Exploring the Charming Lighthouses of Currituck County, NC

Currituck County, located in the northeastern corner of North Carolina, is a hidden paradise for tourists seeking a peaceful and scenic getaway. With its stunning beaches, quaint towns, and rich history, it's no surprise that this county has become a popular tourist destination. But amidst all the natural beauty and historic landmarks, one question often arises - are there any lighthouses in Currituck County?Before we dive into the answer to this question, let's take a brief look at the maritime history of Currituck County. The county is situated on the Outer Banks, a chain of barrier islands that stretch along the coast of North Carolina.

Due to its strategic location, Currituck County has played an important role in maritime trade and commerce since the 17th century. The county's first lighthouse was built in 1803 on Currituck Beach, marking the entrance to Currituck Sound. However, this lighthouse was destroyed during the Civil War and was replaced by a new one in 1875. This iconic structure still stands tall today and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Currituck County.

The Historic Currituck Beach Lighthouse

The Currituck Beach Lighthouse is a beautiful red-brick structure that stands at 162 feet tall, making it the tallest lighthouse on the Outer Banks. It is located in Corolla, a charming town known for its pristine beaches and wild horses. The lighthouse is open to visitors year-round, offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and Currituck Sound from its top. Visitors can climb the 220 steps to the top of the lighthouse and learn about its history through informative exhibits along the way.

The lighthouse also has a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs and learn more about the local history and culture. But the Currituck Beach Lighthouse is not just a tourist attraction; it also serves as an active aid to navigation, guiding ships and boats safely through the treacherous waters of the Outer Banks. Its light can be seen up to 18 nautical miles away, making it an essential landmark for sailors and fishermen.

The Lesser-Known Whalehead Club Lighthouse

While the Currituck Beach Lighthouse may be the most famous one in the county, there is another lighthouse that often goes unnoticed by tourists - the Whalehead Club Lighthouse. This lighthouse is located on the grounds of the historic Whalehead Club, a 1920s-era mansion that has now been converted into a museum. The Whalehead Club Lighthouse was built in 1922 and was used as a private aid to navigation for ships entering Currituck Sound. It stands at 39 feet tall and has a unique design with a square base and octagonal lantern room.

Today, visitors can tour the lighthouse and learn about its history and significance in maritime trade.

Other Must-Visit Tourist Attractions in Currituck County

Apart from these two lighthouses, there are several other tourist attractions in Currituck County that are worth exploring. The county is home to some of the most beautiful beaches on the Outer Banks, including Corolla Beach, Carova Beach, and Duck Beach. These beaches offer a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure, with activities like swimming, surfing, fishing, and even wild horse tours. For those interested in history and culture, the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education is a must-visit. This educational center offers interactive exhibits and programs that showcase the diverse wildlife and natural habitats of the Outer Banks.

Visitors can also take guided kayak tours to explore the marshes and waterways of Currituck Sound. Another popular attraction in Currituck County is the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge, a 4,000-acre sanctuary that is home to a variety of migratory birds, deer, and other wildlife. The refuge has several hiking trails and observation points where visitors can spot these animals in their natural habitat.

In Conclusion

So, to answer our initial question - yes, there are indeed lighthouses in Currituck County, NC. The historic Currituck Beach Lighthouse and the lesser-known Whalehead Club Lighthouse are both must-visit attractions for tourists looking to explore the rich maritime history of this county. But don't limit yourself to just these lighthouses; there is so much more to see and do in Currituck County that will make your trip truly unforgettable.