11 New Jersey Lighthouses to Visit With the Kids
New Jersey Lighthouses to Visit with Kids
Which New Jersey lighthouses have you visited?
Karen lives in Central Jersey with her two dogs, one cat, husband and daughter Olivia. Graduating from Seton Hall University with a B.A. in Journalism and Public Relations, she has been writing and working in the social media field for a few years. One of her proudest moments as a writer so far has been interviewing Tim Gunn from 'Project Runway' and subsequently winning Honorable Mention in NJ for Feature Writing. When she is not busy as a mom, she enjoys reading, going to the beach and watching the Real Housewives. She is very excited for the opportunity to be a part of the NJ Mom team!
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Located in some of the most beautiful areas of the state, visitors are amazed by the 11 majestic lighthouses that have guarded mariners sailing the Atlantic Ocean and intercoastal waterways for over a century.
- Cape May Lighthouse
- Barnegat Lighthouse
- Twin Lights
- Sandy Hook Lighthouse
- Sea Girt Lighthouse
- Tucker’s Island Lighthouse
- Absecon Lighthouse
- Hereford Inlet Lighthouse
- East Point Lighthouse
- Finn’s Point Rear Range Light
- Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse
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Explore the Best Lighthouses in New Jersey
Posted by: NJ Kids - August 03, 2023
A Visit to a Lighthouse Makes a Perfect Day Trip
Lighthouses protect our coasts and help guide sailors & sea mariners. While only a few are operational today, many of the historic ones have plenty of stories to tell. The lighthouses listed below make for a nice day trip or getaway idea. Some offer FREE entry (or charge a nominal fee) as well as free special events during the summer. A visit to a lighthouse is a great experience for kids and fun for the whole family. The cool part is in the climb, so get ready for the exercise as well as explore! Special activities and celebrations are usually held during National Lighthouse Day August 7th. Please double check venues for any changes.
Start your climb up 228 steps. At the the top, you’ll be treated to a spectacular view of the Atlantic City skyline. Absecon Lighthouse is over 150 years old and is the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey, standing at 171 feet high. You can also see a Replica Lightkeepers dwelling, educational museum, and gift shop. Check out their summer schedule for special events, especially summer weekly themes on Wacky Wednesdays for kids. Kids 12 & under can climb FREE Monday August 7, 2023 on National Lighthouse Day. The lighthouse is open year round and is located at 31 S. Rhode Island Ave in Atlantic City, NJ.
Get energized! Climb 217 steps to the light keepers catwalk at the Barnegat Lighthouse . The lantern light is visible for 22 nautical miles. Once you've reached the top, you'll encounter spectacular views of Island Beach, Barnegat Bay, Long Beach Island and the Atlantic Ocean. Learn about lighthouse and maritime history next door at the Interpretive Center. The surrounding park area offers fishing, nature trails, bird watching, and picnicking. Open daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Long Beach Island in Ocean County, NJ.
Cape May Lighthouse
Climb 199 steps to the top of the 1859 Cape May Lighthouse. Scenic views of the Jersey Cape and Delaware Bay. There is a Visitors Orientation Center and Museum Shop. On Wednesdays this August, the Cape May Lighthouse hosts Family Fun Days with kid activities on the lighthouse grounds. On National Lighthouse Day August 7, 2023, enjoy lawn games, activities, and Wetlands Institute marine animal touch. 215 Lighthouse Ave, Cape May Point State Park, NJ.
East Point Lighthouse
Originally built in 1849, the East Point Lighthouse was fully restored inside and outside, including new lantern. Open for tours year round. Special events held throughout the year as well. Located at 10 Lighthouse Road, Heislerville, NJ.
Finns Point Rear Range Lighthouse
Located at the Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Enjoy views of the Delaware River and refuge center. Special event: open to the public for FREE on Sunday August 6, 2023 in celebration of National Lighthouse Day. 197 Lighthouse Rd, Pennsville, NJ.
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse
FREE admission . Open daily until late October 2023. The Hereford Inlet Lighthouse is a popular tourist destination. It serves as a working lighthouse and museum. Learn about the history of Hereford and life of lighthouse keeper. Explore surrounding Victorian Style Park, Hereford Gardens, and North Wildwood Seawall’s called AngleseaWalk. 111 North Central Avenue, North Wildwood, NJ.
Sandy Hook Lighthouse
Still in use today, the Sandy Hook Lighthouse is designated a National Historical Landmark. Seasonal tours offered 1PM-3:30PM on weekends. Must be 48 inches tall to climb. Explore Lighthouse Keepers Quarters and Visitors Center located next door to the lighthouse. 128 South Hartshorne Drive, Highlands, NJ.
