While most visitors to Fort Macon spend their time at the fort or relaxing on the beach, the park is also an excellent introduction to the varied and abundant plant and animal life of the North Carolina coast.
Explore the base of the jetty at low tide or walk the beach in search of mollusk shells washed ashore by a storm. Sea urchins, sea stars and coral may be spotted on or under rocks or other objects in the shallow water. Park flora includes live oak, yaupon, cedar and black locust.
Nearby natural attractions include the Theodore Roosevelt Natural Area, eight miles west of Fort Macon. With extensive maritime forests and freshwater ponds, this area is also the site of the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores.