Lighthouses You Can Rent On Airbnb For A Seaside Escape

Airbnb has grown to accommodate all kinds of stays, from typical apartment rentals to unique, one-of-a-kind locations. In browsing its website, you can search for eccentric categories like treehouses, castles, tiny homes, and other eclectic housing. However, it's not as easy to search for revamped lighthouses.

Dozens of hosts have listed interesting converted lighthouses in the United States and other countries worldwide. Throughout history, these lighthouses were necessary to guide sailors safely along the shore. Although modern technology has made them less imperative for seafaring laborers in today's society, staying in a lighthouse is a great way to have a unique stay with a view of the water. 

Here are some of the most impressive rentable lighthouses in the world. While the structures are well preserved and boast historic architecture anywhere from the 1700s to the 1950s, the interior design contrasts the old-timey exterior. From minimalist aesthetics worthy of magazine covers to eclectic vintage interiors, here are some of the most charming lighthouses on Airbnb.

White lighthouse and cottage in Pocasset, Massachusetts

The Wings Neck Lighthouse is a charming white cottage situated on the Atlantic coastline in Massachusetts, United States. This lighthouse was the former property of the U.S. Coast Guard and features a tower and connected cottage. The view outside the lighthouse is the biggest perk of this property, with the vast grassy plains and rocky shoreline that lead out to the open ocean. 

The inside of the lighthouse and attached cottage are furnished to have a historic charm. The navy and light blue upholstery, dark wood furniture, seaside decor, and rustic accents create a nautical theme, giving the home an air of warmth and coziness. While the interior design is coastal, the elements are fairly minimalist. They don't go overboard with the lighthouse and ship-related decor, which enables this unique seaside tower to appear elegant rather than kitschy. It tips its hat to its location without relying too heavily on it.

Historical Coast Guard lighthouse in Sitka, Alaska

Nestled between a pine forest and the Pacific Ocean is the Sitka Lighthouse in Alaska, United States. This is another American Airbnb, although it's located on the opposite coastline of the previous Wings Neck Lighthouse. This lighthouse was originally built in 1883 by a local man who chopped the wood and made the structure by hand. It was registered shortly afterward with the U.S. Coast Guard, which provides a historic backstory for this unique vacation home.

After being purchased by the Airbnb hosts in 2018, the tower was revamped and fully furnished with natural wood furniture and metal accent pieces. The interior design uses an interesting mix of coastal, rustic, and industrial furniture, giving new meaning to what a beachy house can look like. While there is coastal rattan furniture in the living room, it is mixed with tufted wingback chairs and a Ralph Lauren-inspired leather couch for a traditional touch, and contrasted with a modern geometric area rug and blanket ladder. Many of the rooms are also decorated with additional folksy touches, including a pair of acoustic guitars, a small globe, and an assorted quilt rack.

Cliffside lighthouse in Youghal, County Cork, Ireland

Lighthouse-inspired getaways aren't confined to the United States. You can find Lighthouse Keepers, a 2020 Home of the Year finalist, on the southeastern coastline of Youghal, County Cork, Ireland. 

The hosts spent two years refurbishing this lighthouse retreat, completely renovating the 200-year-old building with modern furniture and an updated layout. The lighthouse itself runs on an automated system, flashing its beacon at intervals throughout the night. Most of the interior rooms are styled in a modern contemporary design, although the kitchen maintains a retro appearance. The fridge is a fire hydrant-red Smeg, lending a mid-century air to the room. Plus, with bold blue cabinets and bright red appliances and fixtures, it fulfills the nautical aesthetic you'd expect in a lighthouse-esque home. A working fireplace is also installed in the living room wall, providing warmth to the arrangement of stylish teal and orange furniture set.

Historic World War II lighthouse in Winterton-on-Sea, England

In the popular tourist destination of England, there is a lighthouse coined the "Living in a Lighthouse" Airbnb, which is situated in Winterton-on-Sea in Norfolk. This seaside tower was initially built in the 1700s, although it has been reconstructed over time. According to Norfolk Heritage Explorer, this building was utilized as a Coast Guard observation post during World War II. It was a key piece of anti-invasion defenses set up along the coastline. At present, this lighthouse is one of the few surviving historical buildings at the site.

Inside, there aren't extra walls to limit the circular shape of some of the rooms. As far as the interior decoration goes, the curved furniture matches the round building shape, creating a consistent theme in every story of this refurbished tower. The couches are crescent-shaped, hugging the walls as they curve. Custom curved benches, bookcases, and bunkbeds also swoop with the walls, honoring the architecture of the space. The home also features a cantilevered staircase, which slightly twists in the middle, cinching the lighthouse's theme.

Traditional marine-style lighthouse in Del Coco Beach, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

There are few getaways with the bold retro charm of the Lighthouse Ocotal on Del Coco Beach in Costa Rica. Located in the province of Guanacaste, this Airbnb sits on a 50,000-square-foot estate, perched between lush forested mountains and the Gulf of Papagayo.

It was designed with marine influences, featuring navy and red color schemes mixed with wood and retro-style furniture. The outdoor porch has a rattan-style dining set that looks out over a pool and ocean view. The rattan set is ideal for maintaining the island vibe since it's traditionally used in beachside and coastal homes. Rattan is sourced from tropical areas, and since it is known to withstand humidity and rain storms, it's a natural choice for beachy aesthetics. The lighthouse itself is accessed via a traditional-style ladder that leads up to a balcony with an unbeatable perspective of the surrounding scenery.

