Wander
Annisquam Light, Gloucester, MA

Journey Along
The Massachusetts
Lighthouse Trail.

Since the 1700s, lighthouses have captured our imagination with tales of seafaring and adventure. Massachusetts is home to the first lighthouse site in the US. Over 45 lighthouses still grace our coastlines, rocky cliffs, and sandy beaches. Today, you can marvel at these picturesque beauties along our scenic coast on the Massachusetts Lighthouse Trail. From Cape Ann in North of Boston to Cape Cod and the Islands, travelers can explore coastal communities, the maritime history of the Commonwealth, and discover these breathtaking gems of beauty. To help you plan your journey, here are some of our most notable and accessible lighthouses in the Bay State.

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Greater Boston & South of Boston

Boston Light

LITTLE BREWSTER ISLAND, MA

The oldest continually used lighthouse site in the United States, it casts a light beam 27 miles into the Atlantic Ocean.

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Boston Light Little Brewster Island, MA

Borden Flats Light

FALL RIVER, MA

A sparkplug lighthome on the Taunton River, it’s one of only two off-shore lighthouses in the world that offer a Keepers’ Program, where you can stay overnight – just like a lighthouse keeper!

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Old Scituate Light

100 LIGHTHOUSE RD, SCITUATE, MA 02066

Legend has it that Abigail and Rebecca Bates, daughters of the lighthouse keeper, fended off British troops anchored in Scituate Harbor in the War of 1812, becoming known as the “Lighthouse Army of Two.”

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Boston Harbor Lighthouse Tour

Tours leave from the Boston Harbor Islands Welcome Center on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. This two-hour Boston Harbor cruise gives you a closer look at three iconic lighthouses: Long Island Light, Graves Light, and Boston Light.

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Cape Cod & The Islands: Martha's Vineyard

Starting in Woods Hole, you can catch the 45-minute ferry ride to Martha’s Vineyard, located seven miles off the coast of Massachusetts in the Atlantic Ocean. There, there are three lighthouses to visit, spread over two islands.

Starting in Aquinnah, the western-most point of the island, you’ll see Gay Head Light, which is open to the public seasonally and just a short walk from a parking lot. Built in 1799, it’s the oldest lighthouse on Martha’s Vineyard.

In Edgartown, on the eastern side, walk the path down to Lighthouse Beach for a closer look at the working Edgartown Harbor Light, which marks the entrance to Edgartown Harbor and Katama Bay. If it’s open, you can climb the staircase up to the lantern room. From Edgartown, take the quick ferry ride to Chappaquiddick Island, where you’ll find Cape Poge Lighthouse on the northeast tip of the Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge. Its light, which sits 63 feet high, can be seen from nine miles out in the sea.

Where to Eat, Play & Stay

Attractions

Gay Head Light

15 AQUINNAH CIR, AQUINNAH, MA 02535

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Cape Poge Lighthouse

59 LIGHTHOUSE RD, EDGARTOWN, MA 02539

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Edgartown Harbor Light

121 NORTH WATER ST, EDGARTOWN, MA 02539

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Edgartown Harbor Light, Edgartown, MA

Dining & Lodging

Lookout Tavern

8 SEAVIEW AVE, OAK BLUFFS, MA 02557

Located on a bluff overlooking the water, here’s where you’ll find some of the best lobster rolls on the island — along with the best sushi.

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Harbor View Hotel

131 NORTH WATER ST, EDGARTOWN, MA 02539

This recently renovated resort, a Martha’s Vineyard icon since 1891, also has an upscale restaurant on site offering island-to-table dining.

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Orange Peel Bakery

22 STATE RD, AQUINNAH, MA 02535

Sample from-scratch pastries, breads, and desserts at Native-owned micro bakery – or stop by for a hearty Sunday dinner.

