Lighthouses to Enjoy

posted by Sharon March 10, 2019 40 Comments
Point Pinos Lighthouse Monterey

Lighthouses intrigue me, as they often stand tall on the point of land, shining light through the dark and fog to guide anyone in need. Imagine the countless times the light has been a welcome beacon and relief to those out at sea.

The lighthouse keeper in The Light Between Oceans writes this to his girl back home about the light he tends:

“The stars had been around since before there were people. They just kept shining, no matter what was going on. I think of the light here like that, like a splinter of a star that’s fallen to earth: it just shines, no matter what is happening. Summer, winter, storm, fine weather. People can rely on it.”

Today, lights are automated and no longer require the keeper to trudge up a winding stairway to tend to the light. There’s still something appealing about lighthouses. Here are some of my favorites from those I’ve been able to visit. And I’m always on the lookout for a new one to explore.

Nauset Lighthouse

This iconic red-and-white lighthouse is a symbol of Cape Cod. It sits on the coast in Eastham, Massachusetts. At first, it perched atop cliffs 60 feet high. As the land eroded, the lighthouse faced the danger of toppling into the water. So it was relocated across the road in 1996. Plans are in place to move it again in the next 30 years as the land slides bit by bit into the ocean.  In case you wonder whether lighthouses such as the Nauset are more decorative than practical, it’s a fact that this one has seen its share of rescues of the turbulent Atlantic Ocean.Nauset Lighthouse Cape CodThe nearby oil house contains a tiny history museum, and you can tour the lighthouse on Sundays from Mid-May to October. We had to content ourselves with walking around the outside. Check the Nauset Lighthouse website for more information. Nauset Lighthouse Cape CodNauset Lighthouse Cape CodNauset Lighthouse Cape CodNobska Lighthouse

Nobska Lighthouse in Falmouth holds the distinction of being the only lighthouse in Western Cape Cod.At the western tip of Cape Cod, Nobska Lighthouse stands to guide those who sail into Buzzard’s Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. From this hillside you can look out to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Sound.  You may glimpse ferries steaming out to these islands as you stroll the sloping lawn. The Coast Guard used the buildings for housing until recently. Now there are plans to open a museum in the houses by 2020.  Nobska Lighthouse Cape CodNobska Lighthouse Cape CodThe tower is closed for tours, but the grounds alone — and the view — are worthy of a visit.  For updated information on the re-opening, check the Friends of Nobska Light website.  Nobska Lighthouse Cape CodNobska Lighthouse Cape CodThe Three Sisters

What’s surprising about these 3 elderly lighthouses is that they are buried in the forest. They are, in effect, retired from their duties. These are relics of the times when a different number of lights designated different places along the coast of the Cape. One shone in Truro, 2 in Chatham, and 3 here in Eastham. The sisters may no longer light up, but they have lost none of their charm. Three Sisters Cape CodThree Sisters Cape CodThree Sisters Cape Cod

Point Pinos Lighthouse Point Pinos Lighthouse MontereyThe Point Pinos Lighthouse in Monterey, California, is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the entire West Coast. We stayed nearby, went out for a walk along the water, and happened onto this lighthouse. What a delightful find! Unlike our visits to lighthouses on Cape Cod, this time we arrived when the lighthouse was open to tour. Up the winding stairs we climbed. Point Pinos Lighthouse Monterey

The lighthouse was an observation point during WWII. Some of it is fixed up to show what it looked like during those years when someone would sit and scan the sea for signs of enemy attack. Point Pinos Lighthouse MontereyPoint Pinos Lighthouse MontereyPoint Pinos Lighthouse MontereyOur docent, Ruth, told us so much about this lighthouse. She is one enthusiastic guide. She insisted we descend to the basement to see the foghorn and a retired light. Point Pinos Lighthouse MontereyPoint Pinos Lighthouse MontereyPoint Pinos Lighthouse MontereyPoint Pinos Lighthouse Monterey

The Point Pinos Lighthouse is open every day except Tuesday and Wednesday, from 1 to 4. For more information, visit their website. Point Pinos Lighthouse Monterey

Old Point Loma Lighthouse

Point Loma Lighthouse San DiegoThis lighthouse is in San Diego, where I grew up and still live. So I’ve been enjoying visits here as long as I can remember. When I went to Point Pinos, it seemed familiar. In talking to our guide, we learned that these 2 lighthouses were built using the same plans. This makes sense — how many architectural drawings of a lighthouse would be needed? So, like the Three Sisters on the East Coast, we have at least 2 sisters in the West. Point Loma Lighthouse San DiegoPoint Loma has a winding staircase up to the light, of course.Point Loma LighthouseThe interior rooms are fixed up as they were in the 1800s when the lighthouse keeper and his family lived on this windswept point of land. They were isolated, but they had all the comforts of a fine home. Point Loma Lighthouse San DiegoPoint Loma Lighthouse San DiegoA retired Fresnel light is on display in a garden building. Point Loma Lighthouse San Diego

