June 12, 2018



Cape Hatteras National Seashore Sees Busiest May in 15 Years




Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) experienced a 13 percent increase in total recreational visits this May compared to May 2017. Last month’s remarkable visitation (248,423) made it the busiest May at the Seashore since 2003.

So far in 2018, the Seashore has hosted 740,751 recreational visits, up approximately 13 percent from the same period last year.

Year-To-Date Recreational Visits (through May)
  • 2018 - 740,751
  • 2017 - 652,437
  • 2016 - 623,641
  • 2015 - 563,663
  • 2014 - 547,647
Visitation estimates are collected by counting southbound vehicles just north of the Bonner Bridge and using a multiplier to estimate the total number of passengers heading south. Those estimates are added to the number of passengers going to Ocracoke Island from Cedar Island and Swan Quarter.

The Seashore offers a variety of recreational activities, including beach recreation (swimming, sunbathing, shell collecting, etc.); off-road vehicle use; fishing from the surf, boats, and piers; waterfowl hunting; lighthouse climbing; interpretive programs with a park ranger; camping; hiking; kayaking; watersports (surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, etc.); and wildlife viewing.

Swimmers are encouraged to take advantage of the park’s three beach locations staffed with lifeguards from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Lifeguards are on duty from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, seven days a week. Lifeguard beach locations:
  • Coquina Beach, located near Bodie Island Lighthouse in South Nags Head
  • Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Beach, located near the old Cape Hatteras Lighthouse site in Buxton
  • Ocracoke Day Use Beach, located on Ocracoke Island

Whether you are enjoying the beach, kayaking the sound, or climbing the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse there is something for everyone to explore at Cape Hatteras National Seashore!




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