Massachusetts Lighthouses:
Cape Cod Region

cape cod light

Falmouth, Hyannis, West Dennis, Yarmouth, Chatham, Eastham, Truro, Provincetown, Plymouth

 

Photo Gallery of Lighthouses on Cape Cod


The area known as Cape Cod saw a boom in the whaling, shipping, and commercial fishing traffic in the 18th and 19th centuries. With this increase came many shipwrecks that were claimed by the many treacherous shoals and constantly changing sandbars.

The current peninsula called Cape Cod, is separated from the Massachusetts mainland by the Cape Cod Canal. Lighthouses were built to guide mariners and the increasing shipping traffic into the harbors, around the dangerous shoals, and to sit high atop the cliffs to guide traffic from great distances.

Cape Cod Lighthouses
You Can Drive or Hike To

Note: The lighthouses mentioned below that you can drive to may also be viewed from various boat tours offered, see Boat Tours below. Ferries that take visitors to the islands are also shown.

Click any lighthouse link below to find out information about each lighthouse including historic snapshots, directions, more photos, and links for places to visit.


 

New England Lighthouses

 

Cape Cod Lighthouses:
Best Viewed By Boat


Note: Long Point Lighthouse you can hike during low tide,
however, it is 3 miles one way.

 

 

Places to Visit in the Cape Cod Region

 

Falmouth offers plenty of recreational activities at its beaches, or try the Shining Sea Bikeway that takes you around Falmouth and Woods Hole areas with some terrific scenic vistas. You can take the ferry from Falmouth to Martha's Vineyard daily during the summer season.

The Schooner Liberté is a magnificent three-masted sailing schooner that departs 3 times a day from Falmouth Harbor and may sail around Wood's Hole, the Elizabeth Islands, or out to Martha's Vineyard depending on sailing conditions.

Ferry heading out to Martha's Vineyard.

The Heritage Museums and Gardens provide a series of exhibits which include antique and classic cars, a vintage carousel, a military and art museum, and garden trails. Enjoy a hands-on education about marine life with the educational Oceanquest program.

Woods Hole with many restaurants, specialty shops and galleries, museums, beautiful gardens, and scenic vistas. You can easily drive or walk over to Nobska lighthouse, or relax at the beaches nearby.

The Woods Hole Historical Museum contains all kinds of marine artifacts to explore, and the National Marine Fisheries Aquarium is the oldest research aquarium in the country. Plenty of guided tours and wine tasting are available for guests at The Cape Cod Winery.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary offers tours inside Nobska lighthouse.

Hyannis is the largest city on Cape Cod, and many beach towns nearby around Yarmouth and Dennis offer a huge selection of cultural events, including plenty of nightlife and music, museums, and miles of beaches in the area. The town of Dennis boasts as having 16 of the most beautiful salt water beaches on Cape Cod, and two more beaches on fresh water lakes, while Yarmouth promotes 11 beautiful salt water beaches and 4 fresh water beaches to to accommodate the many tourists who come to the area. There are also plenty more beaches in other towns, and of course the Cape Cod National Seashore up beyond Chatham.

The town of Chatham sits on the elbow of Cape Cod with many well-preserved Victorian Era buildings, and a few museums. Chatham lighthouse is a short walk, and across the street from the Chatham Beach. Before reaching Chatham, visitors can hike a mile from Hardings Beach for a nice view of the headless Stage harbor (Hardings beach) lighthouse.

 

A mile hike in the sand will lead to headless Stage Harbor lighthouse.

Visit the Chatham Railroad Museum, or the Atwood House Museum features the lantern house from Chatham’s original twin light with its Fresnel lens.

There are a variety of museums on Cape Cod, like the Maritime Museum,  the John F. Kennedy Museum, various art museums like the Cahoon Museum of American Art, and the Heritage Museums and Gardens, in nearby Sandwich.

Visit the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory and sample the end results.  

Hi-Line Cruises offers a Hyannis Harbor cruise that provides close views of Hyannis Harbor lighthouse and the Kennedy Compound for tourists.

Bass River (West Dennis) lighthouse is part of the Lighthouse Inn and is open for occasional tours in the summer season.

