Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in all of the United States. At a height of 208 feet or almost 64 meters, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is a must see on your NC beach vacation. It is also the 23rd tallest lighthouse in the world!
“The Big Barber Pole” as it is affectionately called due to its spiral striping has warned many sailors from as far as 20 miles of dangers lying below the Atlantic waters lies the “Diamond Shoals” which extend as far as 14 miles from shore. Prior to the building of this famous lighthouse many ships met their end along these very shores.
You will find the visitor center informative. You will enjoy finding out more about this fabulous lighthouse from history talks regarding shipwrecks in the area, large storms and fear inspiring pirates.
The battered North Carolina seashore where the lighthouse originally was located had eroded to the point where the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was in clear danger of being lost forever. In order to preserve this historical monument, the lighthouse was moved in 1999 and rededicated in 2000 at its current location. Moving this historic and national monument was in itself a “monumental task”! Why was it such a "monumental task"? The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is made up of over 1,250,000 bricks and weighs an incredible 6,250 tons or 12,500,000 pound (5,669,900Kg.). It had to be moved extremely slowly and level as there was a high risk of it falling over.
• Tour of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse •
Interested in walking to the top of the tallest lighthouse in the U.S.A.? From approximately the end of April to Columbus Day you may climb up the approximate 12 stories of stairs! Tour tickets are available during the busy tourist season along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Children need to be at least 42" tall. Ticket sales begin at 8:15 and must be purchased in person.
You may choose from different tours available. There is the regular day tour but there are also the night climbing tours and full moon climbing tours. Ticket sales the special night tours may be purchased in person beginning two days before the tour.
This lighthouse with its rich history, beautiful scenic area is a must on your North Carolina waterfront vacation. You will truly be delighted.
What can you expect from your lighthouse tour?
• Visitors with heart, respiratory or other medical conditions, or who have trouble climbing stairs should really consider whether they can handle the 248 iron spiral stairs leading to the top of the lighthouse.
• Got proper walking shoes? Love those high heel shoes? You won't love them for long!
• Bring water. You may get thirsty!
• There is no air conditioning to keep you cool on hot summer days!
• Narrow 2 way traffic. Keep moving please!
• Now that you have reached the top... did you bring your camera? It really is a great view. Feel the ocean breeze and breathe in deeply the fresh ocean salt air. You may now officially say that you have walked up the tallest lighthouse in America!
Congratulations and savor the moment!
* Note * The lighthouse may close at any time if weather conditions are unsafe.
• More information available on Cape Hatteras Light Station •
Here is the most current information on what to expect on your tour of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse from the National Park Service.
If you are looking for special events here or anywhere in Cape Hatteras National Seashore you can find it here.
Want to learn more about the history of "The Big Barber Pole"?
Here are reviews of The Hatteras Lighthouse. Read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor.
Here are some beautiful Hatteras Island vacation rentals featured at TripAdvisor!
You will also find beautiful beachfront vacation homes in Avon, North Carolina
from our friends at HomeAway.com!
We sincerely hope you enjoy your family oriented beach vacation along the North Carolina coast!
• Photo Credits •
Top photo:flickr, jessperkins
Lighthouse being moved: Flickr, unix_dr
View of stairs: Flickr, Kent68
Light station with pond: Flickr, Edgee
Thank you very much for your beautiful photos on our page!