18 Facts About Oak Island Lighthouse


If you're looking for a unique and unforgettable experience, visiting the Oak Island Lighthouse in Oak Island, North Carolina, should be on your bucket list! Whether you're a history buff, a photography enthusiast, or simply looking for a serene and peaceful atmosphere, the Oak Island Lighthouse has something for everyone.

Oak Island Lighthouse

Check out our list of 18 facts about Oak Island Lighthouse.

  1. It was built in 1958 to provide navigational aid for ships entering the Cape Fear River.
  2. The lighthouse is 169 feet tall and has 131 steps leading to the top, enough to leave most able-bodied adults winded. So 131 steps sound like a lot, but not compared to Cape Hatteras Lighthouses' whopping 257 stairs to the apex.
  3. The lighthouse beacon can be seen up to 16 nautical miles away! Pretty incredible.
  4. It's believed that the light beam from Oak Island Lighthouse is the brightest in the United States, with a light intensity of 2.5 million candlepower.
  5. The lighthouse tower is made of steel plates and is painted in distinctive black and white horizontal bands.
  6. The United States Coast Guard operates the lighthouse, and is unfortunately not open to the public for tours. However, there are plenty of lighthouses to the north that you can explore.
  7. The light in the lighthouse is powered by electricity and has a backup generator in case of power outages.
  8. The Oak Island Lighthouse was featured in the TV show "Dawson's Creek" in 1999. and was included in the movie "Nights in Rodanthe" in 2008.
  9. The lighthouse is located near the Oak Island Golf Club, named one of the top 10 golf courses in North Carolina by Golf Digest in 2021.
  10. The lighthouse is also near the Oak Island Pier, a popular fishing spot.
  11. The Oak Island Lighthouse is one of only a few lighthouses in the United States with a radar beacon.
  12. The lighthouse was originally built to replace the Bald Head Island Lighthouse, which was deactivated in 1935.
  13. The lighthouse is located on Caswell Beach, a small, quiet community with less than 500 residents.
  14. The Oak Island Lighthouse is a popular spot for photographers, especially during sunrise and sunset.
  15. Every year, numerous weddings and special events occur at Oak Island Lighthouse.
  16. A fenced-in area surrounds the lighthouse to protect it from erosion and damage caused by storms.
  17. The Oak Island Lighthouse is part of the North Carolina Lighthouse Association, which is dedicated to preserving and promoting the state's lighthouse.
  18. The lighthouse is also part of the North Carolina Birding Trail, as it is a popular spot for birdwatchers to see migratory birds.

Are there any interesting facts you're aware we omitted from the list? Let us know in the comments section below!

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