50 Astonishing Family-Friendly Lighthouses On The East Coast

The lighthouses on the east coast are some of the oldest and most beautiful lighthouses in the United States. You can find lighthouses in every east coast state from Maine in the north, down to Florida in the south. If you are planning an east coast road trip or a trip to a coastal city, you should plan on visiting some of these beautiful lighthouses during your travels.

This is your east coast lighthouse guide!

lighthouse in fort on island

Frequently Asked Questions About The Lighthouses On The East Coast

How Many Lighthouses Are On The East Coast Of The United States?

There are more than 250 lighthouses on the east coast.

What East Coast State Has The Most Lighthouses?

Maine has the most lighthouses on the east coast. The state has 65 lighthouses along the coast, inlets, and islands.

What Is The Oldest Lighthouse On The East Coast?

The oldest of lighthouses on the east coast is the Boston Light on Little Brewster Island in Massachusetts. It is more than 300 years old!

Lighthouses On The East Coast Map

50 Astonishing Lighthouses On The East Coast

For your convenience, these lighthouses along the east coast are organized below by state. We’ll answer some of your most frequently asked questions about the lighthouses in each state, then jump on into the best lighthouses in each state.

Lighthouses In Maine

What Is Maine’s Most Famous Lighthouse?

The most famous lighthouse in Maine is the Portland Head Light which sits on the rocky coastline of Cape Elizabeth.

How Many Lighthouses Are In Maine?

There are more than 60 lighthouses in Maine!

What Is The Most Photographed Lighthouse In Maine?

The most photographed lighthouse in Maine is the Portland Head Light.

What Lighthouse Did Forest Gump Run To?

The Marshall Point Lighthouse in Maine!

West Quoddy Head Lighthouse

In 1806, concerned citizens in Maine decided that a lighthouse was needed. In 1808, the lighthouse was constructed under orders from President Thomas Jefferson. Today, you can visit this lighthouse with its distinct red and white stripes in the Quoddy Head State Park.

round striped lighthouse and keepers house on coast

Whaleback Light

You can see the Whaleback Light from Commons Park on Newcastle Island or from Fort Foster in Kittery. It was established in 1830 and was used to protect merchant vessels traveling along the Piscataqua River.

round lighthouse in water with waves crashing into it

Bug Light

The Bug Light was built in 1855 as just a wooden structure, but it was later enhanced in 1875. This little lighthouse in South Portland Maine is one of the cutest lighthouses on the east coast and is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.

walkway out to small round lighthouse on water

Doubling Point Lighthouse

This lighthouse can be found on the Kennebec River in Arrowsic, Maine. There is limited parking at this lighthouse, but the grounds are open to the public for those who want to explore the area.

wooden bridge to round lighthouse on the water

Nubble Lighthouse

Nubble Lighthouse, also known as the Cape Neddick Light in York, Maine, has a long history of being a tourist destination. In 1930 there are more than a thousand visitors logged into the guest register. Today, there are still tons of visitors every day so you are unlikely to be alone during your visit.

island with lighthouse on it

Owls Head Lighthouse

You will find the Owls Head Lighthouse around the entrance to Rockland Harbor in Penobscot Bay. This beautiful Knox County lighthouse is in Owls Head State Park. You can hike the trails in the park and climb the many steps to the lighthouse when you visit this east coast lighthouse.

rock coastline with trees and grass on top and lighthouse with flag

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

This iconic Maine lighthouse is within Arcadia National Park on Mount Desert Island. Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse is in one of the most stunning locations on the water’s edge.

building and lighthouse on edge of water at sunset

Marshall Point Lighthouse

This picturesque lighthouse was established in the mid-1800s in Port Clyde, Maine. The grounds are open to the public and free parking is available. Although a shorter lighthouse standing at just 31 feet, it is still one of the coolest lighthouses in Maine to visit.

wooden boardwalk out to small lighthouse on water

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse

The Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse is another one of the lighthouses in South Portland, Maine. It’s a little sparkplug lighthouse that is on the west side of the shipping channel in Portland Harbor. This cassion-style of lighthouse was created in the late nineteenth century as a cheaper alternative to the screw-pile lighthouses.

round light house on jetty

Portland Head Lighthouse

This lovely lighthouse holds the title of the oldest lighthouse in Maine. The construction of the lighthouse was completed in 1791 and has easily become the most famous lighthouse in the state. The tall white lighthouse on the rocky coastline where salty air blows by and waves crash into the cliffs is a classic symbol of the state of Maine.

round lighthouse on rocky shoreline

Lighthouses In New Hampshire

How Many Lighthouses Are In New Hampshire?

