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Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Tidewater + Outer Banks, North Carolina

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Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

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  • The lighthouse as seen from Cape Point Beach.- Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
  • National Historic Landmark plaque at the visitor center.- Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
  • Small historic buildings by the lighthouse.- Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
  • The iconic black and white stripes are for sailors to distinguish it from other lighthouses.- Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
  • The entrance to the lighthouse.- Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
  • Looking up the staircase.- Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
  • The beacon of the lighthouse shines every night.- Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
  • Looking south at Cape Point from the top of the lighthouse.- Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
  • Looking north along the Outer Banks.- Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
  • Looking north along the Outer Banks.- Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
  • - Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views. Cool history. Close to other activities.
Cons: 
Strenuous climb.
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Region:
Tidewater + Outer Banks, NC
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is one of the most iconic features of the Outer Banks and of North Carolina State. Reaching up 198 feet, it's the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States, and it has been a warning beacon for ships since the early 1800s. Located near Cape Point Beach and Cape Point Campground, this famous lighthouse is an easy addition to a day of exploring the Buxton and Hatteras areas of the Outer Banks.

The original lighthouse was first lit in 1803, but at 90 feet it was too short to warn passing ships. It was increased to 150 feet in 1853, yet the construction of a new lighthouse was eventually deemed necessary, and the modern Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was complete in 1870. Although there were numerous construction projects on the lighthouse over the years, most notable was its relocation 2,900 feet inland in 1999. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse now lies 1,500 feet from the ocean.

Visitors can learn more about the history of the lighthouse at the visitor center or on-site museum. It can be climbed for a cost of $8.00, April though Columbus day. Lighthouse tours are self guided, though there are always rangers around to answer questions. Make sure to bring water and take your time during the warmer months, as the climb can be quite strenuous for some people. If you think you're up for it, the views from the top are definitely worth it!

 

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(3 within a 30 mile radius)

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(2 within a 30 mile radius)

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