7 Lighthouses You Can Sleep In
Rose Island Lighthouse Newport, Rhode Island
Step back into another century as you become the “keeper” of this working lighthouse for a night or even a week. Built a mile offshore in Narragansett Bay, the lighthouse, which dates to 1869, runs on wind-powered electricity and is accessible only by boat: Be prepared to bunk an extra night (for free) if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
Saugerties Lighthouse Saugerties, New York
Perched on the Hudson River where it meets the mouth of the Esopus Creek, this square tower and its graceful red-brick Italianate keeper’s quarters date to 1869. It now operates as a museum (there are tours on summer Sundays and by appointment) and a B&B, open Thursday through Sunday nights year-round.
Pigeon Point Lighthouse Pescadero, California
A spectacular stretch of California coast has been the home of the 115-foot-tall Pigeon Point Lighthouse, one of the tallest lighthouses in the United States, since 1872. The tower itself is not open to the public, but a hostel now operates on the picture-perfect grounds, offering accommodations in former Coast Guard family quarters. Guests can book either shared or private rooms.
Heceta Head Lighthouse Yachats, Oregon
Since 1894, the beam sweeping across the Pacific Ocean from the Heceta Head Lighthouse has guided mariners as far as 21 miles out from the Oregon coast. Though tours of the lighthouse are given daily from March through October, by far the best way to see it is as a guest of the B&B that occupies the charming Victorian keeper’s house: on a nighttime exploration of the tower by flashlight along with one of the keepers themselves.
Sentinel Island Lighthouse Juneau, Alaska
“Rustic and remote” would be the words for an overnight stay at the Sentinel Island Lighthouse, where your way in and out is by sea kayak, charter boat, or helicopter, and your bed is a simple bunk in the Art Deco lighthouse or a sleeping bag in a tent pitched outside. But the payoff is huge: the run of the six-acre island in Alaska’s Inside Passage on which the 1935 lighthouse is set, and a glorious vantage point for spotting whales, eagles, and sea lions.
Big Bay Point Lighthouse Big Bay, Michigan
Built toward the close of the nineteenth century, the 60-foot tower of Big Bay Point Lighthouse offers an extraordinary range of views: fields of wildflowers, spiky pine forests, the Huron Mountains, and, far below its cliffside site, the waters of Lake Superior. Rent one of the seven bedrooms in what is now a cozy bed-and-breakfast, and you may even glimpse the aurora borealis, if you’re lucky.