If you’re looking for something different on your next vacation, why not stay in a lighthouse? With amazing water views, unique interior spaces and often very private locales, lighthouse lodging will make for a memorial trip. There’s just something romantic and dramatic about these towers by the sea.
Here are some lighthouses with keepers’ residences that you can book a stay in:
Wings Neck Lighthouse in Pocasset, Massachusetts
The Wings Neck Lighthouse in Pocasset, Massachusetts, isn’t the original lighthouse at that location. The first one, built in 1849, was damaged in a fire. The lighthouse rebuilt in 1889 was used by the U.S. Coast Guard through 1943 when it was deemed obsolete and sold as a private residence. In 2003, after a renovation, Wings Necks keeper’s cottage opened to renting visitors.
Wings Neck is situated at a busy spot along the Cape Cod Canal and lodgers at the cottage have sweeping views from the private yard and beach. Up to eight people can stay in the three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath cottage. Rentals are by the week, and you’ll need to bring your own linens and toiletries. But those that have stayed there rave about everything from the location to the cozy rooms. Book your stay starting at $587 a night.
Sitka Lighthouse in Sitka, Alaska
Head to southeast Alaska for a stay at the Sitka Lighthouse. This lighthouse is fairly new, built in 1983 on a private, one-acre island by a resident who eventually sold it to friends. It’s registered with the Coast Guard and is still used as a navigational aid.
Up to six people can stay at this two-bedroom lighthouse with a bunkroom, large living spaces, a full kitchen and wrap-around decks. There’s even an outdoor hot tub. An observatory room offers 360-degree glass windows for an amazing viewing and relaxation spot.
Heceta Lighthouse in Yachats, Oregon
Sitting along the Oregon coast an hour and a half west of Eugene, Heceta Lighthouse takes its name from Don Bruno de Heceta, a Spanish explorer who was the first to chart the area in modern times.
The lighthouse first started operating in 1894. However, it wasn’t until after it was placed on the National History of Historic Places in 1973 that it was converted to a bed and breakfast. The U.S. Forest Service decided this would allow the site to be more accessible to the public. In 1995, a husband-and-wife volunteer team was chosen to be innkeepers and they started restoring the guesthouse so it could be rented out. Their daughter runs the place today.
This guesthouse is a short walk from the lighthouse and has six rooms you can rent ranging from $220-$399 a night during the off-season and closer to $400-$600 a night during the warmer months. You can also rent the entire home, which is filled with cozy and antique touches. Guests at the bed and breakfast do need to be over 10 to stay unless the whole house is rented out by one party.
A family-style breakfast and an afternoon wine and cheese social are included in each night’s stay.
Lighthouse Keepers House in Youghal, County Cork, Ireland
The present Youghal Lighthouse in Cork in southeast Ireland was built in 1848, but early forms of the lighthouse date back to the 12th century. There are 65 lighthouses on the coast of Ireland, including Youghal, that are still operated by the Commissioners of Irish Lights.
Youghal native Saoirse Fitzgerald renovated the home with the help of her family and it was featured in an Irish renovation TV show called “Home of the Year” in 2020. You’ll have the whole home to yourself, which includes comfortable living areas, a luxurious bath, fireplaces in the bedrooms, and a glass conservatory facing the ocean.
Unlike many lighthouse locations, this one is in a town and makes for easy walking to restaurants and shops. It is close to the Youghal Eco Boardwalk and walkable from several nice beaches.
The restored lighthouse keeper’s house sits adjacent to the lighthouse. The house sleeps up to six people and rent starts at $489 a night if you can get a reservation through Airbnb.
Cove Point Lighthouse in Lusby, Maryland
The Calvert Marine Museum operates the Historic Cove Point Lighthouse on seven acres jutting into the Chesapeake Bay in southern Maryland. The lighthouse began operating in 1828 and is the oldest continuously running lighthouse in the state.
You can rent the entire house starting at $650 a night for up to 16 people. Or, rent two separate sides of the duplex for $325 a night. The two sides each have three bedrooms and two and a half baths and can house up to eight people.
Also on the property are a fog bell building now used as a theater, plus a cottage and a Coast Guard radio building both dating to the 1950s.
Rose Island Lighthouse in Newport, Rhode Island
Sitting on an 18-acre island between Jamestown and Newport, Rhode Island, is Rose Island Lighthouse (completed in 1870) and Fort Hamilton. And if you’re looking for a more isolated lighthouse stay that’s still close to a major area, this would be it.
You need to take a ferry boat ride to reach the island (included as part of the cost of your stay) with accommodations available between April 1 and Oct. 31.
You can stay in the old barracks ($160-$200) and the Foghorn room ($180-$225) — neither has bathroom facilities or electricity, though the Foghorn room has a wood stove. Or you can stay on the first floor of the lighthouse keeper’s home ($280-$350), restored to what it would have looked like in the 1910s. Note that its common areas are open to the public as a museum during the day.
The second-floor apartment ($388-$485) has a bedroom and bunkroom and its own kitchen; a two-night minimum stay is required. Children under the age of 5 cannot stay overnight on the island. No bookings are available for Tuesdays.
You can walk the island’s perimeter when it’s not bird nesting season, as the island is also a wildlife refuge.
If the dates you want are booked, keep an eye on the lighthouse’s social media channels, like this post showing that a weekend in May has opened up:
East Brother Light Station Bed & Breakfast Inn in the Bay Area, California
The East Brother Light Station Bed and & Breakfast is in a Victorian-style lighthouse inn that sits on a tiny island between the San Francisco and San Pablo Bays. The lighthouse first became active in 1873 and was saved from demolition by a nonprofit.
You can stay in one of five bedrooms, each with a queen bed. They range in price between $475-$525 a night. The whole inn can be reserved for $2,500 a night.
The inn is open from Thursday to Sunday, and dinner and breakfast are both served as part of your stay. If you want a shower, though, you need to stay more than one night due to limited water on the island.
Illa Pancha Lighthouse in Galicia, Spain
Illa Pancha Lighthouse in Ribadeo, Galicia, lies in northern Spain. It is connected by a bridge to the mainland and was built in 1880.
The current accommodations are in the keeper’s house on the island and include two separate apartments that fit four people each. The interior is updated and modern and some snacks and drinks are included.
The average cost for this property on Airbnb is $315 a night.
1850s Lighthouse in Copper Harbor, Michigan
The original 1850s lighthouse on the shores of Lake Superior was built because of a copper boom in the area, but it was constructed poorly and had to be replaced by a new structure that was completed in 1873. Eventually, copper prices declined and so did maritime traffic. The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1908.
It is now privately owned, with a well-maintained and modern interior that covers 3,000 square feet. This space can be rented on Vrbo for an average of $500 a night.
Three bedrooms and two and a half baths accommodate six people. There’s a large deck and a sunroom to enjoy the outdoors and views.
Lighthouse Cottage in Norfolk, England
Stay in this 1791 lighthouse keeper’s cottage in Happisburgh, Norfolk, on the eastern coast of England. As of 1990, it is the only independently run operational lighthouse in the U.K.
The two-bedroom, one-bath cottage next to the lighthouse was sold in the 1930s and is privately owned. One bedroom with a double bed connects to another with two single beds, perfect for a visiting family. The cottage also has a kitchen and a game room in its cellar. It can be rented starting at around $811 a night, but good luck finding any availability until about January 2024.
The spot is a good jumping-off place for coastal and rural walks.
Would you stay in a lighthouse for a change?
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