03/19/15

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Opens for Climbing April 17

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Opens for Climbing April 17

The National Park Service has announced that the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and the Bodie Island Lighthouse will be open for climbing in 2015 from Friday, April 17 through Monday, October 14.

Climbing hours for the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will be 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily in the Spring and Fall, and 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., May 22 through Labor Day, Monday, September 7. Ticket sales for the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse begin at 8:15 a.m. daily and close at 4:30 p.m. in the spring and fall, and at 5:30 p.m. May 22 through Labor Day.

Tickets to climb are $8 for adults and $4 for senior citizens (62 or older), children 11 years of age and under, and those holding a National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Access Pass. Tickets are available on a first come/first served basis and can only be purchased in-person at the site the day of the climb. There are no advance ticket sales.

Before you go, understand that climbing the lighthouse can be strenuous. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse climb is equivalent to climbing a 12-story building- and the view is spectacular. Children must be at least 42″ tall to climb and children under twelve must be escorted by a person who is at least 16 years old.

The Bodie Island Lighthouse, also part of the National Park and a great stop on the way to or from Hatteras Island, will be open as a self-guided experience this year to cut down on wait times that were often experienced for the 45 minute guided tours offered in years past. This change should allow more visitors to have an opportunity climb the lighthouse each day.

Opening day climbs will be FREE! Residents and visitors are welcomed to tour and climb the lighthouses at no charge on, Friday April 17. Free tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and can only be obtained in-person, that day, on-site.


07/30/14

Celebrate National Lighthouse Day

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Next Thursday, August 7, is National Lighthouse Day. The National Park Service is celebrating at Cape Hatteras National Seashore with a number of special programs.

Lighthouse Day is an observance of the day the Federal Government became involved in the construction, maintenance and repair of these special structures with the Lighthouse Act August 7, 1789.

The Cape Hatteras National Park Services describes:

Lighthouses, whose solitary beacons have guided countless ships through perils of fog and darkness, are a cherished part of our Nation’s heritage. Often isolated and repeatedly tested by the ravages of storm and sea, lighthouses are monuments to the courage and determination of the people who built them and the keepers who have maintained them.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore protects and preserves three lighthouses: Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Bodie Island Lighthouse, and Ocracoke Lighthouse.

You’re invited to take part in special Lighthouse Day programs including:

August 7, 1 pm & 4 pm The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse–Why is it Here: Have you ever wondered why this lighthouse was built on a remote barrier island? Learn about the storied history of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and its purpose. Meet at the Hatteras Island Visitor Center Pavilion. (20 mins)

August 6, 5 pmThe Oldest Lighthouse: The Ocracoke Lighthouse is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse in North Carolina. Learn how this tower is truly part of the Ocracoke community and get a peek inside the base of the tower. Meet at the Ocracoke Lighthouse. Parking is very limited. We recommend that you walk, bike, or be dropped off. (30 mins)

August 7, 3 pmA Link in the Chain: While the Bodie Island Lighthouse stands alone, it serves as a link in the chain of a network of lighthouses on the east coast. Learn more about the U.S. Lighthouse Service and of what life was like for the Bodie Island Lighthouse keepers and their families. Meet on the front porch of the Bodie Island Visitor Center. (30 mins)

All programs are free and open to all.


04/15/14

Original Lighthouse Stones Reunite on Site with Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Call to mind the image of a lighthouse and chances are it’s the iconic candy-cane striped Cape Hatteras structure that you think of. It’s been called “America’s Lighthouse” and it’s one of our most-loved national landmarks.

When the lighthouse was moved in 1999 it was carried to a new foundation, 2,900 feet behind its initial site, while the original stones stayed. Those original foundation stones were ceremoniously inscribed with the names of over 80 lighthouse keepers and are being threatened by the sea. The Cape Hatteras Genealogical and Preservation Society and other interested citizens reached an agreement with the National Park Service wherein the National Park Service will carefully move the stones, weighing over a ton a piece. With the moving scheduled to be completed by Memorial Day, the stones will be placed in a semicircle near where the lighthouse sits today and named “the Keepers of the Light Amphitheater”.

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09/26/13

What Are Your Top Five Things To Do On Hatteras Island?

We all know that there are so many wonderful things to do here on Hatteras Island. Our pristine, family-friendly beaches and quaint villages offer a variety of activities for you and your family to enjoy while visiting us.

The Huffington Post recently listed its top “5 Free Things to do on Hatteras Island.” It is no surprise that spending time enjoying the beaches of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore is top on the list. There is nothing quite like a day at the beach for exploring, relaxing, and playing in the surf!

The Huffington Post list also includes: a trip to the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum where admission is free, although donations are encouraged; attending programs offered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge; visiting Cape Hatteras and Bodie Island Lighthouses (there is a fee to climb them, but not to walk around the grounds); and taking a free ferry ride from Hatteras to Ocracoke Island for the day.

We would love to hear what you and your family like to do while visiting us! What are your Top 5 Things to do on Hatteras Island? Please share them with us on our Surf or Sound Facebook and Twitter pages, and follow us on Pinterest to see of few of ours!

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09/16/13

Full Moon Climbs of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse This Week

Did you know that you can climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse at night? The National Park Service offers full moon climbs of the lighthouse throughout the year as a special experience for Hatteras Island visitors and the local community.

