Rose Island Lighthouse is located on an 18-acre island off the coase of Rhode Island, in Narragansett Bay. The mailing address is Newport, Rhode Island.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, the first floor is open to the public as a museum, but the two first-floor bedrooms are available for overnight stays. The second floor is available for guests willing to commit to a weeklong stay (10 a.m. Sunday to 10 a.m. Sunday) and serve as volunteer lighthouse keepers. Among the daily duties are raising and lowering the flag, recording and managing the weather station and the wind-powered electric system, and greeting visitors in the museum.
Rates for the first-floor bedrooms range from $165 to $195 per night. (Some holiday weekends are $250 per night; some weeknights in January to March are $100 per night.) Stays are limited to one night only from April to October. Multiple night stays are available November to March.
Rates for the second-floor lighthouse keeper program range from $700 to $1,200 per week (November to May) or $1,200 to $2,300 per week (May to November), plus chores.
Breakfast is not provided, although sometimes weeklong lighthouse keepers will leave behind non-perishable food. Guests should bring their own food. Shopping trips can be arranged. The lighthouse includes kitchen facilities (a gas-burning stove and an outside barbecue grill), along with pots and pans.
Rose Island Lighthouse classifies overnight stays as "soft adventure," but guests are cautioned that they should be relatively fit and flexible to climb on and off boats and to carry their belongings up the 300-foot-long hill. Generally, the lighthouse is not suitable for children under five.
More About Rose Island Lighthouse:
There are only two lots on Rose Island. The lighthouse sits on a 1.5-acre lot owned by the City of Newport; the rest of the island has been owned by Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation since 1999, but is not accessible to visitors because it remains unsafe.
During World Wars I and II, Rose Island was part of the Navy Torpedo Station where explosives were stored. After World War II, the island (except for the Lighthouse) was declared surplus by the government. Now, most of the island is inhabited by three snake species and thousands of nesting birds.
The lighthouse was operated until 1970, when it was abandoned. In 1984, the Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation was organized to restore and operate the lighthouse.
During nesting season (April 1 to August 15), walking around the island is prohibited. A kayak is available for guests to use around the island, and taking binoculars up into the tower can provide a great view of everything happening on the island.
Outside those dates, people can circle the island as long as they remain on the beaches. There are still a number of dilapidated buildings on this island, which were used to store explosives during World Wars I and II but which are now dangerous.