These Lighthouses Are Worth a Visit

Have Clothes, Will Travel

Something about lighthouses draws us in. The towering beacons safely guide ships to shore, standing as a pillar of strength against rough seas, time, and weather.

Lighthouses come in many shapes and sizes, practically taking on human qualities. Let’s take a closer look at the history of lighthouses and where you can find some of the most iconic towers.

The First Lighthouse

The world’s first lighthouse is a point of contention among historians. Many widely acknowledge the Pharos of Alexandria, built in Egypt around 280 BC, as the first lighthouse in recorded history.

Oldest Operating Lighthouse

Now, we can officially recognize the Sandy Hook Lighthouse. Completed June 11, 1764, it is America’s oldest operating lighthouse. Initially, the 103-foot-tall octagonal tower housed 48 oil blazes. Today, it has an automated 3rd-order Fresnel lens, emitting a fixed white light that you can see for 19 miles on a clear night.

Tallest Lighthouse

Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Port Control Tower, at 436 feet, is the world’s tallest lighthouse. Unlike most lighthouses, the Jeddah Tower also serves as a control center for the city’s port and harbor operations. It was built in 1990 and is operational today.

America's Tallest Lighthouse

The iconic black and white striped Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on North Carolina’s Outer Banks is America’s tallest at 198 feet. Interestingly, the Statue of Liberty was initially considered a federal lighthouse when we lit its torch in 1886.

Most Unique Lighthouse

The Tourlitis Lighthouse in Andros, Greece, looks like something out of a fairytale. A carved stone staircase wraps around the base of a narrow spire that protrudes out of the water. Initially built in 1897, the tower was destroyed in World War II. It was rebuilt in the 1990s, becoming Greece’s first automated lighthouse without a keeper.

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