Harkers Island Travel Guide

  • Harkers Island
    by grandmaR
  • Video about the seashore and lighthouse
    Video about the seashore and lighthouse
    by grandmaR
  • Ferry schedule
    Ferry schedule
    by grandmaR

Harkers Island Things to Do

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

    We saw this building in 2005 (photos 2 and 3) but did not visit as we were not sure it was open.

    It is a new building "at the end of the road" near the Cape Lookout Seashore Visitor's Center on Harkers Island. I also wasn't sure if it was actually a museum or was a gallery and gift shop. It apparently has a great collection of hand carved decoys, waterfowl collectibles, books, and coastal art to buy.

    Their site says:

    The porch welcomes you to spend time with local carvers Thursday - Sunday and learn more about the hunting and fishing traditions of Down East. The museum is open year-round, seven days a week, closing only for Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Hours are 10:00am - 5:00pm, Monday - Saturday; 2:00pm - 5:00pm on Sunday. There is no admission charge

    Museum sign Museum Another view Christmas wreath still up Road and parking area
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Museum Visits

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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    by grandmaR Written May 18, 2010

    When we got to the end of Harker's Island, we looked for the Cape Lookout Light. We went to the visitor's center, and I got a stamp for the Cape Lookout National Seashore. We looked through the scope at the lighthouse and saw a video tape about the seashore. The seashore is composed of several islands - one of them (Shacklefort Banks) has feral horses, and one of them has Portsmouth on the south side of Ocracoke Inlet. Formerly Portsmouth was in the lightering business - big ships unloaded their wares and lightered them in to town.

    It is now a ghost town because when Hatteras Inlet was opened by a hurricane, all the ship traffic went there. It has been and is being restored by the park service.

    You can't get out there except by boat, and this time of year the boats don't run much. Also it is very windy.

    The lighthouse has a diamond pattern on it to distinguish it from Hatteras and Bodie Island.

    Visitor's center Photo through the scope Picture from the film Ferry schedule Sign and clock in the visitor's center
    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating
    • National/State Park
    • Architecture

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  • hersheybar's Profile Photo

    by hersheybar Written Jul 8, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    ...this is a beautiful new building "at the end of the road" on Harkers Island. It has a great collection of hand carved decoys, waterfowl collectibles and coastal art. there is also a gallery of books to buy.

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Harkers Island Restaurants

  • by lukelukum Updated Jul 22, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Let me say that my family and I have been on vacation for nearly two weeks (including travel time). On our next to last day we ventured to Harkers Island and found the Captain's Choice. The Saturday seafood buffet had just started and boy were we glad! No doubt this was the best fried seafood I've ever eaten. I was a bit apprehensive as the fried foods I'm used to are generally oily and/or too heavily breaded (many times pre-breaded). This was not the case at this restaurant!

    All the breaded seafood was very light with not much breading and there was no oily taste. This wasn't greasy at all. You could actually taste the seafood you were eating! The clam chowder wasn't what we are used to. Rather, it was a thin watery chowder that looked incredibly simple to make but the taste was outstanding! We all got the buffet, but I did see some rib eye steaks go to the table next to us. I heard the folks there say they were the best steaks they had eaten in a restaurant.

    We enjoyed our meal so much that we drove the 30 minutes it took us to get there from our hotel the very next day for the Sunday lunch buffet...and boy was I glad we did! They had the absolute best fried chicken I've ever eaten. The sweet tea is great and the hushpuppies seemed to be a cult favorite according to the waitress (and I can understand why!).

    We ended up spending a week and a half in and around our vacation destination and I can't believe we didn't find the Captain's Choice until our next to last day! This truly made our vacation worth while. I'm in the restaurant business and can honestly say that Harkers Island and the Captain's Choice are both gems among rocks!

    Incredibley happy in every way...WE'LL BE BACK!!!

    Favorite Dish: My personal favorite dish was the fried chicken. As a restaurant owner, the first thing I do with cooked chicken is cut into it to see that it's done and to see if it's moist. This chicken was just that...tender & juicy! You could also tell that they didn't go overboard with tons of seasoning ingredients. Like most good fried chicken you get in the south it seems like less is more. I tasted nothing more than salt & pepper...just those two ingredients made this the best fried chicken I've ever had...ANYWHERE!!!

    The kids loved the hushpuppies...brought to the table hot and fresh. They were crispy on the outside and fluffy inside with a bit of onion and a hint of sweetness. You could also tell that these were cut by hand with a spoon. They had a rough texture on the outside instead of the smooth appearance you get with hushpuppy machines (remember I said I own a restaurant...I pick up on these things ;-) ...I thought that was very cool).

    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Fishing
    • Family Travel

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  • by ngg3651 Written Sep 26, 2006

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Captain's Choice


    Let me begin the review by stating, unequivocally, that I have NEVER had such a horrible dining experience. This establishment located on Harker's Island boasts a "seafood buffet". Someone should give the owners a dictionary. Their definitions of "seafood" and "buffet" are clearly lacking.

    The offerings on the buffet, served only on Friday and Saturday evenings, consisted of, what I consider, store-bought fried shrimp, fried scallops that were so bad my daughter GAGGED on them, clam chowder (that would insult ANY New Englander) which was watery, and tasted HORRIBLE, like dish-water, and a few other side items: frozen corn on the cob, canned baked beans, and stuffed clams that had NO clams.

    My company and I were in the restaurant for a total of FOUR minutes, before we asked for the check. You'd think these people would have wondered why people who ordered the buffet were leaving after FOUR minutes, but, they didn't ask. What they DID ask was if we planned to leave a tip on the bill! IMAGINE THAT!

    Clearly, the staff could not have cared less about my party having a pleasurable dining experience. We reluctantly paid the bill, but it is my hope that anyone who plans to visit the Crystal Coast of North Carolina will read this review and steer clear of the "Captain's Choice" -- this place certainly is not in THIS reviewer's opinion considered a WISE dining choice. Save your money, protect your pallet, and go ANYWHERE else but this place.

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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    by grandmaR Written Mar 8, 2005

    I had hoped that we might have lunch somewhere along the way in Harkers Island or Beaufort or even Morehead City and this place was one that I considered. But neither of us was particularly hungry, so we didn't stop. I thought the shrimp boat on the roof was an interesting touch.

    Favorite Dish: According to the internet, this is a full service restaurant featuring a seafood buffet on Fridays. They have beer and wine

    From the car
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • National/State Park
    • Sailing and Boating

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