How to Make the Most of Your Day at Fort Macon
Historic Fort Macon and its surrounding state park are a must-see during your North Carolina beach vacation. Located in Atlantic Beach, NC on the opposite side of the island (the eastern end of Bogue Banks) from your Emerald Isle rental, Fort Macon is filled with opportunities for fun, learning and adventure. Voted one of the best state parks in the country and North Carolina State Park of the Year in 2015, you'll quickly see why this makes for an awesome day trip during your Emerald Isle beach vacation. Part nature-preserve and part historic site, there's a little something for everyone whether you’re a history buff, traveling with kids, or just want to explore the park’s unspoiled shoreline. Here's how to make the most of your time and have the best Fort Macon experience possible.
LEARN THE HISTORY OF FORT MACON
The first step in making the most out of your day at Fort Macon is by getting to know its rich history, military significance and storied past. The park includes a replica of the original Fort Macon, which served as protection during the 18th and 19th centuries. This stronghold has served North Carolina during the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and World War I. The famous pirate Blackbeard even passed through Beaufort Inlet during his time sailing the seas. Watch this video to learn more about the fascinating history of Fort Macon and then come explore it for yourself!
ATTEND FORT MACON STATE PARK EVENTS
Before you head out of your Emerald Isle rental and over to the park, be sure to check out the Fort Macon events. Tours of the fort are available Monday through Friday at 11a.m. and last around 45 minutes. During the tour, you’ll get an in-depth look at the history of the area, from the siege of Fort Macon to its reconstruction. In addition to daily tours there are musket firing demonstrations, cannon firings, reenactment days, guided hikes and so much more that bring the history of Fort Macon to life. See the highlights of Fort Macon's special events by watching the video below.
ENJOY MORE ACTIVITIES & THINGS TO DO
But wait, there's more! Just when you thought your day at Fort Macon couldn't get any better, it does. Head on over to Fort Macon State Park where you can enjoy the natural beauty and coastal side of the fort. Spend the rest of your day at the beach where you have access to some amazing facilities and plenty of things to do.
LIFEGUARDS ON DUTY IN SEASON
From June through Labor Day, lifeguards are on duty from 10a.m. to 5:45p.m. Because of strong water currents, visitors are encouraged to swim only in the protected area.
SWIMMING & BEACH ACTIVITIES
Fort Macon’s beach is a popular place for fun in the sun. Surfing is not allowed in the protected swimming area. Wading, swimming and surfing are not allowed on the inlet beaches. The launching or landing of private boats or personal watercraft is not permitted.
TRAILS & HIKING
Fort Macon has over 1.5 miles of ocean beach for hiking as well as several trails. You may see a few of the 302 different species of birds found in the park or catch a glimpse of the dolphins playing in the ocean. There are also guided hikes and other nature tours offered.
Make a day of your visit and pack a picnic. Picnic facilities in the park include outdoor grills (a great place to cook those freshly caught fish), drinking water, picnic tables, shelters and restrooms.
Fish are abundant in the inlet and the ocean. Flounder, bluefish, spot, croaker, sheepshead and whiting provide plenty of sport and lots of good eating. Fishing may be enjoyed throughout the year at Fort Macon.
SNACK BAR & BATHHOUSE
A seaside bathhouse and refreshment stand are open Memorial Day through Labor Day for your convenience and comfort. Fort Macon State Park is a definitely family friendly and a good spot for families, offering all of the amenities you need for a day at the beach.
Fort Macon State Park's beach is pet-friendly so bring your dog with you! Just keep him leashed at all times. Pets are not allowed in fort area, visitor center, bathhouses, changing areas, rinsing stations, swimming areas, or restrooms.
HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR DAY AT FORT MACOn state park?
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