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Massachusetts Lighthouses:
North Shore and Cape Ann Regions

Eastern Point lighthouse in Gloucester

Marblehead, Salem, Rockport, Gloucester, Annisquam,
and Newburyport

Cape Ann and the North Shore area of Massachusetts is comprised of a predominantly rocky coastline with Salem, Gloucester, and Newburyport harbors as its main shipping ports. Many of the lighthouses built were to protect and guide mariners into these harbors and the surrounding areas. Those affluent communities of Marblehead, Beverly, and Annisquam, provide visitors spectacular shoreline views and 19th century architecture from the many wealthy mariners and merchants who benefited from the growing whaling and shipping industries in the region. Rockport is still one of New England’s main artist attractions with its picturesque harbor painted over the centuries.


North Shore and Cape Ann Lighthouses
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.


North Shore and Cape Ann Lighthouses:
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:
Boston North Shore and
Cape Ann Regions

Boston offers plenty of cultural and varied events and nightlife to enjoy, including events at the New England Aquarium and Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

Explore the Nation’s oldest Naval ship, the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides), or take guided walking tours to Boston’s historic places, like the Freedom Trail, or the Bunker Hill Monument.

Marblehead promotes many sailing events attracting sailors from all over the globe.

Marble Head lightouse in Chandler Hover Park The Marblehead lighthouse grounds are open year round in Chandler Hovey Park, also known as Lighthouse Point, on Marblehead Neck.

The Salem Maritime National Historic Site exhibits marine artifacts from Salem’s early days.

The Friendship is a replica of an eighteenth century trade vessel docked along the wharf, which visitors can also explore. You can take the half-mile walk to Derby Wharf to Derby Wharf Lighthouse and enjoy views of Salem harbor. salem friendship sloop vessel

Visit the Peabody-Essex Museum, which exhibits New England’s art and cultural history and exhibits from around the world, and Salem’s House of Seven Gables, built in 1668, or The Salem Witch Museum.

Both Fort Pickering (Winter Island) Light and Derby Wharf Light are easily accessible for visitors who feel like exploring the surrounding area. Winter Island Park offers campsites, picnic areas, and a short beach for visitors.

The Essex National Heritage Area group will take you aboard the Naumkeag, and are the only group allowed to take visitors to explore the grounds around Bakers Island Lighthouse to explore the island and lighthouse grounds. Tours are also provided in the lighthouse itself.

The North Shore Music Theater in Beverly offers professional concerts for everyone. Lynch Park provides a close view of Hospital Point Lighthouse.

Rockport is a picturesque community painted and photographed by many artists. Rockport Harbor

Visitors can explore Thacher Island to view the two Thacher Island (also known as Twin Lights) lighthouses if they join the Thacher Island Association during the summer months. There are also rustic campsites available nearby with reservations.

The city of Gloucester offers plenty of deep-sea fishing and whale watching cruises that pass by Ten Pound Island and Eastern Point lighthouses. The surrounding area heading out towards Eastern Point lighthouse is also a mecca for artists. The Cape Anne Museum, offers exhibits and events in art, history and culture of the Cape Ann area.

Visitors can drive to Gloucester’s Eastern Point Lighthouse and hike along the half-mile jetty to gain a unique perspective to the lighthouse. Many fish off the jetty as well. Eastern Point light view from jetty

Newburyport offers plenty of history, shops, concerts, and great restaurants. You can also book a dinner reservation to have dinner atop the tower of the Newburyport Rear Range Light (brick tower).

Plum Island beach MA Visit the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island for hiking, and bird watching, along with its pristine beaches.

On the other side of Plum Island you can visit the grounds of Plum Island Lighthouse, also known as Newburyport Harbor Light. The Friends of Plum Island Light offers tours of the Plum Island Lighthouse in the open season.

The Newburyport Whale Watch offers trips to New Hampshire's Isles of Shoals to explore the islands and view White Island Lighthouse.

If you enjoy live music, take the Newburyport Blues Cruise. For wildlife and sunset cruises in Newburyport Harbor, try Harbor Tours.

The Newbury Historic District is an outside museum of 27 reconstructed and restored buildings from 1650 to the early 1900's. Visit the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm and explore unfurnished rooms that reveal unique construction techniques used within the past three centuries.

Maudslay State Park features 19th century gardens, and trails along the Merrimac River.



Boat Tours: Lighthouses in Boston North Shore
and Cape Ann Regions

While boats 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. Weather is also a major factor in New England, especially on sailing excursions. Charters may be available to provide trips to specific lighthouses.


