The Outer Banks is rich in history, from the early explorers who first set foot on its shores 400 years ago to the groundbreaking first flight that launched modern aviation. Every community has a story and a resonant heritage, and as a result, the Outer Banks is home to a number of locally and nationally renowned museums honoring the area's unique stories, culture and landmarks.
Visit North Carolina’s oldest operating lighthouse located on Ocracoke Island. The original wooden sentinel was erected in 1798 on the point of Ocracoke Inlet to mark the channel. It was 54 feet tall.
With shifting inlets, the lighthouse soon became ineffective and was replaced in 1820 by a light vessel located in the inlet. Moving sands once again ruled in 1822, and the current beacon was built. It stands 75 feet tall and sends its light 14 miles out to sea. The picturesque, white structure emits a constant beam. Paired with a long picket fence and green grounds, it makes for a great photo opportunity, but it is not available for climbing.
Access Ocracoke by ferry and rent a bike while you are there. It is a delight to ride through or stroll the island roads. You will need a car to get to the ocean from the heart of the village. Downtown is graced with Silver Lake, and a host of shopping and dining adventures awaiting discovery. You can even rent a boat to go to the isolated Portsmouth Island.
The light is noy available for climbing, but the grounds are always open.
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