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Lighthouses & Historic Sites

Wright Brothers National Memorial

The Wright Brothers National Memorial is the site of the world's first controlled powered flight on December 17, 1903. The Visitor Center features full-scale reproductions of the Wright 1903 Powered Flyer and interpretive presentations that will be enjoyed by those of all ages. Also at the Memorial, a centennial pavilion is home to an exhibit hall with special exhibits, including a replica of the 1902 Wright Glider and a multipurpose auditorium.

The grounds include historical markers of each attempted powered flight made by the Wright Brothers, replica camp buildings and a 60-foot granite monument on top of Big Kill Devil Hill (a 90-foot dune) honoring the Wright brothers.

Location: Milepost 8, Kill Devil Hills

9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (hours are extended during summer months). Open year-round. Closed Christmas Day.

Entrance Fees:
$4 per person - valid for 7 days
Free - 16 and under
$10 - Annual Park Pass
Free - Golden Age, Golden Access, or National Parks Pass

Commercial Vehicles:
$40 - Vans / Small buses holding 7 - 25 people.
$100 - Commercial Tour Buses

National Park Service Passes:
Golden Access - Free - Valid for a lifetime
Golden Age - $10 - Valid for a lifetime
National Parks Pass - $50 - Valid for one year
Golden Eagle holograms - $15 - valid for one year

Note: School sponsored programs may be eligible for a waiver of fees.

Services: Interpretive tours available.

Facilities: Visitor Center facilities include a bookstore, rest rooms, and telephones.

Contact Information: (252) 441-7430

The Lost Colony

Visitors to The Lost Colony drama will experience a 423-year-old mystery and more! This historical reenactment is an exciting, action-packed drama about America's beginnings. The production, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Green, tells the story of the English colonists who vanished without a trace years ago. Celebrate their legacy through this dramatic spectacle of music and dance. The lavish costumes worn by the actors in the show were designed by five-time Tony Award-winner William Ivey Long.

On Sundays, The Lost Colony alternates with a Sunday Broadway Series.

Location: Waterside Theatre in Fort Raleigh National Historic Site

Hours: May 30 - August 18 at 8:30 p.m. (Sunday - Friday.)

Producer's Circle: $20
Adult: $16
Senior (62 and above): $15
Groups (20 or more): $14
Children (11 and under): $8 (Children 11 and under accompanied by a paying adult are admitted free on Monday and half price on Friday.)

Services: Pre-show Backstage Tours are available on performance nights at 6:30 p.m., reservations required. Backstage Tour tickets are available through the box office at (252) 473-3414.

Facilities: Gift shop, restrooms and free parking.

Contact Information / Box Office: (252) 473-3414

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site marks the location where Sir Walter Raleigh's explorers and colonists attempted to find settlements here on the North End of Roanoke Island in 1585. This location is also home to the Waterside Theatre, where visitors will enjoy The Lost Colony performance, a symphonic outdoor drama. Also on site is a visitor center, interpretive programs, bookstore, and nature trail.

Location: Off Hwy. 64/264, on the north end of Roanoke Island.

Hours: Open year-round. Closed Christmas Day.

Admission: Free.

Services: Museum and film; interpretive tours may be available.

Facilities: Visitor Center and restrooms.

Contact Information:
National Park Service
Manteo, NC 27954
(252) 473-5772

Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station Historic Site

Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station Historic Site is the most complete Lifesaving Station site in the United States, with the original station built in 1874 and a second station constructed in 1911. Five outbuildings, including the 1911 Cook House and the 1907 Midgett House, comprise the remaining structures.

A variety of family-oriented programs are offered during summer months, including the Beach Apparatus Drill reenactment. Exhibits include artifacts, apparatus, documents, uniforms, photographs, and displays of the of the Outer Banks Lifesaving Station.

Location: NC Highway 12 in the village of Rodanthe, on Hatteras Island at the MP 39.5

Hours: Open mid-April through November. Call (252) 987-1552 for schedule.

$6.00 Adult (18 - 61)
$4.00 Seniors (62+)
$4.00 Youth (6 - 17)
$5.00 Group Rate/Tour rate (per person rate, 20+ in group) - includes orientation & program
Children 5 and under are free

Contact Information: (252) 987-1552

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Climbing the historic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is a unique experience that thousands of visitors enjoy each year when visiting Hatteras Island. The lighthouse is open for climbing each year from the third Friday in April through Columbus Day. For the 2009 season, the Lighthouse will open on Friday, April 17. Climbing hours will be 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. daily in the spring and fall, and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. June 7, 2009 through Labor Day. The lighthouse will remain open through Columbus Day, Monday, October 12. Tickets are required.

