The Most Beautiful Lighthouses on Long Island, NY

Fire Island Lighthouse
Fire Island Lighthouse | © Francois Roux / Shutterstock
Photo of Julia Goicochea
21 May 2019

Those who prefer beaches over buildings should get to know New York City’s other island, Long Island. The 118-mile-long stretch of land may have sprawling suburbs, strip malls, and traffic-clogged highways, but it also has lovely state parks and landmark homes, charming old whaling towns, and, of course, the posh Hamptons. Roughly 25 historic lighthouses dot its shores, many of which are now museums that offer a glimpse of Long Island’s maritime history. Here’s a roundup of favorites that are well worth a visit (and will look great on your Instagram feed).

Montauk Lighthouse

Montauk Lighthouse | © travelview / Shutterstock
Montauk Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in New York State, but that isn’t what earned it the honor of being designated a National Historic Landmark. America’s first president, George Washington, commissioned the structure in 1792, and it was completed four years later. Today, history buffs and sight-seekers alike visit the lighthouse to explore its museum and 360-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean and Block Island Sound.

Fire Island Lighthouse

Fire Island Lighthouse | © Don Fick / WikiCommons

This National Register of Historic Places landmark is adjacent to another New York treasure, Robert Moses State Park. Built in 1826, the Fire Island Lighthouse, situated on the tip of Fire Island, was the first indicator of land for ocean travelers coming from Europe. As it reaches 168 feet (51.2 meters) above sea level, the lighthouse can still be seen from more than 20 miles (32.1 kilometers) away.

Shinnecock Lighthouse


Shinnecock Lighthouse has experienced some dark times. The 168-foot-tall (51.2 meters) structure, built in 1858 to illuminate the 67 miles (107.8 kilometers) from Fire Island to Montauk, was victimized by lightning strikes, fires, and hurricanes before finally falling in 1948. As a bright ending befitting a lighthouse, Shinnecock was reimagined as a red brick building and 74-foot-tall (22.5 meters) structure, both of which are standing strong today.

Stepping Stones Lighthouse

Stepping Stones Lighthouse | © NOAA Photo Library / Flickr

Don’t be fooled by its nickname: there’s nothing nefarious about Stepping Stones Lighthouse, or Devil’s Stepping Stones as its known colloquially. The Native American legend behind this moniker, involving the devil, some stepping stones, and an escape to Long Island, is just one fascinating feature of this Victorian-style structure in Nassau County.

Execution Rocks Lighthouse


Even more than its attractively old-fashioned granite, brick, and stone façade, the redemption tale of Execution Rocks Lighthouse is what makes this Mamaroneck structure beautiful. Standing in the Long Island Sound since 1850, the 60-foot (18.2-meter) lighthouse earned its name from either multiple shipwrecks or a cruel and unusual colonial punishment. There’s nothing negative to be found there today—visitors can even enjoy an overnight stay in the lighthouse, equipped with rustic furnishings.

Huntington Lighthouse

Huntington Lighthouse
Huntington Lighthouse | © Erik Anestad / Flickr
Huntington Lighthouse, constructed in 1912 in the Beaux Arts style, resembles a small castle more than a traditional lighthouse. Its noble appearance befits the royal treatment this tower has received. Guiding naval navigators since 1867 when it was known as Lloyd Harbor Lighthouse, Huntington Lighthouse has been rebuilt to protect it from sea winds and is the subject of ongoing preservation efforts.

North Dumpling Lighthouse


This classic brick structure nestled on the lush, green North Dumpling Island hardly strikes one as a Prohibition-era smugglers’ site. Erected in 1849 to guide vessels approaching Fishers Island, North Dumpling Lighthouse took on a different function during Prohibition, when bootleggers would flash additional lights near the lighthouse to communicate in code with their accomplices. Today, the privately owned lighthouse, now featuring a wind generator, is still a sight worth toasting.

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel – and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Epic Trips, Mini Trips and Sailing Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travellers and friends who want to explore the world together.

Epic Trips are deeply immersive 8 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and enough down time to really relax and soak it all in. Our Mini Trips are small and mighty - they squeeze all the excitement and authenticity of our longer Epic Trips into a manageable 3-5 day window. Our Sailing Trips invite you to spend a week experiencing the best of the sea and land in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm – and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Cookies Policy

We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK"