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21 Lighthouses to Visit in Connecticut

Here's what you need to know...
  • Lighthouses have been used for centuries to guide maritime travelers in dark and foggy conditions
  • The entire southern border of Connecticut is a coastline
  • Each lighthouse has a unique history and style, making them interesting to tour
The name Connecticut is derived from the Algonquian word for “long tidal river.” This is a worthy name for the state because its entire southern border is comprised of coastline, and several rivers run through the state.

Because of the prevalence of waterways in comparison to land size, maritime travel has dominated the area throughout its history, and many lighthouses have been constructed across the coastline as a result.

While there are some stunning beaches located along Connecticut’s shoreline, you can also find some rocky outcroppings, peninsulas, and other geological features that could make maritime travel dangerous.

This is particularly true when weather conditions include wind and fog, which is common throughout much of the year. Lighthouses have helped maritime travelers to avoid accidents for centuries.

Whether you live in Connecticut or are just passing through the area, you understandably may want to spend at least some of your time at popular beaches. It may be difficult to pass by the shoreline without spotting a few lighthouses.

Some travelers even make a point of stopping at as many lighthouses in Connecticut as possible. These are a few of the top lighthouses in the state that you may want to visit while you are in the area. Before you plan your trip make sure you have the best coverage! Use our free insurance tool above and compare rates today!

Lighthouses to Visit in Connecticut

#1 Avery Point Lighthouse

Location: Avery Point near Groton
Charge: Free access to grounds. The tower is closed to the public.
Age: 73 years

The Avery Point Lighthouse is located on Avery Point close to the small town of Groton, and it is one of the newer lighthouses on this list. Construction on the lighthouse was completed in 1943, and it officially came online in 1944.

Originally, the light shone with white illumination, but this was later changed to a green light.

The lighthouse originally become non-functional as a navigational aid in 1967. The grounds remain open to the public free of charge, but the lighthouse is not open for tours.

#2 Five Mile Point Lighthouse

Location: New Haven
Charge: Free access to grounds. The tower is closed to the public.
Age: 212 years

The Five Mile Point Lighthouse is also known as the Old New Haven Lighthouse because of its location close to New Haven. This lighthouse was built in 1805 and served an instrumental role in the Revolutionary War.

Today, this stunning lighthouse is currently closed to the public, but you can spend time admiring it while you tour the surrounding grounds free of charge.

#3 Lynde Point Lighthouse

Location: Old Saybrook
Charge: Grounds and lighthouse are closed to the public.
Age: 214 years

Built in 1803, the Lynde Point Lighthouse has been a focal point on the skyline near the entrance to the Connecticut River for centuries.

Also known as the Saybrook Inner Lighthouse, this lighthouse has been renovated and updated numerous times over the years. In fact, it remains a functional lighthouse today and has been automated since 1975.

#4 New London Harbor Lighthouse

Location: New London
Charge: Only private tour groups are allowed inside the lighthouse and on the grounds
Age: 257 years

The New London Harbor Lighthouse, which is locally known as the Pequot Avenue Lighthouse, was built in 1760.

This is the oldest lighthouse in the state and is a historical reminder of the town’s prominence as a whaling town in its early years.

This lighthouse and surrounding grounds are privately owned, and only private tour groups are permitted on-site.

#5 Penfield Reef Lighthouse

Location: Near Norwalk
Charge: Privately owned and closed to the public, but private cruises past the lighthouse are available through the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk
Age: 143 years

The Penfield Reef is notably one of the most dangerous and deadly locations in the Long Island Sound, and the Penfield Reef Lighthouse is the result of a petition to Congress for funding to build the lighthouse.

This is a rather unique-looking lighthouse that has a square base, and it is located in the middle of the sound surrounded by water. It is currently actively operating and privately owned.

#6 Southwest Ledge Lighthouse

Location: New Haven Harbor
Charge: Privately owned, closed to the public.
Age: 141 years

The Southwest Ledge Lighthouse was built as a replacement for the Five Mile Lighthouse on New Haven Harbor.

For years, the construction effort required to build a lighthouse in this more desirable location was not possible, but technology soon developed that enabled the construction of the Southwest Ledge Lighthouse.

