Lighthouses are the idyllic image associated with seaside towns. Lighthouses on Cape Cod add to the nautical essence of the region. These structures stand more than 200 feet tall and are often adorned with bright white or red paint. Aside from being an icon in this region, lighthouses on Cape Cod are chalked full of historical significance. Learn all there is to know about these famous structures by taking a Cape Cod lighthouse tour. Searching for other things to do on the Cape? Our Vacation Guide is full of local recommendations! You can easily plan each day of your getaway with our help.
Everything You Need to Know About Cape Cod Lighthouse Tours
History of Cape Cod Lighthouses
Historically, lighthouses were an integral part of communication and navigation on the seas. They were used as traffic lights and hazard warnings for sea captains by emitting light from their peaks. For centuries, lighthouses were used for maritime communication. They date back to as early as 280 B.C., although the first Cape Cod lighthouse was built in 1797. As our nation grew and expanded along coastline, more and more lighthouses began to emerge.
Eventually, the need for lighthouses slowly dwindled as technological advancement allowed for communication between sea and shore. Today, lighthouses in seaside towns still stand tall and serve as historical structures. On the Cape, lighthouses add to the Cape’s rich history and are a great attraction for locals and tourists alike.
Three Sisters Lighthouses
One of the most famous lighthouse attractions on the Cape is not one, but three smaller than average lighthouses. The Three Sisters lighthouses are located near Nauset Light Beach. This trio has seen a tumultuous history of ups and downs. These lighthouses we decommissioned by the early 1900s until they were repurchased, restored, and opened for touring in the 1980s.
Visitors are welcome to come view the lighthouses daily, but the interiors are not open to the public. If you’d like to see the inside, and/or take a tour, check the National Park Service’s guided tour schedule. The tours are given by experienced guides biweekly from July to August. The schedules are released a month in advance and fill up quickly. So, check back frequently to reserve your spot!
Gay Head Lighthouse on Martha’s Vineyard
Martha’s Vineyard is a popular island off the coast of Cape Cod. This island boasts 100-square feet of premier New England shopping and dining. However, this destination also takes guests back in time with its many historic sites like Gay Head Lighthouse. Unlike others, this lighthouse is fully functioning! You can tour this working artifact in high-season from May to October, or host a private event there. If you’re visiting in the fall, consider running the Gay Head 10K to help preserve its history and keep it up and running!
Another popular lighthouse tower on the Cape is Highland Light. This attraction is located in Truro, MA, which is about a 30-minute drive up and around the Cape Cod Bay. The lighthouse is open for tours from mid-May to mid-October. Make it a day trip when you stop at Truro Vineyards of Cape Cod afterward. Delight in a tour with your family, friends, or special someone for a quiet afternoon on the Cape. Or, reserve a private tasting or tour if you’re traveling with a group! There’s nothing more quintessential Cape Cod than blending history with relaxation.
Indulge in More Cape Cod History at Candleberry Inn
Our inn is centrally located in the middle of the Cape. We are a 20-minute drive to The Three Sisters and are within driving distance to other Cape Cod day trips. You’re sure to be in awe of the Cape and its rich history after a day of Cape Cod lighthouse tours. Retreat to our inn, which is a former sea captain’s home, for more localized Cape Cod history. Our innkeepers are passionate about the historical significance of Candleberry Inn and are happy to speak with you about its history.
Stay in our Seacroft Suite for a truly nautical stay on the Cape. This suite was recently upgraded to a king-size bed, but book this room now for the queen rate! Enjoy all of our luxurious amenities, decadent breakfast, and friendly staff as part of the Candleberry Inn experience.