TOP 5 LIGHTHOUSES THAT YOU MUST EXPLORE IN NORTH CAROLINA
The need for lighthouses was evident when seafaring became a main means of transport for goods and people across the world. Although the Egyptians are credited with the concept, it wasn’t until the late 1600s when the first lighthouse was constructed that was fully visible from the ocean. Today, lighthouses prove to be one of the most-visited tourist attractions across the world and still play an important role in seafaring. Discover some of the favorite lighthouses along North Carolina shores.
?WORTH THE 220-STEP CLIMB
You can’t miss Currituck Beach Lighthouse Station as it sits atop the cliffs in Corolla Village. The 220 steps to the top provide visitors with an unparalleled view of the village and the Atlantic Ocean. Built nearly 145 years ago, the lighthouse has been a drawcard for tourists and can be seen from as far as 20 miles away. It’s Gothic Revival Architecture and brickwork is very unique, and the iron staircase is a favorite among photographers.
MORE THAN JUST A LIGHTHOUSE
Roanoke River Lighthouse not only exudes whimsical charm on the outside, but continues that sense of whimsy inside with its collection of maritime treasures. The collection of light stations provides visitors with endless entertainment and photo opportunities. The Maritime Museum houses countless artifacts that depict the lives of sailors, merchants, farmers, and more. There is also an aquarium and life-size boat exhibit that will enthrall young and old.
TRADITIONAL DESIGN DOWN TO THE PAINTWORK
If there is a lighthouse that epitomizes traditional lighthouse design, Bodie Island Lighthouse is it. From the outside, the lighthouse is bedecked in traditional nautical stripes that can be seen from miles away. The public only gained access to the lighthouse in 2013. Built in 1872, the lighthouse has been a fixture on Bodie Island for many generations and has guided many ships to safety.
UNUSUAL GEOMETRIC DESIGN FOR MAXIMUM EFFECT
The Cape Lookout Lighthouse features an unusual design and at night can guide ships from as far as 19 miles away. The lighthouse is a favorite among tourists, and from mid-May through mid-September they can make the 207-step journey to the top. It’s not only the paintwork that stands out on this lighthouse, as the light flashes during the day and at night. The lighthouse is accessible by ferry ride.
TRADITIONAL FORM AND FUNCTION
Following the more traditional designs, similar to that of Cape Lookout and Bodie Island, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is often referred to as America’s Lighthouse. Situated on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the diagonal candy stripe paintwork has a striking effect. It boasts 257 steps to the top and ships can spot its guiding light from as far as 20 miles. The lighthouse was completed in 1870 and visitors can make the climb late April through Columbus Day.
North Carolina is filled with scenic stretches of beaches and islands. Along the coastlines, lighthouses play an integral part in guiding ships to safety. They’re not only a beacon of safety, but also pay homage to years of traditional architecture.