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 second-oldest lighthouse in North Carolina. It is still in operation, and its beam can be seen 14 miles out to sea. During the summer months, rangers and volunteers are on hand periodically to answer questions and offer a peek into the interior of the lighthouse, though climbing is not permitted.