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Outer Banks Museums, Aquariums & Planetariums

Jump To: Avon | Buxton | Corolla | Frisco | Hatteras | Manteo | Nags Head | Ocracoke

Avon Museums, Aquariums & Planetariums

Hatteras Histories & Mysteries Museum
40534 NC Highway 12
Avon, NC 27920
(252) 995-4241
Displays of everything from the earliest Native artifacts from 6,000 BC to World War II is covered in the Museum and expertly narrated Tours are FREE! Specialty Gift Store includes educational project kits, historical books, games & puzzles plus cool signature apparel & glassware.

Buxton Museums, Aquariums & Planetariums

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and Museum
46375 Lighthouse Road
Buxton, NC 27920
(252) 995-4474
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, standing at 208 feet, is the tallest in the United States. The lighthouse is painted in black and white spirals, with a red base. Its light can be seen for 20 miles, warning ships of the submerged sand bars where so many ships have foundered. The present lighthouse is the second of three that have been situated on the cape. The first was authorized by Congress in 1794 and completed ten years later, shining a weak beam out over the ocean. Shells from Union ships damaged the light in 1861, and retreating Confederate soldiers took the original lamp from this first lighthouse. The lamp was never found. The present structure, the second tower, was erected in 1869-1870 by the U.S. Lighthouse Board. The Lighthouse Board became the Lighthouse Service, which is now part of the U.S. Coast Guard. A first-order Fresnel lens magnified a small oil wick flame at the tower's top, which was lit for the first time on December 16, 1870. Vandals damaged the lens in the present structure when the Federal Government abandoned it in 1935. A third temporary structure was built of steel in 1936 and placed about two miles northeast in Buxton. The light from the temporary tower was moved to the present lighthouse on July 23, 1950, which put it back into operation. When reactivated, it was replaced by a rotating beacon--a double affair with 1000-watt lamps in each beacon--visible for 20 miles. However, it has been reported as being seen 51 miles at sea and 115 miles in the air. The ''Double Keeper's Quarters'' is used to house the ''Museum of the Sea'' and the Buxton Visitor Center.

The Visitor Center offers and Eastern National bookstore and several bulletin board displays. The Museum is within the historic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Double Keepers Quarters. The two-floor museum contains exhibits on various aspects of history touching the Outer Banks, and some natural history display. A small audiovisual room provides for a variety of presentations.Most visitors visit both the Visitor Center and Museum during their visit to the adjacent Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. There is beach parking nearby, as well as the Buxton Woods Nature Trail.Ranger programs are scheduled during summer months and offered intermittantly, or as posted, the rest of the year.

Double L Bird Ranch and Petting Zoo
47051 Buxton Back Road
Buxton, NC 27920
(252) 996-0412
The Double L gives you the opportunity to pet and feed the many different types of birds at the ranch. Each professionally trained bird has their own personality which is quickly apparent as you watch them talk and perform tricks for your enjoyment.

Visitors are permitted into the aviary to hold and hand feed the non biting species. Currently there are over 200 beautiful birds living here.

Corolla Museums, Aquariums & Planetariums

The Corolla Wild Horse Museum at The Historic Corolla Schoolhouse
1126 Schoolhouse Lane
Corolla, NC 27927
(252) 453-8002

The Whalehead Club at Currituck Heritage Park
1100 Club Road
Corolla, NC 27927
(252) 453-9040
Built in the mid-1920s, The Whalehead Club continues to stand as one of the most spectacular landmarks on the NC Outer Banks. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. A guided tour acquaints you with the history, architecture and folklore of this historic landmark.

Mr. and Mrs. E.C. Knight built their private residence, now known as the Whalehead Club, along the Atlantic flyway to enjoy their passion for waterfowl hunting. The restored museum is the finest representation of art nouveau architecture in the state. An exhibit in the downstairs gallery features the house's original furnishings.

Frisco Museums, Aquariums & Planetariums

Frisco Native American Museum & Natural History Center
23645 NC Highway 12
Frisco, NC 27936
(252) 995-4440
In Frisco, the Native American history of Hatteras Island and the Native American culture of our nation are preserved. The owners have taken great care to preserve Native American heritage, with their collection of artifacts, exhibits and natural history displays. Galleries include information on Native Americans across the United States, and arts and crafts from around the nation. A dugout canoe, tools, instruments and other items found on the museum property offer a glimpse into the island's former life. The gift shop has a wide variety of Native American-made items and arts and crafts. While you're there, be sure to walk on the nature trails that wind through several acres of forest.

Hatteras Museums, Aquariums & Planetariums

Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum
59158 Coast Guard Road
Hatteras, NC 27943
(252) 986-2995
A unique museum dedicated to preserving and interpreting the rich maritime history of The Outer Banks and the 1,000 known shipwrecks that rest off its' coast. The maritime heritage and shipwrecks of the North Carolina Outer Banks are vital resources for understanding local, regional, and national history. Long ignored, this legacy is in danger of being lost forever. It is imperative that this rich past be preserved and interpreted for present and future generations.

Manteo Museums, Aquariums & Planetariums

North Carolina Aquarium at Roanoke Island
374 Airport Road
Manteo, NC 27954
(866) 332-3475
The Aquarium's variety of exhibits promise to educate and entertain visitors. Journey through coastal freshwaters, see largemouth and striped bass, river otters and the American alligators. Explore saltwater habitats from grass flats to Gulf Stream waters. Gently stroke a stingray or a hermit crab at the touch tanks.

