I’ll be honest I hadn’t heard of the Frying Pan Tower until a hurricane a few years ago. But I remember the video images of the coastal North Carolina landmark weathering the storm vividly. If you don’t know, it is a former warning light (though not a lighthouse) for the shipping industry. Its located just over 30 miles off Bald Head Island.

According to the tower’s website, it was built in 1964 and was staffed by the Coast Guard until technology allowed for the light to be automated. It continued to be in operation for many more years but eventually was abandoned thanks to the advent of GPS. Frying Pan Tower then operated as a Bed & Breakfast for a period of time as well. That’s one unique place to stay!

Today the tower is being restored as arguably the most unique coastal North Carolina landmark. By making a donation you can take a trip and stay there while working in a variety of capacities. This is where Amazon comes in. The company recently donated $25,000 to the preservation efforts. The tower actually receives deliveries from Amazon. I wonder if they get two-day Prime shipping? The orders are fulfilled in the Raleigh fulfillment center. From there they are flown via helicopter to Frying Pan Tower. Deliveries consist of items such as food and supplies for volunteers as well as shark camera equipment!

These Are The 12 Best North Carolina Small Towns

In North Carolina, we truly have it all. The beach, the mountains, and everything in between. And while we are home to some major cities there are still places in our state where you can take a step back and enjoy a slower pace of life. In fact, some of the best weekend getaway locations in North Carolina are charming small towns. Travel & Leisure documented what they describe as the best 12 North Carolina Small Towns. Each of the below towns was featured on their list. Read on to see what they are, and learn a little about what makes them unique.

Some I’ve visited- Blowing Rock is a summer must for my parents and me while Pittsboro was a fun work outing a few years ago. One you may know from TV and another is one of the most famous artisan towns in the world. Reading up on some of the beach towns has me longing for an Outer Banks vacation as opposed to my normal South Carolina beach trip. And while I’ve lived my entire life in North Carolina this is the first I’m hearing of the “Inner Banks”. There are still so many places left to explore, I can’t wait to plan a getaway soon!

Travel & Leisure’s Favorite North Carolina Small Towns