Discover Historic Hatteras Island


capehatteraslighthouseHatteras Island has a lot to offer those who visit. Its beautiful beaches, pristine wildlife refuge, and unbeatable watersports venues make the area a must visit location for anyone who loves the outdoors. However, Hatteras Island also has a very rich and interesting history of its own. Origins of the United States Coast Guard, sunken ships, and the history of Native Americans who thrived in the area centuries ago can be discovered when on Hatteras Island. Read below to learn about the island's most interesting historical landmarks, events, and destinations.

Chicamacomico Life Saving Station

Located in Rodanthe, Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station will give visitors a chance to learn about the United States Life Saving Service and the origins of the United States Coast Guard. In addition to its historic building, Chicamacomico Life Saving Station also holds fun family friendly events. It's most exciting event is known as the "Beach Apparatus Drill." The "Beach Apparatus Drill" is a reenactment of how members of the United States Life Saving Service could rescue distressed sailors from land in the 1800s. Current United States Coast Guard members perform the drill on site while the various steps on the process are narrated for all to enjoy. Don't miss out on this awesome destination during your Outer Banks vacation!

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

There is no symbol more synonymous with Hatteras Island than the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. For first time visitors to Hatteras Island, the lighthouse is a "must-see." The structure is amazing, but the history and purpose behind the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is equally impressive. At 219 feet, you will see the structure miles before actually arriving to its location. Be sure to climb the 268 steps to the top and get an absolutely stunning view of the Outer Banks. The lighthouse museum located next door will explain why sailors have depended on the beacon for decades. The current beacon of the "Graveyard of the Atlantic" has stood since 1870 and was even moved 2,900 feet in 1999 to protect it from falling into the Atlantic Ocean. Learn about the lighthouse's purpose and its own rich history!

Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum

If you are interested in maritime history or simply want an excellent place to visit on a rainy Outer Banks day, visit the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Hatteras. Also known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, this destination will teach those who visit about the many shipwrecks that border the Carolina coast, pirates that roamed the area, and Hatteras Island's place in war history.

Frisco Native American Museum and Natural History Center

Learn about the area's Native American History while in one of Hatteras Island's oldest buildings. The museum has wonderful exhibits which remind visitors that they are walking on historic land. Learn how those who inhabited the area survived hundreds of years ago and be sure to check the museum's calendar for one of their exciting historical events!

Go on Your Own Shipwreck Search

With a little local knowledge, you can go on your very own search for Outer Banks shipwrecks, as there are a select few which are visible from the shoreline. One of the most popular shipwreck locations is "The Boiler," located just off the shore of the Pea Island National Refuge. Do a little research and explore our area's history!

Whether you are staying on Hatteras Island, in a Nags Head vacation rental, or further north, these historic Outer Banks locations are well worth the trip. Go on an educational adventure your entire family will enjoy when visiting Hatteras Island!