The lighthouse was originally designed as an aid for maritime coastal navigation, allowing mariners to get their bearings, be warned of potential hazards on the shoreline, and assist them in reaching their destinations. Despite not being used as much for these reasons anymore, lighthouses are still a marvel to look at. Whether you’re a sea or land lover, everyone can appreciate a lighthouse. Maryland is home to dozens of these wonderful structures. Here’s a list of our favorites to add to your tour.
Cove Point Lighthouse
Where: 3500 Lighthouse Blvd, Lusby, MD 20657
Built in 1828, the Cove Point Lighthouse is one of the oldest functioning lighthouses in Maryland. Not only are you able to tour this lighthouse, but you also have the option to stay in one of the renovated and modern rental units in the keeper’s quarters. If you’re looking for a unique and historic place to stay for the night, this is an amazing option. With full beach access as well, you can play on the bay during the day and watch for wayward mariners at night. Tours are provided by the Calvert Marine Museum.
Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse
Where: Pier 5, Baltimore, MD 21202
The Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse is the oldest surviving screw-pile lighthouse constructed in Maryland. Originally built at the mouth of the Patapsco River, this lighthouse was moved to its present location in 1989. Now located in the heart of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, this lighthouse is part of the Historic Ships in Baltimore museum. Fascinating exhibits provide a great window into the lighthouse’s history.
Drum Point Lighthouse
Where: 14275 Solomons Island Rd S, Solomons, MD 20688
Originally constructed in 1883, the Drum Point Lighthouse is one of the three remaining screw-pile lighthouses on the Chesapeake Bay. Decommissioned in 1962, the lighthouse fell victim to vandals until it was moved to its present site in 1975. It has been beautifully restored, complete with furnishings of the early twentieth century, and has become the waterfront’s main attraction. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, visitors to the Calvert Marine Museum can climb the stairs in this 46-foot-tall structure and see the preserved innkeeper’s quarters.
Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse
Where: 723 2nd St, Annapolis, MD 21403
The last of the classic Chesapeake screw-pile lighthouses still in its original location, Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse is perhaps the most recognizable and beloved landmarks on Chesapeake Bay. Accessible only by boat tours arranged through the Annapolis Maritime Museum, this iconic lighthouse is definitely something to see. The tours are guided by experienced lighthouse docents with a vast amount of knowledge about the history of the light, the life of a keeper in the early days, and the role of our modern-day Coast Guard.
Turkey Point Lighthouse
Where: Turkey Point Lighthouse Trail, North East, MD 21901
Located in beautiful Elk Neck State Park, the Turkey Point Lighthouse sits atop a 100-foot bluff and offers stunning views of the Chesapeake Bay. Still an active navigation beacon, the 35-foot tower in combination with the 100-foot bluff on which it stands makes it the third highest light off the water in the bay.
Hooper Strait Lighthouse
Where: 213 N Talbot St, St Michaels, MD 21663
Originally built in 1879, the Hooper Strait Lighthouse was constructed to light the way for boats passing through the shallow, dangerous shoals of Hooper Strait, a thoroughfare for boats bound from the Chesapeake Bay across Tangier Sound. This lighthouse is now located on the grounds of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels. Tours are available and allow you to explore hands-on exhibits. There is also an option to participate in the museum’s Lighthouse Overnight Program, which allows you to actually live the life of a lighthouse keeper.
Piney Point Lighthouse
Where: 44720 Lighthouse Rd, Piney Point, MD 20674
Built in 1836, Piney Point Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse on the Potomac River. As soon as you climb the stairs, you’re met with sweeping and beautiful panoramic views. The museum offers maritime history as well as interesting information about the U1105 Historic Shipwreck Dive Preserve. The lighthouse is also surrounded by 6 acres of trails, piers, and beach.
Concord Point Lighthouse
Where: 700 Concord St, Havre De Grace, MD 21078
Concord Point Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in Maryland that is still accessible to the public. Built in 1827, it’s the second oldest lighthouse in Maryland as well as the northernmost lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay. The original Keeper’s Dwelling still exists at Concord Point and has been fully restored to its 1884 version. The lighthouse property anchors one end of a waterfront promenade, offering spectacular views of the river and the Upper Chesapeake Bay.
Each lighthouse in Maryland is truly stunning and rich with history. Each one is unique in its own way. Not only will you be stepping back in time, but you will also be surrounded by the panoramic views of the Chesapeake Bay. Hiking trails, kayaking, and strolling the beaches all go hand in hand with visiting these beauties. We would love to know your favorites – let us know in the comments.