Lighthouses in Outer Banks NC

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The barrier islands of North Carolina are a popular tourist destination because of the long stretches of unspoiled beaches. But touring the gorgeous lighthouses on Outer Banks is a top thing to do there too.

bodie island lighthouse in the outer banks.

I’ve been to the OBX three times and during each trip, I’ve been drawn to the lighthouses. In fact, I will visit some lighthouses multiple times during one trip. I often get teased for my love of these coastal icons which started with tours of Outer Banks lighthouses.

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The first lighthouse in the area was built in 1803, and there are now 11 lighthouses total. Each of these OBX lighthouses has its own unique history and personality.

The Bodie Island Lighthouse is probably the most popular one to visit, as it’s located close to the entrance of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. This lighthouse is also open for tours, which give visitors a chance to climb to the top and see some amazing views.

If you want to see a really tall lighthouse, then head to Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. At 208 feet tall, it’s the world’s tallest brick lighthouse in America! It’s also open for tours, so you can climb to the top and see some stunning views of the Outer Banks coastline.

Bodie Island Lighthouse

bodie island lighthouse.

The Bodie Island Lighthouse is a beautiful lighthouse that is located in Nags Head in the Outer Banks. This lighthouse is one of the most popular in the area and is open to visit.

The view from the top of the lighthouse is absolutely stunning, and it is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. I visited this beautiful lighthouse three times the last time I was in the Outer Banks.

views from the top of bodie island lighthouse.

While you’re here, be sure to also check out the boardwalk! At the end of the boardwalk there’s a great place to sit and look out at the marsh you see behind me in the picture above. Oh, and there’s some great views of the lighthouse from here as well!

boardwalk at bodie island lighthouse.

Hatteras Island Lighthouse

cape hatteras lighthouse.

The Hatteras Island Lighthouse is said to be haunted by the ghost of a coastguard who died in a shipwreck. This only makes the lighthouse more alluring to tourists, who come to see this spooky site.

The lighthouse was built in 1802 and is the oldest lighthouse on the Outer Banks. It has been damaged by storms over the years, but has been restored and is now open to visitors. You can climb the world’s tallest brick lighthouse to get beautiful views of the Outer Banks shoreline!

views from the top of cape hatteras lighthouse.

Be sure to visit the museum while you’re here! The museum is in the old lighthouse keepers house. Inside, you’ll can learn about the history of this landmark.

There’s even a section of the museum dedicated to showing how they moved the lighthouse in 1999. It was quite the feat for this massive lighthouse to be moved!

Ocracoke Island Lighthouse

ocracoke light station.

The Ocracoke Light Station was built in 1823 and is the smallest lighthouse in the bunch. The lighthouse is located on a small island near Ocracoke Village and is accessible only by boat. But, the ferry to Ocracoke Island is free!

While you’re on the island, be sure to visit the small museum on the that tells the story of the Ocracoke Island lighthouse and its keepers.

Currituck Beach Lighthouse

curritck beach lighthouse.

The Currituck Beach Lighthouse is a brick lighthouse located in Corolla, North Carolina. The lighthouse was built in 1875. The light from the Currituck Beach Lighthouse can be seen for up to 20 miles out to sea.

The Currituck Beach Lighthouse is open to visitors year-round. Visitors can climb the 228 steps to the top of the lighthouse for amazing views of the Outer Banks coastline.

views from the top of currituck beach lighthouse.

While you’re there, be sure to explore Historic Corolla Park where the lighthouse is located. You can take a tour of The Historic Whalehead Club, or you can take a walk around the beautiful park. There’s a lot to see in the park!

exploring historic corolla park with views of the currituck beach lighthouse in the background.

Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse

posing in front of roanoke marshes ligthhouse.

This lighthouse is a small one on Roanoke Island. It’s located in the heart of the Roanoke Marshes on the Manteo Waterfront. It’s said that this is one of the most beautiful spots on the Outer Banks. Be sure to visit this lighthouse while you’re visiting the lively downtown Manteo.


I wanted to quickly go over some questions people often ask about visiting the lighthouses in OBX.

How many lighthouses are in the Outer Banks North Carolina?

There are 5 lighthouses in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

What lighthouses are on the Outer Banks?

There are a few lighthouses on the Outer Banks. The most famous is the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, which is the tallest lighthouse in America. There’s also the Bodie Island Lighthouse, Ocracoke Lighthouse, Currituck Beach Lighthouse, and the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse.

Can you go in the lighthouses in Outer Banks?

Yes, you can go inside three of the five lighthouses in Outer Banks. The ones open to the public are Cape Hatteras, Currituck Beach, and Bodie Island.

Reasons to see lighthouse in Outer Banks

If you’re looking for a unique and beautiful vacation spot, be sure to check out the Outer Banks lighthouses!

The Outer Banks are a unique and beautiful vacation spot on the East Coast. There are many things to do and see in the area, but one of the most popular activities is visiting the lighthouses.

The Cape Hatteras lighthouse is the tallest brick lighthouse in America, and it’s definitely worth a visit. The Bodie Island lighthouse is also a popular stop, and it has some great views of the ocean. If you’re looking for a unique and beautiful vacation spot, be sure to check out the Outer Banks.


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  1. loved that spooky lil tidbit surrounding this lighthouse… lighthouses have always felt so mysterious to me and it’s always more fun when they come with a good eerie background story!

  2. We have never visited the Outer Banks. But the lighthouses would surely be a draw for us. I love that some of them are very tall and can be climbed for great views. Love the variety in the lighthouses. And the chance to visit some museums to learn more.

    1. The lighthouses are my favorite part of the Outer Banks! You can definitely get some breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape from the top that you just can’t get from the ground!

  3. These lighthouses are beautiful. What a nice way to discover the surroundings as well. I love visiting them whenever there’s one in the place I am at.

  4. I absolutely love North Carolina so I am surprised I have never visited any of these. It’s cool that you can actually go inside to explore 3 of these lighthouses!

    1. It’s always exciting when you can go inside them! Climbing to the top of the lighthouses is one of my favorite things to do, the views from the top are usually amazing!

    1. Did not include as most do not travel that far south. But will consider adding in a revision. Thanks for pointing that out!

  5. I have seen and been in ALL of the lighthouses including Ocracoke. They are all beautiful and have such unique characteristics.

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