A Visit to a Lighthouse Makes a Perfect Day Trip

Lighthouses protect our coasts and help guide sailors & sea mariners. While only a few are operational today, many of the historic ones have plenty of stories to tell, some may even be haunted. The various lighthouses listed below are perfect destinations and make for a nice day trip or getaway idea. Some offer FREE entry (or charge a nominal fee) as well as free special events during the summer. A visit to a lighthouse is a great experience for kids, a truly fun excursion for the whole family. The cool part is in the climb, so get ready for the exercise as well as exploration!  There are special activities and celebrations held during National Lighthouse Day in the month of August. This year it falls on August 7, 2022. Please double check venues for any changes.

Absecon Lighthouse

Start your climb up 228 steps. At the the top, you’ll be treated to a spectacular view of the Atlantic City skyline. Absecon Lighthouse is over 150 years old and is the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey, standing at 171 feet high. You can also see a Replica Lightkeepers dwelling, educational museum, and gift shop. Check out their summer schedule for special events. Kids 12 & under can climb FREE August 7, 2022 on National Lighthouse Day. The lighthouse is open year round and is located at 31 S. Rhode Island Ave in Atlantic City, NJ.

Barnegat Lighthouse (closed through October 2022)

Get energized! Climb 217 steps to the light keepers catwalk at the Barnegat Lighthouse. The lantern light is visible for 22 nautical miles. Once you've reached the top, you'll encounter spectacular views of Island Beach, Barnegat Bay, Long Beach Island and the Atlantic Ocean. Learn about lighthouse and maritime history next door at the Interpretive Center. The surrounding park area offers fishing, nature trails, bird watching, and picnicking. FREE for kids 5 & under. Long Beach Island in Ocean County, NJ.

Cape May Lighthouse

Climb 199 steps to the top of the 1859 Cape May Lighthouse. Scenic views of the Jersey Cape and Delaware Bay. There is a Visitors Orientation Center and Museum Shop. On Wednesdays (9AM-2PM) through August 24, 2022, the Cape May Lighthouse hosts Family Fun Crafts Shows with kid activities, performers and crafts - free admission to the grounds. On National Lighthouse Day August 7, 2022, there will be FREE admission to the grounds & activities; and kids can climb the Lighthouse FREE with a paying adult. 215 Lighthouse Ave, Cape May Point State Park, NJ.

East Point Lighthouse

Originally built in 1849, the East Point Lighthouse was fully restored inside and outside, including new lantern. Open for tours year round. Special events held throughout the year as well. Located at 10 Lighthouse Road, Heislerville, NJ.

Finns Point Rear Range Lighthouse

Located at the Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Enjoy views of the Delaware River and refuge center. 197 Lighthouse Rd, Pennsville, NJ, 609.463.0994

Hereford Inlet Lighthouse

FREE admission. The Hereford Inlet Lighthouse is a popular tourist destination. It serves as a working lighthouse and museum. Learn about the history of Hereford and life of lighthouse keeper. Explore surrounding Victorian Style Park, Hereford Gardens, and North Wildwood Seawall’s called AngleseaWalk. 111 North Central Avenue, North Wildwood, NJ.

Sandy Hook Lighthouse

Still in use today, the Sandy Hook Lighthouse is designated a National Historical Landmark. Seasonal tours offered 1PM-4:30PM on weekends. Must be 48 inches tall to climb. Explore Lighthouse Keepers Quarters and Visitors Center located next door to the lighthouse. 128 South Hartshorne Drive, Highlands, NJ.

Sea Girt Lighthouse

FREE tours conducted on Sundays, April through November. Donations appreciated. At the Sea Girt Lighthouse, take a guided tour of all rooms of keeper quarters and up to the lantern at top of the tower. 9 Ocean Ave, Sea Girt, NJ.

Tucker’s Island Lighthouse Replica

Reproduction of lighthouse that was once located on Tucker’s Island and fell into the ocean in 1927. This replica lighthouse is located at the Tuckerton Seaport. Climb 42 steps to the top of the tower for views of the Seaport and Lake Pohatcong. You can also view exhibits on New Jersey's maritime history. 120 West Main Street, Tuckerton, NJ.

Twin Lights Lighthouse

The Museum and grounds self tour Admission is FREE. However, there is a fee for general tours and a fee during the summer to climb both lighthouse towers. Located 200 feet above sea level and high on the hill, the Twin Lights Lighthouse has 2 towers that overlook the coastal waters of NJ. The South Tower is unlit and The North Tower is lit by a 500 watt bulb. Twin Lights has been rumored to have ghosts and spirits. Lighthouse Road in Highlands, NJ.