Watch hundreds of fish flash by the 35-foot long viewing window of the 285,000-gallon 'Graveyard of the Atlantic' tank. Sharks and dozens of other species cruise by only inches away. History buffs will marvel at the one-third-scale replica of the USS Monitor. Step into ''Storms'', and take an inside, personal look at Outer Banks hurricanes and nor'easters.

Get face to face with an electric eel, giant tarantula, black widow spider, venomous snakes and lionfish in the newest exhibit, ''Bite, Shock, Sting''. Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. year round except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission fees: $8 adults, $7 senior citizens and $6 children ages 6-17. Children ages 5 and under are free.

Featuring the state's largest saltwater tank, this public aquarium is one of three operated by the state. Marine exhibits, touch tanks, films, field trips and daily programs. New to the aquarium is the Bite, Shock, Sting! These venomous animals include rattlesnakes, black widow spiders and lionfish.

North Carolina Maritime Museum on Roanoke Island
104 Fernando Street
Manteo, NC 27954
(252) 475-1750
The George Washington Creef, a working boathouse, offers a look at local and regional maritime heritage through displayed watercraft, exhibits, restoration projects, and traditional skills workshops. You'll also find an authentic shad fishing boat, the Ella View, made from native Outer Banks trees, which is an example of the historical boat developed over a century ago at Roanoke Island.

Outer Banks History Center
1 Festival Park
Manteo, NC 27954
(252) 473-2655
The Outer Banks History Center is a regional archives and research library administered by the North Carolina State Archives (Department of Cultural Resources) with the mission of collecting and preserving the history and culture of the North Carolina coast.

This 6700-square-foot facility includes a reading room, a Halon fire-suppression system, and stacks designed to withstand a Category 3 hurricane. Historian and businessman David Stick donated his personal library, and utilizing this core collection, the Outer Banks History Center was completed in 1988. Historical archives open Monday through Friday. Browse through pictures of the Outer Banks' past!

Collections include personal and organizational papers; books; photographs; periodicals and newspapers; maps (1584+) and drawings; public records on microfilm; oral histories and other audio and video recordings; ephemera; and original works of art.

Exhibits are presented in the History Center Gallery throughout the year on topics as varied as the history of the region itself. The museum is located at the Roanoke Island Festival complex.

Roanoke Island Festival Park
1 Festival Park
Manteo, NC 27954
(252) 475-1500
Roanoke Island Festival Park celebrates the first temporary English settlements in the New World, sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh from 1584 to 1587. With a spacious art gallery, the Roanoke Adventure Museum, and a representative 16th century sailing ship, the Elizabeth II, the Roanoke Island Festival Park makes history fun and exciting.

Roanoke Island Festival Park is a 25-acre state site offering visitor activities celebrating history, education, arts and environment. Climb aboard the Elizabeth II, a 16th century representative sailing vessel. Meet soldiers in the Settlement Site and explore more than 400 years of history in the Roanoke Adventure Museum.

View local art in the Art Gallery. Visit the museum store. Stroll our boardwalks through natural marshes. The park is located across from the Manteo Waterfront and 5 miles from the beaches.

Nags Head Museums, Aquariums & Planetariums

Jennette's Pier
7223 S Virginia Dare Trail
Nags Head, NC 27959
(252) 441-6421
Jennette's Pier, the oldest fishing pier on North Carolina's Outer Banks, was built in 1939. This historic ocean landmark has weathered dozens of hurricanes and nor'easters over the past six decades.

Owned by the North Carolina Aquarium Society The oldest fishing pier on the Outer Banks provides a great fishing experience for the entire family. The main exhibit, Giants of the Sea, showcases state-record trophy fish mounts and five aquariums with indigenous fish species on display. The pier also houses an outpost for the North Carolina Aquarium Education Department, which offers a wide variety of coastal educational opportunities for children of all ages. Aquarium education classes run Monday - Friday between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Ocracoke Museums, Aquariums & Planetariums

Ocracoke Preservation Society
49 Water Plant Road
Ocracoke, NC 27960
(252) 928-7375
Celebrating 25 years of preserving the heritage of Ocracoke Village. Please Join OPS! Visit the David Williams House Museum and Gift Shop. Located by the Park Service Parking Lot.

Teach's Hole Pirate Shop & Blackbeard Exhibit
Irvin Garrish Highway
Ocracoke, NC 27960
(252) 928-1718
Pirate gifts, books, hats, costumes, maps, toys, flags, jewelry, t-shirts, party supplies and more! Blackbeard exhibit. Located on Hwy 12, fun for all ages!

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Avon Office
PO Box 280
40227 Tigrone Boulevard
Avon, NC 27915
Rentals: 1-800-627-1850
Sales: 1-866-627-6627
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Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
(June through September 9 a.m.
to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday)

Waves Office
PO Box 420
25206 Sea Vista Drive
Waves, NC 27982
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Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
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to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday)

Hatteras Office
PO Box 730
57205 Eagle Pass Road
Hatteras, NC 27943
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Sales: 1-866-627-6627
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Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
(June through September 9 a.m.
to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday)

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