From the tallest brick lighthouse on the continent to a replica of a lighthouse lost to the sound, the four majestic lighthouses located on the Outer Banks are unique and stunning.
Serving as both an educational landmark and connection to the east coast’s unparalleled maritime history, a visit to the Outer Banks isn’t complete without a fantastic lighthouse tour of the area.
Currituck Beach Lighthouse
Standing over 160 feet tall, the Currituck Beach Lighthouse is located in Corolla, North Carolina.
Highlighted by a powerful Fresnel lens that can be seen over 15 miles away, Currituck Beach Lighthouse flashes every 20 seconds to aid boats located offshore. Popular for its original brick color, this lighthouse is the northernmost lighthouse found in North Carolina with the next closest lighthouse located in Fort Story, Virginia nearly 35 miles north. This lighthouse offers amazing panoramic views of the surrounding Currituck landscape and the Atlantic coastline.
Adventurers brave enough to climb to the top will need to complete 220 steps to reach the breathtaking viewing area. Open year-round, this lighthouse is free of charge to visit, however, guests will have to pay a $10 admissions fee to climb to the top.
Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse
In contrast to the mighty Currituck Beach Lighthouse, this light is quite shorter, resembling a coastal lightkeepers house.
This lighthouse is stationed along a 40-yard-long boardwalk that sticks out into the waters of Manteo. The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse is a replica of the original Wanchese lighthouse dedicated in 2004 by the town of Manteo. Now managed by the North Carolina Maritime Museum, this lighthouse is a local historic landmark the helps boats enter and leave the Shallowbag Bay area. This lighthouse utilizes a fourth-order Fresnel Lens loaned from the US Coast Guard to emit a fixed white light.
Visitors are welcomed to the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse and walk along the long boardwalk year-round. However, to explore inside the building, visitors will have to schedule an “in-season” visit to learn about the history of the lighthouse.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
Easily recognized for its mesmorizing diagonal black and white stripes, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest brick lighthouse in America.
Standing at 208 feet, this automated lighthouse is powered through electricity with a rotating light beacon. Home to a visitor center and two historic lightkeeper’s quarters, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse offers a unique experience to all its visitors. Those bold enough to climb up will enjoy 257 steps to the top balcony where they will be rewarded with stunning, 360-degree views of Hatteras Island, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Pamlico Sound.
The Cape Hatteras Light Station is open from mid April to mi October every year. Tickets are $8 for adults, $4 for seniors over 62, and free for children under 11 and those with disabilities.
Bodie Island Lighthouse
Located along the southside marshes of Nags Island, the Bodie Island Lighthouse is a popular 156-foot tall lighthouse.
Sitting north of Oregon Inlet, this lighthouse is managed and operated by the National Park Service as part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Equipped with a first-order Fresnel lens, this lighthouse has a unique rotational pattern aiding ships from up to 19 nautical miles away. The site hosts a ranger’s office, a visitor center, and the distinct white and black lighthouse displayed above. Those who decide to climb up will enjoy 214 stairs to the top to enjoy panoramic views of the Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic Ocean in addition to the surrounding marshes.
The Bodie Island Lighthouse is open to visitors from mid-April to mid-October. While on opening day lighthouse climbs are free, any other day the admission cost is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors over 62, children under 11 and those with disabilities.