A Visit to a Lighthouse Makes a Perfect Day Trip 

What's the purpose of a lighthouse?  They 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 be even haunted. The various lighthouses listed below are perfect destinations and make a nice day trip or getaway idea. Many 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!  Look out for the special activities and celebrations during National Lighthouse Day usually in August. Check each website before heading out. 

Absecon Lighthouse

Are you up to climbing 228 steps? If so, once you get to the top, the treat is a great view of the Atlantic City skyline. Absecon Lighthouse is over 150 years old and is the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey at 171 feet high. Also see the Replica Lightkeepers dwelling, educational museum, and gift shop. They usually host a Lighthouse Festival as well as Arts & Crafts themes and FREE Movie nights during the summer (Check out their summer schedule).  Open year round. 31 S. Rhode Island Ave, Atlantic City, NJ.

Barnegat Lighthouse

Get energized! Climb 217 steps to the light keepers catwalk at the Barnegat Lighthouse. 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 Interpretive Center. Surrounding park area offers fishing, nature trails, bird watching, and picnicking. FREE for kids 5 & under. Long Beach Island in Ocean County, NJ, 609.494.2016

Cape May Lighthouse

Climb 199 steps to the top of the 1859 Cape May Lighthouse. Scenic views of the Jersey Cape and Delaware Bay. Visitors Orientation Center and Museum Shop. They host family fun days, as well as Kids climb FREE with a paying adult on some days, with FREE admission to family activities.  215 Lighthouse Ave, Cape May Point State Park, NJ, 609.884.5404

East Point Lighthouse

Originally built in 1849. In 2017, lighthouse was fully restored inside and outside, including new lantern. Open 1st and 4rd weekends of the month. 10 Lighthouse Road, Heislerville, NJ, 856.785.0349

Finns Point Rear Range Lighthouse

Open on the 3rd Sunday of the month (March to May and September to November). FREE to climb and must be 13 years and older. 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. 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, 609.600.1561

Sandy Hook Lighthouse

Still in use today, the Sandy Hook Lighthouse is designated a National Historical Landmark. Tours offered 1PM-4:30PM. Must be 48 inches tall to climb. Explore Lighthouse Keepers Quarters and Visitors Center located next door to lighthouse. 128 South Hartshorne Drive, Highlands, NJ, 732.872.5970

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, 732.974.0514

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 Tuckerton Seaport. Climb 42 steps to the top of the tower for views of the Seaport and Lake Pohatcong. See exhibits on New Jersey maritime history. 120 West Main Street, Tuckerton, NJ, 609-296-8868

Twin Lights Lighthouse

FREE to climb to top of Twin Lights Lighthouse. Donations appreciated. Operates Tuesdays to Sundays. 200 feet above sea level and high on the hill, the current lighthouse with 2 towers overlooks 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 or spirits. Explore exhibit: “Seeing Stars: Every Flag Tells a Story”. Lighthouse Road, Highlands, NJ, 732.872.1814