Red Point lighthouse replica in Maryland, United States

The Red Point Lighthouse replica in Maryland in the United States has a different layout than most lighthouse Airbnbs. Instead of featuring a freestanding tower and attached cottage, this building is a polygonal shape with the lighthouse protruding out of the center. The red roofing and off-white walls create a welcoming and charming atmosphere.

The interior features a cabin-like environment with vibrant wooden walls, floors, and stairs, and primarily dark wood furniture. Like many other lighthouses, there are navy blue couches to emulate a nautical theme throughout the living area. Small white accents and industrial decor add to the rustic but marine vibe of the home. Two decks wrap around the bottom and second story, and look out over the Chesapeake Bay and the outskirts of the nearby state forest, creating an indoor/outdoor living space. Every living area in the home has windows for gazing out at the nearby scenery, making the coast a part of the decor.

Island bay lighthouse in Wellington, New Zealand

Island Bay Lighthouse in Wellington, New Zealand, is described as a magical place with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Located directly on the rocky shore of a beach, it is designed in the most recognizable style of lighthouses: a round beacon. Round beacon lighthouses come in various sizes, though this one stands at a modest three stories, with the top story being dedicated to a seating area for gazing out at sea.

It's painted a classic white and features a red front door, offsetting it from the darker landscape behind it. Since the lighthouse is not in commission for actual use, the color scheme is a design choice, not a functional one. The maritime aesthetic is extended inside by preserving the original wood door and window frames, as well as wall trim and rich banisters. But the most impressive detail is the rounded, wooden plank ceiling on the top floor. Accented with a golden hanging lantern, it throws you back into a different seafaring time.

Historic English lighthouse in Cromer, England, United Kingdom

Norfolk, England, isn't the only English city with a historic lighthouse. The Cromer Lighthouse was initially built in 1680 but has been refurbished into a white octagonal tower with teal accents. The latest remodel was built in 1833 and provides spectacular panoramic views of Norwich and the North Sea.

In order to create a modern contemporary space, the interior keeps to a white, yellow, and blue theme. The house is arranged similarly to traditional working lighthouses, with the bedroom on one level, the living area and kitchen on another, and a sitting gallery at the top. Many of the rooms feature a lot of open space and white color, creating an airy vibe that mimics the open waters just outside the windows. 

Most lighthouse layouts don't have much walking space due to having a polygonal tower shape. However, this lighthouse has a broader floor plan that provides considerable space more akin to what most homeowners and renters are used to. 

Victorian-inspired lighthouse in Hilton, New York

The Braddock Point Lighthouse stands out with its classic architecture and period-inspired living spaces. Located in Hilton, New York, this operational tower stands on the edge of Lake Ontario and provides breathtaking views of the surrounding area. If you're a fan of Victorian homes, you'll be pleased to know that this red brick lighthouse features both a parlor room and a solarium. Historically, the parlor was a sitting room used for entertaining guests, while the solarium was often a sunroom that middle- to upper-class families could use for leisure activities. Their presence adds a touch of old-fashioned class to this unique Airbnb. Even the bathroom maintains the antique charm with a clawfoot bathtub, dangling candelabra chandelier, and layered curtains.

You should know that this lighthouse firmly adheres to its Industrial Revolution influences by forgoing a common amenity most people are used to. Like traditional Victorian homes of the 18th and 19th centuries, this building does not have central heating or air conditioning. 

National park lighthouse in Brackley Beach, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Standing tall at five stories and situated right off the coast of Prince Edward Island in Canada is the Brackley Beach Lighthouse. This structure is the tallest in the neighborhood and provides an all-encompassing view of two bays. You cannot access the top deck of the lighthouse, but the windows on all sides of the buildings still allow spectacular views of both the sandy beaches and the famous red cliffs.

Painted in a traditional white color, the old-timey lighthouse exterior matches the rustic cabin interior. Inside this Airbnb are wooden walls and old-fashioned furniture pieces that provide a familiar homely aesthetic. Floral, striped, and traditional patterned quilts are used as bedding, creating a nostalgic vibe throughout the space. The fancy florals, layered patterns, and comfy details meld together to create a "granny chic" interior, creating a charming aesthetic.

Island lighthouse cottages in Lugo, Spain

Enjoy truly secluded living by staying at the isolated lighthouse "Faro Isla Pancha" located in Lugo, Spain. There are two cottage apartments with gorgeous views of the sea, and the nearby black and white striped lighthouse provides an opportunity to learn more about maritime lifestyles, as it serves as a functional landmark. It is painted in horizontal black and white stripes to help mariners identify it during the daytime (via National Park Service).

If you're wondering why the hosts named their island and eclectic stay the "Faro Isla Pancha," you should know that "Pancha" is a Spanish term for relaxation and calmness. Altogether the name reads "Relaxed Lighthouse Island." Staying true to the title, these cottages exhibit a minimalistic modern interior design. Their setup includes plush gray couches, a black and stainless steel kitchen, and simple white and metal furniture. The off-white walls are complemented with light-colored herringbone wood floors, creating a modest but cozy island aesthetic.