For Lighthouse Lovers Only: Options for (Temporarily) Living Out Your Fantasies

published Aug 10, 2016
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I’ve spent far too much time telling anyone who will listen that my two goals this summer are: one, buy a variety of visors. And two, hang out around some lighthouses. I’m well on my way to knocking goal number one out of the park, but had to do a little more research to make my lighthouse dream a reality. If you’ve also been pining for a long stroll on a beach in a J.Jill sweater that doubles as a journey to self-discovery, but want to raise the stakes and actually stay in a lighthouse, here’s a handy list of lighthouse living options.

Short Term:

If you’re feeling like one weekend is all you need to scratch the lighthouse itch, there are plenty of options available to you. Ranging from a totally decadent champagne B&B experience to something a little more rustic, it’s time to pack up your weekender and head out to your nearest coast!

(Image credit: Wikipedia )

East Brother Light Station – Richmond, California

This absolutely gorgeous lighthouse was transformed into a B&B 35 years ago. Upon arriving to the island after a 10-minute boat ride, guests of the B&B get complimentary champagne, making this just about the most luxurious lighthouse around. You can also visit for the day on Saturdays, sign up to volunteer and host an event. Also, it’s a non-profit so if you feel like telling everyone you spent the weekend preserving a bit of California history, you wouldn’t be wrong.

(Image credit: Point Arena Lighthouse)

Point Arena Lighthouse – Point Arena, California

Slightly less tony than the East Brother Light Station, the Point Arena Lighthouse still packs a punch with gorgeous views, complimentary wine and chocolate and a night tour if you plan your visit around the full moon. Accessible by car, there are plenty of nearby attractions to keep you busy.

(Image credit: Airbnb)

Goose Rocks Lighthouse – North Haven, Maine

This gorgeous, working lighthouse in Maine is perfect for a group vacation. It’s eco-friendly and authentic, so best to come with a lust for nature and a little bit of solitude. A “lighthouse keeper” will meet you at a dock and transport you by boat, kicking things off with a sense of adventure.

Point Robinson – Vashon Island, Washington

If you prefer your scenery moody (like, Twilight moody), head on up to Washington state. Offering two types of restored accommodations and terrific views, Point Robinson is a striking option that allows you to explore all the quirky and delightful things Vashon Island has to offer.

Longer Term:

A lot of lighthouses offer keeper programs, where you act as a temporary guide, groundskeeper and lighthouse expert. Part docent, part vacation maven, lighthouse keeping is perfect for those who like their time off a little active. For more information on lighthouse keeping opportunities near you, check out the National Park Service.

(Image credit: Mission Point Lighthouse)

Mission Point Lighthouse – Traverse City, Michigan

Don’t worry Midwesterners, I haven’t forgotten about you. Two lucky and enterprising adults can make the most of the gorgeous Traverse City scenery (and it is gorgeous) while they do some light housekeeping and serve as greeters and a helpful resource for visitors in the gift shop. For those who are heartier and less outgoing, you can volunteer as a keeper during the winter, where you are relieved of gift shop duties.

Rose Island Lighthouse – Rose Island, Rhode Island

Rose Island offers three tiers of lighthouse keeping, with varying levels of maritime intensity.

Have you vacationed at a lighthouse? Live in one? Share your lighthouse living tips in the comments!