5 Lighthouses to See During Your Outer Banks Vacation

Lighthouses of the Outer Banks

Scattered along the barrier islands that make up the Outer Banks of North Carolina stands an assortment of iconic lighthouse and stations that have watched over the treacherous waters for more than 100 years. From small river lighthouses to the striped giants near Cape Hatteras, there is so much history and beauty surrounding these majestic landmarks. During your vacation at Ocean Pines, make a point to visit one or all of the following Outer Banks lighthouses. 

1. Currituck Beach Light (12 miles from Ocean Pines)

Just twelve miles from Ocean Pines, the Currituck Beach Light is nestled along its namesake shore. Constructed in 1875, the lighthouse stands 162 feet tall and is a designated site on the National Register of Historic Places. It was constructed to protect ships traveling close to the North Carolina shore to avoid the Gulf Stream. Currituck Beach Light continues to serve as a beacon whose light is visible from 18 nautical miles away. Guests can climb the lighthouse’s 220 step spiral staircase to the top for staggering views of the coastline below.

2. Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse (28 miles from Ocean Pines)

The only river lighthouse in Dare County, North Carolina, the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse was built in 2004 and stands as a replica of the original lighthouse constructed in 1877. This relatively short lighthouse stands 35 feet tall and includes an interior space that features exhibits highlighting the history of the lighthouse and the surrounding area. The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse is lit each night to serve as a guide for mariners navigating Shallowbag Bay.

3. Bodie Island Lighthouse (30 miles from Ocean Pines)

Standing on the north end of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Bodie Island Lighthouse is an iconic structure that has served sailors traversing the perilous waters off the coast of North Carolina since it was constructed in 1872. At 170 feet tall, the Bodie Island Light is one of only a dozen tall, brick lighthouses still standing in the United States. The lighthouse was restored in 2013 after receiving damage from Hurricane Irene. Lighthouse enthusiasts cannot pass up the chance to visit this beautiful, timeless landmark.

4. Cape Hatteras Light (70 miles from Ocean Pines)

The Cape Hatteras Light Station is located about an hour away from Ocean Pines, but it’s worth the drive, especially if you’re a fan of majestic lighthouses. The iconic black and white stripes can be seen from afar when you visit this 210-feet tall lighthouse, the tallest brick lighthouse structure in the United States. The lighthouse sits adjacent to the Hatteras Island Visitor Center and Museum of the Sea, making it the perfect day-trip destination to learn more about the interesting history of the Outer Banks.

5. Bonus: Ocracoke Island Lighthouse (1-hour ferry ride from Cape Hatteras)

This one takes a little more effort to reach, but if you’re truly a lighthouse lover, you will want to take the one-hour ferry ride from Cape Hatteras to Ocracoke Island to visit the iconic light station found there. The Ocracoke Island Lighthouse is an unassuming relic of times gone by. Standing at just 65 feet tall, this beacon is the oldest operating lighthouse in North Carolina. And though it can’t be climbed, visitors can explore the grounds and find plenty of special photographic opportunities. This lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in the late 1970s and is currently facilitated by the National Park Service.

Spend a day during your Ocean Pines vacation exploring the range of beautiful lighthouses located within just a couple of hours of our resort. Ready to explore the historic, picturesque region of the Outer Banks? Contact us today to find out how you can reserve your vacation with us!