Updated: August 12, 2022
Wondering which Cape Cod lighthouses are open to the public for tours? Looking for the best lighthouse photo opps? I'll show you when and where to go!
I'll also tell you about a super-cool, little-known lodging option for lighthouse lovers. :-)
*Note: Most of these lighthouses rely on volunteers to conduct the tours. On days when they're short-staffed, the tour schedule might be altered or canceled at the last minute.
When that happens, visitors are still welcome to walk the grounds and take photos.
Nobska Light sits high on a bluff in Woods Hole, a village in the town of Falmouth.
built in 1828, Nobska Point Lighthouse's original Fresnel lens is still
in use. On a clear day, there's a breathtaking view from the lighthouse, across Vineyard Sound, to the nearby island of Martha's Vineyard!
*FYI: If you're a fan of Cape Cod Potato Chips, you might recognize Nobska Light. It's the lighthouse pictured on Cape Cod Chips bags. :-)
2022 Nobska Lighthouse Tour Schedule:
Guided tours at Nobska have ended for the 2022 season so that renovation work can continue.
*Note: If you swing by to see the lighthouse and take photos, please be mindful of the construction areas where no entry is allowed.
Admission: Free. Donations are very much appreciated!
Driving to Nobska Point Lighthouse:
Route 28 in Falmouth, to Woods Hole Road, to Church Street, to Nobska Point Lighthouse.
you're biking along the Shining Sea Bikeway in Falmouth, you can also
reach the light house by turning off the Bikeway at Church Street, or
turning off at Oyster Pond Road then onto Nobska Road.
More Info: Friends of Nobska Light FB page
For more than two centuries, mariners have relied on beacons from Chatham to safely navigate the treacherous waters around the "elbow" of Cape Cod.
Chatham Light, as you see it today, is one of two lighthouse towers that stood here in the mid-1800s.
In 1923, the second tower was dismantled and transported up the coast to Eastham where it became "Nauset Lighthouse" (see below).
Chatham Lighthouse is perhaps the most often-photographed of all Cape Cod lighthouses, thanks to its impressive setting overlooking Lighthouse Beach - one of the most beautiful beaches in Chatham.
2022 Chatham Light Tour Schedule:
Members of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary's Chatham Flotilla will be hosting grounds tours and talks on:
Tours are held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., weather permitting.
*Note: The interior of the lighthouse tower remains closed due to ongoing maintenance issues.
Driving to Chatham Light House:
Take Main Street to Shore Road.
Parking near the Lighthouse is extremely limited and often impossible to find. It's best to park in town and walk, bike or take the trolley (seasonal) to the light house.
More Info: USCG Auxiliary
Nauset Light was moved from Chatham to Eastham in 1923 to replace the last-standing of Eastham's "Three Sisters" - a trio of Cape Cod lighthouses that had, over time, succumbed to the elements and erosion of the cliffs on which they stood. (More about Three Sisters, below.)
Nauset Lighthouse, along with its Keeper's House and Oil House, sit on a
knoll overlooking Nauset Light Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.
With such a gorgeous setting, it's no surprise that Nauset is the most often-photographed lighthouse on Cape Cod!
2022 Nauset Lighthouse Tour Schedule:
Nauset Lighthouse tours will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Sundays and Wednesdays throughout the summer.
The grounds at Nauset Light are open every day from dawn to dusk.
Driving to Nauset Lighthouse:
Route 6 to Brackett Road, to Nauset Road, to Cable Road, to Nauset Light Beach Road.
*Note: There's a limited amount of parking at the adjacent Nauset Light Beach parking lot. Cape Cod National Seashore parking fees apply in season until 4:30 p.m.
Please see my Guide to Beaches in Eastham for important information about parking at Nauset Light.
More Info: Nauset Light Preservation Society
Built in 1892 to replace the original brick towers that were damaged by coastal erosion, the "Three Sisters" are now located just a short walk down Cable Road from Nauset Light.
These towers have a fascinating history!
After ending their service as beacons for mariners, the lighthouses were sold to a private party in the 1920s. At times they were made part of a summer home. And one was once used as living space for ballet school students.
2022 Three Sisters Lighthouses Tour Schedule:
Tours on Mondays, from 11 a.m. to noon, through the end of August, 2022.
The grounds are open daily from dawn to dusk.
Driving to Three Sisters: Route 6 to Brackett Road, to Nauset Road, to Cable Road. Three Sisters are located at the end of Cable Road.
Limiited parking is available in Three Sisters parking lot on the north side of Cable Road.
*Limited parking is also available at Nauset Beach (parking fee/pass required in season). From there, follow the signs for a short walk to Three Sisters.
More Info: Cape Cod National Seashore events calendar
The first lighthouse on Cape Cod was built here on the cliffs of North Truro in 1797.
Over the centuries, Highland Light has been re-built, re-fitted and even moved a number of times to save it from toppling off the eroding cliffs into the ocean.
The latest move took place during the summer of 1996 in an amazing process that involved sliding the 430-ton structure more than 450 feet along steel beams lubricated with Ivory Soap!
FYI: Although its formal name is "Cape Cod Lighthouse", we all know and refer to it as "Highland Light".
2022 Highland Light Tour Schedule:
During the summer months, tours are offered daily from 9:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with tours running approximately every 30 minutes.
Admission: $8 adults; $7 seniors; $5 students/children
Directions to Highland Lighthouse:
Route 6 to Highland Road, then right onto South Highland Road, and left onto Highland Light Road.
More Info: Highland Light
Race Point is the most remote of all Cape Cod lighthouses accessible by land. To get there, you'll need some good walking shoes and a lot of stamina.
It's nearly a 2-mile hike from the Race Point Beach parking lot to the lighthouse through soft,
shifting sand. (A very tough trek if you're wearing flip-flops!)
If you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle that's equipped to travel over sand, and you buy the required permit, you can drive out to the lighthouse.
Find out about oversand driving to Race Point here.
2022 Race Point Lighthouse Tour Schedule:
No guided tours are scheduled for the 2022 season.
Directions to the beach parking lot:
The blue icons indicate where each lighthouse is located. To see how to get there, click on "Map" view and zoom around with the (+ and -) buttons.
For true lighthouse aficionados, what could be better than vacationing in a keeper's house?
Getting away from it all" takes on a whole new meaning when you stay here!
The renovated keeper's house has 3 bedrooms, shared kitchen and bathroom, and very few modern conveniences.
your own food, cook it yourself, and have the time of your life
swimming, beachcombing, and watching the sun set from the lantern room.
Located on Wings Neck Point in the village of Pocasset in the town of Bourne, this is the perfect spot for a unique family getaway!
Swim and sun at the beach. Fish from the rock jetty. Or just lounge the day away on the lawn, watching ships come and go from the nearby Cape Cod Canal.
Whatever your pleasure ... it's all good!