Gary Clair


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Coastal states like New Jersey are the best for visiting maritime landmarks like lighthouses. 11 of New Jersey’s 18 lighthouses are open to the public for tours. Sometimes they’re just pretty to look at during an evening of watching the sunset on a Jersey Shore vacation. Here are some of the best lighthouses to see in New Jersey.

Barnegat Lighthouse, Barnegat Light

The Barnegat Lighthouse is part of the Barnegat Lighthouse State Park in Barnegat, NJ. Trails weave throughout the maritime forest that are perfect for nature walks and birding. Boating is also very common on the waters and offers beautiful views of the lighthouse and coastal town. You can climb up the lighthouse for a small fee and see gorgeous views of the Long Beach Island. Make sure to stop by the museum to learn the history of the lighthouse and see the original lighthouse lens.

East Point Lighthouse, Heislerville

Built in 1849, East Point is one of the oldest lighthouses in New Jersey. It has had a long history including being blacked out during World War II, decommissioning in 1941, and a fire in 1971. Since then, the lighthouse has been renovated and is open to the public on the 3rd Sunday of each month April-October.

Sandy Hook Lighthouse, Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook is the oldest operating ligthhouse in the United States and was first lit in 1764. Besides being blacked out during the Civil War, Spanish-American War, and both World Wars, it has been in operation since its first light. It’s located within the Gateway National Recreation Area where you can also explore hiking trails, the holly forest, and bird watching. You can tour Sandy Hook Lighthouse and keeper’s quarters for free on weekends all year and weekdays April-October.

Cape May Lighthouse, Cape May Point

The Cape May Lighthouse┬áhas been in operation since 1859 and is still used to aid ships and boats today. The light is located within Cape May Point State Park, where you can also enjoy hiking, fishing, and visit a World War II lookout tower. You can climb all 199 of the steps of the lighthouse daily for a small fee and visit the Oil House and Visitor’s Center to learn the history of the lighthouse.

Seeing all the lighthouses that New Jersey has to offer may take more than just one day. Consider making your lighthouse hunting a trip and stay at one of the best Jersey Shore hotels on the beach.

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