With 297,267 visitors recorded in the first three months of the year, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CHNS) is on track to have another busy year in 2023.
Per statistics from the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, CHNS recorded 147,925 visitors in March, 67,735 visitors in January, and 81,607 visitors in February, which was the highest number of February visitors in at least the past five years.
In recent history, this is the second-highest number of visitors at the National Seashore for the first quarter of the year, second only to 2021.
2021 was a record-breaking year for visitation and was also the first time that CHNS visitation surpassed the 3 million mark, but 2022 was a popular year on Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands as well. In 2022, the CHNS received a total of 2,862,844 visitors, which made it the third busiest year at the National Seashore on record, behind only 2021 and 2002.
Visitor totals for the past five years, per the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau’s statistics, are listed below.
Seashore visitation estimates are collected by counting southbound vehicles just north of the Marc Basnight 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.