Why These Outer Banks Lighthouses Are Some of the Best in the Country

exploring the outer banks: access our vacation (the text) beautiful scene of the ocean at sunrise

The Outer Banks Lighthouses that guide the way for boaters contribute to the barrier islands’ coastal charm. Climb flights of stairs in a black and white, candy-cane-striped beacon or a red-brick tower. Then learn about the history and significance of these structures. Most importantly, you can revel in the glorious waterfront views when you reach the top of some of the tallest lighthouses in the United States! Read on to learn about the regions’ lighthouses and be sure to check out our Vacation Guide for more attractions to include in your OBX itinerary.

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5 Outer Banks Lighthouses You Have to Visit

1. Currituck Beach Lighthouse

You can find the Currituck Beach Lighthouse towering over the historic Corolla Village. Climb the winding staircase of this red-brick tower, 220 steps, to the top for views of the Currituck Sound, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Currituck Outer Banks. You will also see several exhibits on the base and on two landings inside the structure. This beacon is open to the public for climbing and is near some of the best restaurants in Corolla!

2. Bodie Island Lighthouse

The Bodie Island Lighthouse towers over the surrounding area just south of the town of Nags Head. The horizontal, painted black and white stripes of the structure make it stand out from a dense line of cedar trees. Visitors can climb the 214 steps from the bottom to the top where they can admire vistas of surrounding marshland, maritime forests, saltwater ponds, and more.

3. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse stands at an impressive height of 208 feet tall and boasts a beautiful spiral staircase of 257 steps, making it the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States! 

The candy cane stripes of black and white paint add to the aesthetic appeal of this beautiful, Hatteras Island landmark. It is also open to the public to climb! Once you reach the top, you can revel in the expansive ocean views. It makes for an excellent addition to your list of things to do in the area! You can learn more about the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the Civil War, and other fascinating information at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum.

4. Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse

The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse is a modest structure on the quiet east end of the Manteo waterfront of Roanoke Island. It serves as an excellent attraction to visit for those who long to be on the water. 

Stroll along the boardwalk and bask under the warm rays of the sun before visiting this small lighthouse. You can even peruse a variety of artifacts that are within the structure.

5. Ocracoke Lighthouse

Did you know that the Ocracoke Lighthouse of the Outer Banks is the oldest North Carolina lighthouse in operation? It stands at just 75 feet tall and is one of the smallest lighthouses on the Outer Banks. 

Ships and maritime pilots can spot the beacon of light from up to 14 miles into the Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. You can find this structure at the southern end of Cape Hatteras National Seashore. This lighthouse is not open for climbing.

Stay in a Paramount Destinations Vacation Rental

With unique attractions such as the Outer Banks’ lighthouses, restaurants, and beaches, it comes as no surprise that people travel here year after year. Make the most of your family vacation when you choose to stay in a Paramount Destinations vacation rental. Choose between gorgeous homes in Duck, Southern Shores, or Corolla. You can even opt to stay in an esteemed community such as The Currituck Club, where you’ll have access to amenities such as the Clubhouse, a Fitness Center, and the Currituck Club Golf Course.

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