When most people plan a vacation to the Outer Banks, a good portion of their itinerary is dedicated to spending their days at the beach. The Outer Banks is also home to historical attractions, like lighthouses, that are worth a visit. If you enjoy exploring old lighthouses, check out the historic lighthouses on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Bodie Island Lighthouse
Operated by the National Park Service, the Bodie Island Lighthouse was originally built on Pea Island in 1837. After a number of construction issues and structural problems, the existing lighthouse was finally completed in 1872. As one of the only brick tower lighthouses in the United States still in operation, the Bodie Island Lighthouse still operates with the original Fresnel lens. Set just south of Nags Head on the Outer Banks, the lighthouse is open from April through October with tours running every 20 minutes from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
Protecting a very hazardous section of the Atlantic Coast, the 90 foot tall Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was completed in 1803 and used whale oil for its lamp power. The lighthouse was originally built using sandstone from nearby quarries, but after several years of operation, the lighthouse required extensive repairs. The current lighthouse is now 150 feet tall and features a conical brick structure with iron and glass lantern on top. The iconic black and white stripe pattern was added in 1873. Self-guided tours of the lighthouse are available from April to October. The lighthouse includes a total of 257 steps from the bottom to the top with a landing between every 31 steps. Shoes are required and climbers must be a minimum of 42″ tall.
The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse
Often overlooked because of its remote location and limited visibility, the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse is set on the Manteo Waterfronts east end and features a white exterior with black shutters. The lighthouse is set out in the Roanoke Sound about 40 yards and is accessible from a wooden boardwalk. The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse stands 37 feet tall and can cast its beam out 19 miles from the shoreline. Reconstructed three different times due to neglect and disrepair, the third lighthouse was completed in 1877. Managed by the North Carolina Maritime Museum, the lighthouse is open in the Spring, Summer, and Fall from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday.
The best way to vacation to the Outer Banks is to book a rental through Shoreline OBX Vacation Rentals. These vacation rentals allow you to have privacy and close proximity to all the beaches and lighthouses on the Outer Banks.