gateway to the cape lookout Lighthouse

Calico Jack's Ferry
1698 Island Road
Harkers Island, NC

Tel: 252.728.3575


Frequently Asked Questions

What should I bring on the ferry?

At a minimum, we encourage passengers to take a cooler with food and drinks, sunscreen, and bug spray. Note: There are no snackbars, restaurants, campstores or vending machines on Core or Shackleford Banks. You must bring what you need for the trip.

Also, weather conditions change rapidly along the coast. You may want to carry suitable rain gear and/or clothing - especially during the cooler months.

How long do most people stay?

The average stay is two hours. This gives people time to visit the Keepers' Quarters, and walk across to the ocean side and stroll on the beach and look for shells.

Can we change our pick-up time?

Cell service in the area around the Cape Lookout Lighthouse has greatly improved over that past few years. If you want to change your pickup to an earlier time, please call to make arrangements. As long as there is room on the boat, we will change the pickup time. Note: Extending your pickup time can be difficult due to capacity problems of moving all passengers off of the island by the last ferry at 5:00 p.m.

Calico Jack's provides business cards on the counter in the shipstore.

Does Calico Jack's accept Credit Cards?

Yes, Calico Jack's accepts VISA and MasterCards, as well as Debit cards and cash. Note: Checks are NOT accepted.

Will I get wet riding the ferry boat?

The ferry boats are open to the elements. On windy or rainy days be prepared to get wet, or bring suitable rain gear or a poncho for the ride.

Can we climb to the top of the Lighthouse?

The Cape Lookout Lighthouse will be open for climbing from May 16, 2012 until September 22, 2012.

The National Park Service opens the lighthouse for climbing on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Climbs will begin every 15 minutes from 10:00 AM until 3:45 PM. Tickets are required and can be purchased at the Light Station Visitor Center. Each ticket is good only for the date and time stamped on the ticket. Ticket holders should arrive at the lighthouse 10 minutes before their scheduled climb. Advanced reservations are highly recommended.

For more information, visit the park service website or call 252.728.0708.

Are there restrooms and bath facilities at the Cape Lookout Lighthouse?

There is a very nice restroom facility with an outside shower near the lighthouse pier. Restrooms are also located on the boardwalk going to the ocean side. There are no facilities on Shackleford Banks.

Can I take my pet on the ferry boat?

Yes! However, your pet must be on a leash.

How long is the trip to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse?

Calico Jack's Ferry is located at the end of Harkers Island which makes it the closest ferry to Cape Lookout National Seashore. The Ferry boat ride to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse only takes eight to ten minutes.

Can we see the wild horses on Shackleford?

The horses can often be seen on the east end of Shackleford banks. If the schedule allows, the ferry captains will stop the boat for a few minutes for passenger photos.

Do you know what the tide will be like at the Lighthouse?

The following link can be used to examine the tide table for Cape Lookout. Both graphical and tabular tide data is displayed.

Is Fishing allowed at Cape Lookout?

Yes, but any person 16 and older must purchase a NC Coastal Recreational Fishing License. Calico Jack's does NOT sell fishing licenses, but they can be purchased at several Harkers Island tackle stores: Harkers Island Tackle and Billy's Grocery. For more information about the NC Licenses and NC fishing regulations, visit:

NC Saltwater Fishing License Information

Saltwater/Coastal Fishing Regulations

North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries