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The Best Lighthouses to Visit in the Fall

The temperatures have be so cool lately, I can barely wait for autumn’s arrival! Planning an adventure with all of the fall colors on display is one of my favorite travel activities. While I enjoy a good road trip through the mountains, I like to change it up and come up with different settings to enjoy autumn in all it’s glory.

Did you know that today is National Lighthouse Day?  So, today I’m dreaming of seeing some of these gorgeous lighthouses during the fall peak. Because when it comes to fall, I take my leaf-peeping very seriously. I am mesmerized by the beauty and rich history of the lighthouse and can’t resist the idea of incorporating them into a fall travel adventure.

Here are my top picks for lighting up your autumn:

Split Rock Lighthouse

This majestic beauty can be found on the North Shore of Lake Superior and is located in Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.  The tower itself is only 54 feet tall, but thanks to its placement on the tall rocks, it can be seen for 22 miles.  Bring your camping and fishing gear and stay for a long weekend.  The fall colors are expected to peak in early October.  And don’t forget your camera, the Split Rock lighthouse will offer you some dramatic shots.  (Location: Two Harbors, Minnesota)


Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

If you’re looking for lighthouses by the dozen, you have to visit Maine.  You’ll have over sixty to choose from.  The Bass Harbor Head Light is one of the most picturesque and photographed Maine lighthouses.  It’s located on the south end of Mt. Desert Island in Acadia National Park.  The grounds are open to the public, but the lighthouse is not.  A Coast Guard family actually lives in the lighthouse (how cool is that?) and appreciates you letting them have a bit of privacy. (Location: Tremont, Maine)


Five Mile Point Lighthouse

This lighthouse, also known as the Old New Have Harbor Lighthouse, is located on the harbor entrance to Long Island Sound, only five miles from Downtown New Haven (and is named for this noted fact).  The area and lighthouse are rich with history from the Revolutionary War. Plan a day at Lighthouse Point Park, where you can hang out at the beach, ride the carousel and get wet at the Splashpad, a series of fountains. (Location: New Haven, Connecticut)


Saugerties Lighthouse

Saugerties has the extra benefit of also being a B&B.  You can actually stay in this charming historic landmark and hike around the lovely grounds located on the Hudson River at the confluence of the Espous Creek.  The setting is so completely romantic!  Spend your days exploring nature throughout 17 acres of wooded grounds and trails that will lead you to the picnic area, through the wonderful fall foliage and then back to the lighthouse. Guided tours of the lighthouse are available on Sunday afternoons in the summertime and also by appointment. (Location: Saugerties, New York)


Eagle Harbor Lighthouse

You can play it safe and head to Maine, or plan an adventure to Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula.  You’ll be rewarded for your risk-taking if you head to this part of the Upper Peninsula.  Not only can you visit Eagle Harbor Lighthouse, you’ll also have access to the country’s largest lake and majestic surroundings created by ancient rock.  Make sure you plan for a tour of the lighthouse and capture the gorgeous views along the lake.  You can rent the quaint Light Keepers Cottage for your stay, but hurry it books up quickly!  (Location: Mohawk, Michigan)


What is your favorite lighthouse?  Have you ever visited in autumn?

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This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. Peggy’s Cove! We had a great afternoon climbing on the rocks and looking at the lighthouse from all directions. Watching the waves crash into the rocks also helped.

  2. Oh Samantha, How I miss you on the Travel Channel! I’m happy I can still have you here at least and you can be MORE Mommy and less traveler 🙂 Fall is my favorite and I live in San Antonio, TX where we have no fall foliage (unless you count my Bradford Pear tree that turns yellow about a week before Christmas)! I will live vicariously through your eyes and soak up all the Fall Foliage Blogs and Travel articles I can 🙂 THANK YOU!!!

  3. Portland Head Light in Maine is hands-down my favorite lighthouse in America! Only been once, but it really stuck with me.

  4. I am so glad I found you—-I have so missed your Travel Channel adventures,but know you are enjoying time with your family. Love the fall,and so wanted to do a lighthouse trip to Maine this fall,but husband doesn’t like lighthouses! Who knew. Will have to enjoy your pictures. Best wishes to you all.

  5. love all the pictures..bought a set of Samantha’s luggage and ready to set sail on my 13th cruise this Sunday…Godbless,Samantha.

  6. Saugerties, yes! – set right on the Hudson in a terrific location. Would be an inspiring place to stay …

  7. Mary and I stayed for an overnight at Saugerties Light a few years ago. We were advised to arrive at a time that the tide would be at its lowest, as the 1/2 mile trek through the marsh would be mostly underwater as the tide rose, and access would be otherwise impossible. Marooned for the evening – how romantic. The light keeper rushed through instructions, told us he’d be back in the morning for breakfast, and left while he still could. Mary and I had the whole place to ourselves to explore. We even went up into the light, and watched the Amtrak trains traveling toward Albany in the night just across the river. Very exciting, very cool adventure.

  8. Anastasia Light in north Florida is one of those iconic black and white lighthouses, a classic. Know several of your suggestions, Samantha, and look forward to exploring those new to me. Thanks!

  9. Portland Head, Two Lights State Park (bonus Lobster Shack rest.), Cap Nedick (Nubble) and Pimaquid Point are those we have visited more than once in Maine. Bucket list is visiting all those accessible.

  10. sometime if you are able(not this year unfortunately) to visit some of the lighthouses in the maritimes in canada we have a favorite on p.e.i

  11. Cana Island lighthouse in Door County, Wisconsin is a fantastic place to visit anytime, but especially in the autumn.

  12. Point Betsie Lighthouse in Frankfort, MI, on the Western shore of Lake Michigan. It was lovely in the summer, but would be spectacular in the fall when the leaves have turned.

  13. How neat to have Split Rock Lighthouse be the first on the list. I grew up in Minnesota and have fond memories of the state.

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