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The last Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Full Moon Climb of the season is on Thursday, September 19, 2013. Two tours will be available on Thursday evening; one at 7:30 p.m. and a second at 8:30 p.m. The tours are limited to 30 people each and sell out quickly. So make plans to buy your tickets early!

Tickets will go sale beginning Tuesday, September 17, 2013 from 8:15 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. at the lighthouse ticket booth. Tickets are $8 for adults, $4 for children (11 years of age and under), and $4 for seniors (62 and older).

As there are no lights inside the lighthouse, climbers will need to bring flashlights to navigate the 257 stairs to the top. Park rangers will share stories of the lighthouse keepers of old during the climb. Outside on the lighthouse balcony, climbers will experience viewing the reflection of full moon on the Atlantic Ocean and the lighthouse’s beam of light reaching out to sea (weather permitting).

For more information and things to know before you climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse at night, visit the National Park Service website or give them a call at 252-473-2111.


11/28/12

Outer Banks Maritime Heritage Trail

Take a journey along Highway 12 and explore the dynamic marine environment and get a sense of how it has shaped the Island and the people who have called this sandbar home for centuries.

Click here to watch videos, view photos, and listen to stories shared by Outer Banks natives.

Happy Trails!


10/10/12

BIKE (to) THE LIGHT(house)

Dust off those vintage clothes from your attic, grease up those squeaky bike chains, and head to Buxton this Saturday, October 13th for the 4th Annual Bike the Light!

Register at Cape Hatteras Secondary School starting at 9am, adorned in the wackiest costume imaginable! Registration is $5 and includes a goodie bag. Prizes will be awarded for the best dressed child, teen, and adult, as well as the best dressed team!


Photo: Bryan Elkus

The fun-filled, scenic, five mile trek to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will begin at 10am. Upon returning to the school, refreshments will await you and the prize ceremony will begin!

Hosted by the Kiwanis Club of HI to raise money for children’s charities and programs on Hatteras Island.


10/2/12

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse closes on Oct. 8th for the 2012 season

Columbus Day, October 8th, will mark the last day to climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse for the 2012 season. Tickets can be purchased on site the day of the climb, starting at 8:15am. Tickets are $7 for adults and $3.50 for senior citizens (62 or older), children (11 and under and at least 42″ tall), and those holding a National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Access Pass. This time of year, climbs are made every 10 minutes between the hours of 9am and 4:30pm.

Be sure to come prepared! The climb to the top consists of 248 spiral stairs, which is the equivalent of a 12 story building.

“Built in 1870, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse protects one of the most hazardous sections of the Atlantic Coast. Offshore of Cape Hatteras, the Gulf Stream collides with the Virginia Drift, a branch of the Labrador Current from Canada. These powerful current forces southbound ships into a dangerous twelve-mile long sandbar called the Diamond Shoals. Hundreds and possibly thousands of shipwrecks in this area have given it the reputation as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic“‘. -NPS

Join one of 120,000 people to date who have climbed the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse this year!

*The lighthouse will reopen for the 2013 season on Friday, April 19th.


09/24/12

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Full Moon Tour

This Saturday, September 29th, full moon tours of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will be available! This is your chance to climb the 257-step staircase while park rangers provide interesting stories and tales of the lighthouse keeper’s duties. You will also be able to view the light up close and hear about how it operated in the past and how it works today. Weather permitting, you’ll have a bird’s eye view of the beam of light reaching out to sea and the reflection of the moon over the Atlantic. It’s truly a once in a lifetime experience!

The National Park Service will be offering two tours that evening. There will be one at 7pm and another at 8pm. Each tour is limited to 30 people and tickets must be purchased in person, starting Thursday, September 17th at the lighthouse ticket booth between the hours of 8:15 and 4:40pm. Tickets are $7 for adults and $3.50 for children (11 and under), as well as seniors (62 and older). Be sure to get your tickets early!

Just a few guidelines for the climb to the top…
1. Be sure to bring a handheld flashlight. There are no lights inside the lighthouse.
2. All participants are required to be 42 inches tall and must be able to climb the steps on their own.
3. Children 11 years of age and under must be accompanied by an adult (16 years of age or older).
4. For safety reasons, all participants must climb and descend with the group.
5. Keep in mind that the lighthouse can be challenge to climb…It’s tall, dark, and often hot and humid.

Mark your calendar!!!


08/29/12

Let the moon be your guide…

this Friday night! Purchase your tickets for the second Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Full Moon Tour of the month!
Tickets should to be purchased in person at the lighthouse ticket booth in Buxton between 8:15am and 5:40pm. Tickets are $7 for adults and $3.50 for children. Be sure to bring your flashlight for the climb.

Did you know that the month of August boasts two full moons? The first full moon (Full Sturgeon Moon) fell on the very first day of the month and the second full moon falls on this Friday, the very last day of the month. Friday’s full moon is known as the Full Red Moon, an Algonquin name.
Many people know of the second full moon in a month as the Blue Moon, which only occurs approximately every 2.5 years or “once in a blue moon,” and therefore is not to be confused with August’s Full Red Moon. The blue moon obtained it’s name due to it’s blue tint when seen through atmospheric layers of smoke or volcanic dust.

In case you didn’t catch the first full moon of the month, August is proud to bring you another, so be sure to bask it’s it glory (at the top of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse)!