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Rhode Island lighthouses offer history, gifts, wonderful views

Rhode Island has one of the few lighthouses that offers overnight accommodations, along with four other lighthouses that have small museums, gift shops, or interpretive programs. Rose Island Light, in Narragansett Bay between Newport and Jamestown, hosts overnight guests in the keeper’s house, restored to its 1900 living conditions. Shorter lighthouse visits, along with lighthouse museums and gift shops, can be found at Beavertail Light in Jamestown, North Light and Southeast Light on Block Island, and Watch Hill Light in Westerly.
Our thanks to the generous help of Jeremy D'Entremont. See more lighthouses at www.lighthouses.cc. Photos by Jeremy D'Entremont.

Sakonnet Point Light

Location: Little Cormorant Rock, entrance to Sakonnet River

Accessibility: The lighthouse is not open to the public. It can be seen from the beach at Sakonnet Point. The facility: Lighthouse built in 1884. Light flashes white every six seconds with red sector.

Castle Hill Light

Location: East Passage of Narragansett Bay

Accessibility: The lighthouse is not open but the grounds are adjacent to the Castle Hill Inn and Resort and are open to the public. The facility: Active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation. Lighthouse built in 1890. Light flashes three seconds red alternating with three seconds darkness.

Block Island Southeast Light

Location: Mohegan Bluffs, New Shoreham, Block Island

Accessibility: Block Island is accessible via ferry from Point Judith, RI, New London, CT, and Montauk, NY. The lighthouse can be reached by walking about 30 minutes from the ferry terminal. If you don't want to walk and don't have a car or bicycle with you, you can hire a taxi. There is a small museum and gift shop in the lighthouse and the tower is open for tours in the summer. The facility: Active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation. Grounds and buildings maintained by Block Island Southeast Lighthouse Foundation Lighthouse built in 1875. Light flashes green every five seconds; fog signal is one blast every 30 seconds.

Nayatt Point Light

Location: East side of the mouth of the Providence River, Narragansett Bay

Accessibility: The lighthouse and grounds are privately owned and are not open to the public. The lighthouse is best viewed from the water. The facility: Lighthouse built in 1856.

Pomham Rocks Light

Location: East side of Providence River

Accessibility: The lighthouse is not open to the public. It can be seen from the East Bay Bike Path in East Providence. The facility: Owned by Exxon Mobil and leased to the American Lighthouse Foundation.

The Conimicut Light

Location: Conimicut Shoal, entrance to Providence River, Narragansett Bay

Accessibility: The lighthouse is not open to the public. It can be seen from Conimicut Point Park in Warwick and from the area near Nayatt Point in Barrington, but is best seen by boat. The facility: Active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation. Owned by City of Warwick. Lighthouse built in 1883. Light flashes white every 2.5 seconds; fog signal is two blasts every 30 seconds.

Watch Hill Light

Location: Fishers Island Sound east approach (juncture of Block Island Sound and Fishers Island Sound)

Accessibility: The lighthouse is closed to the public. The grounds are open during the day, and a museum in the oil house is open limited hours in summer. There is no parking near the lighthouse; visitors must park in town and walk (about 15 minutes). The Watch Hill Lighthouse Museum in the station's oil house is open July and August; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1-3 p.m. The facility: Active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation. Buildings and grounds maintained by Watch Hill Lighthouse Keepers Association. Lighthouse built in 1856.

Lime Rock Light (Ida Lewis Yacht Club)

Brenton Cove Newport, RI Phone:

Loction: Newport, Rhode Island

Accessibilty: Building is now the Ida Lewis Yacht Club. The yacht club is not open to the general public on a regular basis. Best views are from the many harbor cruises in Newport. The facility: Station established in 1854.

Prudence Island Light (Sandy Point Light)

Location: Sandy Point, Prudence Island

Accessibility: Prudence Island can be reached by ferry from Bristol. The lighthouse is a mildly strenuous walk of about a mile from the ferry landing. The tower is not open to the public. The facility: Active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation. Lighthouse built in 1823 (originally located in Newport Harbor).

