Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

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Lighthouse Rd, Buxton, NC, USA

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Buxton Reviews

emmytravel emmytrav…
49 reviews
Bring your camera May 23, 2010
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, near Buxton, NC The lighthouse was not open for climbing (it was off season) during my previous visit. It opens the 3rd week in April. May 8, 2010 was one of the most perfect days to climb the lighthouse. The weather was clear and temperature a cool, comfortable 70 degrees. The climb is equal to 12 stories – 265 steps, if I recall. This lighthouse is the tallest brick lighthouse in the US. The circular stairwell has 8 landings to rest on, catch your breath, and the slotted windows allow one to look out at the various views. The climb was really not strenuous; I was not out of breath nor were my quads stressed. No pun intended, I did take it well in stride for an overweight soon to be 58 year old. The balcony at the top allowed a view of 20 miles, the weather was so clear. The wind was crisp and not strong enough to worry about. It was an exceptionally spectacular view from all directions. I'm so happy I got to climb this magnificent lighthouse.
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jamartin39 jamartin…
113 reviews
You can see your house from here May 01, 2010
Our first stop and the reason for driving down the outer banks was the Cape Hatteras Light House.

We arrived shortly before the light house opened for business so we walked the grounds around the light house until the park rangers opened and inspected the lighthouse.

Take your time going up to the top; it is a steep climb with a lot of stairs. There are landings that you can rest on as you go up and down. The climb down was the hardest part for me but the climb in either direction was still worth it.

I defiantly recommend going up to the top, on a clear day the views are fantastic and the grounds are beautiful. The best part is admission to the light house is wicked cheap, and the grounds are free!
The lighthouse
The keepers quaters and grounds
I made it to the top
furiousfowl furiousf…
19 reviews
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Jul 20, 2008
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest in the nation and a famous symbol of North Carolina. towering 196 feet from the base to the top and then topped with an iron superstructure it became the tallest lighthouse at 208 feet. it weighs 6,250 tons its walls are 14 feet of solid masonry and narrow to 8 feet at the top. at the time of its construction, it cost 155,000 dollars and is a 1st order fresnel light. It has 2 nick names, "Americas Lighthouse" and "The Big Barbor Pole". the beacon can be seen some 20 miles out and has warned sailors for more than 100 years of the treacherous diamond shoals and the shallow sandbars which extend out to some 14 miles out into the ocean of Cape Hatteras
sunset over cape hatteras
walking along the beach
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grandmar grandmar
202 reviews
Warning: Graveyard of the Atlantic Dec 04, 2004
The black and white spiral makes Cape Hatteras one of the most recognizable lighthouses in the US, and the 208 feet height makes it also the tallest in the United States. The light can be seen for 20 miles, warning ships of Diamond Shoals (the graveyard of the Atlantic) which is a twelve-mile (12) long sandbar just offshore. This is where the USS Monitor was wrecked.

Diamond Shoals is the meeting place of two great ocean currents: the cold Labrador and the warm Northbound Gulf Stream. Where they collide, it creates fog and ever changing sandbars just beneath the water surface.

The present lighthouse was built like the light at Cape Lookout and had a first-order Fresnel lens to magnify a small oil wick flame. It was replaced by a rotating beacon--a double affair with 1000-watt lamps in each beacon. Today, the beacon is automated, but at the time it was built, the keeper had to wind weights suspended by heavy cables in order to rotate the thousand-prism lens. In good visibility, it can be seen 51 miles at sea and 115 miles in the air.

The octagonal base of brick and granite, measures twenty-four (24) feet by fourty-five (45) feet six inches. The black and white barber-pole paint, or "candystriping" was added in 1873 to make the lighthouse more distinctive during the day. There is another similarly painted lighthouse in Florida (St. Augustine), but I guess they figured that if you didn't even know whether you were in NC or FL, you were in such sorry shape that there wasn't much hope for you.

In 1905, my grandfather sent my grandmother a postcard of this lighthouse which he said that he had climbed. That was before it was moved.

As early as the 1920s, erosion became a major problem to the new lighthouse. In the summer of 1999, the lighthouse was moved 2899.57 feet from its original location

The "Double Keeper's Quarters" is used to house the "Museum of the Sea" and the Buxton Visitor Center. They had a wall with pictures of lighthouses, but the only ones they had of Maryland were Hooper Strait, 7 foot Knoll and Cove Point. They gave me the address so I could send them some more.Then we went into the keeper's house museum. The lighthouse isn't available for climbing this time of year.

They had displays about moving the lighthouse. They moved the keeper's houses too. The smaller house had a glass skylight which I doubt could be original, but the ranger said they had pictures of it from the 1890s with the skylight there.

Opening for Climbing: Good Friday to Columbus Day (weather permitting)

Directions: Take NC 12 South from Nags Head until you reach Buxton. It is approximately 50 miles south of Nags Head.

Phone: (252) 453-4939

Cape Hatteras Light postcard from …
My grandfather's post card where h…
Cape Hatteras Light
Wall of lighthouse photos
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Kathrin_E says:
Cool design. Reminds me of a candy cane. This lighthouse is certainly recognizable from afar. Love the postcard! So you have a little family treasure connected with this sight. Thank you for sharing.
Posted on: Feb 24, 2017

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Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Map
photo by: diisha392