Love Lighthouses? Check out these RTX destinations:

The Harbour Town Lighthouse in Hilton Head Island is one of the most photographed and best loved landmarks on the island. Born of necessity for nautical navigation and now revered as a nostalgic and iconic part of living by the sea, many lighthouses throughout the world have become attractions for visitors to photograph or climb.

Some lighthouses are preserved as historic landmarks and may also have a museum, gift shop or park adjacent to them while some are more rustic and make an interesting addition to vacation photos on the shore. Here are a few lighthouses RTX members can visit using an exchange, getaway or discounted hotel stay in these seaside destinations.


Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station: Just a few miles south of Daytona Beach, Fla., in the quiet fishing community of Ponce Inlet, this famous lighthouse was built in 1887 and all of its original buildings are fully restored and intact, and open for visitors to explore. Designated as a National Historic Landmark and fully supported by the non-profit organization Ponce de Leon Lighthouse Preservation Association, the lighthouse is still operational as a navigational aid today. The lighthouse can be climbed, and self-guided tours as well as special interest guided tours are available. Read more about Daytona.

465261505-webCape Hatteras Lighthouse: Of the five lighthouses along North Carolina’s Outer Banks, this is perhaps the most well-known; in fact, Cape Hatteras is known as one of the most recognizable lighthouses in the country. Its black and white candy-cane stripes make it stand out from miles away, and its beam of light reaches 20 miles out to sea. At 208 feet tall, it is the tallest brick lighthouse in the world. 175,000 visitors per year come to climb the 257 steps to the top. The lighthouse and all of its outbuildings are open to visitors, and climbers are led by a National Park Service tour guide.

Fenwick Island Lighthouse: This 87-foot tall white lighthouse sits on the border between Maryland and Delaware, just a few miles from Ocean City, MD. The lighthouse was decommissioned in the late 1970s but began operating again in the 1980s with the help of efforts from a local citizens group called Friends of the Fenwick Island Lighthouse. The “Friends” continue to care for, maintain and protect the lighthouse, and proceeds from admission to the lighthouse help keep this historic attraction available to visitors. The lighthouse is open seasonally during the summer and group tours can be accommodated. Read more about Ocean City.

182254205_2-webNauset Lighthouse: With 18 lighthouses along its rugged coast, visitors to Cape Cod are bound to photograph at least one of these iconic towers throughout their vacation. While many are notable, the Nauset Lighthouse, which no longer functions, has a distinct red and white pattern that can be seen on Massachusetts license plates as well as on the packaging of Cape Cod brand kettle cooked potato chips. The Nauset Light and keeper’s house were both moved from the edge of a steep eroding cliff and restored. The light and oil houses are open to the public with guided tours available seasonally.


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