Atlantic Coast

If you like the look of Cape Hatteras but want to avoid the crowds, plan a visit to the much wilder Cape Lookout National Seashore, another series of barrier islands, which stretch for 56 miles from Ocracoke to the south near Beaufort. It’s accessible only by boat (except for two sections that are accessible by car), and there are few roads or services once you’re here, but it’s a lovely place to hike or camp, collect seashells, or just wander along the peaceful shore, exploring the historic Portsmouth Village. Day trips to Point Lookout leave from Beaufort, or you can usually arrange a charter from Ocracoke.