The Outer Banks’ Lighthouses
While the highlight of any trip to the Outer Banks is the gorgeous beaches, don’t make the mistake of spending all your time dozing in your beach chair. After you have gotten your fill of long walks on the beach, fishing off the pier, and perhaps a spin on a rental kite board, hop in the car and take a tour of the other popular Outer Banks attraction – the lighthouses.
The Outer Banks have some of the most famous lighthouses in the US. There are four located on the islands, and all but one are open for climbing and tours.
Bodie Island Lighthouse.
Starting at the southern tip of the islands you will find the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse.
Standing at only 65 feet tall, this may not be the most impressive lighthouse on the outer banks, but it is the oldest. Since 1823, this lighthouse has served as guide for mariners crossing the Oracoke Inlet. It’s not open for climbing, and there is no gift shop or museum, but this still-operational lighthouse is definitely worth a visit.
Heading north, the next lighthouse – with its iconic black and white candy cane stripes – is perhaps the most famous. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse proudly declares itself the tallest brick lighthouse in North America.
At 209 feet tall, you must climb 257 steps up a winding iron staircase to reach the top. The lighthouse is now operated by the National Park Service, and in addition to the climb, you can also visit a small on-site museum and gift shop.
Inside the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
Next is the Bodie Island Lighthouse.
This lighthouse recently underwent an extensive renovation that ensures visitors will continue to be able to climb all 214 stairs to the top of this 156 foot tall structure. With bold black and white stripes on the outside, and gleaming freshly painted white brick and an intricate iron staircase inside, this beauty is a must see. And the view from the top isn’t too bad either.
The final lighthouse on the Outer Banks is the Currituck Beach Lighthouse.
Located in historic Corolla Village, this red brick lighthouse offers visitors the opportunity to climb up all 220 steps for a sweeping view of the water below. Along the way up or down you can take in the exhibits on the landings that tell the story of the lighthouse and those who have kept it running for so many years.
Plan a Trip to the Outer Banks Today
The prime season to visit the Outer Banks is May through October, and now is a great time to visit. Escape the summer heat with cool ocean breezes and days spent lounging on the sand. Indulge in freshly caught seafood and take in the history of the area with a visit to the famous lighthouses, the Wright Brothers Memorial, or the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. The Outer Banks is a fun place for visitors of all ages and the prefect place to take an RV trip this year.