Sea Girt Lighthouse
FREE tours conducted on Sundays, April through November. Donations appreciated. At the Sea Girt Lighthouse , take a guided tour of all rooms of keeper quarters and up to the lantern at top of the tower. 9 Ocean Ave, Sea Girt, NJ.
Tucker’s Island Lighthouse Replica
Reproduction of lighthouse that was once located on Tucker’s Island and fell into the ocean in 1927. This replica lighthouse is located at the Tuckerton Seaport . Climb 42 steps to the top of the tower for views of the Seaport and Lake Pohatcong. You can also view exhibits on New Jersey's maritime history. 120 West Main Street, Tuckerton, NJ.
Twin Lights Lighthouse
The Museum and grounds self tour Admission is FREE. However, there is a fee for general tours and a fee during the summer to climb both lighthouse towers. Located 200 feet above sea level and high on the hill, the Twin Lights Lighthouse has 2 towers that overlook the coastal waters of NJ. The South Tower is unlit and The North Tower is lit by a 500 watt bulb. Twin Lights has been rumored to have ghosts and spirits. Lighthouse Road in Highlands, NJ.
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8 NJ Lighthouses to Visit on National Lighthouse Day
N ational Lighthouse Day is celebrated on August 7, 2017. It’s the perfect time to visit one of New Jersey’s incredible lighthouses and learn about their role in America’s maritime heritage and history. Many offer free admission for kids to celebrate. Plan a fun trip for the whole family; most are near state parks or beaches so there’s plenty to do.
Here are some of our favorites in the state.
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Best for Height Lovers: Absecon Lighthouse
Address: 31 S. Rhode Island Avenue, Atlantic City Details: Journey back in time as you climb 228 steps to the top of the state’s tallest lighthouse, first lit in 1857. At 171 feet tall, Abescon is the third tallest in the country. Check out the breathtaking views of Atlantic City from the top. After you descend, explore an educational museum and gift shop on the expansive grounds. National Lighthouse Day events: Kids up to age 14 climb free on National Lighthouse Day when accompanied by an adult. A full moon climb is $20 per person and includes fine wine and live music. More info: www.abseconlighthouse.org or click here to call .
Best for Hikers: Barnegat Lighthouse
Best for Bird Watchers: Cape May Lighthouse
Best for Garden Lovers: Hereford Inlet Lighthouse
Address: 111 North Central Avenue, North Wildwood Details: This residential-style, picturesque spot was first used by 17th century whalers and built to mark the entrance of the Hereford Inlet. Today you’ll find a working lighthouse, as well as a museum. Take a tour to learn about its history and get a glimpse into the life of a lighthouse keeper. Stroll through the beautiful award-winning gardens, which boast more than 200 plant varieties. Sit on one of the benches lining the garden path or relax in the large gazebo at this tranquil setting. National Lighthouse Day events: Find special tour hours and free climbing for kids up to age 14. Participants earn a Junior Lighthouse Keeper certificate and souvenir sticker by answering questions. More info: Visit the website or click here to call .
Best for History Buffs: Sandy Hook Lighthouse
Best for a Party: Sea Girt Lighthouse
Address: 9 Ocean Avenue, Sea Girt Details: Sea Girt Lighthouse—nestled within an L-shaped Victorian building—first shone in 1896. Originally built to bridge the 40-mile gap between Barnegat Light and the Twin Lights of Navesink, it was decommissioned in 1945. The red brick structure was the last live-in lighthouse (which means the tower is integrated into the living quarters) built on the Atlantic Coast. Looking for a unique party venue? This spot is available for special events to Sea Girt property owners. National Lighthouse Day events: Find special tour hours and free climbing for kids. Participants earn a Junior Lighthouse Keeper certificate and souvenir sticker by answering questions. More info: Visit the website or click here to call .
Best for Families: Tucker’s Island Lighthouse
Best Design: Twin Lights Lighthouse
Address: 2 Lighthouse Road, Highlands Details: This unique one, perched atop the Navesink Highlands, has overlooked the borough of Highlands since 1828. The current lighthouse was built in 1862 of local brownstone to replace older buildings that were in disrepair. When it was rebuilt, it was constructed with two non-identical towers (linked by storage rooms and keeper’s quarters) and dual lights (one flashing and one fixed). These unique features make it easily distinguishable from nearby lighthouses. Visit the renovated museum to see the exhibit “Seeing Stars: Every Flag Tells a Story,” which explores the American flag from inception to today. National Lighthouse Day events: Enjoy special tour hours and free climbing for kids up to age 14. Participants earn a Junior Lighthouse Keeper certificate and souvenir sticker by answering questions. More info: Visit the website or click here to call .
