The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is located on Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks and protects one of the most dangerous channels of the Atlantic Coast. Located in the town of Buxton, NC the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and serves as protection from to the hazardous twelve-mile long sandbar called Diamond Shoals for southbound ships. The area around the lighthouse has been named the ‘Graveyard of the Atlantic’ due to the number of shipwrecks that have occurred there. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.


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The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was commissioned to be built by Congress in 1974 when they recognized the danger posed to southern bound Atlantic shipping. Construction on the lighthouse began in 1799, which was made from sandstone and stood 90 feet tall. The first lamp, which was powered by whale oil, was lit in 1803.

In 1853, after discovering the lighthouse was ineffectual due to being too short and made of unpainted sandstone that blended into the background, the Lighthouse Board decided to add 60 feet to the height of the lighthouse and paint it red and white for better sighting. The tower was retrofitted with a first-order Fresnel lens, which both reflection and refraction to channel light, thus creating a stronger beam.

By the 1860s, the lighthouse was in dire need of extensive repairs once again, and renovations began in 1868, which included being painted in the famous black and white stripe daymark pattern and receiving a light sequence (night mark). The new lighthouse donned a conical design rising from a granite and brick base. The tower light was made from iron and glass and was lit on December 1, 1870. The lamp was later electrified in 1934, providing rotating power and a photocell that turns the light on and off.

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was decommissioned in 1935 due to the threat of beach erosion and transferred to the National Park Service a year later where it became part of the nation’s first National Seashore. A massive storm in 1980 swept the remains of the original lighthouse away, after which the Cape Hatteras Light Station was moved to its present location. Today, the tower lies 1,500 feet from the seashore, along with the Principal Keeper’s Quarters, the Double Keepers’ Quarters, the oil house, and the dwelling cisterns. The National Park Service currently maintains the lighthouse and the keepers’ quarters and the U.S. Coast Guard operates and maintains the automated light.

Today, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse stands at the height of 210 feet tall, making it the tallest brick lighthouse in the world. The light beam from its modern aerobeacon flashes every 7.5 seconds or eight flashes a minute and reaches 19 nautical miles. The last keeper of the lighthouse was Unaka Jennette who closed the light tower due to erosion in 1936.

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2.Visitor Information

Visitor Information
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The Cape Hatteras Light Station is located near Cape Hatteras, which is roughly in the middle of Cape Hatteras National Seashore and is open to the public for self-guided climbs and tours from the third Friday in April to Columbus Day in October. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse has 257 steps from the ground to the balcony level with a handrail on one side only and a landing every 31 steps. School Group Climbs and Full Moon Tours need to be booked in advance.

46379 Lighthouse Road, Buxton, North Carolina 27920

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NC Things to Do: Cape Hatteras Light Station in Buxton

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More Ideas: Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum

The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum is a maritime history museum with a focus on the various shipwrecks that have taken place in the state of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The name “Graveyard of the Atlantic” refers the the area along the coast of the Outer Banks where the remains of numerous ships can be found. The museum features a new exhibit as well every year that includes a guide that guests can use to follow along and enhance their visit.

There always seems to be something going on at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. The museum provides several various programs throughout the year for guests of all ages. Daily programs offered at the museum include a youth-friendly and family-friendly scavenger hunt. This scavenger hunt gives visitors a chance to search for different items located throughout the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, and participants receive a special surprise as a reward for their hard work.

Interesting and entertaining programs from the middle of May up through the month of September include the museum’s Salty Dawg Series, which is held on Tuesdays at two in the afternoon. During the Salty Dawg Series, all things related to the coast are presented and celebrated. Presentations include culture and history talks about the Civil War and World War II, cooking seafood, fishing history, music and maritime art, local language, and stories of saving lives.

On each Wednesday morning at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, from the middle of May until the month of September, families and youth can also make some creative crafts during Maritime Crafts. This program takes place on Wednesday at 10:30 in the morning, and features short local history lessons accompanying the featured craft. Crafts in the past have included valentines for sailor, finger puppets, an vacation postcards that can be mailed. A different craft is featured during Maritime Crafts every month.

