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Lighthouses in North Carolina

Visit One of North Carolina’s Historic Sites— Lighthouses!

Old Baldy Lighthouse

101 Lighthouse Wynd, Bald Head Island NC 28461

Admission: $6

Island is accessible only by ferry or private boat; no cars are allowed on the island.

For nearly 200 years, North Carolina’s oldest standing lighthouse (Old Baldy was built in 1817) has marked the mouth of the historic Cape Fear River. Smith Museum is housed in replica of 1850’s lighthouse keeper’s cottage. Today, thousands of visitors make the exciting journey each year to beautiful Bald Head Island to learn about the island’s rich maritime past at the Smith Island Museum of History and experience Old Baldy up close – including the climb to the top for a breathtaking view of the surrounding area’s outstanding natural beauty.

Oak Island

300 Caswell Beach Road, Caswell Beach NC 28465

Free tours to second level on Wed/Saturdays from 10:00 – 2:00 pm through Labor Day

The Oak Island Lighthouse, the last lighthouse to be built in NC, was completed in 1958. The lights are 169 feet above the water, as reported on nautical charts, and can be seen for 16 miles. The actual structure is 153 feet tall, but it stands on a slight rise. There is no spiral staircase as found in most older lighthouses, but instead a series of ships ladders with a total of 131 steps to the gallery level. Tours to the top of the Lighthouse, up 131 steps to an outside balcony, are available all year by appointment for climbers 9 years of age or older.


Cape Lookout

131 Charles St, Harkers Island NC 28531

Open Wednesday through Sunday until September 16th

Admission: $8

Accessible by ferry only; click here to see available providers!

A wealth and variety of activities awaits you at Cape Lookout National Seashore. From birding, to camping, to fishing, to learning about the rich history of Cape Lookout Light Station — there is something for everyone! In the lighthouse area you can sunbathe on the beach, swim in the ocean, tour the Keeper’s Quarters Museum, visit the Light Station Visitor Center, or climb the lighthouse. You can also search for horses on Shackleford Banks (in your own group or on a ranger guided tour), walk or ride down to the point of Cape Lookout to watch the nesting shorebirds or find larger shells, plan a short kayaking or canoeing trip, go fishing, or search for wildlife.

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