I think I’m one of the few people who spends my vacation going to historical sites, especially if I’ve visited them before. Growing up in eastern North Carolina, I was able to visit a lot of colonial and Civil War-era sites, and so I’ve always been fascinated with those time periods.
It’s no surprise then, that our small vacation a few years ago resulted in us visiting Fort Macon State Park, located along the coast of North Carolina.
Fort Macon State Park has multiple personalities as the site of a perfectly restored Civil War-era fort, a museum-quality coastal education center and an unspoiled shoreline for swimming, surf fishing and beachcombing. Nearly surrounded by water at the eastern tip of Bogue Banks, the park offers undisturbed natural beauty and opportunities to explore and learn about salt marshes, estuaries and dune fields. The fort—once a project of Robert E. Lee as a young army engineer—has a history as intricate and unique as the ecosystem. Cannon and musket demonstrations and guided tours are regular features, complementing extensive exhibits indoors and out. A bathhouse and handicapped-accessible beachside areas complete the recreational fare.
We visited the fort around 9am on a Saturday, where there wasn’t anyone else and we could take our time without being interrupted or feel rushed. The air was cool but with the sun out, it felt much warmer than it really was.
There isn’t too much to the fort in terms of ‘hours of entertainment’, but the history behind it is fascinating and well worth the visit. The view of the ocean isn’t bad, either. I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re ever down that way.