Shackleford Wild Horse & Shelling Safari

A Unique Safari of Wild Horses & Shelling

Take a 15-minute ferry ride over to the pristine Outer Banks Island of Shackleford Banks, which is part of the Cape Lookout National Seashore. There, you are introduced to the wild horses of Shackleford Banks. This free-roaming herd is believed to have descended from horses that were brought here roughly 400 years ago, and still survives as one of the last isolated groups of wild horses in the United States.

You help your guide track the horses and see first-hand the fascinating behavior of horses in the wild, a rare experience with nature that you’ll never forget. Bring your camera for pictures that will forever remind you of this amazing place and its fascinating inhabitants.

After the tour, you are directed to one of the best shelling beaches in all of North Carolina, where you can spend some time shelling your way down the beach with Cape Lookout Lighthouse off in the distance. Shackleford is well known as one of the best shelling destinations on the East Coast. Among other things, you can find conchs, whelks, queen’s helmets, scotch bonnets, olive shells, sand dollars, and more.

Shackleford Wild Horse and Shelling Safari has been licensed by the U.S. Park Service for nearly a decade and a half to conduct tours on the island.

Advance Reservations Required

Please be sure that you’re following these directions:

  • Meet your guide before boarding the ferry.
  • Do not purchase separate ferry tickets, as these are included as part of your wild horse and shelling safari.

The Safari operates on a daily schedule. Tours are generally available during the months of June, July, and August. However, this tour will operate year-round as long as we can reach a minimum number of guests. During the months between Labor Day and Memorial Day, please call to make arrangements.


Images provided by Shackleford Wild Horse & Shelling Safari.

Drive Time
6 min.
Distance from Hotel
2.4 miles
Brown horse with puffy main

Locals Recommend

“The experience was one of a kind and the guide was extremely knowledgeable. This was my second time going and I have had a blast both times.”

Where your Outer Banks adventure begins.

Situated on ten acres, the Beaufort Hotel is offers the privacy of a boutique hotel within minutes to some of the best experiences you’ll enjoy on the Southern Outer Banks.

During your stay, discover, experience, and explore Beaufort – named the Best Small Town for Adventure in America by USA Today.

The Beaufort Hotel is a private escape that’s close to every kind of adventure you can imagine. We encourage you to explore like a local, as we give you a slice of what it’s like to live here on the Crystal Coast.

Attraction Details

Good to Know

  • Family-Friendly
  • Groups Welcome

Experience Beaufort North Carolina’s Attractions

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