Lighthouses of the Outer Banks | Great Escapes OBX


With a fascinating history and photo-worthy views, the Lighthouses of the Outer Banks are worth the trip.

Here they are, in order from North to South.



currituck beach lighthouse | Great Escapes OBX


Currituck Beach Lighthouse

Located in beautiful Corolla, this lighthouse first glowed in December of 1875, serving as a beacon to ships passing the Outer Banks. It stands apart because of its natural brick color and visitors will enjoy the scenic grounds, museum-quality exhibits and gift shop (with restrooms).

The Lighthouse had a keeper (and family) on site until 1937, after it was electrified and modernized.

Stats & Facts:

  • There are 220 steps to climb
  • It took approximately one million bricks to build!
  • The light can be seen for 18 nautical miles


Climb & Tour:

Visit the grounds, museum shop and park for free. Tickets are $10 to climb (kids 7 and under are free and there is no minimum height). Children 12 and under must climb with an adult. Tickets can be purchased on site.

Contact & Hours:

1101 Corolla Village Road

P.O. Box 58 Corolla, NC 27927

(252) 453-8152

Open 9-5 from March to December



Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse | Great Escapes OBX


Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse

At first glance you might not even realize this is a lighthouse! Located in historic downtown Manteo, the current red-roofed structure is actually a replica and was only completed on September 25, 2004. There were many predecessors to this modern lighthouse but they were all destroyed by culprits like erosion, neglect, and even the Civil War.

A lovely, photogenic spot to visit any time of the year!

Stats & Facts:

  • Small, at only 37 feet tall
  • The current lighthouse is the 4th iteration in this location.
  • Managed by the North Carolina Maritime Museum
  • The only "river lighthouse" on the OBX

Climb & Tour:

While there is nothing to climb, the interior of this lighthouse offers exhibits and seasonal activities. Definitely visit the boardwalk and decks around the perimeter. Visits to this museum are free!

Contact & Hours:

Queen Elizabeth Ave

Manteo, NC 27954

252-475-1750

Open in the spring, summer and early fall, (generally from Tuesday to Saturday, 9:00a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)


Bodie Island Lighthouse | Great Escapes OBX


Bodie Island Lighthouse

The Bodie Island Lighthouse was first attempted in 1857 but due to structural problems and later, destruction during the Civil War, the current beacon was not functional until 1872.

Known for its bold, horizontal stripes, the Bodie Island Lighthouse is a great stop for nature lovers because of its proximity to the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge and surrounding maritime forest, marshlands and salt water ponds.

Stats & Facts:

  • It has 200 steps (equal to a 10-story building)
  • 156 feet tall
  • Built in 1872
  • Light shines 19 nautical miles

Climb & Tour:

Climb tickets are required and are sold starting at 9:00 with the last climb at 4:30. Please check this website for current ticket prices and climbing rules.Tickets are first come first served and no pre-sale tickets are sold.

Contact & Hours:

8210 Bodie Island Lighthouse Road, Nags Head, North Carolina 27959

(252) 473-2111

Open from the third Friday in April through Columbus Day and tours start at 9:10am.



Cape Hattaras Lighthouse | Great Escapes OBX

Cape Hattaras Light Station

The Cape Hattaras Light Station offers stunning views and is the tallest brick lighthouse in North America. First lit in December of 1870, Hattaras received its famous spiral stripes in 1873.

Protecting one of the most dangerous areas of the coast (known as The Graveyard of the Atlantic) the light station warned ships of the 12-mile sandbar known as Diamond Shoals. There have been several re-builds of the light station due to structural issues and beach erosion.

Stats & Facts:

  • 257 steps to the top (equal to a 12-story climb)
  • Tallest brick lighthouse in North America at 193 feet tall
  • Built in 1870
  • Moved 2,900 feet in 1999 due to beach erosion

Climb & Tour:

Climb tickets are required and are sold starting at 9:00 with the last climb at 4:30. Please check this website for current ticket prices and climbing rules. Tickets are first come first served and no pre-sale tickets are sold. The grounds offer a gift shop, museum and picnic area.

Contact & Hours:

46379 Lighthouse Road, Buxton, North Carolina 27920

(252) 473-2111

Open from the third Friday in April through Columbus Day and tours start at 9:10am.



Ocracoke Island Lighthouse | Great Escapes OBX

Ocracoke Island Lighthouse

Ocracoke Island has been an important shipping port since the late 1500’s when European Explorers discovered Coastal North Carolina.

Ocracoke is North Carolina's oldest and smallest lighthouse! Uniquely whitewashed, the lighthouse is now fully automated although it has a rich history, often serving as a safe haven for island residents during hurricanes.

Ocracoke Island was a favorite haunt of Blackbeard the Pirate! Read more here.


Stats & Facts:

  • Built in 1823
  • 75 feet tall (NC's smallest lighthouse)
  • Whitewash is made from a mixture of lime, salt, spanish whiting, rice, glue, and boiling water

Climb & Tour:

Because of its age and its tricky-to-navigate spiral staircase, the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse is not open to climbers. Visitors are still encouraged to explore the keepers’ quarters and take photos of this piece of history. To get there you must take
the ferry to Ocracoke Island from Hattaras Island.

Contact & Hours:

Ocracoke Island Lighthouse Road, Ocracoke, North Carolina 27960

(252) 473-2111

Open daily from 9-5 (year-round)


Read on for two additional historic properties you might find interesting:


Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station Historic Site | Great Escapes OBX

Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station Historic Site

Located in the village of Rodanthe, this museum offers a deeper look into the history of the U.S. Lifesaving Service and the stories of those they saved in these treacherous waters.

Learn more here.

Pea Island Cook House and Herbert M. Collins Boathouse | Great Escapes OBX

Pea Island Cook House and Herbert M. Collins Boathouse

Dedicated to the history of America's only all African-American U.S. Coast Guard station from 1880-1947.

Learn more here.


We hope you add a lighthouse tour to your Outer Banks vacation! It's always a good idea to call or check the website of any site you plan to visit, as they are sometimes under construction or may have changed rules or prices.


Love lighthouses?

Print and enjoy this beautiful coloring page of the Bodie Island Lighthouse.

Free Printable Lighthouse Coloring Page | Great Escapes OBX