August 7 marks National Lighthouse Day and in honor of this beachy-chic holiday, we’ve rounded up some of the most impressive (and historic) landmarks where you can play innkeeper and spend the night, no life jacket required.
Newport, Rhode Island
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Rose Island Lighthouse is the perfect spot for you to test your innkeeper skills. Since you have to be charted on and off the island, you’ll have total privacy, which makes sense since this secluded spot was used during the American Revolution for the defense of Narragansett Bay and Newport.
Although there are several rooms on different floors to select from, we’d go with the Keeper’s Apartment which includes: a master bedroom with queen size bed, living room with pull-out couch, a full kitchen/bathroom, and wood burning stove. While in Newport you can also tour the newly renovated Belcourt Mansion, and check out Bowen’s Wharf 27th Annual Seafood Festival (October 14-15) for plenty of fresh, local seafood paired with live music.
Winvian Farm—a Relais & Chateaux property located in the historic Litchfield Hills region of Connecticut—is known for their themed cottages. These are essentially luxury accommodations inside crazy cool spaces like a restored helicopter, a 35-foot high treehouse, a stable, and greenhouse, among many others, but our favorite by far is the Maritime cottage.
Nautical colors and tons of natural light are the focus of this “resort set in a lighthouse,” but it also has all the modern perks you could want or need like a wood-burning fireplace, jacuzzi tub, and steam shower. And if the thought of sleeping in a circular space is leaving you a little dizzy—have no fear. There’s 950 square feet of space here along with a barrel-roofed bathroom and a teak-lined bedroom to make you feel anchored (and at home).
You can also keep watch over the Charles Pond from the screened porch and be sure to enjoy one of their remarkable farm-to-table meals in the fire-lit dining rooms at The Restaurant at Winvian Farm.
Point Richmond, California
For a lighthouse stay just 30 minutes outside downtown San Francisco, consider the East Brother Light Station, which has been an active Victorian lighthouse for more than 142 years. Although most of these rather intimate structures allow just for sleeping and perhaps a sitting nook or two, East Brother is unique in that it’s also a fully functioning B&B.
Choose to stay in one of the four of the rooms located within the lighthouse itself (each one being named after its view) or in “Walter’s Quarters” located in the original Fog Signal Building. Plus, when you arrive you will also receive champagne and hors d’oeuvres, a multi-course dinner with wine, as well as a full gourmet breakfast the next morning (order their house specialty, Lighthouse French Toast Soufflé) and a full tour of the island. Sounds like the perfect getaway.
To really be at one with nature, book an Airbnb stay at Five Finger Lighthouse located on scenic Frederick Sound in Alaska. Situated on a tiny island with a Sitka spruce forest, you’ll wake up and go to sleep each day to the sounds of birds and witness plenty of active eagles and humpback whales.
As the first lighthouse built in Alaska, Five Finger was manned by the Coast Guard until 1984, but many renovations over the past decade have made it habitable once again. Rooms are dorm-style with three or four bunks and you can even book a “camping rate” on the lawn for $70 per night.
Old Saybrook, Connecticut
Experience all that Southern Connecticut (and Katharine Hepburn’s hometown) has to offer at Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, where their lighthouse suite is the epitome of seaside elegance. Down the dock off the main building, this suite is the most intimate and unique of all the accommodations on property given it has unobstructed views of the Long Island Sound and Connecticut River, plus a living room, dining area, and kitchenette. You’re guaranteed a stay like no other when you check in here. Available seasonally for nightly or weekly rentals, May through October.
Kure Beach, North Carolina
Grab your best first mate and prepare for a romantic escape with Kure Beach charm at Darlings by the Sea. This bright yellow lighthouse-inspired inn is the ultimate oceanfront retreat for couples, featuring oversized king beds, whirlpool baths, and a breathtaking beachfront location. Not to mention Innkeeper Jim and his accommodating staff are on 24 hour standby—you know, just in case you need extra blankets. Or for them to fend off any nearby pirate attacks.
This story is part of our 100 Days of Summer package.