The perfect vacation destination for lighthouse enthusiasts, the Outer Banks is home to more than ten lighthouses, each of which has guided boats safely along the rocky Atlantic coast for many years. Beacons of hope, these lighthouses have played an important role in Outer Banks history and continue to mesmerize visitors and residents alike with their stories and incredible views. Here are two of our favorite area lighthouses to visit:
Residing just a few miles away from Surf Side Hotel, Bodie Island Lighthouse is the inspiration for the hotel’s logo and a great place to visit for an afternoon climb. The current lighthouse is the third to be located here, with a life much quieter than its predecessors.
The first Bodie Island Lighthouse was built in 1847, but was abandoned just twelve years later due to structural uncertainty. In 1859, another tower was built to take its place, but the beginning of the Civil War halted construction and led to the destruction of the tower by retreating Confederate troops hoping to disorient their Union counterparts.
Easily recognizable by its black and white candy-cane stripes, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is known worldwide because of its size. The tallest brick lighthouse in the world, it stands 208 feet tall and boasts 257 steps to get to the top.
The current lighthouse is not the first to protect sailors from this point; the original Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was constructed between 1794 and 1803 and stood just 90 feet tall. Built taller during the 1850s, the structure couldn’t hold up to the damage caused by coastal storms, leading to the construction of the present-day tower in 1868.
Open to climbers between Easter and Thanksgiving, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse offers daily self-guided climbs as well as special evening climbs.
To learn about all of the area lighthouses, we recommend visiting outerbankslighthousesociety.org.
Interested in planning a vacation to the Outer Banks? Seaboard Hotels has the perfect location in Nags Head: Surf Side Hotel.