Connecticut Lighthouses:
Southeastern Region

Stonington Harbor lighthouse

New London, Groton, Noank, and Stonington


Connecticut’s rocky shoreline and its many treacherous ledges and islands in Fisher’s Island Sound and Long Island Sound, constantly kept mariners on the alert, claiming the lives of many during New England’s fierce storms.

The lighthouses were built in Southeast Connecticut to accommodate the increasing traffic for the fishing and whaling industries in guiding mariners around the rocky ledges of Fisher’s Island into New London’s frequently foggy harbor, and around the dangerous ledges at the entrance to that harbor, into Stonington Harbor, and traffic entering the Mystic River.

 

Connecticut Lighthouses in the
New London and Stonington Regions
You Can Drive or Hike To

Click any lighthouse image or link below to find out information about each lighthouse, including historical stories, directions, tours, photos, and nearby attractions.

new london harbor lighthouse

New London Harbor Light

avery point light

Avery Point Light

 

Connecticut Lighthouses in the
New London and Stonington Regions -
Best Viewed by Boat

Click any lighthouse image or link below to find out information about each lighthouse, including historical stories, directions, tours, photos, and nearby attractions.

 

 

Places to Visit:
New London and Stonington Region

Connecticut is rich in history. In New London, the Coast Guard Academy Museum contains artifacts spanning over two hundred years of history of American maritime service.

For family fun, visit Ocean Beach Park, with its beaches, and miniature golf course.

Although the New London Harbor Lighthouse and grounds are closed to the public, close up views can be found along Ocean Avenue. New London Harbor light over beach

From the beach, distant views of New London Ledge lighthouse can be found.

The New London Maritime Society, which also includes the Custom House Maritime Museum, provides special lighthouse tours to climb the tower of New London Harbor Light, and sometimes will provides boat tours out to New London Ledge Lighthouse. At the museum there are plenty of exhibits and events.

the Turtle replica submarine with drawing At Steamboat dock in Essex, the Connecticut River Museum, exhibits a replica of the Turtle, America's first"submarine", which was originally built in 1775.

Take the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat Ride pulled by an authentic steam locomotive.

Mystic Seaport is a recreated 19th century village with a maritime museum, a working preservation shipyard, and four National Historic Landmark vessels. Mystic Seaport village

These include the world's only functional whaling ship, the Charles W. Morgan, and a coal fired wooden steamboat, the Sabino which you can take along the river and get close views of New London Ledge lighthouse. You'll also find a full sized replica of a New England lighthouse constructed familiar to Brant Point Light on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts.

This is where you can explore, learn, and fully experience our New England maritime heritage, as those who've sailed these vessels many years ago.

The Mystic Aquarium nearby provides many exhibits of all kinds of marine life.

In Groton, visit the U.S. Navy Submarine Force Museum, which houses the Nautilus, the first nuclear powered submarine.

The Avery Point Lighthouse is located on the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point campus, just need to check in with the campus police for security. Avery Point lighthouse on the University of Connecticut campus

Stonington is rich in historic architecture from the 18th to the 19th centuries.

Stonington Harbor light as sun sets  Stonington Harbor Lighthouse is now part of the Old Lighthouse Museum owned by the Stonington Historical Society.

The Old Lighthouse Museum still operates today, and boasts as the only lighthouse on the Connecticut mainland that is regularly open to the public.

Stonington is also part of the Connecticut Wine Trail, which showcases Connecticut's wineries.

 

 

 

Boat Tours in Southeastern Connecticut: 
New London and Stonington

Boat cruises mentioned below offer many types of cruises. Enjoy!

 

New London Maritime Society
May provide boat tours out to New London Ledge Lighthouse. They primarilly schedule special lighthouse tours for small groups to climb the tower of New London Harbor Lighthouse.
150 Bank St # L
New London, CT 06320
Email: nlmaritimesociety.org
Phone: (860) 447-2501

Lighthouses: New London Ledge Lighthouse, New London Harbor Lighthouse, and Race Rock Lighthouse (NY)

 

Cross Sound Ferry Cruises
Provdes two lighthouse cruises between southeast Connecticut and Long Islamd Sound lighthouses; The Classic Lighthouse Cruise and the Lights and Sights Cruise.
2 Ferry St
New London, CT 06320
Phone: (631) 323-2525

Lighthouses: Avery Point, New London Ledge Lighthouse, New London Harbor Light, Morgan Point Lighthouse, Watch Hill light (RI), Race Rock (NY), Little Gull (NY), and North Dumpling (NY), Bug (NY), Orient Point (NY), Latimer Reef (NY) and Plum Island (NY)

 

Mystic Seaport
There is a river cruise aboard an old coal fired steamboat from the Mystic Seaport waterfront that also gets a very close view of New London Ledge lighthouse.
75 Greenmanville Ave
Mystic, CT 06355
Phone: (860) 572-0711

Lighthouse: New London Ledge Lighthouse

 

Argia Mystic Sailing Cruises
The Argia is an wooden two-masted schooner sailing ship. They offer Day Sails or Sunset Cruises that explore the seafaring village of Mystic CT, and the surrounding islands. Sailing cruises to see lighthouses are provided usually on Morning (9:30 am), Noon, or Afternoon (3:00 pm) cruises, depending on wind conditions.
The vessel may pass quite close to Morgan Point Lighthouse at the mouth of the Mystic River. Depending on what way the wind and current take you, you may also see North Dumpling Island Lighthouse (NY) and/or Latimer Reef Lighthouse (NY).

Schooner Wharf
12 Steamboat Wharf
Mystic, CT 06355
Phone: (860) 536-0416

Lighthouses: Morgan Point (CT), North Dumpling (NY), and Latimer Reef (NY),

 

 

New Book Just Published Summer 2023!

The Rise and Demise of the Largest Sailing Ships:
Stories of the Six and Seven-Masted
Coal Schooners of New England

book of the rise and demise of the largest sailing ships

To order a signed paperback copy:

Available from bookstores in paperback, hardcover, and as an eBook for all devices.

my ebook on apple books

In the early 1900s, New England shipbuilders constructed the world’s largest sailing ships amid social and political reforms. These giants of sail were the ten original six-masted coal schooners and one colossal seven-masted vessel, built to carry massive quantities of coal and building supplies, and measured longer than a football field!

This book, balanced with plenty of color and vintage images, showcases the historical accounts that followed these mighty ships. These true stories include competitions, accidents, battling destructive storms, acts of heroism, and their final voyages.

Click for larger video here.

 

 

 

My book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, provides lots of special human interest stories from each of the 92 lighthouses, along with plenty of additional indoor and outdoor coastal attractions and tours in the area, with contact info to plan your trip. You'll also find information about haunted lighthouses, local boat cruises and lighthouse tours, and windjamming tours.

 

Look inside!

book about lighthouses in southern New England

 

 

 

 

New England Lighthouses: Famous Shipwrecks, Rescues & Other Tales

This image-rich book contains over 50 stories of famous shipwrecks and rescues around New England lighthouses, and also tales of hauntings that occurred, like those hauntings around New London Ledge Lighthouse.

You'll find this book and my lighthouse tourism books from the publisher Schiffer Books, or in many fine bookstores like Barnes and Noble.

 

 

 

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