Lighthouses conjure a certain romance, the comforting feeling of a time gone by when life was simpler and more peaceful. The lighthouses listed here are now open to the public as bed and breakfasts.
If you think you're interested in staying at one of these historic structures, be prepared -- many take the "time gone by" feeling to heart and eschew such amenities as televisions and in-room telephones. Some also have strict restrictions on what kinds of electric appliances can be used.
Isle au Haut, Maine.
To reach this 1907 lighthouse bed and breakfast in the midst of a spruce forest, guests take a 40-minute ride on a mail boat to the remote island of Isle au Haut. The keeper's building contains four guest rooms with double beds. There are no telephones at this bed and breakfast, and wood stoves provide heat. The island, more than half of which is part of the Acadia National Park, receives only a few dozen visitors on a typical day. Lodging is available from May to October, and meals are included.
This station on the northern tip of Cape Cod within the Cape Cod National Seashore was established in 1816, and the buildings and tower now found on the site were built in 1876. Guests must pack their own bed linens, towels, food and water and share the kitchen. Electrical use is limited, and gas lanterns are used at night. The keeper's house contains three guest rooms: one has two double beds and one single bed, and the other two have both a double and a single bed.
Photo courtesy of Saugerties Lighthouse
Saugerties, New York.
Purchased by the Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy for $1, this restored 1869 lighthouse now welcomes guests year-round. The renovations included 10,000 new bricks and countless hours of volunteer work. Guests are not permitted to bring hair dryers and some other electric devices since electricity is in short supply. Arrival and departure times must be planned carefully because the trail that leads to the lighthouse may be covered by water during high tides. Located 42 miles south of Albany, the inn has two second-floor guest rooms, each with a double bed, and is furnished much as it may have been in 1920. Breakfast is included, and one or two pets are permitted if you rent both rooms.
Photo courtesy of Rose Island Lighthouse
Newport, Rhode Island.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Rose Island Lighthouse was built in 1870. The nonprofit Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation was formed to restore the building after years of neglect and vandalism. In 1993, the lighthouse's beacon was relit. Overnight guests arrive at the 18-acre Rose Island, located a mile offshore and serving primarily as a wildlife refuge, by boat and stay in the 1912 Lighthouse Museum keeper's quarters, which offers two bedrooms, each with a double bed. Guests must bring their own food and straighten up their rooms before the museum opens each morning. The second-floor apartment is rented to guests interested in a working vacation that includes lighthouse keeper duties.