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Cape Cod & The Islands: Nantucket

Leaving from Oak Bluffs, it’s just a one-hour ferry ride from Martha’s Vineyard to Nantucket, so it makes for an easy day or overnight trip. There are three lighthouses to explore there: Sankaty Head, in the village of Siasconset, is an easy drive or bike ride from the ferry terminal, while Great Point Light, officially Nantucket Light, requires much more effort. Sitting at the northernmost point of the island within the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Reserve, it can only be reached in a four-wheel drive vehicle (that has a beach permit sticker). 26-foot-tall Brant Point Lighthouse, located off Easton St. on the north side of the island, is the second-oldest lighthouse in the U.S.

Where to Eat, Play & Stay

Attractions

Brant Point Lighthouse

EASTON ST, NANTUCKET, MA 02554

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Brant Point Lighthouse, Nantucket, MA

Great Point Light

NANTUCKET, MA 02554

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Sankaty Head Lighthouse

BAXTER RD, NANTUCKET, MA 02554

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Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum

158 POLPIS RD, NANTUCKET, MA 02554

This museum is dedicated to telling the history of shipwrecks off Nantucket as well as the brave men and women who have risked their lives to save shipwrecked mariners.

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Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum, Nantucket, MA

Dining & Lodging

The Club Car Restaurant

1 MAIN ST, NANTUCKET, MA 02554

Housed in a train from the original Nantucket railroad, it’s a favorite spot for creative cocktails, fresh fusion food, and live music.

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Life House Hotel

10 CLIFF RD, NANTUCKET, MA 02554

Perched on one of Nantucket’s highest points, this historic hotel is less than a mile from the Brant Point Lighthouse.

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Cape Cod & The Islands: Cape Cod

Back on the Cape, stop in Falmouth to see the operational Nobska Lighthouse, which has been shining its light on Buzzards Bay, Nantucket Sound, and Vineyard Sound since 1829. Then travel about an hour east to Chatham, which sits at the “elbow” of the Cape. Chatham Light is actually one of the few lighthouses in the U.S. that’s still operational 24 hours a day. It was originally part of a pair that was built in 1808; however, after rotating lenses were introduced, two lighthouses weren’t needed on the spot. Its twin was moved and became Nauset Light, which you can find 30 minutes north in Eastham.

From Eastham, drive another 30 minutes to Provincetown, where Wood End Light sits at the entrance to Provincetown Harbor. Built in 1872, today it’s unmanned but sounds a horn to alert for fog. Provincetown’s other lighthouse, Race Point Light, is one of the most remote lighthouses on the Cape. So you’ll need to make the four-mile walk round trip along Race Point Beach, or get a permit for your four- wheel drive vehicle. Be sure to check the schedule if you want a lighthouse tour when you get there.

Where to Eat, Play & Stay

Attractions

Highland Lighthouse

27 HIGHLAND LIGHT RD, NORTH TRURO, MA 02652

The first lighthouse on Cape Cod, it was commissioned by George Washington and established in 1797.

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Highland Lighthouse, Truro, MA Photo by: Paul Scharff

Chatham Light

37 MAIN ST, CHATHAM, MA 0263

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Wood End Light

PROVINCETOWN, MA 02657

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Nauset Light

120 NAUSET LIGHT BEACH RD, EASTHAM, MA 02642

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Nauset Light, Eastham, MA Photo by: Paul Scharff

Race Point Light

RACE POINT BEACH, END OF RACE POINT RD, PROVINCETOWN, MA 02657

If you’re looking for a secluded getaway, the lighthouse offers two options for accommodations: the Keeper’s House and the Whistle House.

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Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC) Shark Centers

235 ORLEANS RD, NORTH CHATHAM, MA 02650 16 MACMILLAN PIER, PROVINCETOWN, MA 02657

AWSC, which provides the most comprehensive publicly available information on white sharks in the Northwest Atlantic, gives center visitors of all ages an in-depth look at the ocean’s most magnificent and misunderstood species.

