Outer Banks Museums

Gather ‘round, all you artists, historians, pirates, animal lovers, environmentalists, thespians, anthropologists and those in between. Outer Banks museums capture various fields of interest to appeal to both visitors and locals. Some museums, like the Wright Brothers National Memorial, are great to visit on clear days when you can climb to the top of a point and overlook miles of the coast. Others are excellent solutions for rainy days when the ocean is rough and the sand muddy. Just pop by a museum or two to learn about the Graveyard of the Atlantic or the history of Native Americans on Hatteras Island. Whatever type of geography and topic you desire – oceanfront or marshland, art or climbing to the top of a lighthouse – Outer Banks museums will provide you with entertainment, activities and fun. Museums are also great to visit with families. Many offer activities just for kids, who can participate in interactive crafts and exhibits. Browse through the listings below to see which museums you might want to check out during your visit!


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

Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station

Outer Banks Museums
23645 N.C. Highway 12, Rodanthe
(252) 987-1552

Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station is the nation’s largest and most complete existing example of the U.S. Life-Saving Service stations that were built along the Atlantic coast in the late 19th century to attend to shipwrecks and rescue survivors. The 1874 Station was the first operational station built in North Carolina, serving until 1954. Chicamacomico has been partially restored, thanks to numerous volunteers who formed a nonprofit... read more

Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station is the nation’s largest and most complete existing example of the U.S.... read more

Corolla Wild Horse Museum

Outer Banks Museums
1129 Corolla Village Road, Corolla
(252) 453-8002

Housed within a historic home in Corolla village, the free Corolla Wild Horse Fund museum shares the wonderful history and legacy of the Banker Strain of Colonial Spanish mustangs. Descendants of Spanish mustangs brought to the Outer Banks nearly 500 years ago, they are a hardy and majestic breed that is teetering on the brink of extinction. The whole family can learn more from their... read more

Housed within a historic home in Corolla village, the free Corolla Wild Horse Fund museum... read more

Currituck Beach Lighthouse

Outer Banks Museums
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

Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum

Outer Banks Museums
59200 Museum Drive, Hatteras Village
(252) 986-2995

At the end of N.C. Highway 12 just past the ferry docks, Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum attracts a lot of attention with its ship-like building, porthole windows and curved timbers. One of three North Carolina Maritime Museums operated by the North Carolina Division of Cultural Resources, the museum focuses on the maritime history and shipwrecks of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, often called the Graveyard... read more

At the end of N.C. Highway 12 just past the ferry docks, Graveyard of the... read more

Ocracoke Preservation Society and Museum

Outer Banks Museums
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 Museums
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 Museums
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