National Seashores

Assateague Island National Seashore – Maryland and Virginia

A barrier island off the coast of Maryland and Virginia that is famous for its wild horses and unspoiled beaches. Its 37 miles of beaches are considered some of the best on the East Coast. The island is managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and Department of Natural Resources. It is the only nature based national park serving the Middle Atlantic seacoast.

Canaveral National Seashore – Florida

A barrier island in Florida with 25 miles of Atlantic Ocean beach that is the longest expanse of undeveloped land along Florida’s East Coast. The northern part of the beach is known as Apollo Beach, the middle section as Klondike Beach, and the southern part is Playalinda Beach. Gunnison Beach, located in the National Seashore, is one of the few clothing-optional beaches in the national park system. The John F. Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral is located on the southern end of the barrier island. Canaveral is a mecca for plants and wildlife, with 1,000 species of plants and over 300 species of resident or migratory birds.

Cape Cod National Seashore – Massachusetts

The Cape Cod National Seashore includes nearly 40 miles of seashore along the Atlantic Ocean (facing east). It has protected the beachfront, woods and ponds of the Atlantic coastal pine barrens since it was authorized by Congress in 1961. The signature landmark is Highland Light, the oldest and tallest lighthouse on Cape Cod.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore – North Carolina

Cape Hatteras National Seashore is one of the largest preserved parcels of the Outer Banks. It was the first national seashore, authorized in 1937 and established in 1953. The national seashore stretches across 70 miles of largely undisturbed scenic beaches on the oceanside and the soundside. The world’s tallest brick lighthouse, the picturesque Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, is within the park’s borders.

Cape Lookout National Seashore – North Carolina

A 56 mile section of the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina. It is composed of three undeveloped barrier islands including two historic villages, the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, and Shackleford’s wild horses.

Cumberland Island National Seashore – Georgia

Cumberland Island is Georgia’s largest and southernmost barrier island. It’s 19,000 acres, 18 miles of undeveloped beach and 5 campgrounds are accessible only by boat, making it one of the most remote parks in the lower 48 states. It was designated an International Biosphere Reserve in 1986.

Fire Island National Seashore – New York

Fire Island National Seashore is a 26 mile section of the barrier island known as Fire Island which is separated by Great South Bay from Long Island. It was authorized by Congress in 1964 but established in 1984. Among its gems are a 300 year old holly grove called the Sunken Forest and the William Floyd Estate, home of a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Gulf Islands National Seashore – Florida and Mississippi

Gulf Islands is one of two national seashores on the Gulf of Mexico. It is the country’s largest national seashore, stretching 160 miles to protect the nature and history of parts of Florida and Mississippi on the Gulf Coast including parts of seven islands in Mississippi. It was authorized by Congress in 1971.

Padre Island National Seashore – Texas

The Padre Island National Seashore protects the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world. The national seashore protects 70 miles of coastline that separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Laguna Madre, a hypersaline lagoon.

Point Reyes National Seashore – California

Point Reyes, a popular Northern California tourist destination, is the only national seashore located on the Pacific Ocean. It is located in Marin County about thirty miles west-northwest of San Francisco. The Nature Conservancy ranks Point Reyes as one of the six most biologically significant areas in the United States due to its rich biodiversity. The San Andreas Fault also runs through the park.