There’s something special about lighthouses.

Whether it's a day trip or a long vacation, lighthouses capture the imagination like few other relics from years gone by.

Article courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism | 8/18/2014, 1:19 p.m.
Whether it's a day trip or a long vacation, lighthouses capture the imagination like few other relics from years gone ...
Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism - Lighthouses. Courtesy of MOTT

Contemporary visitors need not worry about the structural integrity of Brant Light in these times, however. While the tower is not open to the public, travelers are free to walk right up to the lighthouse year round. The beach where the light makes its home also happens to be an excellent spot for picnics, surfcasting and all manner of family activities, as well as weddings.

Visitors spending time in the area can kick their feet back half a mile away at the Brant Point Inn or White Elephant, both of which are conveniently located near downtown Nantucket to boot.

Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse in Scituate, MA


Jean Milch

Minot-Ledge Lighthouse. Courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.

The waters between Scituate and Cohasset along the South Coast have long been notorious for their perilous layout. During the mid-1800s, Minot’s Ledge was reported to have claimed than 40+ vessels and many more lives within a decade, resulting in dreadful loss of life and property. The first light at Minot’s Ledge lasted all of a year or two, surrendering to a wicked storm that left barely any remnants on the rock base.

The second lighthouse on Minot’s Ledge has enjoyed a far happier, lengthier existence, and indeed it still stands today, more than a century and a half since it was built. Those who would like to see it can do so by boat tours, which leave from Boston and Hingham.

There are many options for an overnight in Boston, as well as the South Coast, so prospective visitors would do well to choose where they stay based on what else they’d like to do.

Race Point Lighthouse in Provincetown, MA

Situated on Race Point Beach, one of Massachusetts’ most picturesque sandy spots that marks the tip of Cape Cod for passing vessels, Race Point Lighthouse was lit in 1816. The keeper’s house, which is often photographed along with the tower, wasn’t built until 1840, and in the late 1870s, both the light and keeper’s house underwent significant renovations for modernizations. Children of the keepers walked nearly three sandy miles per day to get school, until a keeper converted his Ford into a dune buggy during the 1920s, which was no doubt a shining moment for dad.

Race Point remains special today because it offers travelers not just the chance toexplore the light, but also stay overnight, in either the Keeper’s House or the Whistle House. A four-wheel drive vehicle is necessary to access the accommodations, which are offered outfitted with modern amenities and available for two nights a week or more. Nearby Provincetown has loads to offer, too, so anyone sleeping at the lighthouse will have no shortage of activities to seek out.

You can learn a little more about Massachusetts’ numerous lighthouses here. For even more Massachusetts history, just click here

If you'd like to share with us your photos of lighthouses that you have visited please submit them to sandra@bannerpub.com. We'll share them with our readers.