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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.

rose island lighthouse-credit-Discover newport
Our thanks to the generous help of Jeremy D'Entremont. Photos by Jeremy D'Entremont.

Conimicut Point - Warwick, RI
Conimicut Point

Point Avenue Warwick, RI, 02886 Phone:

Picture-worthy lighthouse at head of Providence River still shines as aid to navigation

The picturesque Conimicut Lighthouse, a spark plug-style lighthouse best seen from the beaches and open space at Conimicut Point or by boat, still serves as an aid to navigation at the entrance to the Providence River, flashing its white light every 2 1/2 seconds. A 58-foot granite tower was built in 1868, but it was replaced with an iron tower in 1883. A keeper’s dwelling was constructed on the pier in 1874 but was destroyed the next year by drift ice and high winds. The lighthouse, on the National Register of Historic Places, was one of the last in the United States to convert its lantern from incandescent oil vapor to electricity, in 1960. Three years later, the beacon was automated.
Rose Island Lighthouse - near Newport, RI - Photo Credit Discover Newport
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.
Conimicut Lighthouse - Warwick, RI
Warwick Office of Tourism

3275 Post Road Warwick, RI, 02886 Phone:

Two historic lighthouses still stand as sentinels, safeguarding those at sea

There’s no denying the attraction of lighthouses, which guide us into the past in the same way they have guided mariners to safety for centuries. Warwick boasts two fine examples of historic lighthouses. Conimicut Lighthouse, perched on a rocky ledge at the rim of Conimicut Point Park, was built in 1868. In 1960, it was the last lighthouse in the country to be electrified, its bright white light signaling every 2.5 seconds to those at sea. It can be seen from the park. Warwick Neck Lighthouse, built in 1827, is the last traditional lighthouse built in Rhode Island. The 51-foot-tall cylindrical cast-iron tower, currently operated by the Coast Guard, is a stately symbol of Warwick’s early seafaring days.
Beavertail Lighthouse - Jamestown, RI - Photo Credit Eliza Newland
Beavertail Lighthouse

Beavertail Point, Beavertail Road Jamestown, RI Phone: 401-423-3270

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.
Kid Fun, Unique Cuisine, Ocean View - Stay in Warwick, See Rhode Island!
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.
Prudence Island Light (Sandy Point Light)
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).
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.
Watch Hill Lighthouse - Creative Commons License
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 thru August; Tues-Thurs 1-3pm.
The Facility: Active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation. Buildings and grounds maintained by Watch Hill Lighthouse Keepers Association. Lighthouse built in 1856.
Castle Hill Lighthouse - Newport, Ri - Photo Credit Shutterstock
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Block Island Southeast Light

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.
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.
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.
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.
Block Island North Light - New Shoreham, RI
Block Island North Light

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.
The facility: There is a museum (North Light Interpretive Center) in the lighthouse, but the tower is not open to the public. Active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation. First floor converted into museum. Lighthouse built in 1868. Light flashes white every five seconds.