Home Features Family 8 NJ Lighthouses to Visit on National Lighthouse Day

8 NJ Lighthouses to Visit on National Lighthouse Day

National Lighthouse Day is celebrated on August 7, 2017. It’s the perfect time to visit one of New Jersey’s incredible lighthouses and learn about their role in America’s maritime heritage and history. Many offer free admission for kids to celebrate. Plan a fun trip for the whole family; most are near state parks or beaches so there’s plenty to do.

Here are some of our favorites in the state.


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Best for Height Lovers: Absecon Lighthouse

Lighthouses

Address: 31 S. Rhode Island Avenue, Atlantic City
Details: Journey back in time as you climb 228 steps to the top of the state’s tallest lighthouse, first lit in 1857. At 171 feet tall, Abescon is the third tallest in the country. Check out the breathtaking views of Atlantic City from the top. After you descend, explore an educational museum and gift shop on the expansive grounds.
National Lighthouse Day events: Kids up to age 14 climb free on National Lighthouse Day when accompanied by an adult. A full moon climb is $20 per person and includes fine wine and live music.
More info: www.abseconlighthouse.org or click here to call.


Best for Hikers: Barnegat Lighthouse

LighthousesAddress: 208 Broadway, Barnegat Light
Details: Climb Old Barney’s 217 steps for spectacular panoramic views of Island Beach, Barnegat Bay and Long Beach Island. And if you dislike heights, four cameras transmit live images to a display in the Interpretive Center. When you’re done, hike along the Maritime Forest Trail, a self-guided loop through a forest featuring various types of trees and migratory birds.
National Lighthouse Day events: Find special tour hours and free climbing for kids up to age 14. Participants earn a Junior Lighthouse Keeper certificate and souvenir sticker by answering questions about the lighthouse.
More info: Visit the website or click here to call.


Best for Bird Watchers: Cape May Lighthouse

LighthousesAddress: 215 Lighthouse Avenue, Cape May Point
Details: Cape May is a mecca for birds and birdwatchers alike and home to the Cape May Bird Observatory. Who knows what types of birds you’ll see when you visit? It’s located in Cape May Point State Park, a key site on the NJ Coastal Heritage Trail. Climb 199 steps to the top and be rewarded with amazing views of the Cape May peninsula. The grounds also house an orientation center and gift shop.
National Lighthouse Day events: Celebrate here from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm by making crafts, listening to songs of the sea, meeting lighthouse keepers and more. (Activities are free but there’s a fee to climb the lighthouse.)
More info: Visit the website or click here to call.


Best for Garden Lovers: Hereford Inlet Lighthouse

Address: 111 North Central Avenue, North Wildwood
Details: This residential-style, picturesque spot was first used by 17th century whalers and built to mark the entrance of the Hereford Inlet. Today you’ll find a working lighthouse, as well as a museum. Take a tour to learn about its history and get a glimpse into the life of a lighthouse keeper. Stroll through the beautiful award-winning gardens, which boast more than 200 plant varieties. Sit on one of the benches lining the garden path or relax in the large gazebo at this tranquil setting.
National Lighthouse Day events: Find special tour hours and free climbing for kids up to age 14. Participants earn a Junior Lighthouse Keeper certificate and souvenir sticker by answering questions.
More info: Visit the website or click here to call.


Best for History Buffs: Sandy Hook Lighthouse

LighthousesAddress: 84 Mercer Road, Highlands
Details: The oldest in operation in the United States, Sandy Hook Lighthouse is located at the northern end of the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area in Atlantic Highlands and on the grounds of Fort Hancock. This well-preserved octagonal tower goes back to the 18th century and has been in service since 1764. It was only darkened during the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II. Climb the 95 steps and nine-rung ladder up to the lens room at the top.
National Lighthouse Day events: Kids under age 14 climb free. Participants earn a Junior Lighthouse Keeper certificate and souvenir sticker by answering questions.
More info: Visit the website or call click here to call.


Best for a Party: Sea Girt Lighthouse

Lighthouses

Address: 9 Ocean Avenue, Sea Girt
Details: Sea Girt Lighthouse—nestled within an L-shaped Victorian building—first shone in 1896. Originally built to bridge the 40-mile gap between Barnegat Light and the Twin Lights of Navesink, it was decommissioned in 1945. The red brick structure was the last live-in lighthouse (which means the tower is integrated into the living quarters) built on the Atlantic Coast. Looking for a unique party venue? This spot is available for special events to Sea Girt property owners.
National Lighthouse Day events: Find special tour hours and free climbing for kids. Participants earn a Junior Lighthouse Keeper certificate and souvenir sticker by answering questions.
More info: Visit the website or click here to call.


Best for Families: Tucker’s Island Lighthouse

LighthousesAddress: 120 West Main Street, Tuckerton
Details: Bring your family and uncover the world of the Jersey Shore at this lighthouse, located within the Tuckerton Seaport. This one is actually a reproduction of the original from 1868 that fell into the ocean in October 1927. From the second floor, climb 42 steps for a breathtaking view of the Tuckerton Seaport and Lake Pohatcong. When you’re done, have fun exploring Tuckerton Seaport, which boasts a boardwalk, exhibits, charming shops, museums and restaurants.
National Lighthouse Day events: Activities include special tours and free climbing for kids up to age 14. Participants earn a Junior Lighthouse Keeper certificate and souvenir sticker by answering questions.
More info: Visit the website or click here to call.


Best Design: Twin Lights Lighthouse

Address: 2 Lighthouse Road, Highlands
Details: This unique one, perched atop the Navesink Highlands, has overlooked the borough of Highlands since 1828. The current lighthouse was built in 1862 of local brownstone to replace older buildings that were in disrepair. When it was rebuilt, it was constructed with two non-identical towers (linked by storage rooms and keeper’s quarters) and dual lights (one flashing and one fixed). These unique features make it easily distinguishable from nearby lighthouses. Visit the renovated museum to see the exhibit “Seeing Stars: Every Flag Tells a Story,” which explores the American flag from inception to today.
National Lighthouse Day events: Enjoy special tour hours and free climbing for kids up to age 14. Participants earn a Junior Lighthouse Keeper certificate and souvenir sticker by answering questions.
More info: Visit the website or click here to call.


Hero (Top) Feature Image: © K.L. Kohn/Adobe Stock
Additional Images (in order) Courtesy:
State of New Jersey / Website
Steve Peterson
Visit NJ / Website
National Park Service / Website
Visit NJ / Website
The Tuckerton Seaport / Facebook

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