AAA Editor Notes
Old Baldy Lighthouse & Smith Island Museum of History is at 101 Lighthouse Wynd; accessible via a 20-minute passenger ferry ride from Southport. Built in 1795, the tower guided sailors through churning waters at the confluence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River. Shifting currents eventually threatened to topple the original lighthouse; it was replaced in 1818 with a brick and cement structure known today as “Old Baldy.”
Panoramas of the island, ocean and 14 miles of beaches await those who climb the 108 steps to the top of this historic tower, said to be North Carolina's oldest still-standing lighthouse. Self-guiding tours also include a small history museum in the Keeper's Cottage.
Adult supervision is required for children under 12 years of age in the lighthouse.
Guided tours are available. Time: Allow 1 hour minimum.