The climb is strenuous with 248 iron spiral stairs to the top, which is equal to climbing a 12-story building. The stairs have a handrail only on one side and a landing every 31 steps. There is no air conditioning. It may be noisy, humid, hot and dim inside the lighthouse and there is two-way traffic on the narrow stairs.

Visitors with heart, respiratory or other medical conditions, or who have trouble climbing stairs, should use their own discretion as to whether to climb the tower.

Tickets to climb the lighthouse are $7 for adults and $3.50 for Senior Citizens (62 or older), children (12 and under, and at least 42" tall), and those holding a National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Access Pass. Tickets are available on a first come, first serve basis and can only be purchased in-person at the site the day of the climb. There are no advance ticket sales.

Ticket sales begin at 8:15 a.m. each day. Climbing tours will begin at 9 a.m. and will run every 10 minutes with a limit of 30 visitors per tour. Ticket sales close at 4:30 p.m. in the spring and fall, and 5:30 p.m. June 8, 2008 through Labor Day. Ticket holders should arrive at the lighthouse gate five minutes prior to their ticketed tour time.

The lighthouse may close at any time if weather conditions are unsafe.

The following safety rules apply:

  • Children must be at least 42" tall and capable of climbing all steps on their own.
  • Children under 12 must be escorted by an adult.
  • No person may be lifted or carried.
  • Running, jumping, or stomping on stairs and landings is prohibited.
  • Do not eat, drink, smoke or chew tobacco.
  • No pets, other than service animals.
  • Do not arrive in heels over 1 inches high or in bare feet.
  • Leave umbrellas in your car.
  • Backpacks, tripods, coolers, beach bags, surfboards, fishing poles, etc. also need to be left in your car.
  • Throwing of objects, including frisbees, boomerangs, etc, off the lighthouse is unsafe and may get you in big trouble!

Ocracoke Island Ferry

Ferry Crossing Time from Hatteras Village: 40 minutes

Reservations: Not accepted

Fare: Free

Ocracoke Lighthouse

Ocracoke Lighthouse, located in the fishing village of Ocracoke on Ocracoke Island, is the oldest operating lighthouse in North Carolina and is equipped with a fourth-order Fresnel lens. The present structure is the third to exist in Ocracoke. In 1798, a 54-foot wooden tower was built on the Ocracoke Inlet entrance where Edward Teach, otherwise known as "Blackbeard the Pirate," lived at one time. The channel shifted, rendering the lighthouse ineffective, and it was then replaced by a light vessel in the inlet in 1820. However, by 1822, this second structure was also rendered useless by shifting sands, and Congress authorized the money to build the present tower, which stands 75 feet tall. The lighthouse was cemented and whitewashed in 1868, giving it the appearance it has today. Originally fueled by whale oil, it is now lit by automatic electric power and shines 14 miles out to sea. The Ocracoke Lighthouse is maintained by the United States Coast Guard.

Hours: Open all year long

Admission: No Fees

*The Ocracoke Lighthouse is not open for climbing during any time of the year.

Currituck Lighthouse

The Currituck Lighthouse can be seen by taking a day trip to the northern Outer Banks. Located in the village of Corolla, 15 miles north of Duck, visitors enjoy the breathtaking view of the Currituck Lighthouse. On December 1, 1875, the beacon of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse filled the remaining "dark spot" on the North Carolina coast between Cape Henry Light to the north and Bodie Island to the south.

The light station includes a Victorian stick style double keepers' house, cisterns, and museum shop.

Hours: Open Spring through late Fall

Admission: Fee to climb lighthouse

Contact Information: (252) 453-4939.

Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse

Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, located on Roanoke Island, is the newest and smallest lighthouse on the Outer Banks. Instead of a brick beacon towering over a barrier-island beach, this lighthouse resembles a lightkeeper's house perched over the water. The original 1857 screwpile lighthouse that aided mariners in Croatan Sound was a cottage built over the water, with the lighthouse serving as both beacon and residence. This reconstructed lighthouse was opened in 2004 by the Town of Manteo, in cooperation with the NC Maritime Museum and Roanoke Island Festival Park, to commemorate the original structure from 1857. The lighthouse contains exhibits highlighting Roanoke Island's maritime history and information on the lighthouse and its keepers, and provides a unique addition to the popular Manteo Waterfront.

Location: End of the pier on the Manteo Waterfront

Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Contact Information: (252) 475-1750.

Bodie Island Lighthouse

The Bodie Island Lighthouse is located eight miles south of US-158 and US-64 intersection and within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

The 156-foot tall horizontally-striped lighthouse is not open for climbing, though the visitor center and surrounding grounds offer plenty of opportunities for education and photo opportunities.

Location: Within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Facilities: A visitor's center in the old keeper's quarters features exhibits, an Eastern National Bookstore and is open year-round. Self-guided nature trail.

Contact Information: (252) 441-5711.

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