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Nobska Lighthouse

233 NOBSKA RD, FALMOUTH, MA 02543

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Nobska Light, Falmouth, MA

Dining & Lodging

The Lobster Pot

321 COMMERCIAL ST, PROVINCETOWN, MA 02657

With a neon lobster sign that lights up Provincetown at night, this has been a go-to spot for seafood and traditional Portuguese fare since 1979.

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AutoCamp Cape Cod

836 PALMER AVE, FALMOUTH, MA 02540

Stay close to the beach in a luxury canvas tent, a 31-foot Airstream trailer, or a sleek cabin – and your dog can join you!

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Land’s End Inn

22 COMMERCIAL ST, PROVINCETOWN, MA 02657

Set on a hilltop overlooking Provincetown Harbor, this luxury bed and breakfast sets itself apart with eclectic decor, lavish gardens, and a daily wine and cheese hour — it’s also dog friendly.

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Cape Cod National Seashore

Encompasses nearly 44,000 acres of protected coastline and its diverse ecosystem of dunes, forests, marshes, and ponds.

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North of Boston

Start or end your journey on the Massachusetts Lighthouse Trail in North of Boston, where you can easily spend a few days traversing the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway, a 90-mile roadway that links 14 coastal communities from Lynn to Salisbury. In Marblehead, you can see Marblehead Light — its skeletal structure makes it one of the most unique lighthouses in New England. Nearby in Salem, there’s 20-foot-tall Derby Wharf Light, which has been guiding ships into Salem Harbor since 1871, and Fort Pickering Lighthouse on Winter Island, which also was built in 1871 but is no longer operational.

From Salem, head 30 minutes up to Straitsmouth Light, which marks the entrance to Rockport Harbor. Built in 1896, you can spot it from Bearskin Neck in Rockport. You can tour the next one on the list, Eastern Point Lighthouse, which marks the entrance to Gloucester Harbor. Built in 1832, its lighthouse station was briefly home to artist Winslow Homer. Standing right in Gloucester Harbor is Ten Pound Island Lighthouse. It’s only accessible by kayak, paddleboard, or boat, but you can see it from Pavilion Beach and Stage Fort Park. Also be on the lookout for the 45-feet-tall Annisquam Light, which is closed to the public but can be seen from Wingaersheek Beach, and the 124-foot tall Thacher Island Twin Lights, which sit about a mile out to sea on Thacher Island and can be seen from Good Harbor Beach.

Where to Eat, Play & Stay

Attractions

Annisquam Light

GLOUCESTER, MA

Visible from Wingaersheek Beach ATLANTIC STREET OFF RTE. 133 AND CONCORD STREET

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Annisquam Light, Gloucester, MA

Cape Ann Museum

27 PLEASANT ST, GLOUCESTER, MA 01930

See a rare First Order Fresnel lens on display! This one was built in Paris in 1860, installed in Thacher Island’s South tower the following year, and shined for over 120 years.

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Derby Wharf Light

SALEM MARITIME NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE, SALEM, MA 01970

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Essex Coastal Scenic Byway

RUNS FROM 200-236 STATE HIGHWAY 1A, LYNN, MA 01901, TO 2-14 CABLE AVENUE, SALISBURY, MA 01952

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Eastern Point Lighthouse

EASTERN POINT BLVD, GLOUCESTER, MA 01930

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Eastern Point Lighthouse, Gloucester, MA

Fort Pickering Lighthouse

WINTER ISLAND PARK, 50 WINTER ISLAND RD, SALEM, MA 01970

Fort Pickering Lighthouse has illuminated Salem Harbor, Massachusetts’ second-deepest harbor, since 1871.

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The Newburyport Lighthouse

61 1/2 WATER ST, NEWBURYPORT, MA 01950

Enjoy a one-of-a-kind dining experience at the top of this 53-foot-tall brick lighthouse, which overlooks downtown Newburyport and the Merrimack River. Proceeds benefit The Lighthouse Preservation Society

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Straitsmouth Light

MARMION WAY, ROCKPORT, MA 01966

Visible from Bearskin Neck 87 BEARSKIN NECK, ROCKPORT, MA 01966

Marblehead Light

CHANDLER HOVEY PARK, LIGHTHOUSE LN, MARBLEHEAD, MA 01945

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Marblehead Light, Marblehead, MA Photo by: Derrick Mills

Plum Island Lighthouse

HARBOR ST, NEWBURYPORT, MA 01950

This 35-foot-tall lighthouse has been guiding ships into the mouth of the Merrimack River and Newburyport Harbor since 1898.

