Explore the Lighthouses of the Outer Banks
" Lighthouses are endlessly suggestive signifiers of both human isolation and our ultimate connectedness to each other. "
by Virginia Woolf
There is something magical about a lighthouse. Maybe it is the slow rhythmic turn of the light or the way the beam of light dances off the waves. No matter where you choose to take your Outer Banks beach vacation, chances are that you're not far from one of the iconic lighthouses of the Outer Banks. With bold colors, treacherous history, and glorious moments captured in our local lore and legend. These towering pieces of architecture are "must see" destinations during your OBX beach vacation. If you would like to see any of our lighthouses keep reading...oh, and charge up the camera. You're going to want to take a lot of pictures after reading this post.
Starting out at the northernmost lighthouse you'll find the Currituck Lighthouse. Build in 1875, it consists of one million bricks. This is one of the few lighthouses that is not painted. The light can be seen from 18 nautical miles out to sea. It has 214 stairs and has one of ten originally ordered lenses still in operation today. The site features a Victorian era lighthouse keeper's house where two families lived until the light house was electrified. Looking for a vacation rental near the lighthouse? Click here.
Bodie Island Lighthouse
The current lighthouse is the third generation of lighthouses built on this property. The previous ones having been damaged or in the case of the second, blown up by Confederate forces in the civil war. This house features a unique name and legend. Many believe it is named after a family surname or because of the "bodies" that floated to shore in this treacherous stretch of water. The lighthouse is part of the National Park Service and, a must-see for any visitor to the Outer Banks.
Perhaps the most famous lighthouse in the United States with its distinctive black and white swirling paint scheme this is the second lighthouse built in Buxton. The first was only 90 ft. tall and ineffective. The current lighthouse was built in 1870, electrified in 1939 and moved to its current location in 1999. Few lighthouses have such an iconic place in Outer Banks history. If you can imagine, the light of the Hatteras Lighthouse can be seen twenty miles out to sea. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is also a National Park site.
At the far end of the Outer Banks sits the beautiful island of Ocracoke. Reachable only by ferry or boat, the Ocracoke Lighthouse has survived storms, isolation, and Confederate interventions, yet continues to guide sailors along the treacherous Graveyard of the Atlantic. Built in 1822, the unique stucco color is due to the local building materials. It is 77 feet tall, has 86 stairs and has been continuously lit since the Civil War. During the war, Confederate soldiers removed the light to hamper Union boats as they patrolled the North Carolina Coast. Electrified since 1946, visitors will love the charm of both Ocracoke Island and her lighthouse.
Books about the lighthouses of the OBX.
Are you interested in learning more about these beautiful lighthouses? There are several books about all of the different lighthouses, their history, design, and current role in navigation. Here are three that you might like to read during your OBX vacation. Click on the image of the book to purchase a copy.
Of course, you can't see the lighthouses from home, so now is the time to book your OBX beach vacation. Booking with Elan Vacations is easier than ever. Our great website is easy to navigate. You can plan, book and pay for your vacation all in one spot. As always if you wish to speak to one of our friendly reservationists, you can call us at (866) 760-3526.