The Cape Cod Rail Trail (starts in Dennis) is among many trails, for miles of biking and hiking, golfing, fishing excursions, and nightlife.

For those visitors who enjoy a strenuous hike, the Monomoy Island Ferry (minimum 6 passengers) will provide narrated wildlife tours that will drop visitors off to make the hike to Monomoy Lighthouse and explore the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, one of eight national wildlife refuges comprising the Eastern Massachusetts National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Eastham is a small town that marks the entrance to the Cape Cod National Seashore. You'll find the Eastham Windmill, which is the oldest windmill on the Cape. Each year local residents provide a 3-day Eastham Windmill Weekend around mid-September with all kinds of events.

The Cape Cod National Seashore provides nearly 30 miles of protected beach areas with a variety of hiking and biking trails. Ranger guided tours are also provided during the summer season. Enjoy the views of the cliffs and sun at Nauset Light Beach. You can tour the Nauset Lighthouse tower, or walk along the trail about a third of a mile from Nauset Lighthouse, and visit the restored Three Sisters Lights. Truro offers bike paths, nature trails, ten public beaches, and the Truro Center for the Arts.

The grounds of Cape Cod Lighthouse are open year round, and occasional tours in the lighthouse are offered during the summer months.

In Truro, enjoy wine tasting at the Truro Vineyards. Visitors will also find nature trails, tours, and exhibits at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

Race Point Lighthouse provides overnight stays for visitors at the Keeper’s dwelling and the Whistle House during the summers months. Art’s Dune Tours offers trips out to the lighthouse on Sundays.

Provincetown provides visitors with many galleries, museums, outdoor activities and nightlife. Visit the Whydah Museum to see real pirate treasure and artifacts from the only verified pirate ship, the Whyda, which sank off the coast of Provincetown in 1717. The Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown has the nation’s tallest granite structure.

Pilgrim Monument


Hike along the jetty to Wood End light.

To reach Wood End Lighthouse in Provincetown, you can walk the half-mile breakwater during low tide, and then hike another three quarters of a mile through sand to reach Wood End lighthouse.

To visit Long Point Lighthouse in Provincetown by foot, you'll need to make a strenuous, 3-mile walk, past Wood End light, to the lighthouse. Flyer’s Boat Yard rents kayaks and also provides shuttle service to Long Point Lighthouse (better idea).

Sandy Neck Lighthouse is part of the Sandy Neck Conservation, located in Sandwich. To access the lighthouse it is a 6-mile hike, or you can view it across the harbor at the Barnstable beach parking lot. The Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra is also located in this area for outdoor concerts in the summer months.

Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises passes by Sandy Neck Lighthouse on their whale watching cruises and Cape Cod Bay Charters pass by the lighthouse on its fishing charters.

 

 

Boat Tours: Lighthouses on Cape Cod

Boat cruises mentioned below offer many types of cruises. While some may offer specific lighthouse cruises, some will pass by specific lighthouses as part of charters, narrated wildlife and historic tours, ferrying passengers, whale watching, fishing tours and other types of excursions. Contact info is provided to help you plan your special trips to New England’s shorelines. Enjoy!

 

Captain John Whale Watching and Fishing Tours
Plymouth to Provincetown ferry, or whale watching cruises may pass by the lighthouses.
10 Town Wharf
Plymouth, Mass.
Phone: (800) 225-4000
(508) 747-2400

Lighthouses: Long Point Lighthouse, Wood End Lighthouse, Duxbury Pier Lighthouse, Plymouth (Gurnet) Light

 

Liberté, The Schooner
Three-masted sailing schooner departs 3 times a day from Falmouth Harbor, sailing conditions depend on route. Sailing may include around Woods Hole, Elizabeth Islands, or out to Martha's Vineyard, around Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven.
227 Clinton Avenue
Falmouth , MA 02540
Phone: (508) 524-9121
Fax: (508) 548-1569
E-mail: Theliberte@aol.com

Lighthouses: Nobska lighthouse, East Chop lighthouse, West Chop lighthouse

 

