What would it be like to stay in a lighthouse overnight? Find out for yourself during your New England visit by booking a stay at Rose Island Lighthouse.
Rose Island Lighthouse lies off the coast of Newport, Rhode Island, just about a mile from shore. The lighthouse, which dates to 1870, was vandalized and badly neglected following its abandonment in 1971. In 1993, thanks to the efforts of the non-profit Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation, the historic lighthouse was restored and relit.
Today, Rose Island Lighthouse is open to the public as a museum by day in the summertime, Memorial Day through Labor Day. At night, those seeking a unique lodging experience can stay overnight on the island year-round in one of two lighthouse bedrooms or the keeper's apartment on the lighthouse's second floor. During warm weather months, couples seeking a romantic getaway can also opt to book the separate 1912 Fog Horn Building on the island. This building, which once housed the steam-powered foghorn machinery, is quiet, cozy and furnished with a queen bed, but the nearest bathroom is 100 feet away outside. Adventurous couples can also choose to stay in the Barracks Room in a separate historic building that is bomb-proof! This unique bunker has a queen bed, but bathroom facilities once again require an outdoor trek of about 30 feet. The Barracks Room is rented seasonally.
If you're a true lighthouse fan who won't be satisfied with simply staying a night or two, you can contribute to the preservation of this historic lighthouse by applying to become "Keeper for the Week." The second-floor keeper's apartment houses two adults and up to four children, and volunteer keepers pay a fee in addition to performing work projects during their stay.
Ready to book your lighthouse getaway? Check the online availability calendar at the Rose Island Lighthouse website, then make reservations online or call 401-847-4242 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. weekdays for reservations. Gift certificates may be purchased if you would like to surprise someone with the unique gift of a lighthouse stay.
More Lighthouse Overnights in New England
Several other New England lighthouses offer overnight accommodations:
- Race Point Light Station in Provincetown, Massachusetts, on the Outer Cape has rooms available nightly from May 1 through November 30 inside a restored, 1950s-era Keeper's House. Transportation to the lighthouse is provided. Or, if you're really seeking solitude, book a stay in the Whistle House, which accommodates private parties of up to eight guests for a minimum stay of two nights. One catch! To reach the Whistle House, you'll need your own four-wheel-drive vehicle and an oversand beach driving permit from the National Park Service. Call 855-722-3959 for reservations.
- Bakers Island Light Station in Salem, Massachusetts, offers overnight stays for up to four people in the lighthouse's Assistant Keeper's House on Friday and Saturday nights from July through September.
- Whitehead Light Station on Maine's Whitehead Island offers overnight stays on select R&R weekends and in conjunction with learning programs. Call 207-200-7957 for upcoming dates.
- Little River Lighthouse in Downeast Maine offers overnight stays mid-June through mid-September in your choice of three rooms. Volunteers will take you by boat to this island hideaway.
Don't miss the chance to dine at the top of a lighthouse in Newburyport, Massachusetts.