Fodor's Expert Review Cape Lookout Lighthouse

Cape Lookout National Seashore Body Of Water/Waterfall Fodor's Choice

When the original 1812 lighthouse proved too short and unstable, the 1859 structure was built to replace it. The double walls allow the tower to rise as tall as required—169 feet—without making the building unstable. This lighthouse on Core Banks island withstood retreating Confederate troops' attempts to blow it up to keep it out of Union hands (they stole the lens instead). With its white-and-black diamond markings, the beacon continues to function as a navigational aid. A small museum inside the Harkers Island Visitor Center over on Harkers Island tells the story of the lighthouse from its first incarnation in 1812. A private ferry, Island Express Ferry Services, runs between Harkers Island and the lighthouse area. It also runs a ferry from the town of Beaufort to the lighthouse area. Anyone 44 inches or taller may climb the tower's 207 steps from mid-May to mid-September. The climb is worth it for an incomparable view of Cape Lookout's wild shores. Tickets must be purchased... READ MORE

When the original 1812 lighthouse proved too short and unstable, the 1859 structure was built to replace it. The double walls allow the tower to rise as tall as required—169 feet—without making the building unstable. This lighthouse on Core Banks island withstood retreating Confederate troops' attempts to blow it up to keep it out of Union hands (they stole the lens instead). With its white-and-black diamond markings, the beacon continues to function as a navigational aid. A small museum inside the Harkers Island Visitor Center over on Harkers Island tells the story of the lighthouse from its first incarnation in 1812. A private ferry, Island Express Ferry Services, runs between Harkers Island and the lighthouse area. It also runs a ferry from the town of Beaufort to the lighthouse area. Anyone 44 inches or taller may climb the tower's 207 steps from mid-May to mid-September. The climb is worth it for an incomparable view of Cape Lookout's wild shores. Tickets must be purchased at the lighthouse on a first-come, first-served basis; reservations are not accepted.

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Body Of Water/Waterfall Nautical Site/Lighthouse Park (National/State/Provincial) Historical Fodor's Choice Family

Quick Facts

131 Charles St.
Harkers Island, North Carolina  28531, USA

252-728–7433-Island Express Ferry Services (private ferry)

www.nps.gov/calo/planyourvisit/lighthouse-climbs.htm

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Grounds free; $8 lighthouse; $16 round-trip for pedestrian ferry from Harkers Island, $35 round-trip from Beaufort, Lighthouse closed mid-Sept.–late May; climbing also closed Sun. and Mon. late May–mid-Sept.; Harkers Island and Beaufort ferries closed Oct.–Feb.

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