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Review Highlights
Beautiful Beach

Took the boat over from the National Park area . If you enjoy solitude and quiet spaces this is for... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
gfew
,
ohio
Relaxing Day!

Take your sunscreen, a beach chair and plenty to drink, eat we loaded our beach wagon for a while... read more

Reviewed 26 August 2018
egglestonbev
,
Penn Yan, New York
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All reviews wild horses sound side island express low tide conch shells ferry service west end lots of water bug repellent toilet paper sunny day three hours stayed longer great shelling ferry ride earliest ferry sand dunes
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Reviewed 12 March 2018

We got to the island using a ferry service that also goes to Cape Lookout. This end of the island has nothing on it. There are no facilities or anything made by humans on this end of the island. We spent a couple of hours walking around the island and taking pictures of the horses we saw. We didn't see any other people while we were there until we came back to take the ferry over to Cape Lookout at our designated time. If you enjoy nature and exploring then you'll enjoy this. There is nothing on the island so whatever you bring while you are there you need to take with you when you leave. We could have stayed longer and probably would have if we hadn't combined this with a trip to Cape lookout as well.

1  Thank Jay R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2017 via mobile

We had a blast! Perfect weather, fantastic service, great shelling and relaxing on blow up beach beds!!

1  Thank Melinda Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2017 via mobile

The Outer Banks at their best! No hotels, flip flop shops, surf shops, bars or crowds.

Shackleford Banks is part of the National Park Service and can be reached by Island Express Ferry Service from downtown Beaufort or the visitors center on Harkers Island. The trip takes less than 30 minutes on a well-maintained, up-to-date boat that's open on all sides, has a roof and bench-style seating along the sides.

If you want to see the horses and walk along the beautiful beaches, you will need about three hours on the Banks. If you're lucky, you may find a stallion with his herd of brood mares. Otherwise, the horses are scattered across the Banks in pairs or solo. The Banks are covered with gullies and small valleys separated by sand dunes. The horses graze on the grass that grows at the bottom of the gullies and valleys. The best way to find them is to walk along the crest of the sand dunes so you can get a better view of the surrounding terrain. Once you spot a horse, it's best to walk quietly in their direction, making sure they get a chance to see you. They're used to seeing humans, but it's best to stay about 15-20 yards away from them. You can still get good pictures from that distance, and you won't bother the horse. Remember, the Banks is their home, and you're a visitor in their house.

If you just want to spend the day on the beach, flip flops and sandals are okay. If you want to search for the horses, you'll need a good pair of shoes as the terrain is full of low to high sand dunes.

No matter how you spend your time on the Banks, it's a great place to experience.

5  Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2017

You take a ferry ride from Harkers Island to Shackelford Banks. There are no facilities but you can pack a cooler to take and have a picnic lunch...chairs for the beach...or just walk around and enjoy the sights. Wild horses that we got very close up to take pictures. Loads of beautiful shells on the beach. On the ferry ride we got to see Dolphins...and we went to the other shore and got to take great pictures of the lighthouse. I will definitely go back and be prepared to stay for a while.

2  Thank ibeasavage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2017

Saw 11 horses during our 3 hour stay and found lots of shells. Not for those with weak bladders or difficulty walking on rough terrain. No bathrooms, benches, etc. Natural habitat; seems untouched.

Thank TLMo2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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