Plum Beach Light

Location: West passage of Narragansett Bay

Accessibility: The lighthouse is not open to the public. It can be seen as you drive over the Jamestown Bridge, and is best viewed by boat. The facility: Lighthouse built in 1899.

Warwick Neck Light

Location: Warwick Neck, Narragansett Bay

Accessibility: The station serves as Coast Guard housing and is closed to the public. Partial views are possible from the end of Warwick Neck Avenue; the best views are from the water. This lighthouse has served as the site of the Easter Sunrise Service hosted by the Shawomet Baptist Church since 1923. The facility: Active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation. First lighthouse was built in 1827. In 1932, a new cast-iron light tower was built 75 feet closer to the water, but after damage to the foundation from the 1938 hurricane, the lighthouse was moved back to its present location. Light is green, occulting every four seconds; a horn blasts every 15 seconds.

Dutch Island Light

Location: West passage of Narragansett Bay

Accessibility: The lighthouse is not open to the public and is best seen by boat. The facility: Lighthouse is owned by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. A chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation is working to restore Dutch Island Light. Lighthouse built in 1857.

Bristol Ferry Light

Location: Narragansett Bay, near Mount Hope Bridge

Accessibility: This lighthouse is not open to the public. It can be seen from the end of Ferry Road in Bristol near the Mount Hope Bridge. The facility: Station established in 1855.

Block Island North Light

Location: Sandy Point, north end of Block Island

Accessibility: Block Island is accessible via ferry from Point Judith, Rhode Island, New London, Connecticut, and Montauk, New York. The lighthouse is a long walk from the ferry terminal; a car or bicycle is recommended or you can hire a taxi. Reaching the lighthouse requires walking for about 20 minutes from the parking area on a sandy beach. There is a museum (North Light Interpretive Center) in the lighthouse, but the tower is not open to the public. Museum hours: Memorial Day to Columbus Day, weekends, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; late June to mid-September, daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The facility: Active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation. First floor converted into museum. Lighthouse built in 1868. Light flashes white every five seconds.

Hog Island Shoal Light

Location: Narragansett Bay, west of entrance to Mount Hope Bay

Accessibility: This lighthouse is not open to the public and is best seen by boat.
The facility: The structure is privately owned; the light is an active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation. Lighthouse built in 1901. Light alternates three seconds white with three seconds darkness; fog signal is two blasts every 30 seconds.

Conanicut Light (North Conanicut Light)

Location: North end of Conanicut Island

Accessibility: This lighthouse is not open to the public and is best viewed by boat. The facility: Lighthouse built in 1886.

Point Judith Light

Location: West side of entrance to Narragansett Bay

Accessibility: The grounds are open during the day, but the lighthouse is not open to the public. The facility: Active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation. Lighthouse built in 1857. Light flashes white; fog signal is one blast every 15 seconds.

Rose Island Light

Location: North of Newport Harbor

Accessibility: Rose Island is accessible by ferry from Newport or Jamestown. Check the website of the Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation for information on tours and directions. Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation offers tours and overnight accommodations, as well as various annual events, including a summer clambake. Tour hours: July 2 to Labor Day, daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; guided tours of the self-sufficient lighthouse and grounds, including the 200-year-old Fort Hamilton restoration project. Picnic tables and public toilets available; after Labor Day, group and school tours are offered by appointment. Call 401-847-4242 to reserve a date. The facility: Private aid to navigation and guest house. Lighthouse built 1870. Light flashes white every six seconds.

Beavertail Light

Location: Conanicut Island, Narragansett Bay

Accessibility: The lighthouse is located in Beavertail State Park at the end of Beavertail Road, at the southern tip of Conanicut Island. There is free parking. The grounds are open to the public, and there is a museum and gift shop in the assistant keeper's house, operated by the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association. The tower is not open to the public. Museum hours: May 27 to June 10, weekends and Memorial Day, noon-3 p.m.; mid-June to mid-September, daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; mid-September to Columbus Day, weekends, noon-3 p.m. The facility: Active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation. Lighthouse built in 1856. Light flashes white every six seconds; fog signal is one blast every 30 seconds.