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Cape Henry Lighthouse

Virginia Chesapeake Bay, Virginia

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Cape Henry Lighthouse

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  • A view of the lighthouse from the parking lot.- Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • The entrance to the lighthouse and gift shop.- Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • A close-up of the lighthouse from the parking lot.- Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • The stairs leading to the lighthouse.- Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • At the base of the lighthouse.- Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • Benches sit along the edge of the path.- Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • Coin-operated binoculars.- Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • A view of the new lighthouse.- Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • An informational exhibit outside of the lighthouse.- Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • Both old and new lighthouses in view.- Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • An informational sign.- Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • The stairs leading to the viewing area.- Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • Informational signs adorn the inside of the lighthouse.- Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • The last set of stairs before entering the viewing area.- Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • Inside the viewing area.- Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • A view of the base.- Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • Another view of the base.- Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • A view of the new Cape Henry lighthouse.- Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • Exiting the viewing area.- Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • The lighthouse and the surrounding walkway.- Cape Henry Lighthouse
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views.
Cons: 
On an active military base. Vehicles subject to search upon entry.
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Region:
Virginia Chesapeake Bay, VA
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Parking Pass: 
Other
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

The 157-foot Cape Henry Lighthouse is a decommissioned lighthouse located in Cape Henry on the southeastern shores of Virginia, where the Chesapeake meets the Atlantic.

The lighthouse was an important navigational aid for maritime traffic, and it was dubbed the “Guardian of the Chesapeake." It was originally built in 1792 for approximately $18,000. Damaged by Confederate forces during the Civil War, the lighthouse was later repaired by Union troops. It was decommissioned in 1881 after concerns were raised about the overall stability of the structure, and a new lighthouse, which is still in use today, was built adjacent to the current lighthouse.

To enter the lighthouse, you first must pass through the gift shop. It's $8 per person to actually visit the lighthouse. The base of the lighthouse can only be reached by a large flight of stairs outside.

At the base of the lighthouse there are coin-operated binoculars, attendants with history presentations, and a few benches. To get to the top of the lighthouse, you must first climb the 191-foot spiral staircase. The last staircase ascends through a small opening, so large backpacks are not advised.

The lighthouse now sits inside Fort Story, an active military base. To visit, you'll need to pass through a security checkpoint, consent to a vehicle search, and show government-issued ID for anyone over 16 years old.

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(2 within a 30 mile radius)

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(3 within a 30 mile radius)

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