wing shaped pylons ascend in height from 10 to 20 feet and are organized in an orbit of 120 feet, symbolic of the length of the Wright Brothers' first historic flight. Black granite panels chronicle one hundred of the most significant events in aviations first century. Free Admission.
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US Army Corps of Engineers, Field Research Facility "Duck Research Pier"
This unique facility conducts research on the ocean processes affecting the coast such as storm impacts and erosion. Several vehicles, including the 35-foot tall, three-wheeled, CRAB, support the research activities.

Location
North of Duck on Hwy. 12

Hours
Entrance Gate is open between 9:30 and 10 a.m.

Admission
Free

Services
Sixty-minute walking tours are offered mid-June through mid-August at 10 a.m. Monday - Friday.

Contact Information
(252) 261-6840 ext. 401
Website
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Currituck Beach Lighthouse

A day-trip to the north of the Outer Banks is the village of Corolla, located 15 miles north of Duck. There, on December 1, 1875 the beacon of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse filled the remaining "dark spot" on the North Carolina coast between Cape Henry light to the north and Bodie Island to the south.


The light station includes a Victorian stick style double keepers' house, cisterns, and museum shop.

Hours
Open Spring through late Fall

Admission
Fee to climb lighthouse


Contact Information
(252) 453-4939
Website
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Bodie Island Lighthouse
Located eight miles south of US-158 and US-64 intersection and within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

The 156-foot tall horizontally-striped lighthouse is not open for climbing.

Location
Within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Facilities
A visitor's center in the old keeper's quarters features exhibits, an Eastern National Bookstore and is open year-round. Self-guided nature trail.

Contact Information
(252) 441-5711
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Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
The refuge is located between Oregon Inlet and Rodanthe. Refuge Visitor's Center is located five miles south of the inlet. The 6,000-acre refuge is a haven for more than 360 species of birds. From spring to autumn, a large variety of wading, shore and upland birds can be seen. The observation platforms are near parking areas. Public interpretive programs are scheduled weekly during the summer and fall.








Location:
Between Oregon Inlet and Rodanthe. Refuge Visitor's Center is located five miles south of the inlet.








Hours:
Refuge open daily during daylight hours.








Admission:
Free. Guided canoe tours are available for a fee.








Services:
Public interpretive programs are scheduled weekly during the summer and fall.








Contact Information:
(252) 987-2394 or (252) 987-1118
Website
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Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station Historic Site
Most complete U.S. Lifesaving Station site in the nation, with original station built in 1874 and a second station constructed in 1911. Five outbuildings, including the 1911 Cook House and the 1907 Midgett House, comprise the remaining structures.








Family-oriented programs offered during summer months, including the Beach Apparatus Drill reenactment! Exhibits include artifacts, apparatus, documents, uniforms, photographs, including displays of the of the Outer Banks Lifesaving Station.



Location
NC Highway 12 in the village of Rodanthe, on Hatteras Island at the MP 39.5








Hours
Open mid-April through November. Call for schedule.








Admission
$6.00 Adult (18 - 61)
$4.00 Seniors (62+)
$4.00 Youth (6 - 17)
$5.00 Group Rate/Tour rate (per person rate, 20+ in group) - includes orientation & program
Children 5 and under are free








Contact Information
(252) 987-1552
Website
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Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, known as "America's Lighthouse," is the tallest brick beacon in the World, standing 208-feet high. The substantial structure, built in 1870, is black and white spiral-striped and the international symbol of the North Carolina coast.

Opening for Climbing
Mid-April through Columbus Day
Visitor's Center and grounds open year-round.

Lighthouse Climbing Fees
$7.00 Adults
$3.50 Children under 12 (must be at least 42" tall); seniors 62 and older; disabled
$3.50 with a National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Senior or Access Pass

Contact Information
(252) 995-4474
Website
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Frisco Native American Museum and Natural History Center
The museum contains a nationally recognized collection of Native American artifacts, exhibits and natural history displays. Galleries filled with native art include information on Native Americans across the United States, as well as artifacts from the first inhabitants of Hatteras Island. Designated as a North Carolina Environmental Education Center and a Historic Albemarle Tour site, the museum also includes a newly opened bird observation room and several acres of nature trails winding through a lush maritime forest. Trails include exhibits and accommodations for visually impaired persons (VIPS).

Location
Hwy 12, Village of Frisco

Hours
11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday - Sunday. Mondays by appointement. Winter hours adjusted.

Admission
$5 per person
$15 per family
$3 for seniors

Services
Guided tours and lectures for school and youth groups are available with notice.

Facilities
Newly expanded history center and bookstore.

