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6 incredible lighthouses you can actually stay in

Sept. 04, 2021
6 min read
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Lighthouses are full of lore.

And the fact that they’re almost all located within earshot of pounding surf (or least some sort of lapping water) makes them that much more appealing.

The chance to sleep in a lighthouse often guarantees a return to nature and the simple pleasures — and some of them are so remote they even require a boat to reach, putting some extra joy in the journey.

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Read on for a few great lighthouses where you can spend a night or longer, far from the city lights.

1873 Lighthouse, Daufuskie Island, South Carolina

1873 Lighthouse, Daufuskie Island. (Photo courtesy of Haig Point/Facebook)

If you like a side of spirits with your lighthouse stay, sign up for a few nights at this reportedly haunted lighthouse on the northern tip of Daufuskie Island, a sleepy place accessed by a quick boat ride from Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Inside the upscale Haig Point community, the 1873 Lighthouse on Daufuskie Island was in use between 1873 and the 1930s to aid mariners navigating Calibogue Sound’s dangerous shoals. And it’s reported to be haunted by the first lighthouse keeper’s daughter — a friendly ghost named Maggie who suffered a broken heart due to a lost love.

Related: 7 reasons why your next vacation should be on Hilton Head Island

Luckily, the lighthouse is plenty romantic, and not in sad way. You’ll sleep in a two-bedroom house at the 40-foot tower’s base with a cozy fireplace, clawfoot tub and rocking chair-lined porch with water views where you might see passing dolphins. The lighthouse sleeps up to four people and is available for exclusive rental only.

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HI-Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel, Pescadero, California

HI-Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel. (Photo courtesy of HIUSA)

When is a hostel not a hostel? How about when it’s been turned into an exclusive vacation rental, as is the case with the HI Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel in Pescadero, California, some 50 miles south of San Francisco along scenic Highway 1.

Three vacation units at the base of the 116-foot-tall lighthouse are available for rent, and each can sleep up to 15 people. Out the door, there are spectacular coastal trails to hike where you can see harbor seals and stop at secluded beaches for a picnic.

The 115-foot tall lighthouse tower was built in 1872 to guide ships through the precarious tides along this stretch of the California coastline. And while the original lens has been replaced by am exterior electronic system now, the lighthouse still serves as important navigational marker.

Le Phare de l’île Verte, Quebec, Canada

(Photo courtesy of Le Phare de l’île Verte/Facebook)

Shining a light for navigators along Quebec’s St. Lawrence River for more than 200 years, Le Phare de l’île Verte , a designated National Historic Site of Canada, is only open for stays from mid-June to mid-September. And it’s well worth reserving in advance to stay on an island in the St. Lawrence River within one of the two keeper’s houses at its base, each with four guest rooms and originally home to the lighthouse keeper and assistant.

Related: 5 small Canadian cities you can use points and miles to visit in 2021

The scenery is very Scandinavian, between the red and white houses and lighthouse and the austere rocky surrounds lapped by steel gray waters. Simple beauty surrounded by nature. What more could you want?

Saugerties Lighthouse, Saugerties, New York

The Saugerties Lighthouse. (Photo by nancykennedy/Getty Images)

With just two guest rooms available only four nights a week, it’s no easy feat to score a room at the storied Saugerties Lighthouse on the Hudson River.

Built in 1869, the lighthouse sits at the tip of a point jutting into the river just north of the town of Saugerties and is surrounded by water on nearly all sides. Autumn brings a rush of amber and crimson foliage all around, while winter might see you watching ice floes floating down the river from your room.

Related: 10 scenic train rides that are perfect for US leaf peeping

Stays here are rustic. It’s a half-mile hike in from the parking lot along a trail to reach the lighthouse. And while breakfast, prepared by the keeper, is included, you’ll need to carry in the rest of your food.

Guests share a bathroom with a clawfoot tub and the toilet is the composting variety. The chance to say someplace so transporting, however, is something worth forgoing 400-thread-count linens to experience.

Wings Neck Lighthouse, Pocasset, Massachusetts

Wings Neck Lighthouse. (Photo by Thomas H. Mitchell/Getty Images)

Once upon a time, Wings Neck Lighthouse, near the town of Pocasset on Cape Cod, was a working U.S. Coastguard Lighthouse that helped to guide ships through Buzzards Bay.

Today, it’s a scenic retreat where you can escape the outside world within the three-bedroom keeper’s cottage, connected to the light by a breezeway.

There’s a private rocky beach nearby where you can go shelling, an outdoor shower, adults' and kids' bikes to make use of during your stay and ocean views all around.

Related: 15 Cape Cod Activities Your Family Will Love

Little River Lighthouse, Rockland, Maine

Little River Lighthouse. (Photo by Thomas H. Mitchell/Getty Images)

Right at the entrance to Cutler Harbor in Downeast Maine, you can spend the night (or longer) at the working Little River Lighthouse, on a 15-acre island carpeted with pines.

You’ll arrive to the island via a short boat shuttle from Cutler’s Harbor then cross a boardwalk over the water to reach the lighthouse.

The 1888 keeper’s house has been fully restored and overlooks the Bay of Fundy, with three cozy bedrooms with wooden floors and beds topped with handmade quilts (for a maximum of six guests).

Be sure to climb to the top of the lighthouse, where you might spot eagles winging in close. And step outside at night for some star gazing into inky skies unmarred by light pollution.

Photo courtesy of Photography by Deb Snelson/Getty Images.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023