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NJ Lighthouses

Take a climb and enjoy the view from one of NJ's 11 historic and beautiful lighthouses!


Published:

istock.com/johnraffaghello

 

Summer at the beach is everyone’s picture perfect idea of fun, but did you know that the shores of New Jersey also house incredible history? Our shores are home to 11 unique lighthouses that are perfect escapes from the summer sun and great educational trips for the fam.

Absecon Lighthouse

31 S. Rhode Island Ave., Atlantic City
Open daily, 10 am-5 pm
$8/adults, $7/seniors (65+), $5/ages 4-12, $3/Atlantic City residents with ID, free/active military and ages 4 and under
Free parking and admission to the Keeper's House Museum, exhibits and grounds
609-449-1360

Take an amazing journey back in time and above it all as you ascend the 228 steps of the Absecon Lighthouse, one of the oldest lighthouses in the country. You'll see breathtaking views of the Atlantic City skyline and come face-to-face with the original first-order Fresnel Lens, first lit in 1857. The lighthouse's recent multimillion dollar restoration also includes a stunning replica of the Lightkeeper's dwelling, an educational museum, charming gift shop and Fresnel Lens exhibit in the original Oil House.

Barnegat Lighthouse

208 Bdwy., Barnegat Light
Daily from 9-4:30 am (weather permitting) from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
$1/adults, free/ages 12 and under, accompanied by an adult
609-494-2016

A panoramic view of Island Beach, Barnegat Bay, and Long Beach Island awaits visitors at the top of Barnegat Lighthouse (AKA Old Barney). Visitors can also catch the views from the top without climbing the 217 steps thanks to four cameras that transmit live images of the view to a display in the adjacent Interpretive Center.

Cape May Lighthouse

215 Lighthouse Ave., Cape May Point
9 am-8 pm; $8/adults, $5/kids 3-12, free/ages 3 and under
609-884-5404

The 157-foot-high lighthouse built in 1859 is still an aid to navigation. Visitors who climb the 199 steps to the top of the lighthouse can check out a panoramic view of the Cape May peninsula.

East Point Lighthouse

10 Lighthouse Rd., Heislerville
July-Sept., Saturday-Sunday, 1-4 pm, weather permitting. Call for more information.
Free
856-785-0349

This is the second oldest lighthouse in NJ. Built in 1849, the lighthouse is located on the east bank of the mouth of the Maurice River. Its purpose is to guide fishermen, oystermen and other mariners into the river from the Delaware Bay. The light was extinguished at the beginning of WWII in 1941. The light was not re-lit after the war and remained abandoned until 1971 when the Maurice River Historical Society was formed to protect and restore it. In 1980 the coast guard reinstalled a beacon and put the East Point Lighthouse back on the list of active navigational aids.

Finn’s Point Rear Range Lighthouse

310 Old Fort Mott Rd., Pennsville
Open every third Sun. of each month March through May and Sept. through Nov., weather permitting.
Free
609-463-0994

Visitors will be able to climb to the top of the lighthouse and view the surrounding wildlife refuge and Delaware River. The 90-plus-foot-tall iron lighthouse was first lit in April 1877. A lighthouse keeper who lived in an adjacent house tended to the light. The light was later automated and finally went dark in March 1950. In the late 1970s, a local group formed the Save the Lighthouse Committee which helped save the lighthouse from destruction, enabled preservation work to be completed and got it placed on the National Register of Historic Sites.

Hereford Inlet Lighthouse

111 North Central Ave., North Wildwood
Open daily, 9 am-5 pm, subject to change. Call for more information.
$6/adults, $3/kids
609-522-4520

This locale is a working lighthouse as well as a museum. It’s open to the public for guided and self-guided tours. Visitors will learn about the history of Hereford and get a glimpse into the life of a lighthouse keeper in the late 19th and early 20th century.

*Sandy Hook Lighthouse

85 Mercer Rd., Highlands
Free
732-872-5970

This is the oldest operating lighthouse in the United States. It’s located at the northern end of the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area in Atlantic Highlands. Amazingly well preserved, this unique octagonal tower dates back to the 18th century and has been in service since 1764. Kids must be 48 inches or taller to climb the lighthouse.

Sea Girt Lighthouse

9 Ocean Ave., Sea Girt
Sun.days, 2-4 pm, except holiday weekends. (Special group tours are conducted by prior arrangement year- round)
Free
732-974-0514

The red brick structure with a tower rising 44 feet was the last live-in lighthouse built on the Atlantic Coast. Since its restoration, the lighthouse is in use some 200 days a year. Today, the Sea Girt Lighthouse preserves and proclaims its fascinating history through publications, special programs and guided tours of the building now filled with exhibits of rare photos and artifacts.

*Tinicum Island Lighthouse

2nd St., Paulsboro
Tours during the third full weekend of each month April through Oct. Special tours are available with advance notice. The lighthouse is also available for weddings and other special occasions.
Donations accepted
856-423-1505

The Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse began operation on the evening of December 31, 1880.  The lighthouse is a steel skeletal structure standing 85 feet tall with 112 steps leading from the neoclassical pavilion at the base of the tower to the lantern room.

Tucker’s Beach Lighthouse at the Tuckerton Seaport

112 E Main St., Tuckerton
Open daily, 10 am-4 pm
$9/adults, $6/seniors, $5/ages 5-12, free/active military and ages 5 and under
609-296-8868

Although the original lighthouse was destroyed in 1927, a group of southern Ocean County sportsmen expressed concern that the old ways of bay life were in danger of extinction in the 1980s. This group’s vision led to the eventual creation of Tuckerton Seaport, where the area’s rich maritime heritage is preserved through displays and demonstrations of boat building, decoy carving and basket weaving. One of the many buildings at the seaport is a recreation of Tucker’s Island Lighthouse. The replica lighthouse looks quite authentic and even houses a Fresnel lens, though not in the lantern room.

Twin Lights Lighthouse and Historic Site

2 Lighthouse Rd., Highlands
Wed.-Sun., 10 am-4 pm (closed for lunch noon-1 pm) from Memorial Day through Labor Day
Free
732-872-1814

Twin Lights in the Highlands of Navesink overlooks the entrance to New York Bay. Today, thousands of visitors can climb the north tower for a panoramic view of the area from 200 feet up.

 

*Lighthouse will be closed for refurbishment until further notice.

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