From the middle of May until the middle of November, Drew Pullen holds presentations at 2:30 in the afternoon every Wednesday. These popular talks at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum focus on the Civil War at Hatteras Island. On Fridays at the museum, Sam Green demonstrates how to create canvas-backed decoys. These demonstrations take place from 12:30 through 4:00 in the afternoon. Sam Green’s decoys are beautiful works of art, and are available for purchase at the Museum Store.

The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum also host numerous special events throughout the year in addition to its exhibits and programs. The museum hosts the Sea Story event in April, and its Underwater Symposium, which takes place in April as well. The British War Graves ceremonies take place in May at the museum, while Holiday at the Museum, the museum’s annual gala, is hosted in December. History Teas are also hosted at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum during the months of April, September, and November. Programs at the museum are free of charge to guests unless otherwise stated. Visitors interested in attending any of the programs or event can check the Calendar of Events on the museum’s website.

59200 Museum Drive, Hatteras, NC, Phone: 920-236-5799

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More Ideas in NC: The Dunhill Hotel

The Dunhill Hotel is a premier boutique hotel in the heart of uptown Charlotte, NC that offers sophisticated accommodations, deluxe amenities, and gracious Southern hospitality. The historic hotel features elegant and beautifully decorated accommodations, luxurious hotel amenities, innovative Southern cuisine at The Asbury Restaurant, and elegant venues for events and functions. Steeped in history and surrounded by modern culture, the hotel boasts a tranquil oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of the city and is within walking distance of several shops, restaurants, cafés, art galleries, museums, bars, nightclubs, and other entertainment.

Guest Accommodations

The Dunhill Hotel features 60 beautifully appointed, stylishly decorated guest rooms that offer the eclectic ambiance of the Roaring Twenties. All guest rooms have queen or king-size pillow top beds with luxury linens and down comforters, en-suite marble bathrooms with shower/tub combinations, thick towels and bathrobes, and deluxe Thymes bath amenities, and sunny sitting areas. Modern conveniences include individual climate control with heating and cooling, flat screen televisions with cable channels, iPod docking stations with alarm clock radios, Keurig coffee makers, mini fridges, telephones with voicemail services, and complimentary wireless Internet access. Guest rooms enjoy an evening turndown service with handmade chocolates.

Guest rooms are available in Vintage Queen, Vintage Queen Queen, Deluxe Queen, Premier Queen, Executive King, and the luxurious Penthouse Suite. The Penthouse Suite is a one bedroom king suite with a king-size bed with plush triple sheeting, deluxe linens, and down comforters, and an en-suite marble bathroom with a walk-in double shower, soaking bathtub, fresh towels and thick bathrobes, and organic Thymes bath amenities. The suite has a separate living area with a wet bar and elegant sofas and armchairs, which opens onto a double balcony with breathtaking views.


Named in honor of the architect of The Dunhill Hotel (initially known as the Mayfair Manor), Louis Asbury Sr., The Asbury Restaurant celebrates the beauty and culture of the South with an innovative menu of Southern cuisine. The Asbury serves a variety of uniquely Carolinian dishes prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients that are strongly rooted in the surrounding area, along with specialty items grown by local farms throughout the region. The Asbury serves breakfast for guests, along with lunch and dinner, seven days a week, and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Guests can also enjoy private dining experiences on the second floor of the hotel, which also caters for special events and functions.

Amenities and Recreation

Deluxe amenities at The Dunhill Hotel include delicious breakfasts and exclusive dining at the Ashbury Restaurant, complimentary wine and cheese receptions every evening, off-site valet vehicle parking, a 24-hour front desk and concierge services, daily newspaper delivery, and an evening turndown service. Complimentary bottled water is provided at turndown, freshly baked cookies are available every night, along with coffee and tea throughout the day, and the hotel has a 24-hour business center with copying, printing, and faxing facilities. Additional amenities on request include complimentary shoe shine service, a same-day dry cleaning service from Monday through Saturday, free access to the Childress Klein YMCA, and a complimentary shuttle bus in the uptown area Charlotte.

