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Fort Macon at Fort Macon State Park
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No Lifeguards on Wednesdays and Thursdays    

Due to low staffing this summer, Ft. Macon will not have lifeguards on duty Wednesdays or Thursdays.  As the summer winds down and our staff returns to school, we may have to modify this schedule further.

Park visitors are reminded to always exercise caution when in and around the water, and that swimming, wading, surfing, and boat/kayak launching is never allowed on the inlet beach between the large rock jetty and the Coastguard Base.     


 Last updated on: Monday, August 10, 2020

Current status of park facilities   

The beach, trails, and restrooms are open. The visitor center, the inside of the fort, exhibit rooms, and concessions remain closed. All programs, including tours, are canceled until further notice.

When visiting, please follow social distancing guidelines, regardless of the behavior of others. Please try to stay 6 feet away from other visitors and park staff or wear a mask or face covering. Try to touch as few surfaces as possible and do not enter areas that have been closed off. Wash or sanitize your hands before, during, and after your visit, and stay home if you are sick.

Please note that this alert is updated only when something changes. Generally, state parks are following the phased reopening statewide. Phase 2 has been extended until at least September 11, 2020.

 Last updated on: Thursday, August 6, 2020

Map of North Carolina – Fort Macon State Park

Contact the park






Visitor center

2303 E. Fort Macon Road
Atlantic Beach, NC 28512

GPS: 34.6979, -76.6783



  • Open daily:
    9:00am to 5:30pm
  • Closed Christmas Day


  • Including coastal education center and bookstore
  • Open daily:
    9:00am to 5:00pm
  • Closed Christmas Day


  • November to February:
    8:00am to 5:30pm
  • March:
    8:00am to 7:00pm
  • April to May:
    8:00am to 8:00pm
  • June to August:
    8:00am to 9:00pm
  • September:
    8:00am to 8:00pm
  • October:
    8:00am to 7:00pm
  • Closed Christmas Day


  • October to March:
    8:00am to 6:00pm
  • April to May:
    8:00am to 7:00pm
  • June to August:
    8:00am to 8:00pm
  • September:
    8:00am to 7:00pm
  • Closed Christmas Day


  • Lifeguards available Memorial Day to
    Labor Day
  • 10:00am to 5:45pm
  • As staffing permits


  • Monday to Friday:
    8:00am to 1:00pm
    2:00pm to 5:00pm
  • Closed state holidays




Things to do


The park is a great place for a hike! See the Trails page for more information.

Fort Tours

Please see the Education page.


Fish are abundant in the inlet and the ocean. Flounder, bluefish, spot, croaker, sheepshead and whiting provide plenty of sport and lots of good eating. Fishing may be enjoyed throughout the year at Fort Macon.

  • Spring: Fishing starts slow but will improve as the water warms with catches of flounder, bluefish, red drum and various other species that return this time of year.
  • Summer: Fishing this time of year is usually a mixed bag of black drum, spot, flounder, bluefish, pompano, red drum and sea mullet.
  • Fall: Fall is the time when surf anglers enjoy runs of sea mullet (whiting), pompano, spot, gray trout, red drum, bluefish, black drum and various other species.
  • Winter: Fishing becomes tougher as the water cools. Determined anglers can target speckled trout and redfish in the surf. This time of year also has good numbers of dogfish.


Make a day of your visit and pack a picnic. Picnic facilities in the park include outdoor grills (a great place to cook those freshly caught fish), drinking water, picnic tables, shelters and restrooms.


The beautiful beach is a popular source of recreation at the park. A seaside bathhouse and refreshment stand are open Memorial Day through Labor Day for your convenience and comfort. Lifeguards are on duty for your protection from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day, staff permitting.

Due to strong water currents, visitors are encouraged to swim only in the designated area. Surfing is not allowed in the swimming area. Swimming in Beaufort Inlet is strictly prohibited.