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  1. #1

    Default East Coast Lighthouses

    Hi all,

    Hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far! My teenage girls and I love lighthouses and are thinking about an impromptu southeast or northeast roadtrip to visit a few. Has anyone done this type of trip before? I'm not quite sure where/how to start!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Here's a good resource

    This directory lists ~ 11,000 lighthouses around the world, but it has a very good list of the ones along the USA east coast. Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! There are a bunch of members on this forum that love going to lighthouses and several photos are featured in the "Where in North America is this?" game. In fact, one of the most famous light houses in Maine is the first entry here...


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default More than just view

    There is at least one lighthouse in Rhode Island, the Rose Island lighthouse, that you can actually stay in if you so desire and the budget allows it. How much time will you have for your trip?

  4. #4

    Default Ponce Inlet

    I recently visited the lighthouse at Ponce Inlet in Florida just south of Daytona Beach. It is a lovely place to visit just be sure and not make the same mistake I made I climbed all the way up to the walkway around the lens to take pictures with an old 35mm camera only to find I had no film I wasn't about to go back down and get more then re climb all those steps Ha Ha.

  5. #5

    Default Mid-Atlantic lighthouses

    Hello Cris,
    I can well imagine there are cut-and-dried tours designed for just such RoadTrip travel, and many would include a fairly close-spaced visit to lights in Southeast VA and throughout North Carolina.

    On the north side of the Chesapeake Bay lies Cape Charles (the lighthouse and the island it sits upon is not to be confused with the town of Cape Charles some 10-12 miles distant, on the Bay). I don't believe the Cape Charles light is open for visitors inasmuch as it's on a barrier island surrounded by National Wildlife Refuge and Nature Convervancy lands.

    On the south side of the mouth of the Bay is Cape Henry light(s), plural since the old and the new light are side-by-side there. I believe they're accessible by permit from the US Army, as they lie upon the Army's Fort Story base.

    In NC, at Corolla, lies Currituck Lighthouse. It's a bit of a drive up the main road (NC 12) from Southern Shores, but it's fully restored, one can visit the top, and one can also see some wild Mustang horses in the vicinity of the lighthouse. The beach can be driven from the lighthouse up to the Virginia state line, a distance of some 12 miles each way, so if your travel is via 4WD vehicle, and if your adventurous, that's a side trip you can take. It's actually not all that adventurous, as from Corolla to the state line, the beach IS the public roadway, complete with speed limits and patrolling deputies with radar! At low tide, the beach is wide and hard-packed. Use of one's 4WD is normally only needed at the access point and during high tides, when the hardpacked section is, well, under water. Jeep or ATV tours are available at Corolla for those not wishing to drive the beach themselves.

    On the south end of the highly developed stretch of beach from Corolla down to South Nags Head lies Bodie Island light, some 40 miles south of Currituck light. One can drive to the light but I don't think climbing is can be done nowadays. I could be mistaken about that.

    Some 50 miles further south, on Hatteras Island, lies Cape Hatteras light at Buxton, NC, the grandaddy of them all. At 208', it's the tallest on the East Coast, and I believe it's normally open for visitors to climb it.

    Ocracoke Island is home to the Ocracoke light, a smallish but quaint structure right in the village of Ocracoke. Be aware of the strong need for reservations for the Ocracoke-Cedar Island ferry which returns you to the mainland to the south, as it stays crowded and booked-up this time of year.

    If you get down that way (Cedar Island--actually a link to the mainland despite the place name), you can venture to Harkers Island and take a National Park Service concessionaire's passenger ferry to the Cape Lookout light.

    Further south, Bald Head Island's light marks the mouth of the Cape Fear River and is accessed by passenger ferry from Southport. Visiting Bald Head Island is cool, too, since it's a "no cars" island--pedestrians, bicyclists, and golf carts only on Bald Head.

    The last NC light to the south is the fairly modern Oak Island light, on Oak Island just south of Wilmington.

    I could well imagine a 3-4 day exercise to visit all of the lights from Cape Henry to Cape Lookout, ride the ferries, and visit some of the other sights.

    Have fun planning and taking your RoadTrip!


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