Hero (Top) Feature Image: © K.L. Kohn/Adobe Stock Additional Images (in order) Courtesy: State of New Jersey / Website Steve Peterson Visit NJ / Website National Park Service / Website Visit NJ / Website The Tuckerton Seaport / Facebook
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11 New Jersey Lighthouses to Check Out
Summer might be ending soon, but there is still time to head down the shore and enjoy the beach + summer sun. Since the beach is a go-to summer day activity for most of us in NJ, make sure to visit a local lighthouse on your way. Whether admiring from afar or climbing to the very top, a visit to a lighthouse is a fun and educational activity for the whole family to enjoy. Plus there are many beautiful and scenic lighthouses along the New Jersey coast to visit- spanning down to Cape May. Keep reading for a history of lighthouses and where to visit them in New Jersey.
Lighthouses date all the way back to 285 B.C. but it wasn’t until 1716 that the first lighthouse was built in the United States, off the coast of Boston. Back in the day, lighthouses played an important role in guiding sailors home and helping them navigate between ports. And interestingly enough, New Jersey is home to many of the oldest and most historical lighthouses in the country. Located along the 127-mile coastline from Sandy Hook to the southern tip of Cape May, there are 10 original lighthouses that are open to the public. Some are even still working today.
Read More: Where to Whale Watch at the Jersey Shore
Lighthouses To Visit in NJ
Absecon lighthouse | 31 south rhode island avenue, atlantic city.
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Located at the north end of Atlantic City, the Abecon Lighthouse was built in 1857. It is the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey and provides a phenomenal view from the top. While it was decommissioned in 1933, it remains a popular attraction for tourists. Visitors can explore the lighthouse keeper’s quarters and its museum which contains artifacts that paint a picture of the maritime heritage of New Jersey. There are 228 steps to the top and it is 171 feet tall.
Barnegat Lighthouse | 208 Broadway, Barnegat Light
Originally built in 1835 to help with transatlantic navigation, this lighthouse was later used during the First World War as a lookout tower. The tower stands 165 feet tall and those who climb it will see beautiful views of Island Beach State Park, Barnegat Inlet from all angles, and the 18-mile stretch of Long Beach Island. Its incredible views and impressive history make it a popular destination.
Cape May Lighthouse | 215 Lighthouse Avenue, Cape May
Built in 1959, Cape May Lighthouse was under the leadership of 1st Lt. George Meade for many decades, helping to guide sailors home for several decades. Today, it continues to be in operation, flashing its beam which can be seen from 24 miles out to sea, every 15 seconds. Tourists can visit the lighthouse and climb its original stairs while checking out the murals inside which tell the stories and show how it functioned throughout its history. Be sure to stop in the lighthouse’s museum shop, which is located in its original oil storage building.
East Point Lighthouse | 10 Lighthouse Road, Heislerville
Located on the shore of Delaware Bay, this picturesque lighthouse was originally built in 1849 and is also known as the Maurice River Lighthouse. It has been in use since 1911 and has since been providing fishermen and boaters a guiding light to shore. Group tours are available to admire the impressive views, beautiful surrounding land, and exterior of the lighthouse.
Finns Point Rear Range Light | Fort Mott + Lighthouse Roads, Pennsville
Originally built in Buffalo, New York, in 1876, this lighthouse is 115 feet tall and has 130 steps leading to the top for those who choose to climb it. While it is no longer in use, due to a deactivated lightbulb, it welcomes visitors to enjoy the amazing views it provides. It’s also conveniently located near Fort Mott State Park , a 104-acre waterfront park that contains historical features from the Spanish-American War.
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse | 111 North Central Avenue, North Wildwood
This magnificent lighthouse resembles a Victorian-style vacation home or resort with its architecture surrounded by several gardens. In addition to its uniqueness, Hereford Inlet lighthouse has earned it a spot on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Tourists can visit the iconic lighthouse, explore the beautiful living quarters of the keeper and his family, admire the gorgeous flower gardens, and visit the small museum on the premises.
Sandy Hook Lighthouse | 84 Mercer Road, Highlands
The Sandy Hook Lighthouse dates back to the 18th century and is known as the oldest functioning lighthouse in the United States. “It has been in use since 1764 and has only had its lights dimmed during the First and Second World Wars, the Civil War, and the Spanish-American War.” This 250-year-old lighthouse is extremely well preserved and has been one of the main attractions to Sandy Hook and our state in general. Aside from touring the inside, visitors can enjoy an afternoon in the park area nearby.
Sea Girt Lighthouse | 9 Ocean Avenue North, Sea Girt
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The Sea Girt Lighthouse was initially built in the Victorian era in 1986 as an L-shaped formation. It served to bridge the 40-mile gap between the Twin Lights of Navesink and Barnegat Lighthouse. For many years it helped sailors navigate and find their way off the coast. It hasn’t been in use since 1945 and is now a tourist destination. Visitors can climb to the top a short distance (only 42 stairs), and get tours of the keeper’s home to see the interior decor and historical scene.
Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse | 70 2nd Street, Paulsboro
This lighthouse has remained in use since it was first lit on New Year’s Eve in 1880. It has since been guiding many ships safely up north along the Delaware River . It’s made from pure steel and stands at 85 feet tall. The lighthouse offers events for climbing to the top and a video tour of the facility.
Tucker’s Island Lighthouse | 112 East Main Street, Tuckerton
In 1927, this lighthouse was destroyed by a storm at sea 1927 which caused the entire island to be taken by water for 20 years. The current lighthouse is a replica of the original lighthouse and can be found in Tuckerton Seaport Village, across the water from the original location. Visitors will receive a tour of the grounds and exhibits that tell the history of the lighthouse. There is also a museum to explore.
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Twin Lights of Navesink | 2 Light House Road, Highlands
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Famous for its unique twin tower design, the Twin Lights of Navesink plays a major role in the history of lighthouses in the United States. Not only did the first Fresnel lens in the US originate here but also the first practical use of the wireless telegraph. In addition, Twin Lights of Navesink became the first electrically lit sea coat lighthouse in the United States in 1898. Although it’s no longer used as a lighthouse, it’s currently home to a Seeing Stars museum, which shows the progress of the American flag, plus a museum with cool artifacts. Guests can climb to the top of the tower to admire the incredible views .
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New Jersey Lighthouses To Visit
Local bridges for photos too.
Escape to new heights. Discover and visit the lighthouses of New Jersey with the NJspots Lighthouses & Bridges map. The Jersey Shore is known for the towering lighthouses that line our shoreline.
We Have Cool Lighthouses Too!
Many people travel to Maine to see the lighthouses, but New Jersey is also home to some great historical ones, like Sandy Hook , Cape Ma y, and Long Beach Island .
With active and deactivated lighthouses across the state, there are plenty of places to explore! Also, check out the many bridges around our state with fantastic state border views, like the George Washington Bridge .
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Whether you want to climb a lighthouse, take pictures of a bridge, or hike to the top of a mountain, we have some great overlooks and places to see!
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Absecon Lighthouse - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)
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Absecon Lighthouse Information
11 New Jersey Lighthouses to Explore with Kids
By: Author Jennifer Auer
Posted on August 6, 2023
As a New Jersey mom of three boys, finding ways to help them burn energy has always been one of my top priorities. So, climbing New Jersey lighthouses with them not only gets them out and about, it also lets us experience the beauty of the New Jersey coastline as a family.
Discover the stories behind each lighthouse, let your little explorers climb to new heights, and soak in the breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a family of first-time lighthouse explorers, this blog post will be your ultimate guide to embark on unforgettable family outings at New Jersey lighthouses.
Where are the lighthouses located in New Jersey?
New Jersey is home to several lighthouses along its coastline. Here’s a brief outline of the New Jersey lighthouses near me and you that I will describe in more detail below.
- Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City
- Cape May Lighthouse in Cape May Point
- Hereford Inlet Lighthouse in North Wildwood
- East Point Lighthouse in Heislerville
- Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse in Paulsboro
- Twin Lights Lighthouse in Highlands
- Sandy Hook Lighthouse in Highlands
Sea Girt Lighthouse
- Tucker’s Island Lighthouse at the Tuckerton Seaport in Tuckerton
- Barnegat Lighthouse in Barnegat Light
- Finns Rear Range Lighthouse in Pennsville
Are all New Jersey lighthouses open to the public?
Yes, most of the New Jersey lighthouses have reopened to the public for visits and tours. Grab the kids to explore the lighthouses, climb their towers, and learn about their history through guided tours or self-guided visits.
Considering some lighthouses may have seasonal or weather-related operating hours, check our details below. Then, it’s best to check their respective websites for specific information.
Is it free to visit the lighthouses in New Jersey?
Admission fees vary by NJ lighthouse. Some do charge admission. Some are free but appreciate donations.
Considering there are differences in ticket policies, review the details below. If pricing is a concern double-check their respective websites for specific information. Just in case pricing information has changed since our last update.
What’s the best time to visit a NJ lighthouse?
The answer to that is going to vary depending upon what you and your family like to see and why you’re visiting.
Do you want to capture the sun rising or setting over the water? Then, time your visit around the sunset and sunrise times. But do check the lighthouse hours to make sure they are open at that time.
Are you looking for great photography shots of lighthouses? You may want to time your visit for the dawn or dusk hours when the light is not directly overhead.
Are you just looking for a unique experience? Climbing a lighthouse can be a great activity for a slightly cloudy day. With the sun behind clouds, it won’t be too warm on the climb up and you’ll have breathtaking views without having to squint from the sun being in your eyes.