Many lighthouses do have a view of the sea, and San Diego’s is especially enchanting. I may be a bit prejudiced, though. What do you think? Point Loma Lighthouse, San Diego BayPoint Loma Lighthouse San DiegoPoint Loma Lighthouse San Diego

These are a few of my favorite lighthouses. How about you? Have you toured a delightful lighthouse? Point Loma Lighthouse San Diego

Linking up with Image-in-ing, Monday Murals, Pictorial Tuesday, Wednesday Around the WorldThe Good, the Random, the Fun, Through My Lens, Seasons, Our World Tuesday, Photo Friday, Travel Photo Thursday, Weekend Wanderlust, Faraway Files, The Weekly Postcard, Wanderful Wednesday, Feet Do Travel, Weekend Wanderlust, Nanahood, My Corner of the World, and Weekend Travel Inspiration.

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40 Comments

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William Kendall March 10, 2019 at 9:18 am

These are beautiful! I am reminded of one lighthouse in particular that I have been inside, at West Point in Prince Edward Island.

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Carol March 10, 2019 at 12:26 pm

I also love light houses and find their histories intriguing.

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Annick March 10, 2019 at 3:45 pm

Love the idea behind this post! It’s such a fun way to give lots of information and share a passion! I love lighthouses too and always wonder the story behind them. I feel like there are so many cool ones all over the east coast of Canada and USA that I’ve been too!

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Suzy March 10, 2019 at 5:13 pm

Oh I love lighthouses too! I used to dream of renovating an old one and living happily ever after with an incredible view. Your photos are wonderful

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KB March 10, 2019 at 5:29 pm

It’s nice to see the different types of lighthouses, they usually look the same

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Nick March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

There’s something about lighthouses that are just beautiful at the core. Thanks for sharing!

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Junieper2/Jesh StG March 10, 2019 at 9:31 pm

You may be biased, Sharon (smiling), but point Loma a great contender with the others! The red-white tower steals my heart though. Also love that Fresnel light – so cool! Can imagine that the life of someone working at the lighthouse may lead an isolated life (unless there is more than one and they can share shifts). Great subject to share with All Seasons! Have a lovely week:)

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Tamar Strauss-Benjamin March 11, 2019 at 12:42 am

So many amazing ones to go visit!

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Clare (The Travelling Wilbennetts) March 11, 2019 at 1:06 am

Great article – something a little bit mysterious about a lighthouse isn’t there #MondayEscapes

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Jenny - TraveLynn Family March 11, 2019 at 1:17 am

Pleased to come across another Lighthouse enthusiast! We always make the effort to see them on our travels. Each ones seems to hold a thousand stories.

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Sylvia D. March 11, 2019 at 9:03 am

Sharon, Love your photos of lighthouses! The ones with red are my favorites. Thanks for sharing and have a great week. Sylvia D.

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Eileen Wise March 11, 2019 at 10:53 am

Hello, I love lighthouses. This is a great post. Beautiful photos. Happy Monday, have a great day and new week ahead!

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Adam Jones March 11, 2019 at 11:06 am

I do like lighthouses, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and looking at the pictures you captured. Thanks for sharing.

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Lauren (Where the Wild Kids Wander) March 11, 2019 at 11:54 am

We love lighthouses! We visit Martha’s Vineyard every summer and love visiting the Gay Head Lighthouse and Edgartown Lighthouse. There is something magical about them!
#mondayescapes

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Fun60 March 11, 2019 at 1:16 pm

There is definitely something fascinating about lighthouses.

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Photo Cache March 11, 2019 at 3:12 pm

What a beautiful collection. I hope to someday get to visit the Northeast.

Worth a Thousand Words

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My Corner of the World March 13, 2019 at 6:38 pm

Lighthouses intrigue me so much! You have a great variety of different styles and, I’m sure, they all have fascinating histories, too. Thanks a lot for linking up to My Corner of the World!

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Erin Gustafson | Oregon Girl Around the World March 14, 2019 at 8:46 am

I also love the Point Loma one – what a beautiful place to take in a sunset! You need to get to Oregon though and see the Heceta Head lighthouse on the Coast north of Florence. It’s a very picturesque spot that I think you’d love! I too loved the Light Between Oceans. There is truly something seriously intriguing about lighthouses – I so agree! Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles

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Shannon March 14, 2019 at 4:14 pm

Great article Sharon! My sister and I were just visiting the Point Loma Lighthouse in San Diego during her visit to see me! It was our first time there together, so we really enjoyed learning about it,.. and making memories together.

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California Globetrotter March 14, 2019 at 11:11 pm

I will always have a special place for the Point Loma lighthouse as my family took family photos there one year! #FeetDoTravel

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USHA SITAARAAM March 15, 2019 at 12:29 am

There is something about the lighthouses and I remember the lines of book. Amazing collection and post. Enjoyed reading it. #farawayfiles

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Keri | Ladies What Travel March 15, 2019 at 1:21 am

I love a good lighthouse, they’re so photogenic aren’t they! I know this is a region my co-editor Emma would love to visit, I’ll definitely share this post! x

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Shona March 15, 2019 at 3:03 am

I love a lighthouse. The Point Pinos Lighthouse is my fave from your list. I’ve recently visited Galle in Sri Lanka and the lighthouse at Galle Fort is pretty spectacular too.

