There is something about a lighthouse’s steady presence that creates a dreamy nostalgic feeling. The Currituck Beach Lighthouse is no different, standing as a coastal mainstay along the Outer Banks shoreline in the heart of Corolla. When you’re ready for a break from the beach but don’t want to leave the scenic shoreline behind, consider visiting the picturesque Currituck Beach Lighthouse.
Touring the Currituck Beach Lighthouse
The Currituck Beach Lighthouse has acted as a beacon along Corolla’s shoreline since 1875. Its unpainted red brick exterior distinguishes it from other lighthouses and creates a picturesque backdrop for photos. The lighthouse became automated in 1937 and still acts as a beacon today, flashing in 20 second intervals from dusk until dawn. It is one of the few in the country that still houses its original first-order Fresnel lens, whose light can be seen from a distance of 18 nautical miles.
Climbing to the top of the lighthouse provides not only a look inside this historic structure, but also offers amazing views from the top. Inside the lighthouse, a seemingly never-ending spiral staircase curls its way up. Visitors can climb the 220 stairs, pausing to rest at several landings along the way. Both the base of the lighthouse and the first two landings also offer excellent displays on the lighthouse’s architectural history, the lives of the lighthouse keepers, and information on the still-operating original lens. Care should be taken ascending these steep spiral stairs. Once you’ve reached the top, you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with panoramic views. Catch sight of the bright yellow exterior of the Whalehead Club in Historic Corolla, the scenic Currituck Sound, and the endless blue Atlantic Ocean. Once you’ve snapped some photos and soaked in the sights, descend with caution and be sure to check out the Museum Gift Shop, which offers lighthouse themed gifts as well as a selection of Outer Banks themed books. For those with a real affinity for lighthouses, the Currituck Beach Lighthouse can even be reserved for special occasions such as weddings!
Planning Your Visit to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse
The Currituck Beach Lighthouse is located in Corolla, just north of the Historic Corolla Park and Historic Whalehead. They are open daily from 9am-5pm from March through November. Admission to climb the lighthouse is $10 per person, ages 4 and up. Children under four can only enter if in a carrier for safety reasons. Lighthouse staff can be contacted at (252) 453-4939 with any questions. Contact us!