7 Sensational Reasons to Celebrate Cape Lookout

7 Sensational Reasons to Celebrate Cape Lookout

**This blog post was updated on July 25, 2017.** 


There is always a lot to celebrate when it comes to the incredibly stunning Cape Lookout National Seashore. A boat ride just three miles off-shore brings you to the barrier islands of Cape Lookout, where you can delight in horse watching, shelling, fishing, birding, camping, lighthouse climbing, and touring historic villages—there really is something for everyone at Cape Lookout National Seashore. 

Want to explore more ways to celebrate the Cape? Here are 7 sensational ways to do it. Try one, or try them all!

1. See the wild horses!

Did you know that Cape Lookout National Seashore is home to magnificent wild horse? These horses have survived on the outer banks for hundreds of years in this salty & sandy terrain, after being shipwrecked on our shores. Join a Park Ranger on a trip to Shackleford Banks to get an in-depth look at wild horse behaviors and the management practices needed to maintain a wild horse herd.

2. Explore the 56 miles of remote Southern Outer Banks seashore only accessible by boat.

Exactly what does Cape Lookout have to offer you? A lot. It makes the perfect day trip from Emerald Isle. Take a fun ferry ride to the island or anchor your own boat off the shoreline. Immerse yourself in barrier island beauty and bask in it for as long as you please. It's one of the last undeveloped barrier island systems in the world! Don't forget to bring all of the supplies you'll need for the day with you, since this is a remote location without access to many of the services you're used to. Bring ample water, snacks and sunscreen for your excursion to this island paradise.

3. Climb the historic Cape Lookout Lighthouse.

Yes, you can climb the Diamond Lady! The Cape Lookout Lighthouse is open for climbing from the third week in May to the third weekend in September. Self-guided tours of up to 10 people begin every 15 minutes during the hours of operation, Wednesday through Sunday. Be aware that this is a strenuous 207-step climb comparable to a 12-story building and may not be suitable for everyone. Tickets are required and are available for sale at the park only (not online). Tickets are $8 for adults, and $4 for children and seniors. Note that children much be at least 44 inches tall to climb the Cape Lookout Lighthouse. 


4. Become a Junior Ranger.

Hey kids, this one's for you! Did you know that you could become a Junior Ranger at Cape Lookout National Seashore? You can. All you have to do is ask for a free Junior Ranger booklet at the Harkers Island Visitor Center or the Light Station Visitor Center and complete a few activities to earn your ranger status. Then bring your booklet back to a Visitor Center to receive an official Cape Lookout Junior Ranger badge and certificate. You should do it! You can learn more about becoming a Junior Ranger at Cape Lookout here.

5. Spend an evening at the Cape under a full moon.

Make it a special evening at Cape Lookout with a tour that takes you into the night and gives you a perspective like no other. The park offers this three-hour tour on select dates near the full moon during the months of May, June, July, August and September. Bring your own flashlight and experience the island and the lighthouse as the keepers did, in the dark of night. Hear stories of the light keepers, watch the sunset and moon and stars come out on the unlit beaches of Cape Lookout National Seashore. Discover a different side to your favorite beach! You can learn more about the Evening at the Cape tour here.

6. Get in some great shelling.

Did you know that Cape Lookout is named one of the best shelling spots in North Carolina by beach combing connoisseurs? It sure is. You can find shells here year-round, but after an early-spring storm or during hurricane season are particularly good times for shelling. One hour before and one hour after low tide are prime shelling times. Read this to learn more about seashell hunting on Cape Lookout.

7. Celebrate the National Park Service (NPS)...Over 100 Years of Service.

Did you know that last year, the National Park Service celebrate its 100th birthday? Recognizing their 100 years of pubic service is a great way to celebrate one of its very own treasures. Help preserve the National Park Service, and all its many programs, by getting out and seeing the national parks!! 

How do you plan to celebrate Cape Lookout National Seashore this year?

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