Bodie Island Lighthouse, Outer Banks

Visiting Kitty Hawk and the Outer Banks (OBX) of North Carolina

Edenton, North Carolina

We started our road trip to the Outer Banks, North Carolina at the little town of Edenton, a bit inland on the Abermarle sound, highway 17. We stopped because we needed fuel and coffee, but discovered the Roanoke River lighthouse built in 1886. This lighthouse is one of the last screw pile lighthouses in the US and is available for tours.

Roanoke Lighthouse - Edenton, North Carolina
Roanoke Lighthouse – Edenton, North Carolina

We also toured the Penelope Barker House, which is a welcome center for the town. Penelope Barker was an activist in American Revolution and organized a boycott of British goods in 1774.

Kitty Hawk

From Edenton, we made our way to the town of Kitty Hawk. When the Wright Brothers ferried their crates here to test their flying machines, there was no bridge over the river and this island was as remote as you could get. Of course, that was the point!

Edenton, North Carolina Shorefront
Edenton, North Carolina Shorefront

Kitty Hawk is a fun town in the summer. It is a favorite for Spring Break. Like most of the Outer Banks, though, it rolls up the sidewalks for the winter. Since we were there in December, we had the place to ourselves, but with limited choices for dinner! Because of our late start, we found a motel in Kitty Hawk and finished our trip the next day.

How Did a Broken Jaw Lead Wilbur Wright to Invent the Airplane

From Kitty Hawk, we drove south along Highway 12. This is a really pretty route, with great ocean views and sandy beaches. We focused on the lighthouses.

Nags Head

Just south of Nags Head is the Bodie Island Lighthouse.

Bodie Island Lighthouse
Bodie Island Lighthouse

Driving south from Nags Head, you find the little town of Hatteras.

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was relocated inland in 1999 because of the enroaching shoreline. Using some impressive engineering, the building was moved with no damage. It now sits on a much safer location 2900 feet inland.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

A ferry will take you across the channel to Ocracoke Island. After visiting the Ocracoke Lighthouse and the Maritime Museum, you can pick up the last ferry to get to Swanquarter.

Warning: Be careful to coordinate the ferry schedules. The last trip from Ocracoke left about 530 which got us to the mainland at 730 pm.

Oracroke Ferry
Oracroke Ferry

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