New Hampshire does not have as many lighthouses as Maine. New Hampshire has five lighthouses.

Portsmouth Harbor Lightouse

The Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse is in New Castle and is the only lighthouse on the New Hampshire mainland. The lower was built in 1877 within the bounds of Fort Constitution and as such it is also known as the Fort Constitution Light or Fort Point Light.

round lighthouse on rocky waters edge

Lightouses In Massachusetts

Is Massachusetts Known For Lighthouses?

Massachusetts may not have as many lighthouses as Maine, but it still has some of the most iconic lighthouses in New England. 

Nauset Lighthouse

Located in Eastham, Massachusetts, the Nauset Lighthouse was the first lighthouse in Eastham. It stands at forty-eight feet high and has been moved several times throughout its life. The current location at the Nauset Light is beautiful and is a worth a visit as it is one of the best lighthouses on the east coast!

round lighthouse with stairs leading up to the lighthouse

Eastern Point Lighthouse

This historic MA lighthouse is located on Cape Ann in the northeastern part of the state. This harbor has long been known as the oldest seaport in the United States; it has been supporting whalers, fisherman, and other tradesmen since 1616.

round lighthouse on grassy hill

Sankaty Lighthouse

This iconic lighthouse is one of the most beautiful lighthouses on the east coast. Its red and white stripes are surrounded by blowing grass in a stunning setting. The 405-ton lighthouse stood at 158 feet above sea level originally but due to erosion had to be moved. After its last move in 2007, it now stands 267 feet from the coast.

tall striped lighthouse in grassy field

Derby Wharf Light Station

The Derby Wharf Light Station was built in 1871 to help guide ships through the Salem Harbor. It is only twenty feet tall but it is still one of the best lighthouses to visit along the east coast. You will enjoy the scenic walk out to the lighthouse in Salem, Massachusetts.

small square lighthouse on jet

Lighthouses In Rhode Island

How Many Lighthouses Are In Rhode Island?

Rhode Island has twenty-one working lighthouses and ruins of many others. 

What Is The Oldest Lighthouse In Rhode Island?

The Prudence Island Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in Rhode Island. It is located on Goat Island and is frequently called the Sandy Point Lighthouse.

Newport Harbor Lighthouse

You may hear this lighthouse be referred to as the Green Light or the Goat Island Light. It was built in 1842 in Newport, Rhode Island. The lighthouse was automated in 1963 and it still is used as a navigation aid for vessels to this day.

small lighthouse on jetty with bridge in background

Prudence Island Lighthouse

Prudence Island is about a mile off the coast in Narragansett Bay. It’s thirty feet tall and interestingly was recently, in 2020, announced to be more than the Coast Guard needs. If no one claims the lighthouse, it will be sold at auction.

grass in foreground with water in background

Castle Hill Lighthouse

The Castle Hill Lighthouse is on Narragansett Bay in Newport. Rhode Island. It acted as an aid for vessels entering the last passage between Aquidneck and Conanicut Islands. In order to check out this lighthouse you will need to part of the Castle Hill Marina, then walk across the street, following the lighthouse until you see a sign for the lighthouse on your right. You will follow the well-beaten path to the light.

lighthouse on rocky coastline

Lighthouses In Connecticut

How Many Lighthouses Are In Connecticut?

Connecticut has sixteen lighthouses.

What Is The Oldest Lighthouse In Connecticut?

The oldest lighthouse in Connecticut is the New London Harbor Lighthouse. It is also the tallest in the state.

