Nags Head Lighthouse

Shadow of Bodie Island Lighthouse in Nags Head, NC

What is the name of the lighthouse located in Nags Head, North Carolina?

Bodie Island Lighthouse of course!

With its huge height and stunning black and white stripes, this iconic structure is easy to spot while driving on NC 12 towards Oregon Inlet and Hatteras Island.

The current Bodie Island Lighthouse is the third version of the all-brick structure. Constructed in 1872, Bodie Island Lighthouse towers 165 feet above the ground. One of only a dozen remaining tall, all brick tower lighthouses in the United States, and one of the few with an original first-order Fresnel lens to cast its light.

Some people pronounce the first word in the name of the lighthouse with a long “o” sound, but it is traditionally pronounced as "body". This name derived from the original name of the area, which was “Bodies Island,” after the Body family from which the land was purchased.

Some locals will tell you that the name originated because of all of the dead sailors that would wash ashore after their ships capsized in the Graveyard of the Atlantic. This is just folklore. Quite a few ships have fallen victim to the treacherous waters off the shore of the Outer Banks, including German U-boats during World War II.

If you haven’t visited Bodie Island Lighthouse before, we highly recommend that you go check it out! It’s free to tour the grounds around the structure, and the cost to climb to the top is pretty reasonable. There is a gift shop that’s open during business hours, and there are National Park Service employees on-site to answer all of your lighthouse-related questions.

Bodie Island Lighthouse
8210 Bodie Island Lighthouse
Nags Head, NC 27959

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Bodie Island Lighthouse View from Atop in Nags Head, NC

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