Outer Banks History Centers

The Outer Banks we know and love today was formed and characterized by its vast history. To assist you in gaining a better appreciation of this history, numerous Outer Banks history centers populate the area. You can visit and climb up lighthouses to learn how these stately structures saved the lives of sailors who navigated through treacherous shoals. Hike through the state park, Jockey’s Ridge, to interact with the world’s largest living sand dune and absorb the beautiful world around you. Stop by visitors’ centers to pick up some maps and brochures that might explain historical significance of the area you’re traveling to. And, of course, you won’t want to miss the museums on the Outer Banks, which can give you a taste of what life was like on the beach in the past few centuries. Then, there is the Outer Banks History Center in Manteo that is the local repository of pictures, books, magazines and more that tell the story of our shores. Browse through the below listing of Outer Banks history centers and get ready to embrace your inner scholar!


Outer Banks Attractions by Area

Corolla | Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills & Nags Head
Roanoke Island & Manteo | Hatteras Island | Ocracoke Island

Outer Banks Attractions by Category

Currituck Beach Lighthouse

Outer Banks History Centers
1101 Corolla Village Road, Corolla
(252) 453-4939

The red-brick Currituck Beach Lighthouse towers above the landscape in the Historic Corolla village. Visitors to this Outer Banks attraction can climb the winding staircase, 220 steps in all, to the top of the lighthouse for a panoramic view of Currituck Sound, the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Outer Banks. Inside the lighthouse, at the base and on the first two landings, there are museum-quality... read more

The red-brick Currituck Beach Lighthouse towers above the landscape in the Historic Corolla village. Visitors... read more

Ocracoke Preservation Society and Museum

Outer Banks History Centers
49 Water Plant Road, Ocracoke
(252) 928-7375

For a peek into Ocracoke’s past, visit Ocracoke Preservation Society’s Museum. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to preserving the island’s history and cultural heritage and to protecting its environment. Housed in the turn-of-the-century home of Coast Guard Capt. David Williams, the museum lets visitors glimpse island life in the early to mid-1900s. Many of the architectural elements are intact, and a bedroom, living room and... read more

For a peek into Ocracoke’s past, visit Ocracoke Preservation Society’s Museum. The nonprofit organization is... read more

Roanoke Island Festival Park

Outer Banks History Centers
1 Festival Park, Across from the Manteo Waterfront, Manteo
(252) 475-1500

Did you know that the first Roanoke Island settlements predate the Jamestown settlement of 1607? The Roanoke Island settlements took place 20 years earlier, between 1585 and 1587. Though the Roanoke Island colonies didn’t prove successful as far as longevity, they were the foundations of English-speaking life in America and provided much-needed information about the New World that helped the later colonies succeed. Roanoke Island... read more

Did you know that the first Roanoke Island settlements predate the Jamestown settlement of 1607?... read more

Whalehead

Outer Banks History Centers
1100 Club Road, Historic Corolla, Corolla
(252) 453-9040

Whalehead is an historic house museum on the northern Outer Banks. The grand residence, dressed in bold yellow and striking copper, stands on a vast green lawn bordering the Currituck Sound. At first sight of the more than 21,000-square-foot Art Nouveau home, so out of place in the Outer Banks landscape, it’s immediately apparent that it has an intriguing past and a fascinating story to... read more

Whalehead is an historic house museum on the northern Outer Banks. The grand residence, dressed... read more