A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

Currituck Beach — Corolla Unlike other traditional North Carolina lighthouses, Currituck’s red-brick exterior was left unpainted to set it apart — and to allow visitors to marvel at the sheer

Madison County Championship Rodeo

Currituck Beach — Corolla Unlike other traditional North Carolina lighthouses, Currituck’s red-brick exterior was left unpainted to set it apart — and to allow visitors to marvel at the sheer

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

Currituck Beach — Corolla Unlike other traditional North Carolina lighthouses, Currituck’s red-brick exterior was left unpainted to set it apart — and to allow visitors to marvel at the sheer

North Carolina’s 7 Lighthouses

Currituck Beach — Corolla

Unlike other traditional North Carolina lighthouses, Currituck’s red-brick exterior was left unpainted to set it apart — and to allow visitors to marvel at the sheer number of bricks used to construct it (about a million).


Cape Hatteras — Buxton

Climb the 257 steps to the top — that’s equal to a 12-story building! — and you’ll have conquered the tallest lighthouse in the state and the tallest brick lighthouse in the country.


Bodie Island — Nags Head

Third time’s the charm: The first two Bodie Island lighthouses were destroyed due to foundation problems (ahem, a leaning lighthouse) and a run-in with Confederate troops during the Civil War.


Cape Lookout — South Core Banks

This landmark, known for its iconic diamond facade, has been protecting sailors from the deadly Lookout Shoals for more than 160 years.


Ocracoke Island — Ocracoke

When this stark white beacon was built in 1823, it was the tallest structure around … at a whopping 75 feet. Today, it’s the smallest of our Outer Banks lighthouses — but the oldest in operation in North Carolina.


Oak Island — Caswell Beach

The last lighthouse built in a long North Carolina tradition was constructed in just one week in 1958. Made of concrete instead of brick, it has an appropriately modern white-and-gray exterior.


Old Baldy — Bald Head Island

Built in 1817, Old Baldy has survived two centuries, a civil war, a world war (it was used as a radio beacon in World War II), and its fair share of hurricanes to earn the title of oldest lighthouse in the state.


For a printable checklist of these lighthouses, click here.

This story was published on May 26, 2021

Our State Staff

Our State Staff

Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.