New Jersey Lighthouses
Each lighthouse in New Jersey has its own unique history and architectural characteristics. You really have to visit each one to truly appreciate what makes it special.
Below is a list of New Jersey Lighthouses by county. If lighthouse information is available online, you can link to it by clicking on the website link we provided. For each lighthouse in New Jersey, we have included their address, hours of operation, admission prices, contact information, and a link to our review of that particular lighthouse.
Atlantic County Lighthouse
This South Jersey lighthouse is located at 31 S. Rhode Island Avenue in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
- July – August 7 days a Week – 10 am to 5 pm
- September – June Thursdays – Mondays 11 am to 4 pm.
- $9 college students and seniors 65 and up
- $6 children 4-12
- $5 Atlantic City residents with ID
- Kids under 4 and active duty military free
- Free parking and admission to the Keeper’s House Museum, Exhibits, Gift Shop and Grounds.
- Special Events: To learn about more Absecon Lighthouse events for families visit this link for Absecon Lighthouse events .
- Learn more about the Absecon Lighthouse on their site or call 609-449-1360.
Cape May County Lighthouses
Cape may lighthouse.
A great place to get out and explore nature in Cape May is at the Cape May Point State Park . Best known for its 157 foot Cape May Lighthouse, the Cape May Point State Park is also busting with all kinds of wildlife and nature trails. Plus, if you want to learn anything about birds, Cape May is the place to go. Believe it or not, but in the birding community, Cape May is one of the most popular sites in North America to watch the fall migration.
This South Jersey lighthouse, the Cape May Lighthouse is located at 215 Light House Avenue in Cape May Point, New Jersey. (take Exit 0 off the GS Parkway)
- Lighthouse Hours: The Cape May Lighthouse is open daily from 9 AM – 5 PM.
- $12 for adults
- $8 for children ages 3 to 12 and veterans
- Children under 3 and active military are free.
- There is no entrance fee for the Cape May Lighthouse State Park. It is open to the public from dawn to dusk.
- There are 199 steps to the top of the Cape May Lighthouse.
- There are 3 nature trails – Red (.5 miles), Yellow (1.5 miles), and Blue (2.0 miles) The Red Trail is both stroller and wheelchair accessible
- Surf fishing, guided nature walks, and guided bird walks are available
- Picnic areas are available (Groups of 20 or more must reserve and there is a fee)
- Take a walk on the beach and you can check out the WWII bunker (Now partly under water, it used to sit 900 feet inland!)
- The park has a beach wheelchair available for public use
- Special Events: To learn about more Cape May Lighthouse events for families visit this link for Cape May Lighthouse events .
- Learn more about the Cape May Lighthouse on their site or call (609) 884-5404.
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse
The Hereford Inlet Lighthouse is a Southern New Jersey lighthouse located at 111 N Central Avenue in North Wildwood, New Jersey.
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse is a working lighthouse as well as a museum. Visitors will learn about the history of Hereford and get a glimpse of the life of a lighthouse keeper in the late 19th and early 20th century.
What you will see at the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse? You can watch a 15-minute video of the history of the Lighthouse, look at different bedrooms in the lighthouse, see how a lighthouse keeper lives and learn how a lighthouse lantern works.
Make sure you climb to the top to get a beautiful view of the shore below and the garden around the Lighthouse. There’s a park surrounding the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse designed with many different garden areas containing over 200 plant varieties.
- Lighthouse Hours: The Hereford Inlet Lighthouse is open daily from 9 AM – 5 PM from the middle of May to the middle of October. From October through May, it’s best to call (609) 600-1561 for hours.
- Admission is free to enter the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse. Donations are appreciated.
- Special Events: To learn about more Hereford Inlet Lighthouse events for families visit this link for Hereford Inlet Lighthouse events for families .
- Learn more about the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse on their site or call (609) 600-1561.
Cumberland County Lighthouse
East point lighthouse.
Another South Jersey lighthouse is East Point Lighthouse at 10 Lighthouse Road in Heislerville, New Jersey.
- Lighthouse Hours: During Spring and Autumn (starting in May) the East Point Lighthouse is open every Saturday and Sunday, 11 AM – 4 PM. January – April the East Point Lighthouse is open 1st and 3rd weekends (Sat. & Sun.) 11 AM – 4 PM.
- $4 students 12-18
- free for children 11 and under.
- Special Events: To learn about more East Point Lighthouse events for families visit this link for East Point Lighthouse events for families .
- Learn more about the East Point Lighthouse on their site or call 856-785-0349.
Gloucester County Lighthouse
Tinicum rear range lighthouse.
Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse is another South Jersey lighthouse, located at 2nd Street in Paulsboro, New Jersey.
