Attractions & Museums
Beaufort Historic Site
Address: 100 Block Turner St, Beaufort, NC 28516
The Historical Site is located in the heart of the historical district. It is comprised of 10 buildings that tells the story of early settlers. Among these buildings you will find an 1859 doctor's office, 1796 Carteret County Courthouse, and 1829 Carteret County Jail. The Association Volunteers give lively narrated tours on an English Double-Decker Bus and there are tours of the Old Burying Grounds and Historical Homes. There are self guided tour brochures at the office if you would like to venture out on your own in search of the great history of Beaufort.
Cape Lookout National Seashore
Address: 131 Charles St., Harker's Island, NC 28531
A boat ride three miles off-shore brings you to the barrier islands of Cape Lookout National Seashore. Horse watching, shelling, fishing, birding, camping, lighthouse climbing, and touring historic villages--there’s something for everyone at Cape Lookout. Be sure to bring all the food, water, and supplies you need (and carry your trash out of the park) when visiting these remote beaches.
Core Sound Decoy Carvers Guild
Address: 1574 Island Rd, Harkers Island, NC 28531
The Core Sound Decoy Carvers Guild is dedicated to the preservation of the waterfowl carving heritage that runs deep through the history of the Core Sound area in North Carolina. Our celebrated past is defined by many aspects beyond the art of carving decoys. People, decoys, duck calls, artists, photographers, folklore, and collectors are but a few of the many aspects of the Core Sound Decoy Carving heritage that make up the guild.
Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center
Address: 1785 Island Road, P.O. Box 556, Harker's Island , NC 28531
A gathering place for heritage and traditions grounded in the natural beauty of Core Sound... a place to experience the people, the place, the community.
Core Sound events, programs, daily visits, field trips, reunions — all led by community volunteers — are the “people-experiences” that cause folks to return over and over. Core Sound’s welcoming atmosphere is worth the journey!
Fort Macon State Park
Address: 2303 East Fort Macon Rd., Atlantic Beach, NC 28512
Fort Macon offers public access to the surf, sun and sand of the Crystal Coast - as well as a historic landmark. Located at the eastern end of Bogue Banks, one of a series of barrier islands along the North Carolina coast, the park is surrounded on three sides by water - the Atlantic Ocean, Beaufort Inlet and Bogue Sound. This area of undisturbed natural beauty is the perfect place to explore salt marshes and estuaries vital to the coastal ecosystem.
The park is also home to a Civil War fort with a history as intricate and unique as the waterways of the sound. Visit Fort Macon to enjoy the land's natural beauty and soak up some history!!!
Foundation for Shackleford Horses
Address: FSH, Inc. 306 Golden Farm Rd, Beaufort, NC 28516
As of 2010, the wild horses of the Outer Banks are North Carolina's official State Horse!
We provide talks for local area groups; photos and general information for teachers and students; invite visits to the adoption farm to meet the adoptable horses (by appointment).
We use donations and grants to provide funding for veterinary care when needed, for rescues (generally for foals in trouble, to remove a nail from a hoof, etc.), and for supplies for the adoption farm and for three unadoptable horses.
We also use donations for DNA testing and parentage verification, and for mitochondrial DNA testing to aid in the best management of the Shackleford herds to ensure their survival into the future This also provides a greater scientific information base and documentation for this rare old breed of North Carolina horse.
History Museum of Carteret County
Address: 1008 Arendell St., Morehead City, NC 28557
Everything old is new again at History Museum of Carteret County (formerly, the History Place), whose mission is to foster public knowledge of, and the history and culture of the peoples of Carteret County through the collection, preservation, interpretation and documentation of written and tangible artifacts.
The facility houses exhibits, the Rodney B. Kemp Gallery with special displays (currently featuring the history of Pine Knoll Shores), the Jack Goodwin Research Library, a conference room, an auditorium, and the Museum store. The History Museum houses an extensive collection of textiles, period clothing, furniture, military memorabilia, glassware and artwork, representing Carteret County residents. The library has more than 10,000 books, publications and an extensive photo file documenting the history of Carteret County. The genealogy materials and the Civil War history collections are especially notable. Year-round programs, seminars and musical events keep Carteret County history fresh and alive.
The lecture series with local storyteller Rodney Kemp is a local favorite.
