This is the tallest brick lighthouse in the country at 208 feet. Its widely recognized black and white spiral stripes have helped it to become known as America’s Lighthouse. The lighthouse was especially important to help mariners steer clear of the sandbars, known locally as Diamond Shoals, which extend as far as twenty miles off the coast. It is open for climbing from mid-April through mid-October. Children must be 42 inches tall to be allowed to climb it. The lighthouse served a critical role during the Civil War by lighting the way to the many inlets between the Outer Banks and the Mainland.