Historical Attractions

The Outer Banks is known for many of its historical attractions. It is the birthplace of flight, as well as the home to 5 lighthouses. The longest running outdoor play, "The Lost Colony", can seen nightly during the summer months on Roanoke Island.


Featured Historical Attractions

Address:
8210 Bodie Island Lighthouse
Nags Head, NC 27959

Description:

Bodie Island Lighthouse is located on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, with the grounds and buildings surrounding the tower in the hands of the National Park Services. It is not open to the public for climbing although you may visit the keepers duplex which is now a small museum and gift shop. This lighthouse has had to overcome many struggles during over the years in the past including the rebuilding of the towers time and time again due to miscalculations, the Civil War, and the natural shifting of the sand. Even though you cannot climb this tower, it is worth making the drive to discover the picturesque views and natural beauty surrounding the Bodie Island Lighthouse. From Memorial Day to Labor Day you may visit between the hours of 9 am. to 6 p.m.

Address:
46368 Lighthouse Rd
Buxton, NC 27920

Description:

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the tallest brick lighthouse in America, is also second tallest brick lighthouse in the world. With a total of 248 steps to the top, the climb is taxing, but the views from the summit are well worth the effort. There is a small fee to climb the tower, $7 for adults and $3.50 for seniors and children under 12 years of age. There is also a visitor center and gift shop located at the lighthouse.  Feel free to visit the nearby beach to enjoy some surf and sun before or after your climb.

 

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Address:


Description:

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a beautiful State Park on the Outer Banks. Plan a day to visit the “ribbon of sand,” where these narrow barrier islands change constantly. Discover new life like sea turtles who tend to nest on these beaches. The national seashore is complete with a variety of plant and animal life for you to come across!

 

Address:
23645 NC Highway 12
Rodanthe, NC 27968
(252) 987-1552

Description:

This life saving station is the most complete sites of its kind the nation. Listen to stories of storm warriors - in other words heroes - and watch demonstrations of the entertaining Beach Apparatus Drill. During the summer months they host special programs, demonstrations, reenactments and other events for the family!

Address:
1101 Corolla Village Rd
Corolla, NC 27927

Description:

The Currituck Beach Lighthouse was the last of four brick towers built from Cape Henry, Virginia, to the Outer Banks. It is 162 feet tall with 214 steps to the top. On your way up, take a moment to read over the interesting facts and history of this lighthouse for a chance to rest up. When you finally reach the top, the magnificent view of the sound side and ocean are unbelievable (bring your camera.) There is a fee of $7 to climb; although, there is group rates available in advance. Also, enjoy the museum shop, wind horse museum, and the historic Whalehead Club just south of the tower.

Address:
1160 Village Lane
Corolla, NC 27927
252-453-0221

Description:

Between the Currituck Lighthouse and the Maritime Museum, you will find the Outer Banks center for Wildlife education. On a daily basis, this museum offers many educational programs focusing on natural, and cultural history associated with northeastern North Carolina.

Address:
Roanoke Island Festival Park
Manteo, NC 27954
(252) 475-1500

Description:

At the Elizabeth II the children have a chance to step back in time while helping the sailors pilot a course, swab the decks, play checkers with a sailor, raise the anchors up, and help set up the sails. Explore the entire ship, and enjoy the view while the little ones take action! 

Address:
1401 National Park Dr
Manteo, NC 27954
(252) 473-2111

Description:

Colonists back in 1585 and 1587 attempted to settle right at this very location.  This is where you will find the Waterside Theater, The Lost Colony, and a outdoor drama. Visit the visitor's center, participate in offered programs, and head down the nature trail as a family.

 

Address:
59200 Museum Dr
Hatteras, NC 27943
(252) 986-2995

Description:

Discover the preservation, advancement, and presentation of the maritime history and shipwrecks of the North Carolina Outer Banks in Hatteras at this fascinating museum. Dating back to the early exploration and colonization to the present. Here you will find ship wrecks either on display or visible during low tide hours. Over 1500 ships have been lost in the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.”

 

 

Address:
1140 US-64
Manteo, NC 27954
(252) 473-6500

Description:

The Island Farm is quite amazing. Here you have a chance to step back in time to the mid 1800s. Visit almost a dozen buildings, animals, and learn exactly how things were done during this time period on the Outer Banks.

Address:
Lighthouse Rd
Ocracoke, NC 27960

Description:

Although the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse is not open to the public, visiting the Ocracoke Island is a delightful day trip. Ocracoke is only accessible by ferry (about a 2.5 hour  ride), and once you get there, you can enjoy the gifts shops, seafood restaurants, and a wild pony reserve. This area is also a part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, owned and kept by the National Park Services.

Address:
1 Festival Park
Manteo, NC 27954
(252) 473-2655

Description:

The Outer Banks History Center is located in the heart of historic Manteo. It has regional archives, and research library in which documents the history as well as  development and growth of this coast.

Address:
1 Festival Park
Manteo, NC 27954
252-475-1500

Description:

Multiple family activities, and events are held at the Roanoke Island Festival Park. Here you can enjoy many shops, the Elizabeth II, the American Indian Town, the Settlement Site, the Roanoke Adventure Museum, performance series, and the Art Gallery. Bring your furry friends with you to play in the open areas.

Address:


Description:

While exploring Roanoke Festival Park take time to experience vintage boats at the Maritime Museum to learn about the craft, and history of boat building on Roanoke Island. This is a free attraction, and makes a great day for the family.

Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse

Address:
Queen Elizabeth Ave
Manteo, NC 27954

Description:

This lighthouse was needed to help direct mariners through a narrow channel connecting the Pamlico Sound to the Croatan Sound. It is simply modeled after a screwpile lighthouse from the late eighteen hundreds to the mid nineties, and is the fourth incarnation. It is located at the end of the pier on the Manteo Waterfront and free to visit. Note that hours vary with the seasons.

 

Address:
1409 National Park Dr.
Manteo, NC 27954
252-473-6000

Description:

Over the years, The Lost Colony has become known world wide. This musical drama, which debuted in 1937, is one of the first outdoor dramas performed in the United States. The show covers the plight and the mysterious disappearance of America's first English settlers. From battles with Indians to the majesty of the Queen to the birth of Virginia Dare, this is a must see event. Bring the entire family for an afternoon show during the summer months. 

Address:
1100 Club Rd
Corolla, NC 27927
(252) 453-9040

Description:

The Whalehead Club, located at the Currituck Heritage Park, is more than just family fun, it's an educational experience for all. Step back in time while exploring the Whalehead club by visiting, taking a tour, or participating in one of their many events year round.

 

Address:
1000 N Croatan Hwy,
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948

Description:

The Wright Brother National Memorial is a popular spot for many who visit the Outer Banks.  When you come to vacation on the OBX, a "must do" activity is visiting the exact spot where Wilbur and Orville Wright launched the first successful flight known to man. Think of the what has happened to travel since their first historic flight! The Wright Brother National Memorial offers exhibits and educational programs on a daily basis for your family to enjoy.