Eleven lighthouses are scattered along both the Garden State shores from Sandy Hook to the state’s southernmost tip in Cape May, to those on the Delaware River running from Gloucester County to Cumberland County.
Whether you’d like to opt for the white sand beaches of the Atlantic or go off the beaten path to the more remote lighthouse along Delaware, these are the most Instagram-photographed lighthouse around the state.
1. Barnegat Light Lighthouse (Barnegat Light, New Jersey – Exit 63)
Located at the northern tip of Long Beach Island, this lighthouse is by far the most photographed and most geo-tagged according to Instagram statistics with a whopping 28,800 people who have either hashtagged, geo-tagged, or posted about it.
Once you take Exit 63 off the Garden State Parkway, the “LBI” exit as locals call it, follow Route 72 eastward all the way to the island itself and cross the intercoastal waterway bridges as you enter island time and arrive at your first stop in Ship Bottom. Follow the signs going northbound toward Harvey Cedars and Barnegat Light until you reach the northernmost tip of the island where you can already spot “Old Barney” through the tops of coastal pine trees whistling in the refreshing sea breeze.
Once you arrive in the parking lot, you are instantly greeted by a tall red and white beauty that essentially serves as the island’s main lighthouse since, beyond it, many sailboats and other boating fare pass through this small stretch of land and low-lying marshes of the Jersey Shore.
2. Cape May Lighthouse (Cape May Point, New Jersey – Exit 0)
Located at the state’s southernmost tip, Cape May Lighthouse is situated on the coastal dunes and marshes of Cape May Point on the Jersey Cape, a summer favorite among locals and tourists alike who flock to the towns of Sea Isle City, Avalon, Stone Harbor, the Wildwoods, and of course the beautiful Victorian seaside community of Cape May for their white sand beaches, calm surf, and sunshine as well as to relax and unwind in the sun and get a taste of the shore life.
Instagram statistics put the Cape May Lighthouse as the second-most photographed in the state, with nearly 8,000 people who have hashtagged, geo-tagged, and posted about Cape May Light.
Cape May Lighthouse is perhaps the farthest lighthouse to reach from any point in New Jersey, as it’s located on the tip of Cape Map. This ultimately makes it a unique hidden gem that is worth going to explore. Drive all the way down the Garden State Parkway until you hit Exit 0, Cape May! Follow signs to Cape May Point, located about ten minutes from the center of town where you’ll find the point, the state park, and the lighthouse.
Climb up the one-hundred-something flight of stairs and arrive at the top to take in the breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, Cape May coastline, and even look into the sea where you can often see the coast of Delaware on the horizon on a clear day!
3. Absecon Lighthouse (Atlantic City, New Jersey – Exit 38, 38A)
According to Instagram statistics, Absecon Lighthouse in the casino capital of New Jersey of Atlantic City has 1,747 posts, hashtags, and geo-tags making it the third most photographed lighthouse in the state. A popular favorite for tourists, gamblers, and locals alike!
4. Sandy Hook Lighthouse (Highlands, New Jersey – Exit 117)
This lighthouse is popular among nature enthusiasts and locals.
The Sandy Hook Lighthouse is located at the northern point of Sandy Hook in New Jersey. It is the oldest working lighthouse in New Jersey; being built and lit in 1764, it is still in working condition. It was since automated in 1965 and stood 103 feet tall.
The state of New York funded the project which was initially named New York Lighthouse. British Soldiers also housed it during the Revolutionary War. After the US Constitution was signed, it was transferred to federal authority. In 1970 George Washington wrote to Senate claiming the land of the lighthouse belonged to Sandy Hook, where Fort Hancock also stands. The land is a National Historical Park and Place.
Located: 85 Mercer Rd, Highlands, NJ 07732
OTHER LIGHTHOUSES TO VISIT IN NEW JERSEY
- Twin Lights at Navesink (Highlands, New Jersey – Exit 117)
- Sea Girt Lighthouse (Sea Girt, New Jersey – Exit 98)
- Tuckerton Seaport (Tuckerton, New Jersey – Exit 58)
- Hereford Inlet Lighthouse (North Wildwood, New Jersey – Exit 9)
DELAWARE RIVER & COASTAL REGIONS
- Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse (Paulsboro, New Jersey)
- Finns Point Rear Range Lighthouse (Pennsville, New Jersey)
- East Point Lighthouse (Heislerville, New Jersey)
While lighthouses are widely known today as tourist attractions that offer splendid coastline views, significantly if you can climb them and get a birds-eye view, they also serve a different purpose. Lighthouses offer us a glimpse into the past of the sea-faring industry and its contribution to New Jersey.
How many lighthouses have you visited? Have you attempted the lighthouse challenge? Let us know in the comments, and explore our lighthouses map below: