Bodie Island Lighthouse – North Carolina Photography Spot

One amazing location to see in the Outer Banks is the Bodie Island Lighthouse. Run by the National Park Service; Bodie Island light station is accessible 24/7 off of North Carolina Highway 12.

The Bodie Island light station has frequent tours run by the NPS staff and they even let you go up the stairs to the top of the lighthouse. It’s free to visit and park at the lighthouse making it easy to explore the area.

In this post I’ll be going over my experience at Bodie Island lighthouse.

Visiting Bodie Island Light Station

View of the Bodie Island Light Station and sign
Bodie Island Light Station

Original constructed in 1872 the Bodie Island lighthouse functioned as a way to prevent sailors from crashing into nearby sandbars. The Bodie Island lighthouse is 164.4 feet tall and can its light can be seen 19 miles away.

Next to the Bodie Island lighthouse is the Double Keepers’ Quarters which housed the staff who used to light the lantern at the top of the lighthouse.

Double keepers quarters building at Bodie Island Lighthouse
Double Keepers’ Quarters at Bodie Island Lighthouse

Behind the Bodie Island lighthouse is a wooden path that leads to a wooden pavilion that overlooks Lighthouse Bay. Here you can see wildlife and take in the sights. If you have a telephoto lens you’ll be able to photograph plenty of birds and wildlife.

It’ll takes a few minutes to walk to the pavilion from the lighthouse making this a fairly quick stop. Unless you’re planning on doing the tour or long exposure photos of course.

Wooden pavilion at Bodie Island Lighthouse overlooking the marsh
Wooden Pavilion overlooking Lighthouse Bar
Bodie Island Lighthouse on Google Maps

Bodie Island Lighthouse Pictures

Here are more of my photos from my visits to Bodie Island lighthouse.

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If you’re planning on making a visit I recommend bringing a wide angle lens to capture the surrounding paths and greenery. The boardwalk area had plenty of birds flying around which could be captured with a telephoto lens. Additionally I would pack an ND filter if the clouds look good on your visit. I’d also recommend visiting at night to capture stars behind the lighthouse.

Bodie Island Lighthouse Frequently Asked Questions

What is the history of Bodie Island Lighthouse?

The first Bodie Island Lighthouse was built in 1847 on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. But because it was damaged during the Civil War, the lighthouse was moved to where it is now and rebuilt in 1872. For many years, ships going along the coast used the lantern to help them find their way.

What is the best time to photograph Bodie Island Lighthouse?

The best time to photograph Bodie Island Lighthouse is during the early morning or late afternoon when the lighting is soft and warm. The lighthouse also looks beautiful during sunset, but be aware that the light changes quickly during this time.

Can I use a drone to photograph Bodie Island Lighthouse?

No, drones are not allowed in the area around Bodie Island Lighthouse due to safety and privacy concerns.

Can visitors climb to the top of the lighthouse?

Yes, visitors can climb to the top of Bodie Island Lighthouse. The lighthouse is open to the public from mid-April through Columbus Day, and visitors can climb the lighthouse for a small fee. However, due to the narrow staircases and steep inclines, visitors should be in good physical condition to make the climb.

How many steps are in the Bodie Island Lighthouse?

From the bottom of the Bodie Island Lighthouse to the top, there are 214 steps.

How tall is Bodie Island Lighthouse?

Bodie Island Lighthouse stands at 156 feet tall, making it one of the tallest lighthouses on the Outer Banks. The lighthouse is made of brick and has a distinctive black and white spiral pattern.

Is there a gift shop at Bodie Island Lighthouse?

Yes, there is a gift shop located at the Bodie Island Lighthouse. Visitors can purchase souvenirs and gifts, including postcards, t-shirts, and other lighthouse-themed items.

What other activities are available at Bodie Island Lighthouse?

In addition to climbing the lighthouse, visitors can also explore the surrounding areas. The Bodie Island Visitor Center offers exhibits and educational programs about the history and ecology of the Outer Banks. There are also hiking trails and picnic areas available for visitors to enjoy.

Are there any safety guidelines visitors should be aware of?

Yes, visitors should be aware of safety guidelines when visiting Bodie Island Lighthouse. When visiting you should wear comfortable shoes and be in good physical condition to climb the lighthouse. The lighthouse may close in inclement weather, so visitors should check for updates before visiting. Additionally, visitors should follow all posted safety signs and instructions.

I would highly recommend a visit to the Bodie Island Lighthouse to anyone who is going to be in the Outer Banks area.

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