A proper digital detox is good for the soul. But, sometimes you want solitude and soul-searching without getting too far away. Whether you just love nautical-themed vacations, like seabirds more than people, or fancy yourself a salty maritime soul, you’ll love an escape to these four amazing U.S. lighthouse hotels.
Like so many U.S. lighthouses, Heceta Head Lighthouse claims to be the most photographed in the country. Whether that’s true or not, it’s undoubtedly one of the most historical and beautiful (and perhaps haunted) on the West Coast. Situated on a dramatic bluff, the cozy, six-bedroom bed-and-breakfast boasts an original, hand-carved wooden staircase, Victorian-era detailing, and a communal parlor with stunning Pacific Ocean views. The best part is that executive chef-owner Michelle Korgan treats every guest to a gourmet, seven-course breakfast each morning. As a bonus, Sea Lion Caves — the largest sea cave in the country — is only minutes away by car.
Few places in the world boast the variety and history of lighthouses like coastal Maine. Situated in Southport, off the coast of Boothbay Harbor, lies The Inn at Cuckolds Lighthouse. “The Cuckolds” as it’s affectionately known is only reachable by vintage Navy whaleboat. Once on the island, guests will find two suites — both of which offer a distinctly New England-inspired decor with luxury amenities like cashmere throws and marble bathrooms. There’s no restaurant (or much of anything but birds, seals, and solitude) to be found, but guests can reserve a fresh lobster bake for the perfect Maine picnic. For around USD $4,000, those seeking the ultimate in privacy can book the entire island — no public tours, no events, and no other visitors of any kind. Just you, (maybe) your significant other, and the sounds of the North Atlantic.
Saugerties, New York
If you like your lighthouses like you like your camping — pared-down and remote — Saugerties Lighthouse is a perfect fit. Guests park near a Coast Guard station before hiking a half-mile to this beautifully restored, two-bedroom lighthouse overlooking the Hudson River. While the interior is charming, there are no cashmere linens or fancy lobster bakes here. Instead, this is a decidedly rustic affair where guests make their own beds and share a composting toilet. But, it’s what’s outside that’s the real draw: lovely decks for picnicking and a nearby beach that you’ll likely have all to yourself. Plus, the top of the lantern house offers expansive views of the Clermont Estate.
Frying Pan Shoals, North Carolina
Frying Pan Tower isn’t the most traditionally beautiful lighthouse on this list, but it’s certainly the most interesting. The 50-year-old surplus Coast Guard Light Station is situated 34 miles off the coast of North Carolina, meaning it’s only accessible by boat or helicopter. It’s a hulking steel structure purpose-built to withstand the punishing weather of the East Coast’s notorious “Hurricane Alley.” For the limited bed-and-breakfast guests adventurous enough to journey here, the accommodations are best described as “functional.” The decor is minimal, but you’ll find all the essentials including hot and cold running water, electricity, and even high-speed internet. Most visitors come for the panoramic ocean views from the 130-foot light tower, the world-class stargazing, and the year-round fishing for everything from black sea bass and cobia to mahi-mahi and giant African pompano.
For other interesting hotel options, check out this hotel in Denmark that used to be a crane.