Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, Hatteras Island

#1 of 8 in Museums in Hatteras Island
The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras is named in honor of the thousands of shipwrecks that litter North Carolina’s coast, and is dedicated to the preservation and presentation of the state’s coastal and shipwreck history, with emphasis on the years 1524 through 1945. Shipwrecks associated with piracy, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and World Wars I and II are the subject of changing exhibits. The museum has remnants of the earliest known shipwreck found in North Carolina waters, dating to 1650. For more information, visit

The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras is open: Monday thru Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April through October)

Free admission to the public. Donations appreciated.

About the North Carolina Maritime Museums

The North Carolina Maritime Museums are part of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

The three North Carolina Maritime Museums preserve and interpret North Carolina’s coastal life and history. They paint a picture of the maritime and coastal culture including fishermen, boat builders, decoy carvers and more. They present exhibits of painters and pirates, shipwrecks and sailboats, and about marine life and protection. One historic coast...Three unique museums!

In addition to The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras, the other two maritime museums include:

North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort

The N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort reflects coastal life and interprets lighthouses and lifesaving stations, the seafood industry, motorboats, and more. Studies in marine life, science, and ecology are available for all ages. The Beaufort museum is the repository for artifacts from Blackbeard’s wrecked flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, among them cannons, grenades, belt buckles and beads. The Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center teaches boatbuilding for all ages. For more information, visit

North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport

The N.C. Maritime Museum at Southport tells the story of the Cape Fear region and its people. The museum is at the intersection of the mighty Cape Fear River and the vast Atlantic Ocean. It shares tales of pirates and pillage, blockade running and riverfront archaeology, and other nautical adventures. Ongoing educational programs for children and adults about this area that was a haven for blockade runners and also a pirate hideout are available. For more information, visit

About the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's cultural resources to build the social, cultural and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan Kluttz, NCDCR's mission is to enrich lives and communities by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history and libraries in North Carolina that will spark creativity, stimulate learning, preserve the state's history and promote the creative economy. NCDCR was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella.

Through arts efforts led by the N.C. Arts Council, the N.C. Symphony and the N.C. Museum of Art, NCDCR offers the opportunity for enriching arts education for young and old alike and spurring the economic stimulus engine for our state's communities. NCDCR's Divisions of Archives and Records, Historical Resources, State Historic Sites and State History Museums preserve, document and interpret North Carolina's rich cultural heritage to offer experiences of learning and reflection. NCDCR's State Library of North Carolina is the principal library of state government and builds the capacity of all libraries in our state to develop and to offer access to educational resources through traditional and online collections including genealogy and resources for the blind and physically handicapped.

NCDCR annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council and the State Archives. NCDCR champions our state's creative industry that accounts for more than 300,000 jobs and generates nearly $18.5 billion in revenues. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit
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Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum Reviews
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  • Very small museum and not at all what I expected to see. They did have some artifacts from the Titanic and some other artifacts. There is a pirate exhibit that is kind of cool. There is a nearby beach...  more »
  • Didn’t really know what to expect at this free museum but was pleasantly surprised. Very interesting. Especially was impressed with the history of the Hatteras Lighthouse during the Civil War. World W...  more »
  • Honestly. Not my cup of tea. There are some cool relics there but I don't feel like it's worth the price and it's pretty small there. Main lobby then one room with exhibits, mostly from queen Anne. I was super excited but left mildly disappointed. If you're super into Queen Anne's boat you will love this.
  • Definitely worth the visit. FREE admission, lots of history and information. Unique exhibit. I'd recommend donated a couple of dollars in their donation box so they can keep it open and add more to the museum!
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