This lighthouse is most well-known for its super-structure design, and its design has been displayed at numerous expositions in the past.

#7 Stratford Point Lighthouse

Location: Housatonic River
Charge: Owned by the Coast Guard, closed to the public.
Age: 195 years

The Stratford Point Lighthouse was constructed at a critical point where the Housatonic River meets the Long Island Sound. This lighthouse has been renovated numerous times over the years, and today it is maintained by the Coast Guard. 

The current appearance includes red and white horizontal stripes for dramatic effect. The station is currently operated and occupied by a Coast Guard family.

#8 Faulkner’s Island Lighthouse

Location: Guilford
Charge: Grounds and Tower are closed to the public.
Age: 215 years

Faulkner’s Island Lighthouse is located only a few miles outside of Guilford on the Long Island Sound on grounds that is now known as the Stewart B. McKinley Wildlife Refuge.

For most of the lengthy history of the lighthouse, it was well-operated by a series of keepers as well as their families.

However, after a horrible fire destroyed the lighthouse and much of the island in 1976, the lighthouse was later rebuilt with automated features. Today, there is no keeper.

#9 Great Captain Island Lighthouse

Location: Greenwich
Charge: Grounds are open to the public, but the tower is closed. The ferry to the island only runs during the summer months.
Age: 179 years

The Great Captain Island Lighthouse is one of three lighthouses built on the islands offshore near Greenwich. This lighthouse and the surrounding 17 acres is the largest of the three.

This particular lighthouse and its keepers have a rich history that includes saving numerous lives. Today, the lighthouse remains in active use, and visitors often tour the grounds to enjoy wildlife viewing and hiking around the lighthouse during the summer months.

#10 Morgan Point Lighthouse

AdobeStock_30981116-1600x1600Location: West side of the Mystic River mouth
Charge: Grounds and tower are closed to the public.
Age: 186 years

The Morgan Point Lighthouse is a 35-foot building that has a rectangular shape and that is made largely of granite stones.

For most of its history, it has been well-maintained by its keepers, and it has never fallen into a state of serious disrepair.

The home and lighthouse are privately owned and are off-limits to the public, but they are notable points of interest to the public and are prevalent icons in local maritime history.

#11 New London Ledge Lighthouse

Location: New London
Charge: Cruises and tours are available during the summer months through the Custom House Maritime Museum
Age: 256 years

The New London Ledge Lighthouse has one of the most unique designs of all of the lighthouses in Connecticut. This lighthouse is located in the middle of the Long Island Sound off the coast of New London, and it has a square, metallic base.

The lighthouse sits on top of main living quarters. Notably, the New London Ledge Lighthouse was purportedly haunted by a former keeper named Ernie for many years. Today, the entire lighthouse is on display for tours through the Custom House Maritime Museum.

#12 Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse

Location: Old Saybrook
Charge: The tower and grounds are privately owned and are closed to the public.
Age: 214

The first version of the Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse was built in 1803, but the lighthouse has been updated and modified numerous times over the years. It was officially automated in 1959.

However, many years later it was sold in a private auction to the same man who bought the Katherine Hepburn estate in a nearby neighborhood. He later listed the estate and the lighthouse for sale together.

#13 Stamford Harbor Lighthouse

Location: Chatham Rocks near Stamford
Charge: Closed to the public. Cruises that take you by the lighthouse are available through the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
Age: 136 years

The Stamford Harbor Lighthouse was originally constructed of cast iron and has historically been a fairly inhospitable place to live.

Many of the innkeepers have actually lived onshore and have commuted to the lighthouse via a boat. The home is currently owned as a private second home and is used as a private navigational aid.

#14 Stratford Shoal Lighthouse

Location: Close to Bridgeport
Charge: Closed to the public. Cruises that take you by the lighthouse are available through the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
Age: 145 years

The Stratford Shoal Lighthouse is also known as the Middle Ground Lighthouse. It is located in the middle of the Long Island Sound.

For many years, it was actually considered to be on the New York side of the boundary, but now it is considered to be more than 1,000 on the Connecticut side of the boundary.

