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Bodie Island Lighthouse, Nags Head

4.5
#2 of 29 in Things to do in Nags Head
Lighthouse Tourist Spot
Bodie Island Lighthouse, which looks out over the Graveyard of the Atlantic, offers ranger-guided tours that talk about the history of the lighthouse and its environment. Originally built in 1847, the lighthouse was rebuilt twice in 25 years. The first rebuild addressed foundation issues. The second came after the Civil War when Confederate forces, fearing the structure would be used as an observation point, blew up the lighthouse in 1861. The structure currently at the location was built in 1872. It's a tough climb--with over 200 steps up 50 m (165 ft) in a narrow stairway. Schedule your tour in advance if possible; the attraction allows a limited number of advance bookings and a limited number of on-site bookings each day. To visit Bodie Island Lighthouse on your holiday in Nags Head, and find out what else Nags Head has to offer, use our Nags Head vacation generator.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
1,563 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Bodie Island Lighthouse is well worth a visit. Like the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse you can go inside and walk up to the top for a fee if the weather is cooperating. A visitor center containing a small m...  more »
  • Beautiful Lighthouse on the Outer Banks, not far from the Southern side of the Beach Road 12. The rate is reasonable to go up into Lighthouse but you may have to wait an hour or two to get your schedu...  more »
  • Worth a visit. The lighthouse is picturesque and the march walkway with observation deck allows you to see from Ocean to Sound.  more »
Google
  • This is a beautiful historic lighthouse located on Bodie Island. Unfortunately it is unaccessible to the overwhelming majority of tourists traveling through the Outer Banks. Leave it up to the federal government to screw up the concept of walking up and down stairs. Unlike other lighthouses in the United States this one requires a tour guide to show you how to walk up and down stairs. Typical non-peak wait times are two to three hours to walk to the top of the lighthouse. I have been here more than half a dozen times but have never been allowed to climb the lighthouse unless I felt like sitting in the parking lot for two or three hours just to walk up a flight of stairs. Again if this was privately owned or state maintained you would pay your 10 dollar fee and walk to the top and come back down. Unfortunately the utter and complete incompetence of the federal government has made this lighthouse almost completely inaccessible. The gift shop is meager and disappointing as well. I would personally recommend anyone interested in touring a lighthouse skip this one and instead head north on route 12 to Currituck Lighthouse.
  • Great historical light house and surrounding park. We waited maybe 15 minutes to go up. Only 8 people allowed at once. On the little boardwalk we saw birds, snakes in the water, and blue crabs. Fun times
  • Great Staff, Friendly and helpful. I highly recommend going again. Climbing was fun. I reccomend this historical place.
  • Perfect to stop, relax, walk & enjoy the view for a moment! Just natural scenery at it's Outer Banks finest. Unless you buy something in lil gift house or pay to go up to the top its free! Enjoy yhe boardwalk out to the edge of the sound or walk thru the Pines with a great view of the fresh painted lighthouse! This is our local lighthouse so we see the beacon all the time at night fishing. Awesome.
  • Great experience and walk through history. *Make sure and note times, as well as weight and height restrictions.

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