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On our most recent family vacation to the Outer Banks, NC we discovered out love of lighthouses. Specifically the Cape Hatteras Light Station in Buxton, NC.

Cape Hatteras Light Station OBXThe lighthouse is the tallest brick lighthouse in North America, and the 2nd tallest in the world (the tallest is in Poland). It was built in 1870 to help navigate ships through the treacherous Diamond Shoals off Cape Hatteras. It’s 198.5 feet tall and 257 steps.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse location OBXWhat makes this lighthouse even more unique is that in 1999 it was moved 1/2 mile inland because of the encroaching sea. We learned that it was kept in tact and moved 5 feet at a time.

We decided to tackle climbing this lighthouse and paid our admission ($8 adults, and $4 kids 12 and under). There are a few tips I want to pass along

Cape Hatteras Light Station 42 inches tall to climb

  1. Children must be 42 inches in height to climb. You also cannot carry any babes in arms. They want all feet touching the ground at all times. Also, if you have heart and/or other medical conditions they strongly discourage you climbing.
  2. Eat before you arrive. You’ll be climbing a lot of stairs and you don’t want to have low blood sugar.
  3. Bring water. I can’t stress this enough. Since you’re climbing at your own pace it’s important to make sure you stay hydrated. Remember you’re climbing what’s equal to a 12-story building.
  4. Tickets are available at 10 minute increments. Meaning they only allow so many people in the lighthouse at a time. Depending on when you go you could wait up to an hour till your climb time..
  5. Make sure you get a stamp in your National Parks Passport. This stop has 2 different stamps, and where we learned about the program.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse National ParkSince this is a National Park there are Rangers around to answer questions and they are giving informative talks throughout the day. This is also where you can learn a lot about turtles, Barrier Island Dynamics, and the wars that affected the island.

I’m so glad this was our 1st family lighthouse climb. With it’s candy cane stripe it will always be an amazing memory that we actually climbed it!

Cape Hatteras LightHouse Outer Banks, NCHave you ever climbed the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse?

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