Lifestyle

This Ex-Coast Guard Station is Now an Offshore Bed & Breakfast

Frying Pan Tower

Off the coast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, there’s an unusual kind of Bed & Breakfast called the Frying Pan Tower.

Whereas most B&Bs try to go for cutesy charm, this one goes for in-your-face extremism.

Image via Frying Pan Tower

A former Coast Guard light station built on a modified oil platform in the middle of the ocean offers up accommodations for the daring. It’s an isolated environment where sharks are plentiful, perhaps best suited to a scary movie plot.

The decommissioned light station where the B&B rests is named for the nearby community of Frying Pan, N.C.

 

The eight rooms available for rent in the Frying Pan Tower are austere, featuring mostly utilitarian twin beds and rust-covered rooms.

Frying Pan Tower
Frying Pan Tower

The tower is in an area of ocean with the totally not creepy title, “the Graveyard of the Atlantic.” The area earned this grim reputation for its treacherously shallow waters that had a proclivity for grounding ships.

For those adventurous enough to brave it, the Frying Pan Tower offers skeet shooting, a driving range, fishing, and also helicopter rides.

The history of the tower is actually pretty cool. Because the shallow sea created by North Carolina’s barrier island caused so many shipwrecks, there has been a light station in that spot since the civil war. Originally manned light ships illuminated the area, until the Coast Guard built the platform in the 1960s.

Image via Frying Pan Tower

After GPS navigation became standard in the shipping industry, the Coast Guard decommissioned the lighthouse in 2004. It sat vacant until 2010 when the government put it up for auction.

Initially, bidders offered in excess of $500,000 for the platform. Due to a technicality, however, the government discarded those bids. In the end, the lighthouse went to the sole sealed-bid, put in by the current owner, Mr. Richard Neal.

The creepy look of the lighthouse is due to its ongoing restoration. So who knows what it may look like when completed. Also, if you want to visit but can’t afford the price, the Frying Pan Tower does offer volunteer trips for qualified individuals who want to help with the renovation.

If you do have the guts to go sleep overnight (for a minimum three-night stay) in a rusty abandoned lighthouse in the middle of the Graveyard of the Atlantic, hats off to you. Visit their page for more info.

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This Ex-Coast Guard Station is Now an Offshore Bed & Breakfast