New England Lighthouses & Lighthouses Photos
New England Lighthouses
New England lighthouses are historic and are scattered along the coastline like glittering jewels, stretching all the way from Maine to Connecticut. There are nearly 200 beacons in the New England area, and checking out one, two, or even 12 has become a favorite New England vacation activity. Check out these five must-see New England lighthouses next time you’re in town!
The oldest lighthouse in New England – and the oldest lighthouse station in America – can be found in Boston Harbor in Massachusetts. The only light station in the country with an official keeper, the Boston Light was established in 1716 and provides panoramic views of the harbor and city. Take a boat to the lighthouse for a tour in warmer weather, or hop on a harbor cruises to get close enough for great pictures. In town, you’ll find lodging options that range from the affordable Best Western Plus Boston – Inn at Longwood Medical to the luxurious five-star Boston Harbor Hotel, Boston’s only independent grand hotel, to the illustrious Omni Parker House, a member of the Historic Hotels of America located right along the Freedom trail.
New England’s tallest lighthouse – the 133-foot Boon Island Light in Maine is closed to the public, but the slightly shorter 124-foot Thacher Island lighthouses can be accessed by a quick boat right. The Cape Ann Light Station at Thacher Island is located just offshore of Rockport, 40 miles north of Boston, and was established in 1771. A National Historic Landmark, this light station features the only operating twin lighthouses in America and was the first in the country to mark a dangerous location, rather than a harbor opening. In the town of Rockport, you’ll find charming coastal inns, inviting hotels, and historic bed and breakfasts – along with Samoset Resort, one of Maine’s premier luxury hotels. Nestled on Penobscot bay, this landmark property includes an 18-hole championship PGA golf course, a 200,000-gallon swimming pool, and 178 luxurious guest rooms that offer sweeping views.
New England LighthousesFor a truly unique lighthouse experience, head to Newburyport, Massachusetts, and have dinner in the rear tower of the Newburyport Range Lights. With a tax-deductable gift to the Lighthouse Preservation Society, you can enjoy a private dinner with someone special at the top of the lighthouse, feast on gourmet cuisine while taking in spectacular panoramic views. One of Yankee Magazine’s “Top 35 Things to Do” and one of Boston’s Phantom Gourmet “most romantic and exclusive” dining experiences, dinner at the lighthouse provides a perfect setting for a marriage proposal or anniversary dinner. Afterward, head for the Essex Street Inn, located in historic downtown Newburyport, where you’ll find inviting accommodations for your romantic evening.
If you just can’t tear yourself away, there are roughly a dozen lighthouses in the U.S. that also offer accommodations. At the Pemaquid Point Light in Bristol, Maine, you’ll find a picturesque tower that’s a favorite of tourists and artists alike. In fact, it was the first lighthouse to appear on American currency – sparkling on the official Maine quarter. During your visit, check out the Fishermen’s Museum, which displays local lobster and fishing histories and photos of all the lighthouses in Maine, and stay in the one-bedroom apartment in the Keeper’s House, which is available for weekly rentals. If you’d prefer more traditional accommodations, the Spruce Point Inn Resort & Spa, the Ocean Point Inn, and the Fisherman’s Wharf Inn all offer comfortable rooms in Boothbay Harbor, just a half hour away.