Cape Hatteras Light

Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina

The 205 foot tall Hatteras tower is the ultimate symbol of lighthouses ... it's huge, it's majestic, it guards the "graveyard of the Atlantic," where the Labrador Current meets the Gulf Stream in the swirling, shipwreck-laden waters off Cape Hatteras. The current tower, with it's black and white stripes, was built in 1870 and fitted with a revolving first-order fresnel lens. Today, a revolving airport style beacon is in the lantern. An earlier 95 foot tower, built in 1803, was underpowered and called the "worst light in the world."

The National Park Service maintains the grounds around Hatteras. Besides the light, there are two keepers dwellings. One of the dwellings is home to a fine museum and gift shop.

Hatteras is fighting an ongoing battle with beach erosion. As of 1993, plans are under way to move the structure, but the tower is currently open for climbing, and the view from the top is what you might expect!

News update: Summer 1999 ... the tower was successfully moved to a safe distance from the ocean.

A fine art print of this lighthouse is available for purchase.