Each of the fort's 26 casements (vaulted rooms in the fort walls) have exhibits and displays about the fort's history, and the restored quarters offer a look into the lives of officers and soldiers.
The fort's powder magazines, counterfire rooms with cannon emplacements and wide moat that could be flooded to protect the fort during a siege have also been restored. The fort features a historic cannon, two cannon replicas, a hot shot furnace and a bake oven.
Join a guided tour of the fort or get the guide at the bookstore. The fort is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and closed Christmas Day. Historic reenactments are often held on the fort's inner court or parade ground.
One of the main (summer) activities at Fort Macon is the beach, which is a free public beach very close to Atlantic Beach. Of course when we were there at the beginning of March it was way too cold to swim. Swimming and wading in the inlet are strictly prohibited.
But from June through Labor Day, a seaside bathhouse and refreshment stand are open, and lifeguards are on duty from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Because of strong water currents, visitors are encouraged to swim only in the protected area. Surfing is not allowed in the protected swimming area.
While park entrance is free, there is a bathhouse fee of $4 per adult, $3 per child age 5 to 12. Bathhouse includes showers, changing rooms and toilets.
The museum and bookstore are open 9am-5pm daily. Other than the picture I took, I have no information about this shop, which is probably about the same as other shops in other state and national parks.
This part of the beach on the Beaufort channel on Fort Macon is a hazard area.
Surfing is not allowed in Beaufort Inlet or in the protected swimming area.
Swimming and wading in the inlet are strictly prohibited because of strong currents. So there are other places on Fort Macon where you can swim, but this isn't one of them.
The Friends of Fort Macon have been responsible for much of the educational exhibits in the fort.
There are 26 casemate areas inside the fort walls. A Casemate is a heavy duty structure originally a valuted chamber in a fortress. Today the military use the term for a fortified gun emplacment or as a covered part of the side of the ramparts which houses the battery.
Some of Fort Macon's casemate's are unused (#1,11,and 13-22) and others (6, 25 and 26) are offices for the park employees, but there are very interesting exhibits in the others. Additional pictures of the various casemates will be under "Local Customs"
Casemate #2 was the bookstore - this photo was taken near there. On the otherside of Casemate #3 in the angle of the fort wall, a video on Fort Macon was shown.
Fondest memory: Exhibits when we were there included
#3 Construction of the Fort
#4 Enlisted Men's Quarters
#5 Commandant's Quarters
#7 War Between the States
#8 19th Century Soldier's Life
#8A Uniforms 1834-1944 (and in front of that the stairs down to the Gunpowder Magazine
#9 Fort Macon 1898-1946
#10 World War II Barracks
#12 Bake House
#24 Commissary Storehouse