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Not only are vacations the perfect time to recharge your batteries, but they’re also an ideal time to expand your horizons. Maybe that means trying a new type of food or trying a new activity for the first time. It can also mean learning more about the place you’re visiting. For anyone planning a getaway with Bald Head Island Services and looking to learn about the island’s past, plan a visit to the Old Baldy Lighthouse, also home to the Smith Island Museum of History. 

A Look at Old Baldy’s Past

Thanks to its location at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, Bald Head Island was situated along a maritime traffic route. To help sailors distinguish the mouth of the river, the state began construction on a lighthouse in 1789. The newly established Federal government took over work, and the original lighthouse was completed in December 1974. 

The original structure was torn down in 1813 due to erosion, and Old Baldy was completed in 1817. The new lighthouse featured recycled bricks from the original lighthouse and newly pressed bricks covered in stucco to help protect them against the elements.

How to Explore the Lighthouse’s History

The Old Baldy Lighthouse is open to self-guided tours between the spring and fall, but hours vary depending on the season. Visitors can climb 108 steps to reach the top of the lighthouse, where they can enjoy sweeping views of the Cape Fear River estuary. 

There’s more to explore here than the lighthouse. The former keeper’s cottage is now home to the Smith Island Museum of History. Inside, you can view artifacts from the Old Baldy’s Foundation’s collections, which rotates what’s out on exhibit. This is a great way to learn about the island’s historical significance. 

Admission is required to enter the lighthouse grounds. After exploring both the lighthouse and museum, enjoy lunch on the lawn or read the interpretive signs to learn more about the past. Be sure to look at the calendar of events for extra fun during your visit. 

Find Your Dream Bald Head Island Rental

The bedroom of a Bald Head Island rental to relax in after visiting Old Baldy Lighthouse.Due to its small size, you can easily explore all Bald Head Island has to offer, no matter where your rental is located. Load up into your golf cart and head over to check out Old Baldy Lighthouse, the Bald Head Island Natural Area, or any of the other memorable attractions. 

Bald Head Island Services is proud to be located right on Bald Head Island. We can use first-hand knowledge of the island and our inventory to help you decide which of our Bald Head Island vacation rentals is right for you. From pet-friendly rentals to homes on the golf course, we have it all. Call 910-363-4955 to speak with a reservation specialist today.