New London Harbor Lighthouse

You will find the New London Harbor Lighthouse on the west side entrance to the New London Harbor. It is the oldest and the tallest Connecticut lighthouse. It stands at 89 feet tall and was built in 1760. You can see the lighthouse from Ocean Beach on Pequot Avenue.

tall lighthouse on waters edge

Fayerweather Island Light

Also known as the Black Rock Harbor, the Fayerweather Island Light is at the entrance of Black Rock Harbor near Bridgeport. You can park at the end of Barnum Boulevard at Seaside Park. There is a moderate walk across the breakwater before you reach the lighthouse. The grounds are open for you to explore but the lighthouse itself is not open to the public.

lighthouse on grassy island

Sheffield Island Lighthouse

This lighthouse was built in 1868 in Norwalk, Connecticut. It has ten rooms filled with furnishings from the time period and features beautiful Victorian architecture. You can take a tour of the historic harbor and the lighthouse. The grounds have trails and will teach you about more than 150 years of maritime history.

brick lighthouse in grass surrounded by water

Lighthouses In New York

How Many Lighthouses Are In New York?

New York has more thsn fifty lighthouses!

What Is The Oldest Lighthouse In New York?

The oldest lighthouse in New York is the Montauk Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse was authorized to be built in 1792 and was completed in June of 1796.

How Many Lighthouses Are On The Hudson River?

There are seven lighthouses along the Hudson River today.

Fire Island Lighthouse

The Fire Island Lighthouse is easily one of the most stunning lighthouses on the east coast. A long wooden boardwalk will lead you to the iconic black and white striped lighthouse in New York. The walk to the lighthouse is 3/4 of a mile and you will be happy to know that it is open daily for climbing.

boardwalk through grass to tall lighthouse

Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse

You may also hear the Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse be called the Tarrytown Light or the Kingsland Point Light. It’s a little sparkplug light on the Hudson River in New York. It opens at different points during the summer months for visitors to explore.

bridge to lighthouse in water

Blackwell Island Light

Also known as the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse, the Blackwell Island Lighthouse is a gothic-style gray lighthouse that was built in the 1870s. You can visit the lighthouse by driving onto Roosevelt Island and parking in Lighthouse Park. You will find other attractions in the area as well including parks, playgrounds, memorials, and overlooks.

lighthouse at end of sidewalk

Montauk Point Lighthouse

Located across from the Montauk Point State Park, visiting this beautiful lighthouse is one of the best things to do in New York. There is an $8 parking fee as well as ticket costs for the lighthouse. (Kids under 41 inches tall get free admissions.) There is a museum in the old keeper’s house with displays of historical documents and photographs from a time long gone.

lighthouse on grass hill surrounded by water

Lighthouses In New Jersey

How Many Lighthouses Are In New Jersey?

New Jersey has seven lighthouses.

Sandy Hook Lighthouse

The Sandy Hook Lighthouse in Highlands, New Jersey is the oldest working lighthouse in the United States. It was built in 1764 and stands 103 feet tall. The lighthouse is open on weekends from May 1 to October 31 from 1-4:30 pm and from November 1 to April 30 from 1-3:30 pm. Tours are offered on a first come first serve basis.

lighthouse and keepers house in grass surrounded by trees

Barnegat Lighthouse

The Barnegat Lighthouse has spectacular panoramic views of Island Beach, Long Beach, and Barnegat Bay. It is open daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day and is one of the best cheap things to do in New Jersey as tickets are only $3 for adults, $1 for children, and free for kids five and under.

all lighthouse on watered at sunset

Miah Maul Lighthouse

You can find the Miah Maul Lighthouse in Delaware Bay. It was constructed in 1913 and was automated in 1974. You can view the lighthouse by taking a historic lighthouse cruise of Delaware Bay. The cruise will cover all seven of the lighthouses in the bay, will include breakfast and lunch, and will give you access to all amenities you will need on the six-hour-long cruise.

lighthouse in Delaware Bay

Lighthouses In Delaware

How Many Lighthouses In Delaware?

Delaware has 22 lighthouses!