Contact Information
(252) 995-4440
Website
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Outer Banks Visitors Bureau (HI)
Operated by The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, the center provides information on attractions, events and directions. Welcome center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March to December. The center, built in 1901, housed in the first U.S. Weather Bureau Station. The station played a key role in the nation's developing meteorological network, and endured some of the worst storms of the 20th century until decommissioned in 1946. Located at 57190 Kohler Road, in Hatteras Village, next to Burrus Red & White. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. all year. (877) 629-4386 or (252) 986-2203. outerbanks.org
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Hatteras to Ocracoke Ferry
Crossing Time: 40 minutes
Reservations: Not accepted
Fare: Free




Visit www.ncferry.org for departure times.
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The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum
A unique museum dedicated to preserving and interpreting the rich maritime history of the Outer Banks and the more than 2,000 known shipwrecks that rest off the Outer Banks.

Interior construction continues behind the scenes while a section of the museum is open and a portion of its collections is on display. These include artifacts from diverse sources: the "Lost Lens" from the first Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the Enigma machine from the U-85 (the first U-boat sunk by the Allies), Billy Mitchell's historic bombing achievements off the Cape Hatteras coast, the Union gunboat Huron, the famous Ghostship Carroll A. Deering, ship models and many other exhibits.

Location
End of Hwy. 12 in Hatteras Village, next to the Ferry Landing.

Contact Information
(252) 986-2995/2996
Website
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Ocracoke Lighthouse
Located in the fishing village of Ocracoke on the island of Ocracoke, this is the oldest operating lighthouse in North Carolina and is equipped with a fourth-order Fresnel lens.

The present structure is the third. In 1798, a 54-foot wooden tower was built on the Ocracoke Inlet entrance where Edward Teach, otherwise known as "Blackbeard the Pirate," lived at one time. The channel shifted, rendering the lighthouse ineffective. It was replaced by a light vessel in the inlet in 1820, but by 1822 this structure was also rendered useless by shifting sands, and Congress authorized the money to build the present tower which stands 75 feet tall. The lighthouse was cemented and whitewashed in 1868, giving it the appearance it has today.

Originally fueled by whale oil, it is now lit by automatic electric power and shines 14 miles out to sea.
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Beach/Sound free parking (75 spaces).
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Pea Island Visitors Center free parking (10 spaces).
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Ocean access free parking (28 spaces).
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Public access (10 spaces).
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Sound Access (13 spaces).
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Ramp 23 ORV Beach Access (12 spaces).
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Ramp 27 ORV Beach access (23 spaces).
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Ramp 30 ORV Beach access (26 spaces).
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Ramp 34 ORV Beach access (24 spaces).
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Ramp 38 ORV Beach access (25 spaces).
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Canadian Hole Public access (85 spaces).
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Lighthouse Beach parking (175 spaces).
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Lighthouse Parking (58 spaces)/
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Ramp 43 ORV Beach access (15-20 spaces).
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Ramp 44 ORV Beach access (12 spaces).
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Public Beach/Sound access (32 spaces).
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Frisco Bathhouse ORV Beach access (50 spaces).
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Ramp 49 Frisco Ramp ORV Beach access (15 spaces).
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Ramp 55 ORV Beach access (25 spaces).
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Ramp 59 ORV Beach access.
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Ramp 67 ORV Beach access.
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Ramp 68 ORV Beach access.
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Public Beach access.
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Ramp 70 ORV Beach access.
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Ramp 72 ORV Beach access.
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Coquina Beach ORV Beach access (100+ spaces).
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Ramp 4 ORV Beach access - Bodie Island Spit (Oregon Inlet).
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Public Access - Cape Hatteras
National Seashore
Salvo Day Use Area (90 spaces).
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Airport Museum - Preserving Aviation History where Aviation Began
410 Airport Road
Manteo, NC 27954, USA
252-475-5570
The Dare County Regional Airport Museum is housed in the west end of the airport terminal building. Models of aircraft that played a part in the history of Dare County aviation are displayed in the lobby.



Hours
The museum is open 8:00am - 7:00pm. 7 days a week.




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Ocracoke to Hatteras Ferry
Crossing Time: 40 minutes
Reservations: Not accepted
Fare: Free




Visit www.ncferry.org for departure times.
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Tie the knot
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Jennette's Pier at Nags Head
7223 S Virginia Dare Trail
Nags Head, NC 27959, US
252-255-1501
Thousands of people have visited the pier each day and night since it opened May 21. Jennette’s also features a public beach access with parking and bathhouse.

With its 1,000-foot long fishing platform, 16,000-square foot pier house and numerous educational opportunities, this state-owned and operated facility celebrates Fishing, Families and Fun!