Tinicum has a skeletal structure, making it look different from the other lighthouse you are used to seeing.
- Lighthouse Hours: The Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse is open on the third Sunday of each month April – October from 12 PM – 4 PM.
- Climbing/Admission Fee: Admission is free but donations are requested.
- Special Events: To learn about more Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse events for families visit this link for Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse events .
- Read more about the Paulsboro lighthouse in our review of Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse.
- Learn more about the Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse on their site or call 856-423-1554.
Monmouth County Lighthouses
Twin lights lighthouse.
The Twin Lights Lighthouse is a fun Central Jersey lighthouse located at Lighthouse Road in Highlands, New Jersey.
- During the summer season (Memorial Day – October) the towers are open from 9 AM – 4 PM and there is a fee of $5 adult and $12 per child to climb both towers.
- Twin Lights Lighthouse grounds are open 7 days a week 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM.
- The North Tower is available and free to climb in the off season Wednesday – Sunday 10 AM – 4 PM.
- Admission is free for self guided tours of the grounds. Enjoy your visit of the site and exhibits by using way-finding signs, information panels and interactive features to self tour all open areas and exhibits.
- Tours from the site historians are available and grant access to both towers. The fee for tours is $12 per adult, children 10 and under are $2. These tours must be scheduled 3 days in advance.
- Special Events: To learn about more Twin Lights Lighthouse events for families visit this link for Twin Lights Lighthouse events .
- Learn more about the Twin Lights Lighthouse on their site or call 732-872-1814.
Sandy Hook Lighthouse
The Sandy Hook Lighthouse, a Central New Jersey lighthouse is located at 128 South Hartshorne Drive, Highlands, inside the Gateway National Recreation Center.
- Sandy Hook Lighthouse: Tours offered between 1 pm through 3:30 pm. Tours are first-come first-serve. They take 8 people up per tour. Each tour lasts approximately half an hour.
- November 1 through March 31: The park is open from 5 AM through 8 PM daily, except by permit.
- Visitor centers and contact stations are open every day EXCEPT Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day (December 25) and New Year’s Day (January 1).
- The Sandy Hook Lighthouse is open 1 – 3:30 daily. Lighthouse tours are first come first served. Children must be 48 inches and taller.
- Lighthouse tours: Offered first-come first served, from 1 PM to 3:30 PM with extended hours in the summer
- Lighthouse Keepers Quarters/ Visitor Center: Open 10 AM to 4 PM daily with extended hours in the summer
- Parking at Fort Hancock is always free. There is a $20 charge per day for beach parking from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
- There are no additional fees to enter or climb the Sandy Hook lighthouse. Children MUST be at least 48 inches tall to climb the tower.
- Special Events: To learn about more Sandy Hook Lighthouse events for families visit this link for Sandy Hook Lighthouse events .
- Read more in our review of 8 Ways to Spend the Day in Sandy Hook .
- Learn more about the Sandy Hook Lighthouse on their site or call (732) 872-5970.
Sea Girt Lighthouse is another Central Jersey lighthouse. This one is located at 9 Ocean Avenue in Sea Girt, New Jersey.
- The Sea Girt Lighthouse has been reopened! Sunday tours have been reinstated with the exception of the holidays weekends listed on their website.
- Their normal operating hours are 2 PM – 4 PM.
- Climbing/Admission Fee: Sea Girt Lighthouse tours are free; donations appreciated.
- Special Events: To learn about more Sea Girt Lighthouse events for families visit this link for Sea Girt Lighthouse events .
- Learn more about the Sea Girt Lighthouse on their site or call 732-974-0514.
Ocean County Lighthouses
Tucker’s island lighthouse.
The Tucker’s Island Lighthouse is located at the Tuckerton Seaport at 120 West Main Street in Tuckerton, New Jersey.
- Lighthouse Hours: The Tuckerton Seaport is open Saturday- Tuesday 10 am – 5 pm.
- Admission to the Tuckerton Seaport is currently offering $5 admission through the summer.
- Climbing the lighthouse is included in Tuckerton Seaport admission.
- Special Events: To learn about more Tuckerton Seaport events for families visit this link for Tuckerton Seaport events for families .
- Read more in our articles about Tuckerton Seaport .
- Learn more about the Tuckerton Seaport on their site or call 609-296-8868.
This South Jersey/Jersey Shore lighthouse is in the Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, Entrance near Broadway and West 3rd Street in Barnegat Light.
- Lighthouse Hours: The Barnegat Lighthouse is open daily 9 AM – 3 PM weather permitting.
- Climbing/Admission Fee: The Barnegat Lighthouse website does not make any mention of climbing fees.
- Special Events: To learn about more Barnegat Lighthouse events for families visit this link for Barnegat Lighthouse events for families .