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Plum Island Lighthouse, Newburyport, MA

Ten Pound Island Lighthouse

GLOUCESTER, MA

Visible from Pavillion Beach STACY BLVD, GLOUCESTER, MA Visible from Stage Fort Park 24 HOUGH AVE, GLOUCESTER, MA 01930

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Thacher Island Twin Lights

ROCKPORT, MA

Visible from Good Harbor Beach 99 THATCHER RD, GLOUCESTER, MA 01930

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Cape Ann Harbor Tour

66 HARBOR LOOP GLOUCESTER, MA 01930

Set sail on the King Eider for a 2-1/2 hour narrated tour of Cape Ann’s scenic coastline and up-close views of six lighthouses.

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Cape Ann Marina, Gloucester, MA

Maritime Heritage Charters

MARITIME GLOUCESTER, 23 HARBOR LOOP, GLOUCESTER, MA 01930

Climb aboard the 58-foot Schooner Ardelle for a scenic, two-hour cruise around Gloucester Harbor.

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Maritime Heritage Charters, Gloucester, MA

Dining & Lodging

Maddie’s Sail Loft

15 STATE ST, MARBLEHEAD, MA 01945

This cozy bar and restaurant has been a popular spot for seafood and sandwiches since 1946.

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Salty’s Lobster, Dogs & More

2 DOCK SQUARE REAR, ROCKPORT, MA 01966

Fill up on summer favorites like hot dogs and lobster rolls at this casual, family-friendly spot.

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Hawthorne Hotel and The Tavern

18 WASHINGTON SQUARE W, SALEM, MA 01970

This historic Salem hotel, where the cast of Bewitched once stayed during filming, has a classic tavern on site that is known for serving the city’s best burgers.

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Beauport Hotel Gloucester

55 COMMERCIAL ST, GLOUCESTER, MA 01930

This luxury, beach-front resort, which offers sweeping views of Gloucester Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean, is a destination all on its own.

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Regional Driving Distances

If you’re traveling by car, we’ve made it easy to see your approximate driving distance and time.

Western MA SpringfieldCentral MA WorcesterSouth of Boston PlymouthGreater Boston BostonNorth of Boston SalemCape/Islands Hyannis
NYC3 hr (145 miles)3 hr 30 min (180 miles)4 hr 30 min (235 miles)4 hr (220 miles)4 hr 45 min (235 miles)4 hr 45 min (235 miles)
Albany1 hr 30 min(90 miles)2 hr (130 miles)3 hr 15 min(200 miles)2 hr 45 min(170 miles)3 hr 30 min (190 miles)3 hr 30 min(230 miles)
Hartford30 min (30 miles)1 hr (65 miles)2 hr (135 miles)1 hr 45 min(100 miles)2 hr (120 miles)2 hr 30 min (160 miles)
Providence1 hr 30 min (85 miles)1 hr (40 miles)1 hr (55 miles)1 hr (50 miles)1 hr 30 min (75 miles)1 hr 30 min (75 miles)
Burlington3 hr 15 min (210 miles)3 hr 45 min (240 miles)4 hr 35 min (255 miles)3 hr 30 min (220 miles)3 hr 30 min (220 miles)5 hr (285 miles)
Portland3 hr (190 miles)2 hr 15 min (140 miles)3 hr (150 miles)1 hr 45 min (110 miles)1 hr 30 min (100 miles)3 hr 30 min (180 miles)
Boston1 hr 20 min (90 miles)1 hr (50 miles)55 min (40 miles)- -45 min (25 miles)1 hr 30 min (70 miles)