A Guide to Open Lighthouses in NJ
Situated in some of the most scenic areas amid the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware River, the New Jersey’s historical lighthouses attract thousands of visitors every year.
While there are 18 total lighthouses in the state of New Jersey, 11 are currently open to the public, welcoming visitors from all over to explore their rich history and majestic views. Discover all of New Jersey’s open lighthouses in this detailed guide with information included facts, locations, hours, admission and much more!
One of Greater Atlantic City’s most popular attractions, Absecon Lighthouse is over 150 years old and is the tallest lighthouse in all of New Jersey (and the third tallest in the US). Ascending the 228 steps of the Absecon Lighthouse is well worth the trip – you’ll get breathtaking views of the Atlantic City skyline while examining its original first-order Fresnel Lens, first lit in 1857!
Hours: July & August: Open Daily from 10am – 5pm, Sept. – June: Thurs – Mon from 11am – 4pm
Parking, Admission To the Keeper’s House Museum, Exhibits and Grounds: FREE
Cost to Climb Absecon Lighthouse:
$7 to climb, $5 for seniors 65+ to climb, $4 for children ages 4-12 to climb, $3 Atlantic City residents with ID to climb, Active military & kids under 4: FREE
Dogs are welcome. For events and updates, follow Absecon Lighthouse on Facebook!
With a panoramic view of beautiful Island Beach, Barnegat Bay, and Long Beach Island, Barnegat Lighthouse, or “Old Barney” stands at 165 feet tall and has been symbol of New Jersey’s proud maritime heritage since it was built in 1835.
Hours and fees: The lighthouse is open daily from 10 AM to 4:30 PM (weather permitting) from Memorial Day through Labor Day. There is a $3 fee per person to enter the lighthouse from Memorial Day through Labor Day. There is a $1 fee for children ages 6 to 11 and children ages 5 and under are free (must be accompanied by an adult).
Visitors can also catch the views from the top without climbing the 217 steps thanks to four cameras that transmit live images of the view to a display in the adjacent Interpretive Center.
Check out more information about Barnegat Lighthouse State Park here.
Standing 157.5 feet above New Jersey’s southernmost tip, the Cape May Lighthouse’s beam flashes once every 15 seconds and is visible 24 miles out to sea. The lighthouse was built in 1859 and is located at the popular Cape May Point State Park, where tourists and locals alike are drawn to enjoy natural scenery, great trails and unique migrations of birds and butterflies.
Hours: Open Daily from 9AM to 8PM.
East Point Lighthouse was built in 1849 and is the second oldest lighthouse in New Jersey. Located on the east bank of Maurice River in Cumberland County, it was originally used to help guide mariners to the river from the Delaware Bay.
The two-story red brick structure gives East Point Lighthouse distinctive “Cape Cod” features that were the inspiration for many of the early lighthouses built on the Pacific Coast.
Group tours available every third Sunday from 1pm – 4pm.
Visit eastpointlight.info for more information about hours, schedules, directions and more.
Originally constructed in Buffalo, New York, Finns Point Rear Range Light was later transported to Pennsville, NJ by way of train and mule-wagon. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, its unique wrought-iron, open-frame composition cost just $1,200 to construct in 1876 and still stands today at 115 feet tall.
Call 856-935-1487 for hours and visitation protocol.
In addition to its rich history, Hereford Inlet Lighthouse is known for it’s breathtaking Victorian architecture, featuring five fireplaces and beautiful living quarters for its well appointed original keeper and his family. Still a beautiful sight, the lighthouse is surrounded by a beautiful flower and herb garden that is enjoyed by passersby each day.
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse now offers a small museum and is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.
Hours: Open daily (Summer/ Fall) from 9AM – 5PM.
Tour Admission Fees: Adults 12 yrs. and up $4.00
11 yrs. and under $1.00. Call for 609 522 4520 group rates. Free to visit gift shop and tour gardens.
Get directions and more information about Hereford Lighthouse at herefordlighthouse.org.
The Sandy Hook Lighthouse is a well-preserved, unique octagonal tower that dates back to the 18th century and has been in service since 1764, making it the oldest operating lighthouse in the United States! Part of the popular historical collection of sites at Sandy Hook, the tower offers amazing views of New Jersey’s popular park and beach area that overlooks the New York City Skyline.
Owned by the National Park Service, the U.S. Coast Guard maintains the light.
Hours: Open to the public on weekends April – Oct. from Noon – 4:30 PM, Nov. – mid Dec. from Noon – 4:30 PM, weekdays in July and Aug. from 1PM – 4:30 PM.
Admission is free. Tours are available by calling (732) 872-5970.
Based at another great Victorian building by the sea, the Sea Girt Lighthouse began shining in 1896 to bridge the 40-mile gap between Barnegat Light and the Twin Lights of Navesink. Sea Girt Lighthouse is the last live-in lighthouse built on the Atlantic Coast and was restored by a local citizens’ committee and furnished in keeping with its historical period.
Hours: Guided tours of Sea Girt Lighthouse are conducted Sundays 2-4 p.m. through November 24, except holiday weekends. Tours are free; donations appreciated.
Groups tours are conducted year-round by prior arrangement. To arrange a group tour, submit your request here or call 732-974-0514.
Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse was first lit on New Year’s Eve of the year 1880 to guide ships heading north along the Delaware River toward ports at Philadelphia and Camden. Situated in Paulsboro, its fixed red light and 1,000-watt lamps exhibit 500,000 candlepower from atop an 85-foot-high tower.
Hours: Open the third weekend of each month from April – Oct., Sat. 10 am – 3 pm, Sun., noon – 4 pm. Free admission; donations requested. Call (856) 423-1505 or (856) 423-2545 for more information.
Originally built in 1848, the Tucker’s Island Lighthouse that we see today is actually a re-creation of an Atlantic Ocean lighthouse that fell into the sea in 1927 after years of pounding surf and beach erosion. Now located at Tuckerton Seaport, the lighthouse is a maritime interpretive center with exhibits of the history of the U.S. Lifesaving Service, Barnegat Bay pirates and the bay itself.
Hours: Open daily from 10 AM – 5 PM. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors (62 and older), $5 for children ages 6 – 12, children 5 and under free.
Offering what some will argue are the best ocean views in the state, the medieval-style Twin Lights is located in Highlands, towering 250 feet above Sandy Hook Bay, on one of the highest points along the coast. The home of several pioneering innovations in the lighthouse industry, this is where the first Fresnel lens was located in the United States and where Guglielmo Marconi demonstrated the first practical use of the wireless telegraph from Navesink in 1899. Plus, Twin lights used the first lamps fueled by kerosene in 1883 and in 1898, it was one of the first electrically lit seacoast lighthouses in the country. Click here to discover the meaning between its two lights!
Hours: Open daily from 10 AM – 4:30 PM during the summer and Wed. – Sun. from 10 AM – 4:30 PM during the rest of the year.