If one thing represents all of Hatteras Island, it has to be the famous black-and-white, spiral-striped Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The lighthouse has become the icon of the island, representing the hopeful, stalwart, survivalist attitude that is so pervasive among the people of Hatteras. This is one of the most famous lighthouses in the nation, especially since it survived a controversial, precarious move in 1999. The grounds around the lighthouse are open 24/7.
The National Park Service has received funding for a major repair project that will address findings from a 2014 Comprehensive Condition Assessment Report and a 2016 Historic Structure Report. The project will include repairs to deteriorated masonry, metal components, windows, marble flooring and the lantern. Additionally, the project will include new paint coatings on the interior and exterior of the lighthouse. Due to work associated with the repair project, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will not open for climbing until at least late summer 2021. To learn more about the project and the current status of lighthouse operations, visit go.nps.gov/cahalighthouserestoration.
The Museum of the Sea/Visitor Center, located in the historic Double Keepers’ Quarters across the lawn from the lighthouse, is a museum about lighthouses and the history of the Outer Banks. Throughout the spring, summer and autumn months, join a park ranger on a ranger-led program to learn about the lighthouse, barrier island geology, sea turtles, surf fishing and more. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.