OBX Lighthouses: Currituck Beach
Red brick and majestic, this lighthouse in Corolla is a NC favorite.
As you drive up to the lighthouse towering above the trees, the first thing you’ll notice is its color. While other Outer Banks lighthouses are painted black, white, or both, this lighthouse retains its all red-brick exterior. Since its construction in 1875, this lighthouse has never been painted.
Standing 162 feet tall, with views of both the ocean and the sound, the majestic lighthouse in Corolla is a sight to behold. It is known officially as the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, but multitudes of locals and visitors just call it Corolla Lighthouse.
Though not as well known as some other Outer Banks lighthouses, its thousands of yearly visitors consider it one of the best. TripAdvisor ranks it the second most popular attraction in Corolla. With more than 400 reviews, it gets 41⁄2 stars as well as TripAdvisor’s certificate of excellence. One poster says, “This is [his] favorite of all NC lights. Not to be missed if you are in the north part of OBX.”
So what engenders such rave reviews?
Meghan Agresto, the site manager, says, “This is one of the most authentically restored lighthouses on the Outer Banks.” It’s important to preserve the history, she says, and equally important that the guests have a great time.
Accessibility is another plus for the Corolla lighthouse. While others are in remote locations, this lighthouse is just a short drive from the many rental homes.
Nestled in historic Corolla Village, surrounded by trees and other attractions, visiting this lighthouse is like going back in time. The parking lot and bathrooms, off to the side, don’t ruin a perfect view or time-travel experience. In the summer, there’s even a quaint little cart where a vendor sells ice cream and cold drinks.
It’s just the thing to cool off after climbing the lighthouse.
The historic village is just one of the must-sees around this lighthouse. Two other famed attractions are within easy walking distance: the 1920s Whalehead Club and the Wildlife Education Center. Visitors can park once and spend the entire day visiting the lighthouse and surrounding attractions.
But the lighthouse is something special.
Climb the 220 steps to the top and you’ll be greeted with a breathtaking 360-degree view that encompasses the forest, the ocean and the sound, and even a few houses. It’s the perfect place to reflect, take pictures and make memories.
The lighthouse is not owned by the federal government but by the Outer Banks Conservationists. The OBC prides itself on doing things a little differently from the others. And during last year’s brief government shutdown, while the other lighthouses were closed, the Currituck Lighthouse remained open.
The last Outer Banks Lighthouse to be built, this red-brick lighthouse is truly one of a kind.
For information on climbing the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, visit here.
Mercedes Tabano II, an Outer Banks native who has worked for many years with beach house rentals, is now a freelance writer, ghost writer and copywriter. She wrote about OBX homes in the February-March issue of BOOMER. Contact her at Mercedes@writetherightstuff.com.