Climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse for free on April 15, 2011

The most famous Outer Banks attraction, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse opens for the 2011 season on Friday, April 15. On opening day the National Park Service is waiving the $7 fee for adults and the $3.50 fee for senior citizens and kids. Climbing house will be 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily in the spring and fall and 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. May 27 through Labor Day. Tickets are required.

On April 15, free tickets will be available on a first come, first serve basis and can only be obtained in-person at the ticket office, the day of the climb. Built in 1870, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse protects one of the most hazardous sections of the Atlantic Coast. Offshore of Cape Hatteras, the Gulf Stream collides with the Virginia Drift, a branch of the Labrador Current from Canada. This current forces southbound ships into a dangerous twelve-mile long sandbar called Diamond Shoals.Hundreds of shipwrecks in this area have given it the reputation as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”.

In 1999, after years of study and debate, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was moved to its present location. The lighthouse was moved 2,900 feet in 23 days and now lies 1,500 feet from the Atlantic, its original distance from the sea.


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