Be the Light of the Party: Experience a Lighthouse Stay Like Never Before
by Stefanie Michaels
Lighthouses have a long and fascinating history dating back to ancient times. The earliest ones were simple bonfires built on hillsides to guide ships through dangerous waters. As civilizations developed and maritime trade became more important, they became more sophisticated, with the ancient Greeks and Romans building towers with lights on top to guide ships.
Actually, ancient Greeks are credited with building the first lighthouses, but they have been used in many different cultures around the world for thousands of years.
In the United States, the first lighthouse was built in Boston, Massachusetts in 1716. It was built to help guide ships safely into the harbor and it was a very important structure for the young country.
These leading lights have played a vital role in the history of navigation and have saved countless lives by helping to guide ships safely to shore.
Many are now automated, but there are still some manned by lighthouse keepers. Some have been decommissioned and are no longer in use as navigation aids.
However, many of these have been converted into bed and breakfast inns, vacation rentals, or museums. There are even a few of them that you can stay in overnight as a unique and interesting vacation experience.
Here are a few you can actually stay in:
1. Pigeon Point Lighthouse in California
The Pigeon Point Lighthouse is historic and located on the coast of San Mateo County, California, United States. It’s situated on a headland near Pescadero, California, about 50 miles (80 km) south of San Francisco. It is still in operation, a distinctive local landmark and a popular tourist attraction. It was first lit on November 15, 1872, and is now the tallest on the West Coast of the United States.
It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and is now owned and operated by the California State Parks system. Visitors can take guided tours, view exhibits about the history of the lighthouse, and climb to the top of the tower to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area.
2. Augustine Lighthouse in Florida
The St. Augustine Lighthouse–a historic landmark located in St. Augustine, Florida. It was built in 1874 and is one of the oldest surviving one in the United States and stands at the north end of Anastasia Island and is a popular tourist attraction, offering guided tours and a museum. Its exterior has a black and white spiral stripe pattern and stands at a height of 165 feet, making it one of the tallest ones in the country.
The light from it can be seen from a distance of up to 27 miles at sea. It’s is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is considered a symbol of the city of St. Augustine.
3. Portland Head Light in Maine
Portland Head Light is another historic lighthouse located in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. It is situated on the shores of Fort Williams Park and marks the entrance to Portland Harbor. It was commissioned by George Washington in 1787 and was completed in 1791, making it one of the oldest lighthouses in the United States and is a popular tourist attraction in Maine.
The Portland Head Light is also a popular spot for photographers, as it offers stunning views of the surrounding area.
4. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in North Carolina
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and is known for being one of the tallest brick lighthouses in the United States. Standing at approximately 198 feet tall, the lighthouse was built in 1870 to guide ships safely through the dangerous waters off the coast of North Carolina. Over the years, it has been moved several times due to beach erosion.
However, it remains a popular tourist destination and an iconic symbol of the state’s maritime history. Today, visitors can climb the spiral staircase to the top of the lighthouse and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area.
These are just a few examples, and there are many more lighthouses around the world that have been converted into vacation rentals. If you’re interested in staying in one, you can check with local tourism boards or do an online search to find which ones are available for rent in the area you’re interested in visiting.
TIP: If you’re interested in staying in a lighthouse, there are a few options to consider. You can check with local tourism boards or search online to see if there are any in the area that have been converted into vacation rentals or bed and breakfast inns.
You can also check with the United States Lighthouse Society, which maintains a list that are open for overnight stays. Finally, you can check with the National Park Service, as some are managed by the National Park Service and may be available for overnight stays.