10 Historical Lighthouses to See This Summer

by , SmarterTravel Staff - August 7, 2014

(Photo: donjd2 via flickr/CC Attribution)

Hundreds of beautiful and lonely lighthouses ascend above rocky isles, cliff tops, and soft beaches along the American coast. Although most are retired, having guided mariners safely to shore several lifetimes ago, some still function as navigational aids. Active or not, these historical lighthouses serve as important reminders of our past. On their grounds, you'll find old keepers' quarters, rare seabirds, and museums. And in a few of the lighthouses that remain open to the public, visitors can climb windy spiral staircases to discover panoramic sea views at the top.


In honor of National Lighthouse Day on August 7, feast your eyes on photos of 10 gorgeous and historical American lighthouses.

Portland Head Light, Maine

Cape Elizabeth's picturesque Portland Head Light is the oldest lighthouse in Maine and is, arguably, one of the United States' most iconic. The structure is closed to the public, but visitors can tour the lighthouse grounds and explore an adjacent museum in the former keeper's residence.

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