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Chesapeake Bay Lighthouses

Chesapeake Bay Lighthouses

As early as the 1700s, the first of many Chesapeake Bay lighthouses have served the sea as significant beacons. These structures changed navigation for ships, sailors, and general boat travelers throughout the bay’s waterfronts. Watchers of the sea, these historic lighthouses have been guide markers for anyone on a voyage. However, not only has their purpose been strategic, fellow travelers and local admirers recognize these graceful towers for their unique beauty and history.

Turkey Point

Currently an active beacon, it sits on a 100-foot bluff where you can snap a few memories as you overlook the Elk Rivers. You will notice it has a simple black and white structure that was built in 1833 by John Donohoo, a resident of Havre de Grace. During the early 1920s, it was maintained by the last female lighthouse keeper. Due to its automated light, it attracts more travelers like you with an estimation of 40,000 visitors annually.

Located in the home of Elk Neck State Park, in the city of Aberdeen, Cecil County. If you need further visiting info check with its manager, Turkey Point Light Station.

Park Address:
4395 Turkey Point Rd
North East, MD 21901

Park Hours: May – October, Sat – Sun only, 10am – 2pm

Sandy Point Shoal

Named after its location, this historic landmark was built in the 1858 with an 8-sided, 3-story, caisson structure type. You will notice the victorian style built with a timber frame and ornamental brickwork on the exterior. In the past, they used the first two stories as living quarters. The third level was the watch room. You will enjoy this eye-catching, red, brick tower from the shores of the state park. When you look upward, it has a tall stature sitting in water with a height of 37 feet.

You can find its location offshore in the Sandy Point State Park near Annapolis, Maryland about 1.5 miles north of Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Park Address:
1100 College Pkwy E,
Annapolis, MD 21409

Park Hours: 7am – Sunset, January 1 – October 31;
7am – 5pm, November 1 – December 31

Cost varies by tour guide but Watermark Cruises and Chesapeake Lights may interest you. Another option for you is the Down Time Chesapeake Fishing Charter.

Sharps Island

This lighthouse shaped like a spark plug was built in 1838, and named after an island that shortly disappeared due to harsh waters and winds of the sea. In result, a screw-pile structure formed the lighthouse giving it a recognizable caisson style tower designed in iron with a 15-degree tilt. This Chesapeake Bay Lighthouse also has the locals calling it the “Leaning Tower of Pisa” that marks the entrance to the Choptank River, the shoals from Poplar Island and Black Walnut Point.

It stands 3 miles south, south-southwest in water from the southern end of Tilghman Island in St. Micheals, Maryland.

Check for tours with costs at the Calvert Marine Museum or with Chesapeake lights that pass through multiple lighthouses including a few coming up on our list.

Museum Address:
14200 Solomons Island Road
Solomons, Maryland 20688

Museum Hours: May – September and holidays, Sat – Sun only, 1-4pm

Chesapeake Lights Address:
357 Pier One Road,
Stevensville, MD 21666
(413) 835-1630

Bloody Point Bar

Photo Credit: Kenya Allmond via Flickr CC2.0

Another spark plug design that will captivate you with its rustic, brown tower that is 54-foot tall and a caisson style formed from iron. It was built in 1882 and marks the Eastern Bay entrance. You will be blown away after hearing how it was another lighthouse that tilted due to stormy winds. Talk about a survivor, it even had electrical fires destroy the sleeping quarters of its keeper. On your visit, you will notice it sits upright and is automated.

It sits in water at the southern end of Kent Island marking the entrance to Eastern Bay. You can only view the lighthouse at a distance in the eastern end of Chesapeake Bay Bridge in St. Michaels, Maryland.

Visit the guides below for more tour info. Tours with costs are offered by either Calvert Marine Museum or Chesapeake Lights.

Museum Address:
14200 Solomons Island Road
Solomons, Maryland 20688

Museum Hours: May – September and holidays, Sat-Sun only, 1-4pm

Chesapeake lights Address:
357 Pier One Road,
Stevensville, MD 21666
(413) 835-1630

Cove Point

Built in 1828, one of the oldest Chesapeake Bay lighthouses with a new renovation to allow travelers to rent the keeper’s quarters with modern amenities. You can be surrounded with historic vibes, plus have ultimate beach access. Spend a couple of vacation days inside one of the historic landmarks while enjoying the bayside during the day.

This light sits at the western shore of Chesapeake Bay about 4 miles north of Patuxent River entrance in Solomons, Maryland. It is managed by the Calvert Marine Museum.