Delaware Breakwater Lighthouse

The Delaware Breakwater Lighthouse is in the inner breakwater of the Delaware Bat off the coast of Cape Henlopen and Lewes, Delaware. It was established in 1885 and you can see it from the shore of Cape Henlopen State Park.

round lighthouse at end of jetty

Lighthouses In Maryland

How Many Lighthouses Are In Maryland?

There are 26 lighthouses in Maryland.

How Many Lighthouses Are There On The Chesapeake Bay?

The Chesapeake Bay runs through six states and has more than thirty lighthouses.

Drum Point Lighthouse

This is one of the most unique lighthouses on the east coast! Drum Point Lighthouse has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1976 and offers daily admission to its museum. There are also tours available occasionally, be sure to check the tour schedule ahead of your trip.

lighthouse in marina

Choptank River Lighthouse

The Choptank River Lighthouse is in Cambridge, Maryland. It is a screwpile style lighthouse located in the Chesapeake Bay. It is actually a replica of an earlier light that stood in the rea. There are great views and a small museum inside the lighthouse.

lighthouse in marina

Lighthouses In Virginia

How Many Lighthouses Are In Virginia?

Virginia has nine active lighthouses!

Assateague Lighthouse

This massive 142-foot lighthouse is located on the southern end of Assateague Island. It is in the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and you can reach it by driving over the Assateague Channel. You can climb to the top of this Virginia lighthouse, all 175 steps!

tall striped lighthouse surrounded by trees

Old Point Comfort Lighthouse

Old Point Comfort Lighthouse has had military significance ever since the War of 1812. It is free to walk around the lighthouse which is on the grounds of Fort Monroe. It is operated by the Coast Guard and not open for the public to climb to the top.

lighthouse near keepers home

Lighthouses In North Carolina

What Is The Oldest Lighthouse In North Carolina?

The oldest lighthouse in North Carolina is Old Baldy.

How Many Lighthouses Are In North Carolina?

There are seven lighthouses in North Carolina!

Bodie Island Lighthouse

Bodie Island Lighthouse is arguably the prettiest and coolest of the North Carolina lighthouses. It’s located in Dare County on a chain of barrier islands known as the Outer Banks. The land that it sits on is a part of the stunning Cape Hatteras National Seashore. It stands at more than 15o feet and is in a seriously beautiful coastal marsh area.

striped lighthouse at end of wooden boardwalk

Old Baldy Lighthouse

You can find the Old Baldy Lighthouse on Bald Head Island. It is the oldest lighthouse in North Carolina that is still standing. It has miraculously been standing in its original form and in its original location all of its life. You can see its age as you approach it because of its patchy exterior from the past whitewashing that it experienced.

lighthouse behind trees and boardwalk

Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse

Five of the North Carolina lighthouses are located on the barrier islands known as the Outer Banks and the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse is the smallest and most unique of the Outer Banks lighthouses. It isn’t your typical lighthouse, but it is still one of the best lighthouses on the east coast to add to your east coast bucket list.

lighthouse on boardwalk

Lighthouses In South Carolina

How Many Lighthouses Are In South Carolina?

There are eleven lighthouses in South Carolina.

Does Charleston Have A Lighthouse?

There is a lighthouse on Morris Island which of in Charleston Harbor.

Does Myrtle Beach Have A Lighthouse?

Governor’s Lighthouse is in Myrtle Beach, but it is just a replica in a private community.

Morris Island Lighthouse

Morris Island Lighthouse is standing at 161 feet tall in the Charleston Harbor. You can view the lighthouse from the Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve in Folly Beach, South Carolina.

lighthouse out in a harbor

Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse

This South Carolina lighthouse knowns as the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse is at the north entrance to Charleston Harbor. The lighthouse is not open to the public but you are welcome to explore the grounds and snap pictures of the lighthouse in its beautiful location.

square lighthouse on island

Harbor Town Lighthouse

If you have plans to visit Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, then a stop at the Harbor Town Lighthouse is a must. There are shops, great sunset views, and popular restaurants in Harbor Town. Visting the Harbor Town Lighthouse with kids is a lot of fun!

round harbor with striped lighthouse by marina
source: Helioscribe shutterstock.com

Lighthouses In Georgia

How Many Lighthouses Are There In Georgia?

