What is it about lighthouses? From Key West to Prince Edward Island, see the best lighthouses on the East Coast. You can even stay at a lighthouse.
Lighthouses: Art and Architecture
There are nearly 1,500 lighthouses in the United States and Canada, so I may not have visited your favorite yet.
Here are 10 of the best lighthouses on the East Coast, including a recommendation for staying at a lighthouse.
There are many things to see in Key West, Florida. The Key West Lighthouse should be one of them.
The first lighthouse was completed in 1825 and the current 50-foot brick tower was built in 1848.
Don’t want to miss a moment of sunshine? You can get a good picture of the Key West Lighthouse without going in. Just walk around the corner. If you are tall enough, you can get a picture over the fence. If you are not tall enough, it is likely your arms can fit through the slats of the fence and take a picture.
You can get a great view of the top of the Key West Lighthouse from the second-floor veranda of the Ernest Hemingway House at 907 Whitehead Street in Key West.
Key West Lighthouse address: 938 Whitehead Street, Key West, Florida
Learn more about the Key West Lighthouse.
Tybee Island Light is Georgia’s oldest and tallest lighthouse, standing at 145 feet high.
The third tower (erected in 1773) is made of brick and remains intact as the base for the current lighthouse.
Tybee Island Light is located in a quiet neighborhood in the North Beach area of the island.
Even on a windswept day in December, this lighthouse is stunning.
Tybee Island Light address: 30 Meddin Drive, Tybee Island, Georgia
Learn more about Tybee Island Light.
Established in 1746, Brant Point Light is America’s second lighthouse (after Boston Light).
At only 26 feet, Brant Point Light is the shortest lighthouse in New England. What Brant Point Light lacks in height, it makes up in charm.
The current wooden light tower was built in 1901 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The lighthouse also features a long, wooden walkway.
Brant Point Light address: Off Easton Street at the harbor’s entrance, Nantucket, Massachusetts
Learn more about Brant Point Light.
When taking the ferry to Nantucket, many passengers will move to the front as the ferry approaches the harbor to get photos and videos of Brant Point Light.
It’s easier to get a photo or video when leaving Nantucket. In fact, I was alone at the railing when I captured this video.
The Edgartown Harbor Light is located at the end of North Water Street, about a half-mile from Edgartown Center.
There is not much parking on North Water Street, so it makes sense to walk, if you can.
Visiting Edgartown Harbor Light early in the morning means seeing only a few people near the lighthouse.
In 2001, the Martha’s Vineyard Historical Society installed an unusual memorial at the lighthouse. The names of children who have died are carved into the granite cobblestones surrounding the lighthouse.
Edgartown Harbor Light address: 121 North Water Street, Edgartown, Massachusetts
Learn more about Edgartown Harbor Light.
Nobska Point Light (also featured in the image and video at the top) overlooks the harbors of Falmouth and Woods Hole in Massachusetts.
Established in 1828, the current 40-foot cast-iron tower was built in 1876. The interior is lined with bricks.
The lighthouse is on a hill and the path leading up to the lighthouse is on an incline.
There are 33 steps up the spiral staircase in the lighthouse tower and 8 more steps up the ladder to the lantern room where the fourth-order Fresnel lens is located.
There is minimal parking at Nobska Point (only 6 spaces), so timing is everything. The grounds are open from dawn until dusk.
Nobska Point Light address: 233 Nobska Road, Falmouth, Massachusetts
Learn more about Nobska Point Light.
Wings Neck Light is your chance to stay at a lighthouse.
Unlike many lighthouses, you can have Wings Neck Light all to yourself. The Wings Neck neighborhood consists of the lighthouse and keeper’s cottage, plus 13 mostly seasonal homes.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this private lighthouse is not operational and does not have a lens.
You can enjoy the quiet beauty of the place which overlooks Buzzards Bay on Cape Cod.
For a spectacular view, walk up the mahogany spiral staircase in the light tower, then climb a ladder into the lantern room.
Established in 1849, the lighthouse was rebuilt in 1890 with a passageway between the keeper’s house and the 44-foot tower.
The United States government sold the property in 1947. The keeper’s cottage was renovated in 2003.
Wings Neck Light address (private property): 1 Lighthouse Lane, Pocasset, Massachusetts
Learn more about Wings Neck Light.
The first lighthouse at Pemaquid Point was commissioned in 1827.
The 38-foot stone tower was rebuilt in 1835 with mortar using fresh water, not salt water.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Pemaquid Point is one of the most scenic lighthouses in Maine.
The tower’s interior brick veneer, which was added along with the cast-iron staircase during the mid-to-late nineteenth century, was restored in 2010.
Pemaquid Point Lighthouse address: 3115 Bristol Road, Bristol, Maine
Learn more about Pemaquid Point Lighthouse.
West Quoddy Head Light guides ships through the Quoddy Narrows between Lubec, Maine and Campobello Island, Canada. (Quoddy is pronounced “Kwah-dee”.)
Distinguished by its red and white horizontal stripes, this 49-foot lighthouse is more visible in snow and fog and is the only “candy-cane-striped” lighthouse in the United States.
The current (and third) lighthouse was built in 1858 and was staffed by resident lightkeepers until 1988 when it was automated by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Located on the Easternmost point of the continental United States, West Quoddy Head Light has one of the prettiest settings.
The Schoodic National Scenic Byway to the lighthouse is less traveled than Acadia Byway, making it easier to stop along the way to take pictures.
West Quoddy Head Light address: 973 South Lubec Road, Lubec, Maine
Learn more about West Quoddy Head Light.
Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse marks the east entrance to St. Margarets Bay in Nova Scotia. Originally made of wood, a concrete tower was built in 1915 that retains the octagonal shape of the wooden tower.
In 2021, an accessible viewing deck allows visitors to see the lighthouse, waves and rocks in a more attainable way. (The viewing deck is the vantage point that you see in the photo above.)
Officially known as Peggy’s Point Lighthouse, this 50-foot lighthouse is still operational.
Like any popular attraction, get to Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse before noon or after 2pm.
While there is a small parking lot near the Visitors Center as you enter Peggy’s Cove, keep going to the Sou’Wester Restaurant and Gift Shop near the lighthouse. You can park for free in their large parking lot.
Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse address: 72 Peggys Point Road, Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia
Learn more about Peggy’s Point Lighthouse.
Prince Edward Island has more than 60 lighthouses. We literally took a wrong turn and found a lighthouse.
Wood Islands Lighthouse is my favorite with its green light. For vessels entering the channel, the green light indicates that the light source is on the starboard (right) side.
The Wood Islands Lighthouse is located on the southernmost point of Prince Edward Island, overlooking the Northumberland Strait which separates Prince Edward Island from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Built in 1876, the lighthouse is a 54-foot square tower with an attached 6-room home where the keeper and family lived.
In 2008, the lighthouse was moved 230 feet inland because of beach erosion.
Wood Islands Lighthouse is recognized as a heritage place under the Prince Edward Island Heritage Places Protection Act and as a Provincial Designated Heritage Place for its well-preserved architectural style and contribution to the visual landscape of the area.
Wood Islands Lighthouse address: 173 Lighthouse Road, Belle River, Prince Edward Island
Learn more about Wood Islands Lighthouse.
See more Places to Go:
Coit Tower Murals
Where to Buy Authentic Native American Jewelry
Musée de l’Orangerie
Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival
Places unexpected. Bakes for home bakers. Books overlooked. Find your new favorite thing.