Even with miles of beautiful coastline and beaches stretching from Corolla south to Ocracoke, the waters of the Outer Banks remain the most treacherous. For over 400 years, the "Graveyard of the Atlantic" has been the final resting place of over 3,000 vessels and their crew-members mainly as a result of the shallow shoals, underwater sandbars, winter nor'easters, and hurricanes caused by the meeting of the Gulf Stream and Labrador Currents. Also piracy and wartime, where World War II German U-Boats sank numerous Allied tankers and cargo ships, that the waters became known as "Torpedo Junction."
The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras is dedicated to the preservation and education of the Outer Banks' maritime history and shipwrecks. It's exhibits feature artifacts recovered from wrecks including an Enigma device from Nazi German submarine U-85 and the Civil War-era ironclad USS Monitor. Other exhibits feature stories such as the search for the notorious pirate Blackbeard's ship Queen Anne's Revenge. Head over to the back of the museum in a restricted area, you'll find remains of a 1609 ship dubbed the "Currituck," which was said to the be the oldest known wreck in the state's history.
Although admission is free, donations are strongly recommended.