Last month, on our little getaway to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, my hubbie and I took the ferry from Cape Hatteras to Ocracoke Island. It wasn’t on my to-do list for that trip, but the hour long ferry ride (each way) was free and we had time, so, why not? I wanted to check out the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse anyway.
After taking in the the Cape Hatteras Light and the Bodie Island Light, I expected something a bit larger. Instead, I discovered that the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse is relatively tiny and is similar in design to the Old Point Comfort Lighthouse at Fort Monroe.
At just 65 feet tall, the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse is the smallest lighthouse on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. However, in spite of its relatively small size, its beacon can be seen 14 miles into the Pamlico Sound and Atlantic Ocean.
The Ocracoke Island Lighthouse was built in 1823 and still functions today! It is North Carolina’s oldest lighthouse in operation and the second oldest in the United States.
While the lighthouse isn’t open for climbing, you can go inside and gaze up the spiral staircase. There is a friendly docent on site to keep tourists from making unauthorized climbs.
My time on Ocracoke Island was brief, but I hope to go back again one day. The village was charming and had a lot to offer travelers. Next time I’ll be sure to bring jeans and sturdy shoes as there were several places advertising horseback riding on the beach and I’ve always wanted to do that!
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