The Most Charming North Fork Lighthouses
The American Northeast isn’t merely one of the most stunning travel destinations in the country — boasting dramatic coastal scenery, and picturesque eighteenth- and nineteenth-century architecture — it’s one of America’s lighthouse capitals, with nearly 200 such landmarks running between Maine and New Jersey. Nearly twenty of these reside within easy reach of Harborfront Inn, so check out our guide to the best can’t-miss lighthouses of the North Fork.
Bug Light and Surrounding Peconic Lighthouses
The Long Beach Bar Light Station, or “Bug Light,” is one of Long Island’s most popular lighthouses, with restored 1871 design that evokes a water bug. Built on the grounds of Greenport Yacht and Shipbuilding, it’s accessible via cruises from the East End Seaport Museum. These cruises will also take you around three other well-known Peconic lighthouses: Orient Point Lighthouse (“the Coffee Pot”), Plum Island Lighthouse, and Little Gull Light. As it’s one of Long Island’s only light stations open to the public, tours will also allow you to walk around the spiraling staircase and take in bay views from the gallery.
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Horton Point Lighthouse
The best known light in Southold, which has more lighthouses than any other town in the entire United States, beachfront Horton Point Lighthouse is another great spot to take in panoramic views and learn about local history. Its 1857 design has been recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, and the lower level of the lighthouse-keeper’s home even doubles as a history museum. Like Bug Light, the station itself is open for tours, which will acquaint you with the story of George Washington, who commissioned the landmark. You’ll also learn about the original landowner, Barnabas Horton, and the succession of men who managed the lighthouse before its 1933 automation.
Race Rock Lighthouse
The 67-foot Race Rock Lighthouse is considered a feat in lighthouse construction, as it occupies a deep and dangerous passageway known as The Race. Erected in the 1850s, it has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Congress in its 150-year history and today showcases Gothic Revival design and modern updates, such as a rotating beacon and solar panels.
Latimer Reef Lighthouse
Although not as popular as lights like Bug Light and Horton Point, Latimer Reef is worth checking out for its charming striped facade and red, green, and white palette. For those staying in Long Island, it’s viewable only by boat, but for a closer view, you can cross to Connecticut’s Stonington Light.
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North Dumpling Lighthouse
North Dumpling Light stands guard over a portion of Fisher’s Island. It’s larger than several of its counterparts and has been thoroughly modernized thanks to a wind- and solar-powered electrical grid and illumination installed by its owner, the engineer Dean Kamen.