The iconic lighthouse. We all seem to be drawn to them – the romance, the nostalgia, the heroics. You may even wonder, who designed them, who built them, who kept them? During your next stay, you must include some time to check out at least one or two of our 18 lighthouses! Here are our top six favorites, all within a short drive of Brewster By the Sea Inn, the perfect home away from home for your next Cape Cod getaway!
1. The Highland Light – North Truro
Why We Love It: Picturesque, easy access, wonderful history (commissioned by George Washington as one of the first lighthouses in the United States), nice gift shop, interpreters, and a fabulous panoramic view from the top!
Hours: Open between 10:00am and 5:30pm from May to October with reduced hours in the Fall.
2. The Nauset Light – Eastham
Why We Love It: It’s the lighthouse on the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory Bag! Similar to the Highland Light, we love it because it is easily accessible, and the view from the top is gorgeous! Nauset is the “twin” that used to stand next to the Chatham Light but was eventually moved here. Located at the National Seashore, you will also enjoy the nearby oil house museum.
Hours: Open several days a week from May to October. Visit their calendar for exact days/times.
3. The Chatham Light – Chatham
Why We Love It: Conveniently located minutes from downtown Chatham, beautiful view of the ocean, just steps from the beach, near an active Coast Guard Station, renowned for the famous rescue of the S.S. Pendleton during the 1952 blizzard (check out The Finest Hours, the movie version of this event), and an extraordinary view from the top!
Hours: Open Wednesdays from 1:00 – 3:30pm, May through September. Tours are provided by the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
4. The Stage Harbor Light – Chatham
Why We Love It: You feel like you’re stepping back in time as you approach the lighthouse at the end of a two-mile walk along a sandy jeep trail. Quite often you are the only ones there. (Note: please respect the privacy of the owners and do not disturb them). On the far side of the lighthouse is the entrance to Stage Harbor, and a perfect spot to sit and watch the small boats go by. Head back to the parking lot along the beach for a perfect loop trail experience.
Hours: Not open to the public.
5. The Three Sisters Lighthouses – Eastham
Why We Love Them: Great story of the light houses being constructed in 1838, falling into the sea in the late 1800’s, being sold to private owners for cottages in 1911, and then being reacquired, restored, and reunited in the 1970’s. Coined the “three sisters” by sailors who said that from the sea, they looked like three women dressed in white wearing black hats.
Hours: Open for tours periodically during the season. Note: these lighthouses are not on the shore – they are located on Cable Road near Nauset Beach, and are operated by the National Park Service. Stop by the Salt Point Visitor’s Center to check the schedule.
6. Race Point Light – Provincetown
Why We Love It: You feel like you’re at the end of the earth! This iconic lighthouse is well worth the hike from the lower parking lot at Race Point Beach. The classic Cape Cod setting of a gorgeous landscape of rolling sand dunes and beach grass is priceless! Note: it is a two-mile walk on sand. Or, if you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle with a permit, you can also drive there.
Hours: Tours are given on the first and third Saturdays from June through October, 10:00am to 2:00pm.