The Top 5 Lighthouses You Can Spend The Night In

Tired of staying overnight in a hotel? You might try spending the night in a lighthouse. Out of about 700 lighthouses within the United States available to visit, there are several that you can use as a dream vacation rental. Lighthouses have been around since ancient times, with the first Pharos in Alexandria, Egypt, which was built around 280 B.C., per USLHS.  Often found along rocky cliffs, sandy shoals, or harbors, a lighthouse's job remains a warning to mariners of hazardous coastlines ahead.

Over the years, the original duties of maintaining a lighthouse have advanced from manual to automated, making the job of a lighthouse keeper less common. According to National Park Service, all U.S. lighthouses now work mechanically except the original Boston Light in Boston, Massachusetts, which was built in 1716 and is maintained manually by a lighthouse keeper. With fewer keepers being housed these days, you can find a variety of lighthouse lodging to rent. From Cape Cod to California, these are the five that top the list. Read on to learn more about the best lighthouses you can sleep in!

HI-Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel, Pescadero, CA

Take a 25-minute drive south of San Francisco or an hour drive west of San Jose to reach California's HI-Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel. Located at 210 Pigeon Point Road just off scenic Highway 1, Pigeon Point features a colossal 116-foot-tall tower with a fog signal station and three rental units that can each sleep up to 15 people. Built in 1875, Pigeon Point Lighthouse was named after the clipper ship Carrier Pigeon, which became grounded 500 feet from the shore in 1853, per the California Department of Parks and Recreation. The unique setup is a family-friendly vacation rental compound with common areas, a shared kitchen, bunk beds, and immediate panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, including on-site tide pools, harbor seals, a private beach area, and surrounding hiking trails.

The interior is simple and clean and offers free Wi-Fi and a game room. It's also featured as eco-friendly but is not pet friendly. An average nightly cost may be around $150 per night for a double room and about $260 for a multi-bed unit. Prices also vary on the number of rooms booked and the time of year.

Wings Neck Lighthouse, Pocasset, MA

Located on the northwestern tip of Pocasset, Massachusetts, in Cape Cod, Wings Neck Lighthouse is a charmer. About 70 miles south of Boston, the historic lighthouse stands close to a stone-walled shoreline along Buzzard Bay. Originally constructed in 1849, the Wings Neck guided seafarers safely through the bay at night until it faced fire damage and was rebuilt in 1889, per Wings Neck Lighthouse. After being used as a residence for nearly 50 years, the old Cape Cod-style lighthouse was entirely renovated and is now available for weekly vacation rentals all year.

The keeper's cottage sleeps up to eight and features three bedrooms, a full kitchen, Wi-Fi, and a washer/dryer, including direct stairway access to the light through the breezeway. The interior is modern with a neutral-toned coastal vibe. Outside offers endless ocean views, a private rocky beach to go shelling, an outdoor shower, a gas grill, several bikes to choose from, and patio space. There are a few other houses on the same point. If you want to stay at Wings Neck, rates range from about $3,000 to $7,000 per week throughout the year, depending on the time of year. From November 1 until May 1, three-day stays are available for booking.

Big Bay Point Lighthouse, Big Bay, MI

Return to nature. Secluded with wonderment, Michigan's Big Bay Point Lighthouse is located about 45 minutes north of Marquette on a 50-foot cliff that overlooks Lake Superior. Located at 4674 Co Rd KCB in Big Bay, MI, the spectacular red brick lighthouse is one of the remaining lighthouse inns with the tower attached to the house, which serves as a beacon for the U.S. Coast Guard as well as a bed and breakfast. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the northern lighthouse may even be haunted by its first lightkeeper, the red-headed William Prior, who took his own life after losing his son, per My North. However, guests can witness remarkable views of the often-clear water and crashing waves, including an occasional glimpse of the Northern Lights.

Cozy and warm, the two-story building with its adjoining 60-foot-tall square tower features seven charming bedroom suites available for booking; prices may vary from $200 to $400 per night. Amenities might include screened-hut massages and wildlife gazing. With 40 acres of surrounding woods, both Hiawatha and Ottawa National Forests are also nearby, with plenty of outdoor recreation like hiking, biking, skiing, or snowshoeing, depending on the time of year. Big Bay Point also offers guided tours of the house and lantern area at $12 per person for visitors ages 10 and up.

Haig Point Lighthouse Daufuskie Island, SC

Built around 1872, Haig Point Lighthouse helped seafarers navigate the shifting sands of Calibogue Sound on South Carolina's historic Daufuskie Island. Located in the upscale Haig Point neighborhood, the lighthouse may also be a ghost house with a romantic backstory. In the late 19th century, a young woman named Maggie Comer lived in the lighthouse with her parents, Patrick and Bridget, with her father being the lighthouse's first keeper. Maggie quickly fell in love with a naval engineer whose job was to repair the lighthouse lantern room, although they unexpectedly parted ways. According to It's Just Life, some guests have said they have felt Maggie's presence while visiting.

Amidst many palm and oak trees, the guesthouse is a lovely Victorian-style seaside structure with a 40-foot tower. The interior is quaint and decorated in refined 19th-century decor, including traditional wooden furniture and hardwood flooring. The house sleeps up to four with two bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, a kitchen, a dining room, and a porch with rocking chairs that overlooks the water. The enchanting space is also available for weddings, private parties, and other events, per Haig Point. Booking rates generally go for about $500 per night.

New Dungeness Lighthouse, Sequim, WA

Located on Washington state's northwestern coast between Seattle and Vancouver, the New Dungeness Lighthouse has a rich history rooted in the mid-19th century. About 70 years after its construction in 1857, the top of its tower had to be reduced by 27 feet due to deterioration. Recognized on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993, the lighthouse offers captivating views of both the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges. New Dungeness is also distinguished as one of the first lighthouses to allow lightkeeper volunteers, per New Dungeness Lighthouse. Volunteers often help with the flag, give tours, and tidy up.

The gorgeous lighthouse and grounds stand alone in a rural open landscape with nature encompassing. The inside appears classic and cozy with comfy couches and lamps. The kitchen features a black and white checkered floor and a wood island block. The house sleeps up to eight people (also the maximum allowed) with three queen and two twin beds. The cost is about $450 for adults (18 and older) and $225 for children (6-17) per week. Their website recommends at least four adults within a group, including NDLSA (National Dungeness Lighthouse Station Association) members; family memberships cover all those living within the same household.