Undoubtedly the most popular and well known lighthouse on the East Coast, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse stands tall and proud with its history of warning seagoing vessels of the dangerous Diamond Shoals sandbars off the coast of Cape Hatteras in North Carolina. At 208 feet from base to spire it is the tallest lighthouse in the nation and 23rd tallest traditional light in the world. Its beam can normally be seen 20 miles offshore and even further in exceptionally clear weather. Built in 1870, it has been a sentinel to ship’s captains for over 100 years.
Its distinctive spiral stripes give it a look that resembles a giant barber pole but makes it the most recognizable light in North Carolina. Much controversy and media coverage regarding moving the treasured landmark 2900 feet inland to protect it from the encroaching ocean further served to fuel its fame. That move was accomplished between 1999 and 2000 to the dismay of many a doubting fan, a great number of whom believed it couldn’t be done without destroying the structure.
Today the lighthouse stands in its new location accompanied by buildings that historically housed the keepers of the light. One such building has been renovated and contains the Hatteras Island Visitor Center and Museum of the Sea. It displays exhibits of the maritime heritage and history of the Outer Banks as well as information about the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, National Park Service rangers programs and a bookstore and is open year round.
For those wishing to climb the 268 steps to the top of the lighthouse for a magnificent view of the Seashore and surrounding Maritime Forest, the light is open to the public from early April until mid-October.
Contact us about arranging a Lighthouse tour including Hatteras Light! 252-441-5466