Georgia has six lighthouses!

Does Savannah Georgia Have A Lighthouse?

Savannah doesn’t have a lighthouse in the way that you are thinking. However, on East Broad Street there is the Old Harbor Light which is a historic beacon light.

Does Jekyll Island Have A Lighthouse?

There isn’t a lighthouse on Jekyll Island. However, another one of the Golden Isles has one. St. Simons Island that neighbors Jekyll Island is home to the St. Simons Lighthouse.

Does Tybee Island Have A Lighthouse?

Yes! Tybee Island has the Tybee Island Light Station and Museum. There is also a lighthouse off the coast of Tybee Island called Cockspur Island Lighthouse.

Cockspur Lighthouse

Cockspur Lighthouse is one of the most beautiful little lighthouses on the east coast. It’s located in the Port of Savannah and is a great subject for photographers in the area. Due to renovations it is not currently open to the public but you can enjoy the overlook trail while you are visiting the lighthouse.

short lighthouse in water

Tybee Island Light Station and Museum

The Tybee Island Light Station and Museum stands at 144 feet tall. It is one of only seven lighthouse towers that survived the colonial era and it has a history dating back to 1736.

tall striped lighthouse behind palm trees and keepers house

St. Simons Lighthouse

Located on St. Simons Island, this lighthouse is on one of the four Golden Isles. Visitors to the lighthouse can climb nearly 130 steps to the top for great views of coastal Georgia. There is also a Lighthouse Museum on the grounds.

lighthouse behind keepers house

Lighthouses In Florida

How Many Lighthouses Are In Florida?

Florida has thirty lighthouses!

Amelia Island Lighthouse

Amelia Island Lighthouse in Florida is in Fernandina Beach. It was built in 1838 and holds a large portion of the area’s history. You can take tours of the lighthouse every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month. Tours are very reasonably priced making a visit to the lighthouse one of the best things to do in Florida with kids.

lighthouse surrounded by trees

Cape Florida Lighthouse

At the south end of Key Biscayne in Miami-Dade County, you will find the Cape Florida Lighthouse. This is one of the most stunning lighthouses in Florida due to its tall white structure contrasting with the blue waters below. It has been standing over the coastline for almost 200 years.

tall lighthouse on sandy shoreline

St. Augustine Lighthouse

If you are visiting the oldest city in the United States, St Augustine, you will want o visit the St. Augustine Lighthouse! The lighthouse was completed in 1874 at the north end of Anastasia Island and is still active and working to this day.

Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse

Midway between Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale is the interesting Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse in Hillsboro Beach, Florida. The light marks the end of the Florida Reef. It is a super unique feature on the Florida landscape. You can get a good view of the tower from the park across the inlet.

light tower in Florida Keys

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse

The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse in Jupiter, Florida is one of the best lighthouses on the east coast! The red lighthouse contrasts sharply against the blue sky and water around the tower. It is open Thursday through Sunday and is available via paid admission only.

brick lighthouse on hill

Key West Lighthouse

If you have plans to visit the Florida Keys, make sure to check out the Key West Lighthouse. It is a 65-foot tower that was completed in 1825. The views from the top are impeccable and for family travelers, you will be happy to know that kids five and under are free.

lighthouse next to keepers inn

Boca Chita Lighthouse

One of the coolest things to do in Florida is to take a Deering Estate Boca Chita Key Cruise. It lasts three hours and it gives you the chance to see the lighthouse up close as well as explore the island and hike the trails on the grounds. This beautiful lighthouse contrasting against the super blue water of the Florida Keys is something that you will want to see for yourself.

lighthouse on shoreline

Tortugas Harbor Lighthouse

The coolest of the lighthouses on the east coast is the Tortugas Harbor Lighthouse. It is located in the Dry Tortugas National Park which can only be reached by seaplane or boat. A trip to this national park and lighthouse is one of the most incredible experiences that you can have in the United States.

lighthouse on fort, water in background

The lighthouses on the east coast are stunning and worth a visit while you are exploring that region of the U.S. Which of these lighthouses will you visit first?

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