We arrived at our hotel located in North Carolina’s Outer Banks early enough to do a little sightseeing before and after my brother’s wedding. I mean really, I couldn’t drive that many hours and not enjoy the local beauty in such a wonderful location!
So let’s start with a historic landmark that is both interesting and unusual.
Bodie Island Lighthouse, Nags Head, NC
How do you say, “Bodie”?
Bodie is pronounced like BODY as in the HUMAN BODY.
Now onto the next burning question!
What is a lighthouse?
A lighthouse is a really tall conical shaped tower with a big bright light on the top. It is located at the edge of a body of water that has been deemed a dangerous or important place for boats and ships traveling towards land.
What is the purpose of a lighthouse?
The most important purposes of a lighthouse is to warn boats and ships traveling towards land that the area is dangerous and should be approached cautiously. A lighthouse also is an indication that there is land and the bright light helps boats and ships to keep going in the right direction.
Where is the Bodie Island Lighthouse?
The Bodie Island Lighthouse is located off the dangerous coastlines of North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
This unique landmark is located a little south of the town of Nags Head and Whalebone Junction, where Highway 158, Highway 64, and NC Highway 12 intersect.
Address: 8210 Bodie Island Lighthouse Rd, Nags Head, NC 27959
Phone: (252) 441-5711
15 Bodie Island Lighthouse Historical and Physical Facts
The following is a summary of some of the historical and physical facts about the Bodie Island Lighthouse.
- The Bodie Island Lighthouse is currently located on a 15-acre site that was purchased by the government for $150.00 from John Etheridge in 1871.
- Bodie Island Lighthouse is surrounded by tall, tall pine trees and beautiful marshes teeming with wildlife.
- On October 1, 1872, the Bodie Island Lighthouse first exhibited its powerful light which was magnified by a first-order Fresnel lens.
- The light in the Bodie Island Lighthouse was electrified in 1932 which put an end to on-site keepers.
- Because an estimated 600 plus ships were shipwrecked in this part of the North Carolina shore, the area is now called the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.” More ships have been lost there than on any other part of the Atlantic coast.
- The distinctive black and white horizontal stripes make the Bodie Island Lighthouse easy to recognize.
- The Bodie Island Lighthouse has 214 steps counting from the ground to the very top. The faint of heart would find it difficult to climb because it is equivalent to climbing a 10-story building. The staircase has a handrail on one side only and has just enough room for people to go up or down with nine landings to stop at for a breather or to let someone pass.
- You can take a guided climb up the Bodie Island Lighthouse. The climbs start every 35 minutes and are 45 minutes long. Each guided climb is limited to only 22 people.
- The light at the top of the Bodie Island Lighthouse shines a beam that can be see 19 miles offshore.
- The Bodie Island Lighthouse light makes a full rotation every 27.5 seconds.
- There is no air conditioning and no elevator in the Bodie Island Lighthouse.
- There have been historic restorations to the keepers’ duplex with the last one completed in May 1992.
- The Bodie Island Lighthouse keepers’ duplex now serves as a ranger station and Outer Banks information center.
- The most recent restoration of the Bodie Island Lighthouse (the actual lighthouse) was completed in 2013.
- The Bodie Island Lighthouse is still a functioning navigational aid.
I ran short of time, so was unable to walk up the stairs. Next time I visit I plan on walking up the stairs and taking pictures along the way…that is if I survive. I should probably start exercising so that I will be fit enough to climb the tower stairs!
Anyway, the Bodie Island Lighthouse in Nags Head, North Carolina is awesome. I loved it and can’t wait to go back again for a full tour.