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Cape Lookout National Seashore, N.C.

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Spending night after night on a slab in a line of RVs so close together that slideouts nearly touch and generators bleat out a monotonous drone does not spring to mind when many people hear the word “camping.”

Cape Lookout National Seashore, N.C.

Cape Lookout National Seashore, N.C.

Sure, this method of RV over-nighting is perfectly acceptable, even preferred by some, but others think beach camping should involve crisp ocean breezes, spans of white sand, lots of elbowroom and plentiful natural beauty. This latter class of RVers, especially those who own truck campers and pop-ups and other rigs that can safely negotiate soft sand, will likely consider the camping within North Carolina’s Cape Lookout National Seashore to be a much better alternative.

Island Road, between Cedar Island and Beaufort, N.C., off Highway 70, leads to Harkers Island Visitor Center. Although camping is not allowed on Harkers, first-time visitors to the national seashore can review the interactive map of the park and enjoy exhibits on Portsmouth Village, the island’s ecology and the wild horses of Shackleford Banks. A Kids’ Corner, a film about the park and plenty of other informational material provide entertainment and enlightenment.

Of course, since the word “seashore” is included in Cape Lookout National Seashore for good reason, visitors can swim in the Atlantic Ocean, sunbathe on the miles of beaches and stroll the picturesque shore while looking for shells. Fishing, birding, kayaking and canoeing are all wonderful ways to enjoy Cape Lookout. Those who are in good shape can climb Cape Lookout Lighthouse, a novel experience.

Visitors can partake of these activities and admire these attractions, in addition to many others, during day trips. Taking a ferry to one of the islands, then doing some primitive RV beach camping (or tent camping, or renting a cabin) will certainly enhance the memories of Cape Lookout National Seashore that visitors carry home.

Campers must bring all supplies with them, then pack everything out, which poses only a minor inconvenience, considering all of the wonders that Cape Lookout National Seashore delivers.

Cape Lookout National Seashore 252-728-2250, www.nps.gov/calo

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