Charlotte has an array of things to see and do, ranging from cultural activities to outdoor and recreational adventures. The Levine Museum of the New South is an informative and interactive museum in Charlotte that documents what life was like in the North Carolina Piedmont after the American Civil War. Situated at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the Carolinas Aviation Museum is dedicated to educating visitors about the importance of aviation to society. Founded by Floyd and Lois Wilson in 1992, the museum also aims to preserve aviation heritage with a collection of more than 50 stationary aircraft and smaller important aviation-related items. Located in Uptown Charlotte, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is a famous museum that documents, celebrates and honors the history and heritage of NASCAR, and Discovery Place is dedicated to inspiring, encouraging and promoting an exploration of the natural and social world for all ages.

Wedding & Events

The Dunhill Hotel provides the perfect setting for all types of events, ranging from weddings, ceremonies, and receptions, to meetings, and other business gatherings. The historic Charlotte hotel features 2,500 square feet of multifaceted meeting and function space with a full range of amenities, including a team of banquet and event professionals that will take care of every detail, award-winning cuisine and catering from The Ashbury Restaurant, state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment for meetings and business functions.

237 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202, Phone: 704-332-4141

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More Ideas in NC: Aloft Asheville

Located in the heart of Asheville, Aloft Asheville is a contemporary hotel with loft-inspired Asheville accommodations, modern amenities and an ideal location for exploring the city. Modern rooms enjoy mountain or city views and feature en-suite bathrooms with walk-in showers, flat-screen televisions, mini fridges and coffeemakers, and free Wi-Fi are available throughout. Suites feature spacious living rooms and glass doors that lead to private cabanas. In-room breakfast is available for an additional fee and guests can enjoy a drink and a game of pool at the bar, which boasts beautiful city views. Other perks include a fully-equipped gym and an outdoor swimming pool. The hotel is within walking distance from the Asheville Art Museum, the Botanical Gardens, and the historic Biltmore Estate, as well as a dozen local craft breweries.

Guest Accommodations

Aloft Asheville features spacious guest rooms and suites with contemporary décor and modern furnishings, comfortable double, queen or king-size beds in designer linens and hypoallergenic pillows, and en-suite bathrooms with walk-in showers, plush towels, and deluxe bath products. Sitting areas have sofas and/or armchairs, work desks and ergonomic chairs, and suites feature spacious living rooms with balconies that lead to private cabanas around the swimming pool. Modern amenities abound and include flat-screen televisions with cable channels, mini fridges and coffeemakers, and complimentary wireless Internet. Guest rooms and suites boast city or mountain views.


The Blackbird café serves brunch, lunch, and dinner throughout the week. Located on the first floor of the hotel, the casual restaurant offers a vibrant menu of fresh fare that combines the best of locally sourced ingredients to create classic, Southern comfort food.

Amenities and Recreation

Deluxe amenities and facilities at the Aloft Asheville include an outdoor swimming pool and rooftop deck with private cabanas, a fully-equipped gym, and a full service bar with a pool table that serves light fare and an extensive list of libations. The Ledge overlooks Biltmore Avenue and offers the perfect place for evening drinks, while Re:fuel by AloftSM serves all-American fare throughout the day. The hotel features flexible gathering spaces that are fully equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and complimentary wireless Internet, as well as offers exclusive “room blocks” for special occasions such as weddings, social events, and meetings. Aloft Asheville also caters for children with the Camp Aloft Program, which features an array of activities and perks for children between the ages of two and 12.

Ideally located for exploring all that Asheville has to offer, the hotel is within easy walking distance from some of the city’s top attractions such as the Asheville Art Museum, the Botanical Gardens, and the historic Biltmore Estate, as well as a dozen local craft breweries. Experience Asheville’s unique Southern culture and charm through its cuisine on a fantastic food tour through the city. Asheville Food Tours take you on a culinary journey, visiting up to seven carefully selected restaurants, eateries and food shops in the trendy downtown area, where you can enjoy a range of food tastings, from delicious melt-in-your-mouth appetizers to freshly cooked entrées, accompanied by splashes of fine wine.

Wedding & Events

Aloft Asheville caters for weddings and special celebrations, as well as business meetings and corporate functions for both large and small groups of up to 100 guests. The hotel features 880 square feet of space across three meeting rooms that can be reconfigured to cater for intimate celebrations or large events.

51 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, NC, 28801, Phone: 828-232-2838

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