The eastern coastline has been quite dangerous for incoming ships over the years, so dangerous in fact, that’s the coastline in North Carolina has been dubbed the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.” As such, there have been eight unique lighthouses constructed on the shores in North Carolina, all of which provide photo opportunities, as well as safe fun for you and your family while you’re vacationing in North Carolina.
The lighthouses have been a vital instrument in guiding ships safely to port for over two centuries. The lighthouses are approximately forty miles from each other, making it possible to see more than one in a day. The lighthouses are as follows:
- Oak Island Lighthouse, built in 1958, is not open for public viewing.
- Bodie Island Lighthouse is located near Whalebone Junction and is not open to the public, though there is a visitor’s center.
- Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse is the newest of the lighthouses. It was built in 2004 and is home to a museum about the maritime history of Roanoke.
- Old Baldy, is located on Bald Head Island and was built in 1878, making it the state’s oldest lighthouse. Take a tour and check out the observation deck at the top.
- The Cape Hatterras Lighthouse is 208 feet tall and was constructed in 1870. The structure was moved to its current location back in 1999.
- The Ocracoke Lighthouse was built in 1823, making the oldest lighthouse that is constantly used on the eastern coastline. This location is not open to the public for tours.
- The Cape Lookout Lighthouse is one of the most popular lighthouses in North Carolina. It was built in 1812 and is decorated in an unusual diamond pattern. It is still in use today.
Some of the lighthouses are not open for tours, but they still present opportunities for some great pictures.