The museum is open to the public - $3.00 for adults, $1.00 if under 18, under 5 free. Historical Society members are free. Donations are always welcome. Guided tours for groups by appointment.
The History Museum auditorium and conference room can be reserved for weddings, receptions or other special events. Call or visit us to get a rental agreement.
NC Maritime Museum
Address: 315 Front St., Beaufort, NC 28516
Located on the Beaufort waterfront, it offers exhibits and programs to celebrate our coastal heritage. They also feature a watercraft center where you can watch boats being built and is home to artifacts from Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge. Open daily and free admission.
North Carolina Aquarium @ Pine Knoll Shores
Address: 1 Roosevelt Blvd., Pine Knoll Shores, NC 28512
The Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is located at Mile Marker 7 - five miles west of Atlantic Beach.
The $25 million expansion is a site to see. The show stopper is 306,000 gallon Living Shipwreck exhibit. This striking display is home to the Aquariums largest collection of marine life. Tiger sharks, schools of rare fishes, loggerhead turtles, electric eels and other sea animals are a living palate of marine life. Inside is a replica of the German U-352 sub that sank off the Crystal Coast in 1942.
Other exhibits include the 50,000 gallon Queen Anne's Revenge display, a mountain trout pool, a jellyfish gallery, a river otter exhibit, a stingray touch pool and a sportfishing display. The new Aquarium is home to over 2,500 specimens that represent North Carolina's aquatic habitats "From the Mountains to the Sea".
There is something for everyone at the North Carolina Aquarium @ Pine Knoll Shores!
Children's programs, Coastal Explorers Day Camp, snorkeling classes interpretive beach walks and excursions to remote barrior islands are a few of the choices visitors have at the all new Aquarium @ Pine Knoll Shores.
For program schedules and to make reservations, call 252-247-4003 or visit the web site listed above.
Rachel Carson Reserve
Address: Beaufort, NC 28516
Across Taylor's Creek from the Beaufort waterfront is a complex of islands that compose the Rachel Carson site. The islands at the western end of the site at Carrot Island, Town Marsh, Bird Shoal, and Horse Island are more than three miles long and less than a mile wide, covering 2,025 acres. Middle Marsh, separated from the rest of the site by the North River Channel, is almost two miles long and less than a mile wide, covering nearly 650 acres.
The Rachel Carson site is in the midst of one of the state's fastest growing areas. The area is also a center of marine research and education. The marine laboratories of Duke University, University of North Carolina, and North Carolina State University are located here, as is a regional office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Services and the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries.
The islands and estuarine waters at the Rachel Carson site are strongly influenced by river and inlet dynamics and the twice-daily tides. The range of tidal changes at Middle Marsh, the low-salinity variation of the western section, and topography of the entire site have created a diverse and productive estuarine system. Habitats found within the site are tidal flats, flooded salt marshes, ocean beach, subtidal soft bottoms, hard surfaces, dredge spoil areas, sand dunes, shrub thicket and maritime forest. More than 200 species of birds have been observed at the site, which is located within the Atlantic Flyway. Twenty-three species are considered rare or decreasing in number. The site is an important feeding area for Wilson's plovers in the summer and piping plovers in the winter. The shrub thicket of Middle Marsh supports an egret and heron rookery. In addition to feral horses, the river otter, gray fox, raccoon and marsh rabbit inhabit the islands. The American bottlenose dolphin swims in the deep waters around the islands, along with fifty-two species of fish. Forty-seven invertebrate species common to the site include mollusks and worms.
The Rachel Carson site can only be visited by boat. Visitors may use their own boat or contact the local boating concessions. Visitors usually land on the sandy beach at the west end of Town Marsh and cross over to Bird Shoals on foot.
A trail guide for the Rachel Carson site is available free of charge over the Internet or at the Reserve education office. Town Marsh, Carrot Island and Bird Shoal receive the most use because of their easy access by boat. Marsh communities, like those of Horse Island, are quite vulnerable to effects of use, and should be avoided. Small groups on a limited basis for collecting and interpretive purposes may use selected areas if permission is received from the NCNERR. Special habitat areas, such as the horse's watering holes and the shorebird nesting sites are off limits to visitors.
For more information, see the website listed above.