Cape Hatteras National Seashore breaks annual visitation record in 2021


(photo: Cape Hatteras National Seashore)

MANTEO, N.C. (WAVY) — For the first time in nearly 20 years, Cape Hatteras National Seashore has broken its visitation record.

The seashore said strong October visitation numbers boosted 2021’s total visitation over the previous record, which was set in 2002.

With two months left in the year, the seashore saw 2,937,998 visitors.

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“I am happy that so many people have been able to visit and enjoy the Seashore and the local communities within Dare and Hyde counties during the first 10 months of 2021,” said David Hallac, superintendent, National Parks of Eastern North Carolina. “Not only is this year the busiest ever, but it is also likely to be the first time that America’s first national seashore reaches three million visits in a single year.”

Visitors are counted by the number of southbound vehicles just north of the Basnight Bridge. The formula uses a multiplier to estimate the total number of passengers heading south. Those estimates are also added to the number of people going to Ocracoke Island from Cedar Island and Swan Quarter.

Data for the full year at the Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial will be released in early 2022.

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