The current owner hopes to open the home as a type of living museum, allowing overnight stays in the lighthouse upon request.

#15 Fayerweather Island Lighthouse

Location: Fayerweather Island
Charge: Grounds at Seaside Park are open to the public, but the tower is closed.
Age: 209 years

The Fayerweather Island Lighthouse, which is also known as the Black Rock Harbor Lighthouse. Over the course of its first 125 years, the lighthouse only had nine innkeepers.

However, after that point, the lighthouse fell into a state of disrepair and was poorly maintained.

By 1933, the lighthouse had been severely vandalized, and the innkeeper’s house burned down in 1977. A full restoration was completed in 1993, but the tower is not open to the public.

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#16 Greens Ledge Lighthouse

Location: Norwalk Harbor
Charge: Closed to the public. Cruises that take you by the lighthouse are available through the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
Age: 117

Greens Ledge Lighthouse is reportedly named after a pirate Green, who traveled with Captain Kidd and who was executed on the ledge where the lighthouse stands today.

The lighthouse was functional for many years, but it was later decommissioned and auctioned publicly after it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.

The man who purchased the lighthouse later donated it to a society that plans to renovate the lighthouse and open it up to the public for tours at some point in the future.

#17 Mystic Seaport Lighthouse

Location: Mystic
Charge: Grounds and tower are open to the public through the Mystic Seaport.
Age: 51 years

Those who want to learn more about maritime history will have a wonderful time touring the Mystic Seaport Lighthouse.

The lighthouse is open for tours and has incredible displays that cover the history of lighthouses throughout the state. The museum notably also has exhibits about boat making, rope making, and more.

#18 Peck Ledge Lighthouse

Location: Visible from land at Calf Pasture Park
Charge: Closed to the public. Cruises that take you by the lighthouse are available through the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
Age: 111 years

The Peck Ledge Lighthouse is one of the many lighthouses that has been built in the Norwalk Islands over the years. This one is one of the lighthouses that was built to replace the Sheffield Island Tower, which was no longer used after 1914.

It was automated in 1933 and ultimately decommissioned in 2014. At that time, it was listed for sale and auctioned off.

#19 Sheffield Island Lighthouse

Location: Sheffield Island
Charge: Grounds are open, and tours are available through the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
Age: 190 years

The Sheffield Island Tower is notably one of several island towers located in the Norwalk Islands. This is a 52-acre island, and it has been inhabited since Connecticut’s earliest days.

The lighthouse remained active and beneficial to maritime travelers until 1914. It was later placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the grounds feature public walking trails.

#20 – Stonington Harbor Lighthouse

AdobeStock_67786498-1600x1600Location: Stonington
Charge: Grounds and tower are open seasonally.
Age: 194 years

The Stonington Harbor Lighthouse was well-maintained and properly operated by a handful of keepers over the years, but it was officially decommissioned by the government in 1925.

At that time, it was auctioned for sale, and the Stonington Historical Society purchased it. This same organization still owns it today and runs a museum out of the location.

#21 Tongue Point Lighthouse

Location: Bridgeport Harbor’s western shore
Charge: Grounds and tower are closed to the public.
Age: 123 years

The Tongue Point Lighthouse, which is also known as the Bridgeport Breakwater Lighthouse or “the bug,” sits on the western shore of Bridgeport Harbor.

It became necessary when a rail line in Bridgeport increased the shipping activity in and out of the port.

The lighthouse was automated in 1954 and decommissioned in 1967. It also has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Driving in Connecticut

AdobeStock_76386904-1600x1600When driving throughout Connecticut, you need to ensure that you have the right car insurance to comply with state law.

The state requires drivers to obtain at least a minimum amount of liability car insurance. Remember that you may be fined or even lose your license if you are not properly insured per state law.

When driving in Connecticut, it may be helpful to follow a few safe driving tips. These include:

  • Obey the posted speed limit and traffic signs
  • Always wear your seatbelt
  • Avoid driving during inclement weather conditions
  • Put an emergency kit in your car

Be prepared with the proper auto coverage! Use our free insurance comparison tool below to get your free quote now!

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