- Read more in our review of Barnegat Lighthouse.
- Learn more about the Barnegat Lighthouse on their site or call (609) 494-2016.
Salem County Lighthouse
Finns rear range lighthouse.
Finns Rear Range Lighthouse is a South Jersey lighthouse at the Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge at Fort Mott & Lighthouse Roads in Pennsville, New Jersey.
- Lighthouse Hours: Finns Rear Range Lighthouse is open the third Sunday of the month, March – May, and September – November.
- Climbing/Admission Fee: The Finns Rear Rang Lighthouse website does not make any mention of climbing fees.
- Read more in our review of Finns Point Rear Range Lighthouse .
- Learn more about the Finns Rear Range Lighthouse on their site or call (609) 463-0994.
Tips for Exploring New Jersey Lighthouses with Kids
We’ve been exploring lighthouses for years now and every time we visit a new one the kids are still just as enamored with it as they were with the first. Since we have explored so many different lighthouses, we’ve learned some tricks that might benefit other New Jersey families. Take a look at our tips and then move on to our guide of New Jersey lighthouses.
If possible, visit the lighthouse with two adults.
My youngest was sometimes too little to climb the lighthouse, so when I took the boys alone, it meant that no one was able to climb. With two adults present, it’s easier for one to stay back with the child who is too small (or too scared!) while everyone else goes on ahead. It just makes the trip a lot less stressful!
Be prepared for different types of weather.
New Jersey weather can be unpredictable – especially in the summer! Be sure to pack some light raincoats or ponchos, so you’ll still be able to explore the lighthouse.
Try to visit on National Lighthouse Day!
National Lighthouse Day at New Jersey lighthouses is a blast! Many of them have special, family-friendly events planned that make exploring the lighthouse even more fun. Check below and your lighthouse’s website (if available) for more information about their planned events for the day. Keep in mind that many lighthouses still don’t have websites, so you may have to pick up the phone and call to inquire.
Take lots of pictures!
Don’t be shy about snapping pictures of your New Jersey lighthouse visits! They’re a great reminder of fun-filled summer days!
Above all else, have a great day, relax, and enjoy learning about the history of lighthouses along the New Jersey coastline! Tell them Jersey Family Fun sent you!
Here’s another way to enjoy New Jersey lighthouses, visit a New Jersey National Lighthouse Day event.
National Lighthouse Day Events at New Jersey Lighthouses
Activities for National Lighthouse Day, Monday, August 7, 2023, in New Jersey include special tour hours and often includes free climbing for children up to age 14. In the past, participants were able to earn a Junior Lighthouse Keeper Certificate and souvenir sticker by answering questions on the specific characteristics and history of the lighthouse visited. See below for current National Lighthouse Day events in New Jersey.
- National Lighthouse Day at Absecon Lighthouse
- National Lighthouse Day at Cape May Lighthouse
- National Lighthouse Day at Hereford Inlet Lighthouse
- More National Lighthouse Day events in New Jersey
Click over here to read all of our blog posts about local lighthouses in New Jersey .
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New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge Login or Register to save this to your Favorites.
How many New Jersey lighthouses do you think you can visit in just two days? Take the Annual Lighthouse Challenge – October 21-22, 2023 – to experience New Jersey’s majestic beacons of light. This year, with your nominal registration fee, you will receive a souvenir log book with tales from each of the Challenge sites. View this page to plot out your challenge weekend and learn about the participating lighthouses and related sites below.
Absecon Lighthouse Atlantic City At 171 feet tall, this is New Jersey’s tallest lighthouse, and it’s also one of the oldest lighthouses in the country. At the top of a 228-step climb, this beacon offers unmatched views of the glittering Atlantic City skyline.
Barnegat Lighthouse Barnegat Light Located on the northern tip of Long Beach Island, Barnegat Lighthouse State Park provides breathtaking views of Barnegat Bay and stretches of coastline. It takes 217 steps to get to the top of the lighthouse – but visitors don’t have to make the climb to enjoy the scenery stretched out below. Live images from four cameras are projected in the Interpretive Center, where you can also learn about the lighthouse’s history. The nearby Barnegat Light Museum is another challenge stop. It houses the First Order Flashing Lens from the Barnegat Light Lighthouse, along with artifacts, replicas and photographs depicting the history of Barnegat Light and Long Beach Island.
Cape May Lighthouse Cape May Point Built in 1859, this historic lighthouse has welcomed countless visitors to Cape May as they pass by on ships or visit in person while exploring Cape May State Park. A 199-step climb delivers dramatic ocean panoramas, and a Visitors’ Orientation Center and Museum Shop are located inside the nearby Oil House. So Brilliant: There are eight accessible-by-boat-only lighthouses in the Delaware Bay but you can take a virtual tour right here during the 2023 Lighthouse Challenge.
