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Oak Island LighthouseOak Island Light Station
Caswell Beach, NC

Latitude: 33.8929
Longitude: -78.0351

Built in 1958 by the United States Coast Guard, the Oak Island Light Station is unique in that it was designed using the most advanced construction techniques of the 20th century. With it structurally reinforced 8" concete walls, Oak Island does not have the tapered look of most lighthouse towers.

The plumb vertical walls rise 155 feet with a focal plane of 169 feet above sea-level. When built, colors were added to the concrete in order to save on future maintenance costs so that it will never have to be painted. The tri-colored day mark consists of black, white, and grey..

Built on Caswell Island, Oak Island was placed in its strategic site to aid shipping into and out of the Cape Fear River from the Atlantic Ocea and to warn of the dangers of Frying Pan Sholes.

With its four 24" parabolic mirrors and four 1000 watts bulbs, the Oak Island beacon is considered one of the most powerful in the United States. It has a range of 16 miles.

The Oak Island Light Station was one of the last to be built in the United States.

Oak Island Lighthouse was transferred from the U. S. Coast Guard to the town of Caswell Beach on October 18, 2004. The light remains an active aid to navigation. The OBLHS is a founding member of The Friends of Oak Island.

Oak Island Lighthouse is owned by the Town of Caswell Beach with ongoing cooperative efforts with the Friends of Oak Island Lighthouse (FOIL). General public tours to the second level only (just 12 steps up – NOT to the top) for anyone 7 years of age or older are available ONLY during the summer months (Memorial Day through Labor Day). Second level tours are only on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Volunteers conduct tours to the top year-round with at least 2 weeks’ notice. A request to climb can be made at their web site. Children must be 9 years-old to climb.   The lighthouse grounds are open year round with limited 30 minute parking provided at the base of the tower from sunrise until sunset.  (www.oakislandlighthouse.org).   3 different couples from the area asked for special tours in order to get engaged since the first of the year….and 3 said YES. Last year’s tours to the top were a record-breaking 3500. Please visit their website for further information and to request a special tour.


The tower is located adjacent to the Coast Guard Station Oak Island (300 Caswell Beach RD) and has a small parking lot right at its base. Grounds are open year round from sunrise to sunset. Public no reservation tours to the second level (up just 12 steps) are provided every Wednesday and Saturday from 10 AM until 2 PM, Memorial Day through Labor Day for anyone age 7 or older (due to government safety regulations – NO exceptions). Tours to the top are provided year round with AT LEAST 2 weeks advanced reservations from their web site (www.oakislandlighthouse.org). Tours of the adjacent Coast Guard station are available from April until October each Wednesday from 10 AM until 3 PM.

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* Currituck * Bodie * Hatteras * Ocracoke * Lookout * Oak Island * Baldhead *
* Roanoke River * Roanoke Marshes * Prices Creek *
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This page last updated: Saturday, May 2, 2015 7:05 PM