Explore the Lighthouses in Maryland and Virginia

Explore the Lighthouses Along the MidAtlantic Coast

Thomas Point Lighthouse, Chesapeake Bay
Greg Pease / Getty Images

Several lighthouses mark the coastlines of Maryland and Virginia. Lighthouses are used to illuminate dangerous shorelines and to assist in aerial navigation. As technology has advanced, the number of operational lighthouses has declined and modern lighthouses are more functional and less picturesque. Some of the lighthouses in the Mid-Atlantic region have been relocated to coastal museums and are maintained as tourist attractions. They are architecturally diverse and interesting to visit. As you explore the Chesapeake Bay, the Maryland Eastern Shore, and the Virginia Eastern Shore, stop by and visit these lighthouses.

Maryland Lighthouses

Concord Point (Havre De Grace) Lighthouse - Built in 1827, this is the second oldest lighthouse in Maryland and the northernmost one on the Chesapeake Bay. Location: Susquehanna River/Chesapeake Bay. Access: Concord And Lafayette Streets, Havre De Grace, MD.

Drum Point Lighthouse - The lighthouse was moved to the Calvert Marine Museum in 1975. It operated at Drum Point at the mouth of the Patuxent River (near Solomons Island) from 1883 to 1962. Location: Calvert Marine Museum Access: Route 2, Solomons, MD.

Fort Washington Lighthouse - This lighthouse is still operated by the United States Coast Guard. A triangle red marker locates it during the daylight hours, while at night, the light still flashes red at six seconds intervals with a visibility of 6 miles. Location: Potomac River. Access: Route 210 to Fort Washington Road / Fort Washington Park, MD.

Hooper Strait Lighthouse - The lighthouse was originally built in 1879 to light the way for boats passing through the shallow, dangerous shoals of Hooper Strait, a thoroughfare for boats bound from the Chesapeake Bay across Tangier Sound to Deals Island or places along the Nanticoke and Wicomico Rivers. It was moved to the Maritime Museum in 1966. Location: Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Access: Off Route 33, Main Street, St. Michaels, MD.

Piney Point Lighthouse - Built in 1836, the lighthouse on the Potomac River is located just up the river from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The Coast Guard decommissioned it in 1964 and it has since become a museum. Location: Potomac River West Of Piney Point. Access: Off Piney Point Road/Lighthouse Road, Valley Lee, MD.

Point Lookout Lighthouse - Located in St. Mary's County, the lighthouse marks the entrance to the Potomac River at the southernmost tip of Maryland's western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Location: Entrance to Potomac River. Access: Point Lookout State Park / Route 5.

Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse - Dating back to 1855 and originally at the mouth of the Patapsco River in the Chesapeake Bay, the lighthouse was relocated to the Baltimore Inner Harbor in 1988. Location: Baltimore Maritime Museum. Access: Pier 5, Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD.

Turkey Point Lighthouse - The historic light tower is situated on a 100-foot bluff that overlooks the Elk and North East rivers in the upper Chesapeake Bay in Cecil County, Maryland. Location: Elk River Entrance/Chesapeake Bay.Access: Elk Neck State Park / Route 272 (Requires One-Mile Hike).

Virginia Lighthouses

Assateague Lighthouse - Located on the Virginia portion of Assateague Island, ownership of the lighthouse was transferred to the Fish & Wildlife Service from the Coast Guard in 2004. While the U.S. Coastguard still operates the light as an active navigational aid, the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is responsible for preserving the lighthouse. Location: South End Assateaque Island. Access: Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge / Route 175, Chincoteaque, VA.

Old Cape Henry Lighthouse - Built in 1792, Old Cape Henry was the first federally funded lighthouse, built to guide maritime commerce at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Location: South Side Chesapeake Bay Entrance. Access: 583 Atlantic Avenue, Fort Story / Off U.S. 60, Virginia Beach, VA.

Jones Point Lighthouse - The lighthouse operated from 1856-1926. It was designed as a navigational aid to help ships avoid shifting underwater shoals on the Potomac River and to support the growing maritime economies of Alexandria, Virginia and Washington, DC. Location: Potomac River. Access: Jones Point Park Off U.S. 495 Near Woodrow Wilson Bridge, Alexandria, VA.

Old Point Comfort Lighthouse - This light is the second oldest lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay.  It was first lit in 1802 on the grounds of Fort George, the fort that was there prior to the current Fort Monroe.  Location: Entrance to Hampton Roads Harbor. Access: Fort Monroe/Off Route 64, Hampton, VA.

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