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Cynthia / Adventuring Woman March 16, 2019 at 1:21 pm

Lighthouses do have a special appeal. Love the beautiful old window trim on the ones in Cape Cod. I’ve visited lighthouses on the Minnesota North Shore of Lake Superior. The one in Grand Marais has a little museum. Your docent at Point Pinos reminds me of that museum. Love it when residents are passionate about local history. #feetdotravel

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Emily March 16, 2019 at 4:29 pm

Beautiful!! As a lifelong land-locked Midwesterner, I think lighthouses are so cool.

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Heather - That OC Girl March 16, 2019 at 4:33 pm

I don’t know what it is about lighthouses that make us love them so much, but they are gorgeous! My California bucket list includes visiting a few once I make a road trip up the PCH!

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Sarah March 16, 2019 at 5:19 pm

I bet my boys would love exploring all these lighthouses! Beautiful photos!

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Kalyan Panja March 17, 2019 at 3:45 am

Thanks for sharing your collection. I never miss an opportunity of visiting a lighthouse nearby whenever I am near one.

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Linda (LD Holland) March 17, 2019 at 5:12 am

I am with you. Lighthouses always draw me in. We have never been to Cape Cod but that to me seems like the perfect spot for lighthouses. I am sure the lighthouse museums provide interesting tales. Especially the ones that were used as part of war efforts. I do love those circular staircases up the centre. What a lovely selection you picked.

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Jill March 17, 2019 at 7:19 am

I love lighthouses, also, and they have always intrigued me. I’ve been to a few of the same that you have visited. I enjoy almost all lighthouses but a favorite is the one at Point Reyes National Park north of San Francisco. It’s 308 steps down into a point jutting out into the Marin Headlands and extremely windy so it has the definite lighthouse vibe of windswept and lonely. I really enjoyed reading this!

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Phil and Garth March 17, 2019 at 9:21 am

Great idea for a post! The Point Pinos Lighthouse looks delightful! Just shows when you look closer at lighthouses, they are so diverse! We saw Britain’s most northerly lighthouse on the North coast of Scotland last year 🙂 #feetdotravel

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Rhonda Albom March 17, 2019 at 12:52 pm

I like the lighthouses that look like a light on top of a house from a conceptual point of view but the tall cylindrical beacons are really what I visualize a lighthouse to be. The three sisters remind me of a lighthouse on private property near me. Actually, I think the one near me was built by the owner (must be an enthusiast).

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Simone March 19, 2019 at 11:59 am

Very beautiful photography and I enjoyed reading your descriptions of each lighthouse. Seeing these images made me remember a quote: “Many people spend too much time being the captain on someone else’s boat. Learn to be like a lighthouse and the boats will find their way.” If you don’t mind me asking, what type of camera do you use for your photos?

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Sharon March 22, 2019 at 9:27 am

Hi, Simone! I use a Sony A6500 mirrorless camera. Older photos are likely my DSLR Nikon D3500. I’m using my iPhone more now, too, as the quality has improved. I run everything through Lightroom before publishing. What camera do you prefer?

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Catherine’s Cultural Wednesdays March 20, 2019 at 8:14 am

You had me at lighthouse! Great post, pinned for our Californian jaunt later this year #FarawayFiles

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Angie (FeetDoTravel) March 20, 2019 at 6:11 pm

I have never really thought about lighthouses before, but now you mention it, they do make a beautiful photograph! I agree, they are intriguing, and you have picked some wonderful lighthouses to share, thank you! What a beautiful post pinned. #feetdotravel

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Rob + Ann @TravelLatte.net March 21, 2019 at 3:58 am

One of our favorite lighthouses is at Harbour Town on Hilton Head Island. It’s classic red and white stripes are an icon of the island, and it’s one of Harbour Town’s top attractions. If you follow golf, you’ve likely seen it in PGA coverage of the RBC Heritage. But the Three Sisters sound very intriguing! We are keen to visit Cape Cod, so we’ll have to seem then out when we’re there. Thanks for pointing them out!

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hilary March 21, 2019 at 9:21 pm

We recently discovered just how much we love lighthouses, and visiting some of the iconic east coast lighthouses is definitely on my list as is visiting the one in San Diego! #farawayfiles

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maharaja March 22, 2019 at 10:36 pm

It is great to see light house great place shortly i will be there thanks for sharing this post

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Kreete March 24, 2019 at 2:19 pm

I do have a fascination with lighthouses as well! There is just something mystical about them and especially when you hear about the ones that are secluded and used to have people living in them to operate them. Some stories that I have heard are super spooky. And how interesting there are lighthouses “retired” in the forest! You have certainly done your research for this one and I did truly enjoyed reading this article.

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