Museum Address:
14200 Solomons Island Road
Solomons, Maryland 20688

Museum Hours: May – September and holidays, Sat – Sun only, 1-4pm

Lighthouse/Visitor Center Hours: June – August, every day, 1-4pm; May – September and holidays, Sat – Sun only, 1-4pm

Take a cruise tour or rent the keeper’s house through the Calvert Marine Museum.

Drum Point

Another whimsical lighthouse built in 1883, is also managed by the Calvert Marine Museum for you and the family to view along the waterfront. It is a 46-foot-tall, hexagonal structure with a screw-pile wooden base forming a cottage style. If you can believe that this was the style that flourished the bay during that era. However, now it is one of only three Chesapeake Bay lighthouses that remain today.

Museum Address:
14200 Solomons Island Rd
Solomons, MD 20688

Museum Hours: 10am – 5pm, closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years.

Why not check this one off the list too when you are visiting the Calvert Marine Museum. The museum can take you on a boat tour to visit neighboring lighthouses during your visit.

Point Lookout

Spend some time looking out for this gem that was built by John Donohoo in 1830. interestingly it marks the North entrance to the Potomac River. Due to its clever name, the point was significant in the 1862 Civil War as it served as a hospital. Legend has it that this particular lighthouse is one of the most haunted lighthouses in America. If you make a change in your travels, members from the Point Lookout Preservation Society could take you on a paranormal investigations for a spooky adventure.

You can find this gem at the Point Lookout State Park in Scotland, Maryland.

Park Address:
11175 Point Lookout Rd,
Scotland, MD 20687

Park Hours: Year-round, Sunrise to Sunset

The lighthouse may be under renovation, so check the Point Lookout Preservation Society and scheduled for completion by summer of 2020 for updates.

Point No Point

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There is no point in missing this lighthouse because it sits near the Point Lookout Lighthouse and also settles along the entrance of the Potomac River. Built between 1901-1903, it stands 52 feet high in a caisson structure with a 2-story, white tower that stacks on top of a red, cast-iron base. Today, it remains active to navigational aid.

It is best viewed from the water since it floats in the Chesapeake Bay’s main shipping channel between Smith Point and Cove Point lights. It sits six miles north of Point Lookout Lighthouse. These are near Lexington Park, Maryland.

Check for tours and costs with Sawyer Fishing Charters or Calvert Marine Museum.

Sawyer Fishing Charters Address:
Capt. Dave Schauber
1345 Hoopers Island Rd.
Church Creek, Maryland 21622

Museum Address:
14200 Solomons Island Rd
Solomons, MD 20688

Museum Hours: 10am – 5pm, closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years.

Hooper Strait Lighthouse

Photo Credit: massmatt via Flickr CC2.0

One of the last four remaining Chesapeake Bay lighthouses that have a screw-pile style. Built in 1879, it has a working boat yard with hands-on activities you can participate in. As a traveler, you can climb inside discovering exhibits that portray the Chesapeake Bay’s role in history. Stay overnight, you could role play as the lighthouse keeper.

Sits in St. Michaels, Maryland on the grounds of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

Museum Address:
213 N. Talbot St
St. Michaels, MD 21663

Museum Hours: May – October: 9am – 5pm; November – April: 10am–4pm; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Check for tours and costs with the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

Or if you are passing though, it can be seen on the Maryland’s Frederick Douglass driving tour visit here.

Concord Point Lighthouse

Another historic place to visit, is one of the oldest lighthouses in Maryland that is made of port deposit granite and constructed by master builder John Donahooo. This 30-foot tall lighthouse has held high during the eras. It served to warn seafaring vessels away from harsh water currents and shoals coming from the Susquehanna River.

Climb the tower at Concord Point Lighthouse with its Keeper’s House Museum and explore the surrounds to uncover history. They host special event throughout the year too.

Lafayette and Concord St
Havre de Grace, MD 21078

Lighthouse/Museum Hours: April – October, Sat – Sun only, 1-5pm.

Chesapeake Light

An active navigational aid today, this blue tower was built in 1965, and is known for its Texas traits resembling an oil drilling platform that stands on steel piles. It is roomy enough to have helicopter access on the rooftop. Serves as a marker for the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay, as you notice from its name.

This blue beauty can be found 13 miles off the shores of Virginia Beach, Virginia only seen by boat.

You can schedule a tour and check the costs with Carefree Boat Club at Virginia Beach location.

Club Address:
2109 W Great Neck Road,
Virginia Beach, VA 23451


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