How to Spend the Night at a Lighthouse
When a seaside hotel room isn’t good enough, how about sweeping views of the entire sea? If you’re intrigued, check out five Puget Sound lighthouse keeper homes you can stay in overnight or for a week.
30 lighthouses shine a beacon around Washington state. A dozen are available to visit. Five offer overnight stays in the historic keeper’s homes.
Where to stay
Point No Point in Hansville
The first lighthouse built on the Puget Sound alerts ships to the hazardous north entrance to the Sound.
The keeper’s house is available to you. You’ll get a living room, formal dining room, full kitchen, two bedrooms, a bathroom, and panoramic views of the islands, Mount Baker, the Seattle skyline, and Mount Rainier.
If you’re looking for a cozier place to stay, Keeper John Maggs’ House is also available. The first lighthouse keeper built the one-bedroom cottage, so he could continue visiting after he retired from light keeping.
Tours of the lighthouse are available weekends April through September.
While you’re in the area, you can also visit Skunk Bay and Point Wilson lighthouses. Port Wilson is currently being renovated and is said to be haunted.
Point Robinson on Maury Island
Overlooking the East Passage of Maury Island is a historic lighthouse and two keepers quarters. The keepers homes that sleep 6 and 8 are available for rent all year round on VRBO.com.
You’ll share the beach and the 10-acre park with no responsibility of watching for ships. The park includes walking trails, picnic tables, and dramatic views of the East Passage, Tacoma, and Mount Rainier.
Tours of the lighthouse are available Sundays in the summer or by special arrangement. There is also a seasonal gift shop.
New Dungeness near Sequim
The first lighthouse on the Strait of Juan de Fuca has been operational since 1857. The New Dungeness Lighthouse is located near the Dungeness Spit near Sequim. From the top, you’ll enjoy panoramic views the Spit, Strait of Juan de Fuca, a wildlife refuge, and Canada.
You can stay at the keepers home for a week as part of the Lighthouse Keeper Program. Keepers are asked to do some light maintenance and lead tours. The four-bedroom house has Wi-Fi, TV, a washer and dryer, reading room, and game room. Of course, you also get the park and scenery.
If you want to visit, plan a five-mile hike from the parking lot or you can boat up. The round-trip hike takes about five hours. Be sure to pack what you need and check the weather and tide tables before leaving. Tours of the lighthouse and museum are available daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Insider tip: There are seven more lighthouses on the Olympic Peninsula. For a unique road trip, drive the loop and find them all.
Cape Disappointment North Head in Ilwaco
Pack your optimism when you head out to Cape Disappointment. There you’ll see two historic lighthouses. Cape Disappointment Lighthouse was the first at the mouth where the Pacific Ocean meets the Columbia River but shipwrecks continued, earning it the nickname Graveyard of the Pacific.
The North Head Lighthouse was added to warn ships approaching the northwestern spur of Cape Disappointment. North Head is said to be the most intact light station in the Pacific Northwest.
The North Head keeper’s duplex and single-family home are available for overnight stays. Enjoy the State Park from the most picturesque spot. Each fully furnished residence can sleep 6 with linens provided.
If you want to visit, the lighthouse is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily May through September. Pitch a tent at the main Cape Disappointment camp ground and get views of lighthouses on either side.
Browns Point in Tacoma
The lighthouse continues to mark the hazardous north entrance to Commencement Bay by Tacoma. The ground around it is now a gorgeous park with a promenade and sandy beach.
You can call it home for a week-long stay at the Light Keeper’s Cottage and conduct tours of the lighthouse. By evening, you can sit on the front porch and watch the sunset and sailboats.
Lighthouses to visit
If you’re just looking for a visit, try:
Point No Point image by lfreytag
North Head image by WestWindGraphics