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Fort Macon State Park

North Carolina
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Fort Macon State Park, North Carolina NC

Description

There's something about visiting forts that always makes me very happy! I think it's the pretty sights of green grass, brick structures, archways, and wide open spaces against the blue sky, plus the views up high over the water. It's also really interesting to learn the history of the fort, and this fort does a good job of educating you. On one side of the fort, every room is dedicated to a different era in the fort's history, such as the Civil War or World War II. These rooms are air-conditioned and nicely presented. One has a recording narrating a letter from a soldier to his mom, in 1861- wow the conditions were so hard at the fort.
The visitor center also has exhibits, which are musty, and a video, which had a faded bulb when we saw it.
When we were at the fort, a ranger gave a humorous talk about how to fire a Civil War musket. It was great! Though it's too long to stand in one place, for most kids- leave a little early if you have kids, otherwise they'll have a meltdown later. There is also a great gift store with Civil War themed gifts. 
Fort Macon was built in 1834. In 1862, during the Civil War, an eleven hour battle took place here. Repeated hits by the Unions' parrott rifles cracked the walls and ceiling of the fort's gunpowder magazine. The Confederates had to surrender or risk being blown up by their own gunpowder.
If you are on the Crystal Coast, I definitely recommend visiting this fort! Also, nice is a visit to the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores and a swim at Emerald Isle Beach.

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Photo Gallery

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Soldier who manned the fort in 1813.
Soldier who manned the fort in 1813.
Model of the fort. It is surrounded on three sides by water: the Atlantic, Beaufort Inlet, and Bogue Sound.
Model of the fort. It is surrounded on three sides by water: the Atlantic, Beaufort Inlet, and Bogue Sound.
30-pounder parrott rifle. Union forces used these to bombard the fort in 1862.
30-pounder parrott rifle. Union forces used these to bombard the fort in 1862.
Entrance to the fort. Beautiful colors!
Entrance to the fort. Beautiful colors!
6-pounder field cannon.
6-pounder field cannon.
Looking out from inside the fort.
Looking out from inside the fort.
Chunky-looking pyramid of cannon balls.
Chunky-looking pyramid of cannon balls.
Hot shot furnace replica. These were used to heat non-explosive cannon balls red hot, to 1077 degrees, to fire at the enemy warships.
Hot shot furnace replica. These were used to heat non-explosive cannon balls red hot, to 1077 degrees, to fire at the enemy warships.
Women worked at the fort, but as laundresses, not nurses or cooks. Men took on those roles.
Women worked at the fort, but as laundresses, not nurses or cooks. Men took on those roles.
Thanksgiving Day, 1942.
Thanksgiving Day, 1942.
Thanksgiving Day menu in 1942. Turkey with dressing, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffed celery, mashed potatoes, green peas...
Thanksgiving Day menu in 1942. Turkey with dressing, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffed celery, mashed potatoes, green peas...
Soldiers' playing cards, designed to teach them the shape of different aircraft silhouettes.
Soldiers' playing cards, designed to teach them the shape of different aircraft silhouettes.
Standing at the top of the fort.
Standing at the top of the fort.
The color of the ocean...
The color of the ocean...
Two cannons facing out toward the beach.
Two cannons facing out toward the beach.
Humorous ranger teaching us about a rifle.
Humorous ranger teaching us about a rifle.
Lifesize scene of soldiers' lives in the fort.
Lifesize scene of soldiers' lives in the fort.
Soldiers were four to a tiny bunk bed :(
Soldiers were four to a tiny bunk bed :(
Tidy letter written by a soldier to his cousin.
Tidy letter written by a soldier to his cousin.
   

Directions

Fort Macon State Park is located at 2303 E Fort Macon Rd, Atlantic Beach, NC 28512.
Open daily 9-5.
Admission is free.

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Last Updated: Thu, 13 Sep 2018 16:55:00 GMT