Steamship Ferry
Ferry to and from Wood’s Hole and Hyannis to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island
(508) 495-FAST (3278)
Woods Hole: (508) 548-3788
Vineyard Haven: (508) 693-0367
Oak Bluffs: (508) 693-0125
Hyannis: (508) 771-4000
Nantucket: (508) 228-0262
General Offices (508) 548-5011

Lighthouse: Nobska lighthouse

 

Hy-Line Cruises
Hyannis harbor, Cape Cod Canal, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island
220 Ocean St
Hyannis, Mass. 02601
(800) 492-8082

Lighthouse: Hyannis Harbor Lighthouse

 

Catboat Rides
Sailing cruises includes Hyannis Harbor
PO Box 458
Hyannis Port, Mass. 02647
(508) 775-0222
(800) 308-1837

Lighthouses: Hyannis Harbor Lighthouse, Point Gammon Lighthouse

 

 

Monomoy Island Excursions
They provide wildlife refuge tours that pass by the Monomoy Point Lighthouse. Wildlife and lighthouse tours around Chatham Lighthouse and Stage Harbor Lighthouse are also offered. You can also schedule a ferry service to to Nantucket Island.

702 Main Street
Route 28
Harwich Port, Massachusetts 02646
(508) 430-7772
Email: monomoy2@verizon.net

Lighthouses: Monomoy Point Lighthouse, Chatham Lighthouse, Stage Harbor Light

 

 

Monomoy Island Ferry
Wildlife refuge tours that visit the Monomoy Point Lighthouse (minimum 6 people).
(508) 945-5450
KeithLincoln@comcast.net

Lighthouse: Monomoy Point Lighthouse

 

 

Chatham Water Tours
Guided Monomoy seal/nature tours, lobstering cruises & sunset cruises. View seals, Chatham's fishing fleet, Shore Road homes, North Beach, and Chatham Light. Departs from Chatham Fish Pier. You'll find all tours pass by Chatham lighthouse.

54 Barcliff Road Extension
Chatham, MA, 02633
(508) 237-2564

Lighthouse: Chatham Light

 

Beachcomber Boat Tours
Seal watching excursions that may pass by Chatham light.
P.O. Box 42
North Chatham, MA 02650
(508) 945-5265
E-mail: sealtours@aol.com

Lighthouse: Chatham Light

 

 

Flyer's Boat Yard
Rents kayaks and also provides shuttle service to Long Point.
131A Commercial Street
Box 561
Provincetown, Mass. 02657
(508) 487-0518

Lighthouses: Long Point Lighthouse, Wood End Lighthouse

 

 

Bay State Cruises
Ferries from Boston to Provincetown
200 Seaport Blvd.
Suite 75
Boston, Mass. 02210
(877) 783-3779

Lighthouses: Long Point Lighthouse, Wood End Lighthouse

 

 

Schooner Bay Lady II
Sailing excursions from Provincetown Harbor to Cape Cod Bay may pass by the Lighthouses
20 Berry Lane
Provincetown, Mass. 02657
(508) 487-9308
info@sailcapecod.com
Lighthouses: Long Point Lighthouse, Wood End Lighthouse


 

Air Flights on Cape Cod

 

Cape Air Travel
A year-round scheduled plane service to the Martha’s Vineyard Airport from Boston, Hyannis, Nantucket, New Bedford, and Providence.
800-635-8787
508-228-6234

 

Additional Resources
For All You Massachusetts Visitors

Cape Cod Guide

Massachusetts Off The Beaten Path

Cape and Islands Beaches

Visit New England Site

Cape Cod Arts and Artisans Trails

Massachusetts
Lighthouse List

Whale Watching and Boat Tours

Cape Cod Beaches

Cape Cod Hiking and Biking Trails

Eastern Massachusetts National Wildlife Refuge Complex

 

 

My book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, published by Schiffer Publishing, provides special human interest stories from each of the 92 lighthouses in southern New England, along with plenty of indoor and outdoor coastal attractions and tours you can explore.

In the book you'll find historic rescues from the Cape Cod region, including the rescue near Wood End light of survivors during the "Portland Gale," the tragedy of two locals trying to save those shipwrecked near Cape Cod light, and the disaster of the Monomoy Lifesavers, where most of the crew perished due to careless errors by those whom they were trying to rescue.

Look inside!

 

 

 

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