More than 2,000 shipwrecks sunk off the Coast of North Carolina in what’s called the Graveyard of the Atlantic. With all that history floating around, it was only natural to build a museum to honor and preserve the maritime culture of the Outer Banks. A state-of-the-art structure, the year round museum houses and displays artifacts, and presents a variety of exhibits and interprets the rich maritime culture that includes war, piracy, ghost ships and more. Artifacts include thoseex from the USS Monitor, which sank 16 miles off the Hatteras coast. The lobby features the stunning and original, 1854, First Order Lens from the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Current hibits include those on piracy and the Civil War on Hatteras Island.

The Museum works with divers and local families to bring historically significant materials to the public.  Through negotiations with the Federal Republic of Germany and local divers, the Museum obtained the Enigma encoding and transcription machines and related materials from the wreck of the U-85. These rare and important artifacts are being conserved and soon will be on display. 

A new exhibition is being developed centered around the recovered bell from the Lightship Diamond Shoals, sunk by the Germans in 1918. They also offer talks on a variety of subjects in the summer. 

The 18,768 sq. ft. building is constructed to withstand sustained winds of over 135 mph and gusts of over 250 mph and is elevated 12 ft. above sea level surpassing the thousand-year flood plain. The Museum’s design features ship’s curves and timber elements evocative of seafaring vessels.

The Museum was formally recognized in 2008 as a Regional State History Museum and was included in the North Carolina State Museum System. There is a gift shop on site, and the Museum is located directly across from the great Atlantic Ocean AKA The Graveyard of the Atlantic. 

Hatteras
Hours
  • Monday10:00am-4:00pm
  • Tuesday10:00am-4:00pm
  • Wednesday10:00am-4:00pm
  • Thursday10:00am-4:00pm
  • Friday10:00am-4:00pm
  • Saturday10:00am-4:00pm
Outer Banks Museums

Outer Banks Museums

The Outer Banks is rich in history, from the early explorers who first set foot on its shores 400 years ago to the groundbreaking first flight that launched modern aviation. Every community has a story and a resonant heritage, and as a result, the Outer Banks is home to a number of locally and nationally renowned museums honoring the area's unique stories, culture and landmarks.

Surf or Sound Realty

Surf or Sound Realty

What is your kind of vacation? Perhaps it is a relaxing day spent sprawled out on the beach under a shady umbrella with the sound of the waves, a good book and drinks in the cooler. Or maybe it is a day spent serenely paddling your kayak on the warm waters of the sound followed by a soothing soak in the hot tub. How about circling the deck chairs under starry skies with best friends after vibrant mealtime conversation over fresh seafood prepared in a gourmet kitchen?

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Surf or Sound Realty is located on Hatteras Island, part of the pristine Cape Hatteras National Seashore just south of Nags Head on The Outer Banks of North Carolina. Regularly found on Top Ten lists for the Best Beaches in America, Hatteras Island’s beaches and villages are quiet, family friendly and picturesque. Since 1978, we have offered weekly premier Hatteras Island vacation rentals from single family beach cottages to expansive oceanfront estates with a wide range of luxury amenities. We make it easy to fit an Outer Banks vacation into your budget with several interest-free;flexible payment plans and multiple payment methods. We make vacationing effortless with options like keyless entry and early check-in.

Serving thousands of happy Outer Banks vacationers every year, we look forward to seeing you at the beach this year! Contact us for more information about our beautiful Hatteras Island Vacation Rentals on the finest beaches of the Outer Banks, NC today!