Why You Need to Visit Bodie Island Lighthouse in Nags Head, NC

09/13/2019 | by Joseph Mitchell | Outer Banks Attractions and Activities

The Outer Banks is home to many incredible sights. Between the beautiful beaches, towering dunes, and the Wright Brothers National Monument, you’ll discover something amazing around every corner. One of our favorite sights is the Bodie Island Lighthouse in Nags Head, NC. This iconic landmark is worth the 214-stair climb, especially with the breathtaking views from the top.

For more of the best things to do and places to see along the North Carolina coast, request access to our free Vacation Guide

Your Guide to Bodie Island Lighthouse Nags Head, NC

Lighthouses are a popular sight along the North Carolina coast. You’ll find a large collection of heights, designs, and colors guiding ships to safety. One of the most popular structures in the Outer Banks is the Bodie Island Lighthouse in Nags Head, NC. This 156-foot icon sits about four miles north of the Oregon Inlet and seven miles south of Jennette’s Pier. 


This late 19th-century lighthouse overlooks a portion of the East Coast known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic. This channel downed many impressive vessels resulting from harsh storms and unseen shoals. A number of German U-boats from World War I and World War II are among the collection of well-known ships discovered in this section of the Atlantic Ocean. The Bodie Island Lighthouse in Nags Head, NC, transitioned to an automated light system and still guides ships along the Outer Banks coast today!


After a 2013 renovation, the Bodie Island Lighthouse in Nags Head, NC, opened to the public. Visitors can climb the 214 up to the top for sweeping views of the Outer Banks. It’s open to the public for free self-guided tours from the third Friday in April through Columbus Day.

Other Nags Head Attractions

Jockeys Ridge State Park

After climbing the Bodie Island Lighthouse, head north to Jockey’s Ridge State Park, where towering sand dunes await you! This park is home to the largest sand dunes on the East Coast. Visitors can explore the massive area on the 360-foot boardwalk. Sandboarding is also a fun activity permitted from October 1st to March 31st with an approved pass.

Nags Head Beach

You can access Nags Head Beach from over 30 public access points along the 12 miles of this beautiful stretch of sand. You and your family can enjoy a day of fun, sun, and sand here. Whether you relax with your favorite book, boogie board in the ocean, or build sand castles with the kids, you’re sure to have a great time!

Jennette’s Pier

If you want to explore more Outer Banks history, head north to Jennette’s Pier. This is the oldest fishing pier in the area, offering fantastic views of the Atlantic Ocean! It also has a discovery center at the base of the pier. Grab a snack and your fishing pole for a fun day in the sun!

Plan Your Outer Banks RetreatGulfstream building at Pirate's Cove Resort

Pirate’s Cove has your dream beach vacation property! Our extensive list of condos and homes on Roanoke Island offers visitors a one-of-a-kind stay in the Outer Banks. A vast majority of our properties feature waterfront or canal-side locations. Whether you want to stay in a private gated community or the heart of downtown Manteo, we know you’ll find the perfect property for you and your family! 

Start planning your North Carolina coast vacation today by booking one of our homes or condos! We look forward to welcoming you to our beautiful island.

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