From the Sandy Hook Lighthouse to the north, Cape May Lighthouse down south, and Finns Point Range Lighthouse to the west—New Jersey Lighthouses give a peek into our state’s seafaring history. They are worth visiting for the fun climb to the top and museum area, where you can learn about the lighthouse’s history through pictures and documents. What’s more, kids can get some energy out as they ramble up the stairwells to the top to see the fantastic views. Scroll down to discover more about these unique structures and don’t miss out on other NJ attractions to visit with the family. (featured photo credit: istock/EduardMoldoveanuPhotography)
New Jersey Lighthouses to Visit with Kids
Travel to Atlantic City to visit New Jersey’s tallest lighthouse. At 171 feet, the lighthouse is the third tallest in the country and the only lighthouse in New Jersey with its original first-order Fresnel Lens still in place at the top (still lit every evening, though it’s been decommissioned since 1933.) You can climb the 228 steps and view the Atlantic City skyline at a breathtaking height, then stop by the historic museum and gift shop while visiting. The Keeper’s Cottage and Tower are currently open.
31 S. Rhode Island Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Barnegat Lighthouse -closed for restoration until October 2022
Originally lit in 1859, the Barnegat Lighthouse allows visitors a panoramic view of Island Beach and Long Beach Island. Not only can you enjoy the historic lighthouse, but the park also boasts picnic tables, fishing, nature observation, and trails. With 217 steps, it’s steep, but the Lighthouse has cameras inside so that small children and families who may not make it to the top can still see the same views.
208 Broadway, Barnegat Light, NJ 08006
Cape May Lighthouse
Sitting at the southernmost tip of New Jersey, the towering and iconic Lighthouse stands 157 feet high and has 217 steps leading to the top. Kids will enjoy learning about how the lighthouse has operated in the past and remains an active aid to navigation. Stop by the museum shop at the Lighthouse’s bottom after your climb.
215 Lighthouse Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204
Sandy Hook Lighthouse
The 250-year-old Sandy Hook Lighthouse is the oldest working lighthouse in the United States. It stands tall just one mile from the tip of Sandy Hook in the National Gateway Recreation Area. You won’t be able to go inside and climb, but you can learn all about this imposing and historic beacon at the Lighthouse Keepers Quarters and Visitor center, which is open on the weekends.
85 Mercer Rd, Highlands, NJ 07732
East Point Lighthouse
Formally known as the Maurice River Lighthouse, the East Point Lighthouse was built in 1849 and lit for the first time in 1911. It’s the second oldest lighthouse in New Jersey and the only remaining New Jersey land-based lighthouse on the Delaware Bay. And with its interesting structure (the beacon is in the center of the cape-cod style house), you can tour the museum and then go up to the beacon to see beautiful views of Delaware Bay.
10 Lighthouse & E. Point Rds., Heislerville, NJ 08324
Finns Point Range Light
Located in Pennsville, the Finns Point Range Lighthouse stands at 94 feet, built in 1876. The light was deactivated in 1950, and there are 130 steps to the top. Although it’s only open for special events, you can still go and admire this spectacular and historical New Jersey Lighthouse and then take a walk on the adjoining Supawna Meadows Wildlife Refuge.
Old Fort Mott Rd, Pennsville, NJ 08070
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse
Sitting on the Hereford Inlet is a magnificent lighthouse surrounded by several different gardens and great history. The Lighthouse was first used in the 17th century and does not look like your average lighthouse—more like a gingerbread cottage. The light can still be seen each night, as it gets dark, and is still a working navigational aid for ships and sailors.
111 North Central Avenue, North Wildwood, NJ 08260
Navesink Twin Lights
With a history dating back to the Revolutionary War, this spot on the Highlands of Navesink is home to two lighthouses separated by a few hundred feet. You can climb the North Tower at your leisure, but to see the inside of the South one, you need to book a tour. After, check out the renovated Seeing Stars museum, which follows America’s flags from their creation to the present time.
Lighthouse Road, Highlands, NJ 07732
Sea Girt Lighthouse
The Sea Girt Lighthouse was built in 1896, halfway between the Navesink Lighthouse and the Barnegat Lighthouse. This pretty house structure stands 60 feet above the water, and there are 42 steps from the bottom just to the lantern room. Take a tour of the main house (fun fact: photos of the families who lived here over the years line the mantle), and the tower is open for climbing and ocean views.
9 Ocean Ave., Sea Girt, NJ 08750
Unlike a typical lighthouse, the Tinicum Lighthouse is a steel structure that stands 85 feet tall. With 112 steps to the top, families can see a beautiful view of the Delaware River. There are special events for climbing to the top, and if you can’t make it, a video tour of this NJ lighthouse is available on the website.
Second Street and Mantua Avenue, Paulsboro, NJ 08066
Tucker’s Island Light
Even though this New Jersey Lighthouse’s original structure has been lost, you can find what it looked like at Tuckerton Seaport. One of the many buildings at the seaport is a re-creation of Tucker’s Island Lighthouse, located about six miles west of its original location.
120 W. Main Street, Tuckerton, NJ 08087
More New Jersey Lighthouses to check out
Brandywine Shoal Lighthouse
Elbow of Cross Ledge Lighthouse
Great Beds Lighthouse
Lightship Barnegat LV 79/WAL 506 Lighthouse
Romer Shoal Lighthouse
Conover Beacon Lighthouse
East Point Lighthouse
Lightship Winter Quarter LV 107/WAL 529 Lighthouse
Miah Maull Shoal Lighthouse
Ship John Shoal Lighthouse
Chapel Hill Rear Range Lighthouse
Robbins Reef Lighthouse
Which New Jersey lighthouses have you visited? Let us know!
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