1800 Island Road, Beaufort, NC 28513 – Get Directions
Fun ride and what a view!
If you and the kids love zipping over the water and really want to see The Crystal Coast, a trip on Island Express Ferry Services is definitely the way to go! The rides are efficient and fun and the traveling view spectacular!
LOCATION AND PARKING
Island Express Ferry Services is right at the very end of Island Road in Beaufort. When I punched the proper address int my GPS it didn't recognize a four-digit street address so I went with a random 3 digit one and just kept driving. You'll know you're there when you cannot drive any further.
Island Express Ferry Services shares a lot with the National Park Visitors Center and there's plenty of spots.
WHERE DOES THE FERRY SERVICE TAKE PASSENGERS?
Island Express Ferry Services takes passengers to three separate locations: Shackleford Banks, Cape Lookout and Harkers Island and each is gorgeous for its own reasons. Shackleford Banks is hugely popular for its herd of wild horses and visitors come from all over to catch a glimpse of them, especially when it's foal season. Harkers Island is a fine spot for birding and other leisure activities.
Our trip, however, was a trip to Cape lookout to check out the Cape Lookout National Seashore. Compliments of in impending thunderstorm we had to cut our visit short but the ride back and forth was just beautiful. The waves were a bit choppy that day and the ferry tended to skip over them instead of glide, but we had no problems and my 13 year old actually enjoyed the bumpy ride!
We were able to get great photos of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse- the icon of Beaufort and surrounding area. The lighthouse is painted in a giant black and white diamond pattern and it looked perfect after it recent renovation.
Each trip took around 20 minutes which was just fine with us. I actually wouldn't have minded it if it was a bit lengthier!
As for our sea captain, well, he was a hoot! He was so knowledgeable about the ferry and the sea that he knew exactly what side we should sit on to avoid wave splash. He also was very helpful to point out and give the history on the other ferry stops and when to look for.
And the Verdict is..?
So much fun- and educational! I loved taking my daughter on Island Express Ferry Services, not only for the ride itself but for the gorgeous views of The Crystal Coast and the educational aspect of visiting a lighthouse. I would recommend the ferry service for families visiting Beaufort and vicinity in a heartbeat.
Disclosure: My daughter and I were given complimentary round trip fare on Island Express Ferry Services for the purpose of this review. I was not asked to state a particular point of view and all opinions are my own.