While not everyone loves lighthouses as much as we do, I don't know anyone who doesn't at least appreciate the beauty of majestic lighthouse that has stood the test of time, in all it's glory. We try to seek out and take advantage of lighthouses in our travels, and have found that over the years we have amassed quite a collection, not just nationally but internationally.
Lets's start our tour local to us, and go from there. We are fortunate to live so close to one of the most historic lighthouses in existence. Scituate Light was commissioned in 1810 and completed Sept 19, 1811, making it the 11th lighthouse in the United States. Cost to build: $4000.00. The keeper's house is a private residence and the tower is open to the public on rare but special occasions. The outside of the tower is accessible to all and has been the site of many weddings and other small events. We have taken countless photographs at Scituate Light (weddings, Super Moon, engagement shots, family photos and personal photos) but this is the one photo that always seems to get the most "ooooooohhhhs" and "aaaahhhhhhhhs". Let us know if you agree did this make you "oohh" or "ahhh"?
Boston Light is another "chock full of history" gem that we have the good fortune to live close by to. Accessable only by boat with an arranged tour, this beauty dates back to 1716 and was the first lighthouse to be built in the United States. The current Boston Light dates back to 1783 and is the second oldest working lighthouse in the United States. The light was automated in 1998 however there is still Coast Guard staff manning the station for tours. (The last time we visited, it was manned by a wonderful historian named Sally).
If you live in the area or are visiting, please keep in mind that the tours to see and climb the lighthouse provide you with a priceless adventure. Tours are seasonal and information can be found by clicking here.
A trip to Rockport, Mass will bring with it more lighthouse. Here we have Cape Ann, a subtle yet stunning lighthouse is one of a set, current structure was built in 1861 (original construction in 1771).
A special treat for serious lighthouse aficionados, Rose Point Lighthouse in Newport, Rhode Island has a little more to offer than most other lighthouses in the country. You can stay overnight as a guest or stay for a week as the lighthouse keeper. We did stay overnight as a guest and the experience is one of enlightening proportions. The serene quiet and peace was something to revel in. For information on staying at Rose Point Lighthouse, click here. For a visual delight of Rose Island Lighthouse, look below...
Moving on up to Maine, where you will likely find the greatest number of lighthouses, we present to you Cape Neddick Lighthouse, also known as Nubble Light in York Maine. Said to be the most photographed lighthouse in the world, she is an undeniable beauty. So close yet unobtainable on its own little island, the town does an annual lighting for the holiday season the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. Take note of the lighted Christmas tree visable through the front window.
One of my personal favorites in Maine, Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth has much to offer. Privately owned, the tower is not open to the public, but there is a museum and a small gift shop, and you can walk the grounds freely at no charge. There are 90 acres to explore which is Fort Williams Park as well as the grounds of the now defunct Goddard Mansion. She was first lit January 10, 1791. My research tells me it costs $2250.00 to build. If you look off to the right in the distance you'll see a "bonus" lighthouse. That's Ram Island Ledge Light in Casco Bay. Built in 1905, it's nearly a twin of Graves Light in Boston Harbor, built around the same time.
We also enjoyed this little surprise we found while lighthouse searching on Thanksgiving day. Portland Breakwater Light, aka Bug Light in Portland, Maine is small but packs a punch. What I enjoyed most is that you can walk right out to her and say "hello". She was built in 1875 but never shows her age.
Another favorite in the Portland area, Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse was established in 1897.
"Lighthouse" is synonymous with New England, so how excited do you think we were when we started searching for and finding great lighthouses in our travels outside New England? In Miami we found Cape Florida Lighthouse just waiting for us to discover her on the beach. Built in 1825 and reconstructed in 1846, she is the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade county.
One of our quick trips to Canada had us bumping into this little cutie. Her names suites her well, Port Dalhousie, because she does look like a doll house. She is located in St. Catharine's, Ontario. Owned by the Canadian Coast Guard, the tower is closed to the public but the grounds are open.
Another picturesque find, Old Point Loma Lighthouse is located in San Diego, California. Conceived in 1851, she was first put into use on November 15, 1855. Steeped in history, she was a delightful find on our trip, and we were so happy to have met her.
The last of what we have to offer today are non working lighthouses we found on Cayman Island. Well hidden and possibly not the biggest tourist attraction, we were still attracted to these two obscure structures. The Cayman's do not boast any traditional lighthouses but there are several historic beacons regarded locally as lighthouses. We found these two on the East End, and once you find them, you'll find they are well-preserved and have many plaques to tell you their stories.
The lesser structure next to East End Light is no less important but we couldn't figure out if it had its own name.
Phew! This post has gone on a lot longer then I intended. I hope you have enjoyed our tour of lighthouses, near and far. If you know of any great lighthouse we should visit and photograph, please comment below and let us in on them! You can view more of our lighthouse photography here, where prints are available for purchase in all sizes. (Any purchased prints will NOT have our watermark on them).
Thanks for coming along!