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.
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