East Point Lighthouse Heislerville Situated at the mouth of the Maurice River and overlooking the Delaware Bay, this charming little lighthouse was built in 1849. Witness for yourself the picturesque site and grounds that have inspired artists, photographers, nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
Finns Point Rear Range Light Pennsville First lit in 1877, this historic iron tower in the Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge reaches 115 feet into the sky. Inside, it takes 130 steps to get to the focal point—with 119 of those steps built into a spiral staircase and another 11 on a step ladder.
Sandy Hook Lighthouse Sandy Hook As part of Gateway National Recreation Area, this lighthouse overlooks Sandy Hook Bay and is within walking distance of a number of notable historic sites and nature trails. It is the oldest never-rebuilt, still-operating lighthouse in the country and a must-see in New Jersey.
Sea Girt Lighthouse Sea Girt This red brick lighthouse first shined its light in 1896. It was the last live-in lighthouse constructed on the Atlantic coast, with its tower built directly into the living quarters of the keeper—the third of whom was a woman who kept the light shining for two months in 1910 when she took over as acting keeper following her husband’s death.
Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse Paulsboro Located along the shores of the Delaware River, this lighthouse with its lantern room and watch room now features a modern steel skeletal structure that reaches 85 feet in the air, built upon the 1880 original tower’s base.
Tucker’s Island Lighthouse Tuckerton This reproduction of the original 1848 lighthouse (which infamously slipped into the ocean in 1927) is the main draw of the Tuckerton Seaport, where you’ll find quaint maritime shops, museums and family-friendly attractions.
Twin Lights of Navesink Lighthouse Highlands Perched atop the Navesink Highlands, this unique lighthouse constructed from local brownstone in 1862 features two non-identical towers. Learn about the local history by perusing the collection in the on-site museum.
More Stops to See:
Squan Beach Life Saving Station #9 Manasquan Constructed in 1902, this Duluth-style station showcases iconic architectural features. The structure stands as a proud reminder of the town’s long maritime heritage – including Congress bestowing station keeper Robert Longstreet with a gold lifesaving medal back in 1903.
Tatham Life Saving Station Stone Harbor The oldest existing building in Stone Harbor, this historic structure was built in 1895 and today features a tower to observe the Atlantic Ocean, Hereford Inlet and back bays.
U.S. Life Saving Station 30 Ocean City Constructed in the U.S. Life Saving Service’s distinctive 1882-type design, this architecturally captivating structure features a gabled roof and lookout tower – and was later expanded to add a boat bay and wrap-around porch.
Best of luck on your illuminating adventure, Lighthouse Challengers! Looking for more outdoor exploration? Check out these listings for parks, forests and nature sites all around New Jersey. To help plan your trip, be sure to download our official Travel Guide and sign up for our e-newsletter for future vacation inspiration.
There Is A Unique Man-Made Wonder Hiding In This Small Town In New Jersey
Raymond Goldfield is a life-long New Jersey resident and an avid traveler and foodie who can be usually found on the Jersey Shore during the offseason or checking out the latest seasonal flavors at The Bent Spoon in Princeton. He has been working for Only In Your State for since early 2022, where he writes for New Jersey and Iowa and edits the Mid-Atlantic region. He can also be found writing about pop culture for GeekDad. When at home, he enjoys reading comic books and is part of The Rabbitt Stew podcast team. While New Jersey is his home base, he travels regularly and has visited Virginia, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, and Canada as well as all of NJ's border states. Ultimate travel goal? Visit all the best buffets in the United States.
More by this Author
The town of Paulsboro, located near New Jersey’s border with Pennsylvania in the Philadelphia metro area, is one of those laid-back suburban towns that don’t get too many tourists. A town of around 6,000 people, it is mostly populated by commuters – but it has one unique claim to fame. It’s home to what might be the most unique lighthouse in New Jersey. The Tinicum Island Rear Range Lighthouse is located close to the Delaware River, but it doesn’t look anything like NJ’s most famous coastal lighthouses. Rather, it’s a striking black monolith with the purpose of keeping sailors safe in an unusual situation. The striking red light emitted from the black tower can be a little eerie, but this historic lighthouse has a fascinating history – and it’s well worth visiting Paulsboro to discover it.
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Have you visited the Tinicum Island Rear Range Light in Paulsboro? What did you think of this unique lighthouse in New Jersey? Let us know in the comments section! You can find out more about this landmark and more on the official Paulsboro website. Paulsboro is part of New Jersey’s Philly suburbs, which will soon be home to the first Federal Donuts in New Jersey . If you’re looking for a place to stay, book a room at the Hampton Inn Swedesboro Philadelphia .
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