Massachusetts Lighthouses:
Cape Cod Region

Nauset lighthouse

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

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. Ferries that take visitors to the islands are also shown.

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



Cape Cod Lighthouses:
Best Viewed By Boat (Or Very Long Hikes)

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

Note: Long Point Lighthouse you can hike during low tide, however, it is 3 miles one way over the jetty and through soft sand. Most visitors take a daily boat shuttle from Provincetown Harbor instead.


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 Harbor to Martha's Vineyard daily during the summer season.

ferry leaving falmouth harbor

Ferry heading out to Martha's Vineyard.

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.

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.

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 Woods Hole Science 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 considered as the hub of Cape Cod, known for its beaches like Kalmus Park Beach, and for the private Kennedy Compound at nearby Hyannis Port. Yarmouth and Dennis offer a huge selection of cultural events, including plenty of nightlife and music, museums, and miles of beaches in the area. Head down to Hyannis Harbor to view Hyannis Harbor (Lewis Bay) Lighthouse guiding ferries and boat traffic in and out of the harbor.

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

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.

Bass River (West Dennis) Lighthouse is part of the Lighthouse Inn and is open for occasional tours in the summer season. You'll not only have great beach views, but also can see the lighthouse tower on the roof of the Inn.

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

Before reaching Chatham, visitors can hike a mile from Hardings Beach for a nice view of the headless Stage Harbor (Hardings beach) Lighthouse. stage harbor lighthouse in the distance

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.

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.  

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. There are also tours that will take you out to view the island from the water.

seals on beach near Monomoy lighthouse

Seals resting on the beach in front of the lighthouse.

Monomoy is 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 with its many trails.

In the park, just off from Route 6, you'll find the Eastham Windmill, the oldest windmill on the Cape, originally built in Plymouth in the 1680's. eastham mill oldest

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.

cape cod seashore nauset light beach Enjoy the views from 100-foot cliffs at Nauset 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.

The grounds of Cape Cod Lighthouse are open year round, and occasional tours inside the lighthouse are offered during the summer months. Truro offers bike paths, nature trails and ten public beaches.

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 provincetown museum

Pilgrim Monument

To reach Wood End Lighthouse in Provincetown, you can walk the half-mile breakwater during low tide.
View of Wood End Light from Jetty

Hike along the jetty
to Wood End Light.

From the jetty visitors must 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 can either make a strenuous, 3-mile walk, past Wood End light, to the lighthouse. Or, use Flyer’s Boat Yard out of the harbor to either rent a kayak, or why not just take their daily shuttle service to Long Point Lighthouse (better idea).

whale's tail From Provincetown, visitors can choose to go on whale watches out of Provincetown harbor.

Choose from either Provincetown’s Dolphin Fleet and Captain John Boats, which may also provide views of Long Point lighthouse out of the harbor.

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 excursions.


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. 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

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


Steamship Authority
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

Lighthouses: Nobska Lighthouse, Hyannis Harbor Lighthouse, Brant Point Lighthouse


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

Lighthouses: Hyannis Harbor Lighthouse and Brant Point Lighthouse


Bay Spirit Tours
Sailing cruises includes Hyannis Harbor lighthouse cruise, sunset cruises, and special charter cruises that include Point Gammon light and Hyannis Harbor light. Wind directions always determine sailing.
180 Ocean Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Phone: 508-771-0107

Lighthouses: Hyannis Harbor lighthouse, Point Gammon lighthouse


Monomoy Island Ferry
They provide wildlife refuge tours that allow visitors to walk to Monomoy Point Lighthouse, and whale watching and fishing excursions.

Stage Harbor Marine
80 Bridge Street
Chatham, Massachusetts 02633
(508) 237-0420

Lighthouse: Monomoy Point lighthouse


Monomoy Island Excursions
Wildlife refuge tours that visit the Monomoy Point lighthouse (minimum 6 people), seals, and Stage Harbor light.
(508) 430-7772

Lighthouse: Monomoy Point lighthouse, Stage Harbor 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

Lighthouse: Chatham Light


Flyer's Boat Yard
Rents kayaks, has sunset cruises, and also provides shuttle service to Long Point lighthouse, on the Long Point Shuttle.
131A Commercial Street
Box 561
Provincetown, Mass. 02657
(508) 487-0898

Lighthouses: Long Point Lighthouse, Wood End Lighthouse


Bay State Cruises
Ferries from Boston to Provincetown
200 Seaport Blvd.
Suite 75
Boston, Mass. 02210
(617) 748-1428

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
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.


Books to Explore

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

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

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 each of these eleven mighty ships. Many of these events occurred while sailing around the dangerous shoals of Cape Cod.



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!

book about lighthouses and local coastal atttractions 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.

Included are the stories of the wreck of the Josephus by Highland Light, and the tragedy of the lifesavers of Monomoy Light. 

In one of New England's most devastating storms, you'll find stories of the sinking of the giant steamship Portland near Race Point Light and rescue by Wood End Light, and the story of the Gloucester that outran the storm.

You'll find this book and my lighthouse tourism books published by Schiffer Books, or they can be found in many fine bookstores like Barnes and Noble.



Back to Top