There’s something about lighthouses that make them incredibly beautiful structures. The way they rise from the earth, reaching into the sky and lighting up the night while providing a beacon of hope to boats out at sea—it’s no wonder why they’re so iconic in our culture. And yet, there are numbers of watchtowers throughout America that are simply breathtaking. From New England to California and beyond, these landmarks will make you want to visit them right away.
What is Lighthouse?
A lighthouse is a tower with a light on top of it. It is also known as the “watchtower”. The light shines out to sea so that ships can see the watchtower and know where they are. Watchtowers were used as navigational aids by sailors who sailed through dangerous. The first watchtower was built in the 7th century BC by the Greeks. The Romans built numerous watchtowers in the Mediterranean Sea during the 2nd century BC. Today, watchtowers are used mainly as tourist attractions by people who want to visit them and see what life was like for those who lived there several years ago.
Watchtowers can be found in several countries around the world, including the United States where there are hundreds of watchtowers along its coastline that have been preserved as historic sites open for tours and observation from land or boat tours near them. Lots of people visit these locations each year during vacation time because several older structures still remain unchanged since their original construction over 100 years ago. Some may even include displays about how things worked back then too.
What are the uses of the Lighthouse?
Lighthouses have been used for centuries. The first recorded use of a watchtower was in 300 BC by the Lighthouse of Alexandria. Since its creation, this lighthouse has helped ships through the seas and provided safety for several sailors who needed it.
Lighthouses were originally made out of wood before being replaced by stone or brick structures. They were created with two purposes in mind: to help guide ships safely through dangerous waters and to warn them when they were close enough to land so they could avoid hitting it. With today’s advancements in technology, watchtowers no longer need a keeper but they still serve their purpose as a beacon for people who travel at night or on foggy days.
Most beautiful Lighthouses in the U.S
Sandy Hook Lighthouse, New Jersey
Sandy Hook watchtower is one of the oldest watchtowers in the United States. It was built in 1764 and is located on Sandy Hook, a peninsula that juts into the Atlantic Ocean. The watchtower has been featured in various works of art, including photographs by Ansel Adams and paintings by Edward Hopper, who spent his childhood summers near Sandy Hook. Today it’s a popular tourist attraction; guided tours are available year-round.
Eldred Rock Lighthouse, Alaska
Located in the Aleutian Islands, Eldred Rock Lighthouse is officially the farthest watchtower in the U.S. Today, it sits abandoned on a remote island and is considered one of the most beautiful watchtowers in America.
Built-in 1891 by locals who were skilled at boat building and sailing, it took five years for them to construct this impressive beacon on Eldred Rock Island (sometimes called “The Green Islands”). While it was standing as an active aid to navigation, it was also used to house military personnel during World War II—a fact that makes it even more fascinating. The watchtower stands 24 feet tall and has a weight of around 2 tons; however, its design allows for easy disassembly if needed due to shifting tides or harsh weather conditions.
Portland Head Lighthouse, Maine
Portland Head Light is a watchtower located in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The current light tower was first established in 1791 and was the first watchtower in the United States built with funds from Congress. The original tower was replaced by a new brick tower in 1856 after it had been destroyed by lightning. The current structure stands 115 feet (35 m) tall and has been designated as a National Historic Landmark since 1964.
The watchtower is open to visitors during the summer season and offers tours of its lantern room and other areas on an ongoing basis throughout the day.
Split Rock Lighthouse, Minnesota
The Split Rock Lighthouse in Minnesota is located on the northernmost tip of Lake Superior. It was first lit in 1858, and it has been a beacon for ships sailing along this section of the Great Lakes ever since. The watchtower can be reached by road or boat, although you’ll need to take a short hike to get there if you choose the latter option.
The watchtower itself is part of Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, which is managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Toledo Harbor Lighthouse, Ohio
If you’re looking for a quiet place to enjoy nature, then the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse may be just the spot. This historic watchtower is located along Lake Erie’s shoreline in the city of Toledo, Ohio. It was built in 1873 to guide ships around the harbor and has remained active ever since.
The watchtower itself is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and features a conical tower with 10 windows and an enclosed lantern room at its top. In addition, it has been restored so that visitors can tour inside when they arrive to see its various historical artifacts like original furniture and equipment used by keepers during their shifts (Keepers would live there full-time while they worked).
Pigeon Point Lighthouse, California
The Pigeon Point Lighthouse is a watchtower in Pescadero, California, United States. Originally constructed in 1871, it was rebuilt in 1913 after being damaged by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It is one of the few watchtowers built out of reinforced concrete and still uses a first-order Fresnel lens to project its light across the Pacific Ocean. The lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The watchtower and surrounding land were purchased by three retired FAA employees from Oklahoma City and donated to San Mateo County on May 4th, 2016. The original lens has been restored to working order but has not yet been reinstalled into its lantern room as part of ongoing restoration efforts.
Heceta Head Lighthouse, Oregon
Heceta Head Lighthouse is the second oldest watchtower on the Oregon Coast. It was built in 1894 and it is still open for visitors to enjoy. The Heceta Head Lighthouse has been designated as a National Historic Landmark because of its significance within American history and architecture.
The watchtower stands at an elevation of 32 feet above sea level, making it one of the highest watchtowers in Oregon.
Big Sable Point Lighthouse, Michigan
Big Sable Point Lighthouse is located on the shore of Lake Michigan in Ludington, Michigan. It is a watchtower with a height of 135 feet (41 meters) above sea level and can be seen from over 22 miles away. The lighthouse was built in 1867 by James McCauley, who also built Big Sable Point Light Station’s companion light—Little Sable Point Light—in 1868.
Big Sable Point Lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 because it was considered significant as one of only nine surviving screw-pile watchtowers in Michigan, as well as being an excellent example of its type and period of construction (the Gothic Revival style).
Montauk Point Lighthouse, New York
If you’ve ever been to Montauk Point Lighthouse in New York, then you know that it’s one of the most charming watchtowers in the United States. Located on Long Island’s south shore, this historic watchtower was first lit in 1796 and has been shining for more than two centuries. It was initially built to prevent ships from crashing into Montauk’s rocky shores but has since become a major attraction for visitors looking to see some of America’s top scenic landmarks.
Thomas Point Shoal Light Station, Maryland
Thomas Point Shoal Light Station is a watchtower in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. It is located on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. The first light at this location was established in 1786 and it has been replaced by a number of different structures since then. The current structure was built in 1827 and began operation on January 1, 1829, as Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse (also sometimes referred to as Thomas Point Lighthouse). The current structure is an active aid to navigation with an automated beacon that flashes white every six seconds at a focal plane of 44 feet (13 m).
The best part about watchtowers is that they are still in use today, even though they’ve been around for hundreds of years. The first U.S. watchtower was built in 1716, long before the invention of electricity or any other type of lighting system that could be used to replace it. Today there are still more than 1,000 watchtowers across America and each one is unique in its own way. So if you’re looking for a vacation spot where you can enjoy some time away from the hustle and bustle of city life then consider visiting one of these ten most beautiful lighthouses across America.
Also Read: Secret Hidden Uncrowded Beaches of the U.S.