8 Lighthouses in America Where You Can Spend the Night (Slideshow)
August 8, 2016
Ever dream of spending your vacation living in a lighthouse? Make it a reality at these 8 American destinations
Borden Hats Lighthouse, Fall River, Mass.
Located at the mouth of the Taunton River in southern Massachusetts, the Borden Hats Lighthouse sits smack dab in the middle of the water, accessible only by boat. However, as part of the Lighthouse Keepers Program, visitors can stay the night at this nineteenth-century facility and live and understand the role of the workers who used to occupy it full-time. But don’t worry, there’s no actual work involved. For $299-375 per night, guests can enjoy the entire lighthouse, which includes a kitchen on the first level, a living area on the second, seating area on the third, and a master bedroom on the fourth. Amenities include a flat-screen TV, small fridge, microwave, gas stove, outdoor propane barbecue grill, fresh water, and heat. The maximum occupancy is two persons and the lighthouse is available annually from April 15 to Nov. 10.
Eagle River Lighthouse, Eagle River, Mich.
Michigan actually offers numerous choices when it comes to lighthouse accommodations, ranging from inns to bed & breakfasts (shout outs to Sand Hills and Big Bay). But even with these options, our nod goes to the Eagle River Lighthouse, which offers a whopping 3,000 square feet of living space, including three bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen, library, and two-and-a-half bathrooms. There’s also a 1,200-square-foot deck and a year-round sunroom offering unparalleled views of Lake Superior. Originally built in the 1850s, the property has been immaculately restored and updated for the twenty-first century — and is available for rent by owner for the shockingly low price of only $425 per night on average.
East Brother Light Station, Richmond, Calif.
Located only 30 minutes from downtown San Francisco, East Brother Light Station is a beautifully restored Californian Victorian dinner, bed, and breakfast inn perched atop an island. Although East Brother has been an active lighthouse for more than 142 years, it has only been an inn for 35 years, now offering Champagne and hors d’oeuvres upon arrival, a multi-course dinner with wine each night, and a full gourmet breakfast in the mornings. Guests also receive free transportation to and from the island (10 minutes by boat), a tour of the landscape, and the various buildings. Five rooms are available for rent, with either private or shared bathrooms, ranging from $295 to $415 per night.
Frying Pan Tower, N.C.
While other lighthouses also offer guests the ability to rent the entire place, none are quite like Frying Pan Tower in North Carolina. To start, “in North Carolina” is actually a bit misleading, as it’s actually located 29 miles off the coast of the town of Southport, North Caroline — meaning it’s only accessibly by boat or helicopter, which would explain the enormous 80-foot-by-80-foot square deck that the mini-compound includes. It also contains a kitchen (with basic meal supplies provided), beds for eight people, six hammocks, clean sheets and towels, running water, internet access, a digital TV and eight-foot projection screen, and a pool table. Of course, there’s also the actual lighthouse tower, which was built in 1960 to warn sailors of the area’s shallow waters. The only thing not included is food (although the fishing is apparently spectacular) and transportation to the tower, which can be arranged through numerous private companies. Rates are $598 per person for two weekend nights or $200 for weekdays.
Rose Island Lighthouse, Newport, R.I.
Photo Modified: Wikimedia Commons/ Kenneth C. Zirkel CC BY-SA 3.0
When visiting the iconic waterfront town of Newport, Rhode Island, what better place is there to stay than inside an actual lighthouse? Built circa 1912, the Rose Island Lighthouse offers three separate accommodations.
Guests can choose the Curt Bunting Room, which features a full-size brass bed and views of the northern part of the island ($200 per night) or the Wanton Chase Room, which also has a full-size bed, but instead faces the east passage of Narragansett Bay (also $200). If guests do not rent both rooms, they have to share the common kitchen (which includes electricity but no refrigerator), bathroom (toilet but no shower), and outdoor space. Looking for more space or modern amenities? Opt for the second-floor apartment instead, which includes a master bedroom, living room, full kitchen, full bathroom, and wood-burning stove for $300 per night. An extra $40 per night and your stay can include the second-floor bunk room, which is ideal for any kids along for the trip.
Salmon River Lighthouse & Marina, Pulaski, N.Y.
Originally built in 1838, Pulaski, New York’s Salmon River Lighthouse & Marina saw updates to the accommodations — including new appliances, mattresses, fixtures, heating, and air conditioning systems — in 2014 and 2015. Although guests can opt to stay in one of three cottages on the property, the gem is the three-bedroom lighthouse. Featuring brand new yellow birch floors in the kitchen and dining areas and original 1838 hardwood plank floors in the living room (which were recently uncovered and refinished), the Salmon River Lighthouse is also one of four remaining lighthouses in the U.S. that still boast the “birdcage” design. Rentals are available from April 21 to Nov. 30 each year, with rates running from $220 to $375 per night, depending on the number of people. The lighthouse’s four double beds allow for a maximum occupancy of eight persons.
The Inn at Cuckolds Lighthouse, Southport, Maine
What would this lighthouse list be without an entry from Maine? At The Inn at Cuckolds Lighthouse, guests can select one of two elegant suites ($500 to $600 per night), or opt to reserve the entire inn and island ($1,450 to $1,750 per night).
Also included are charming common living spaces, private sitting rooms, and marble bathrooms. Although the lighthouse was originally built in 1892 and is only accessible by boat, it has been restored and rebuilt and now features amenities like LCD TVs, Bluetooth radio, USB outlets, and Wi-Fi. Breakfast and transportation to and from the island are also complimentary. Season runs from May to September.
The Lighthouse at Smithfield Station, Smithfield, Va.
The Lighthouse at Smithfield Station is the only lighthouse accommodation in the entire state of Virginia, and they sure didn’t take this title lightly. The building is modeled after the Hooper Strait Light in Maryland (now located at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in Maryland) and boasts two beautiful spacious suites, room to relax and entertain, and panoramic views of the river. The lodge also offers continental breakfast in the adjacent restaurant, an outdoor seasonal pool, complimentary bicycle rentals, free Wi-Fi, and free parking, with an on-site boardwalk for shopping and a marina. Rates are around $279 per night.