Visit Harkers Island in North Carolina

Many people plan Atlantic Beach vacations to experience the sun and surf while avoiding the hustle and bustle of other popular beach destinations. If this sounds like you, you’ll definitely want to visit Harkers Island while you’re in the area. This laid-back town has often been a favorite spot of fishermen and mariners, and the slower pace can be just the relaxing day trip you need.

Where is Harkers Island on the Map?

Harkers Island is located north of Beaufort, about a 30-minute drive from Atlantic Beach. You can access the island by traveling on US-70 E and Harker’s Island Road. On the island, you’ll be able to spot the Core Sound to the east and the Back Sound to the south.

The tucked-away feeling of the island has persisted for centuries, from Europeans arriving in the 1500s to hurricane refugees coming in during the 1800s. Advancements like paved roads were slow to come, but they have helped bring the island into today’s world while maintaining a small-town vibe. While visitors are beginning to discover the area, it is still a well-kept secret, meaning you won’t be competition for a seat at a restaurant or a spot on the beach.

where is harkers island, nc

What to Do

Maybe the most popular spot for tourists on Harkers Island is the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum, where you can learn all about the history of the area (going all the way back to Native Americans before the Europeans arrived), experience live demonstrations, and get up close and personal to the beautiful nature.

If you want to stay on the water, you can book a boat charter. This option is especially great for the fisherman in your group, as Harkers Island has been heralded as one of the best fishing grounds around. You can also take a cruise with an experienced guide to keep things fun, exciting, and educational. Consider a ferry ride on Cape Lookout National Seashore, taking you to explore the Cape Lookout Lighthouse. Stop by the Harkers Island Visitor Center for more information on all the sights of the island.

Depending on when you visit, you may also find a fun event nearby. Waterfowl Weekend happens on the island in December, or experience the Taste of Core Sound event in February.

Core Sound Waterfowl Museum outside view of the building in Harkers Island in NC.

Where to Eat

Harkers Island isn’t the biggest place, but you can still find some delicious food to enjoy. You’ll find tons of fresh local seafood at restaurants like Captain’s Choice, Sea Side Galley, and Fish Hook Grill. You can also travel to nearby Beaufort for a wider selection.

Another great option for food on Harkers Island is Billy’s, the local grocery store. You can find all the perfect ingredients for a picnic to enjoy on the white sand beaches.

Outside view of a vacation rental home in Harkers Island in NC.

Where to Stay

Harkers Island vacation rentals are few and far between, but we are proud to have several properties on this incredible stretch of land. Our 2-bed and 3-bed homes are great for smaller groups and offer seclusion and beautiful views.

If you’re doing Harkers Island as a day trip, we also have rental options in the surrounding cities such as Morehead City and Beaufort. In these cities, you’re never far from the action, and we offer homes for groups of all sizes and price ranges.

Ready to start planning your getaway? No matter where you choose to stay on the Crystal Coast, Spectrum has luxurious and cozy properties to suit your needs. Our Atlantic Beach vacation rentals and options in the surrounding areas will keep you comfortable during your stay, and our friendly and helpful staff can’t wait to help you pick the property that’s just right for you!