Take a Tour of Maryland's Lighthouses
Step back in time when you explore these lighthouses—all open to the public.
Built as beacons to guide sailors to safe harbor, the allure of lighthouses still draws us in. Even though lighthouses were primarily intended to show sailors what to avoid, we now seem to be drawn to them. More two dozen of these graceful structures remain in Maryland, many of them still active. Begin your lighthouse tour with these beautiful historic beacons and enjoy the surrounding nature and vistas of the Chesapeake region.
Not only can you tour this lighthouse, but you can also rent one of the two renovated rental units in the keeper’s quarters that include all the modern amenities and beach access. Stay at this unique historic lighthouse and spend your day playing on the bay.
Visitors to the Calvert Marine Museum can climb inside this 46-foot-tall structure and and see the preserved innkeeper’s quarters. The museum also offers boat tours of neighboring lighthouses.
This is a replica of a historic lighthouse located in Cambridge, that once guided mariners along the Choptank River. The lighthouse features a mini-museum and visitor information. From May-October, the lighthouse is open daily, for free self-guided tours. Volunteers serving as “lighthouse keepers” will be on duty weekends to answer any questions. In the off season (November-April), the lighthouse is open by appointment.
This 1870 lighthouse is on the grounds of Fort Washington Park outside Washington, D.C., and is still used as a navigational aid today. Visit the historic lighthouse and fort, then enjoy a picnic or a day fishing.
A National Register historic site, this Havre de Grace beacon made of Port Deposit granite has withstood the test of time, and is the oldest lighthouse in Maryland still open for public visits.
Originally built in 1879, today this lighthouse is located on the grounds of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels. Visitors can climb inside the hands-on exhibits or participate in the museum’s Lighthouse Overnight Program, which allows guests to live the life of a lighthouse keeper.
The oldest on the Potomac River, climb this 1836 lighthouse for great panoramic views, see historic boats and other exhibits in the museum, then walk along the beach or bring your kayak to enjoy a day on the water.
The lighthouse sits atop a 100-foot bluff and offers stunning views of the crown of the Chesapeake Bay. Still an active navigation beacon, Turkey Point is in beautiful Elk Neck State Park.
The last of the classic Chesapeake screwpile lighthouses still in its original location, Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse is perhaps the most recognizable and beloved landmarks on the bay. Accessible only by boat and staffed by volunteer docents, Thomas Point is on the National Register Historic Places.
Located in the heart of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, this lighthouse is part of Historic Ships in Baltimore. Fascinating exhibits provide a great window into history.
St. Clement was the patron saint of mariners, so it’s no wonder St. Clement’s Island is home to such a beautiful lighthouse. A replica of the original light built in 1851, and looking like a Victorian mansion with a towering lighthouse sprouting from the roof, the sight of Blackistone Lighthouse is unforgettable. St. Clement’s Island is also the spot where the first English settlers landed in 1634.
Marking the spot where the mighty Potomac River meets the big waters of the Great Chesapeake Bay, the Point Lookout Lighthouse marks the southernmost tip of Maryland’s Western Shore. An iconic red tower light sprouting from a two-story keeper's house, the lighthouse was originally constructed in 1825. Located in Point Lookout State Park, the park is a great destination for camping, paddling, and fishing, combined with the park’s unique history as a Civil War POW camp.
Ok, so it’s not a lighthouse, but the beautiful lightship Chesapeake is an iconic attraction in Baltimore’s harbor. It’s gloriously red hull emblazoned with “Chesapeake” in white, the Chesapeake was launched way back in 1930 and is a National Historic Landmark (which is a funny title for a boat!). You can tour the Chesapeake as part of Historic Ships in Baltimore.
If you’ve visited all of the lights on this list that you can get to by land, or are just looking for another sort of adventure, consider a Chesapeake Bay Lighthouse Tour with one of our official Chesapeake Bay Storytellers. Get out on the water for a closer look at one of the iconic lights of the Chesapeake like Sandy Point Shoal Lighthouse by the Bay Bridge, Sharp’s Island Lighthouse southwest of Tilghman Island, and others. Find out more about lighthouse tours at the link below!