Ocracoke Lighthouse may be the shortest of the four Outer Banks lighthouses but that only makes it all the more charming. Rising only about 70 feet into the sky, the whitewashed tower sits on a lawn of flawless green surrounded by a white picket fence, outbuildings and a quaint keeper’s cottage, creating a picturesque scene of old island life. Built in 1823, this is the oldest lighthouse in North Carolina and the second-oldest in the nation. It is still in operation, and its beam can be seen 14 miles out to sea. During the 4th of July celebrations, native historians are on hand to answer questions and offer a peek into the interior of the lighthouse, though climbing is not permitted.
360 Lighthouse Road, Ocracoke