Boston Harbor Cruises
Currently providing many types of cruises around Boston Harbor and its nearby lighthouses. They have provided the Salem Harbor Shuttle which provides stops between four convenient waterfronts, along Salem and the surrounding area's emerging waterfront, and a convenient morning and afternoon scheduled route between Marblehead and Salem. One Long Wharf
Boston, Mass. 02110
(617) 720-9254


Mahi Mahi Cruises & Charters
Among daily cruises in Salem Harbor, they provide specialized lighthouse cruises as part of their Early Summer Lighthouse Cruise and the Lighthouse Fall Foliage Cruise.

P.O. Box 3063
Salem, MA
Phone: (800) 992-MAHI (6244)

Lighthouses: Derby Wharf Light, Fort Pickering Lighthouse, Hospital Point Lighthouse, Baker's Island Light, and Marblehead Lighthouse.


Sailing Schooner Fame
Replica of an early 1800’s schooner for sailing around Salem Harbor.

Pickering Wharf Marina
(978) 729-7600
Fax (978) 561-3021

Lighthouses: Derby Wharf Light, Fort Pickering Lighthouse, Hospital Point Lighthouse


Cape Ann Whale Watch
15 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930
PHONE: (800) 877-5110
FAX: (978) 283-0181

May Pass By These Lighthouses: Eastern Point Lighthouse, Ten Pound Island Light, Thacher Island Twin Lights


7 Seas Whale Watch
Seven Sea's Whale Watch
63 Rogers Street (next to the Gloucester House Restaurant)
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930

May Pass by These Lighthouses: Eastern Point Light, Ten Pound Island Light


Schooner Thomas E. Lannon
This 2-masted 65-foot fishing schooner (90-feet overall) is planked with white oak below the waterline and with elegant mahogany above the waterline, with masts of Douglas fir. She has mostly 2-hour public sails, which include sunset, music, star gazing, moonlight, and fireworks, along with Tuesday Special and Sunday morning sailing cruises. Charters are also available.

63R Rogers Street Rte. 127, Gloucester, MA 01930
Phone: (978) 281-6634

Lighthouses: Ten Pound Island Light and Eastern Point Light


Thacher Island Association
Trip offered for members (very inexpensive membership that helps with lighthouse preservation) to explore Thacher Island and members can stay overmight in a rustic campground on the island.
P.O. Box 73
Rockport, MA 01966
Launch Reservations: (617) 599-2590
Camping and Mooring Reservations: (508) 284-0144

Lighthouses: Thacher Island Twin Lights


Cape Ann Harbor Tours
In addition to its lobstering and harbor tours, they provide a special Cape Ann Lighthouse Cruise all along Cape Ann.

P.O. Box 719
Gloucester, MA 01930
(978) 283-1979

Lighthouses: Annisquam Light, Eastern Point Light, Ten Pound Island Light, Straitsmouth Island Light, and Thatcher Island Twin Lights.


Yankee Clipper Harbor Tours
Offers various eco, wildlife, sunset and dinner tours that may pass by the lighthouses.

1 Merrimac Landing #26
Newburyport, MA
(603) 682-2293

May Pass By these Lighthouses: Newburyport Harbor Range Lights, Plum Island (Newburyport Harbor) Light


Newburyport Whale Watch
Fishing, whale watching, dinner and fireworks cruises leave the harbor by the range lights and sometimes pass by Plum Island Light.

4 Merrimac Street
Newburyport, MA 01950
Phone: (800) 848-1111 or (978) 499-0832 (outside New England)

May Pass By These Lighthouses: Newburyport Harbor Range Lights, Newburyport Harbor (Plum Island) Light, Isles of Shoals (White Island) Light in NH


Friends of Plum Island Light
Offer periodic tours inside the Plum Island (Newburyport Harbor) Lighthouse, and Newburyport Range Lighthouses.

PO Box 381
Newburyport, MA 01950
(978) 463-2867

Lighthouses: Newburyport Harbor Range Lights, Newburyport Harbor (Plum Island)


Newburyport Blues Cruise
Live music provided and sometimes will pass by the range lights heading out of the harbor.

PO Box 310
Newburyport MA 01950-0310
Phone: (978) 463-7878 | Fax: (302) 371-7878

May Pass By These Lighthouses: Newburyport Harbor Range Lights


Books to Explore

book of the rise and demise of the largest sailing ships

To order a signed paperback copy:

Available also 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 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, including competitions, accidents, battling destructive storms, acts of heroism, and their final voyages.



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 helpful contact info.

In the book, with stories from each lighthouse, you'll find local special stories especially in this historic region, along with sailing and other attractions to explore.

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 Maria Bray's heroism in keeping both towers of the Thacher Island Twin Lights lit during the holiday storm of 1864, and Milo the Rescue Dog by Egg Rock Light.

In one of New England's most devastating storms during the Thanksgiving week of 1898, you'll find stories of the sinking of the giant steamship Portland leaving Boston for Portland, Maine, and rescues in this "Perfect Storm".

You'll also find my interview with one of the last lighthouse keepers of the 1950's, Paul Baptiste, who was keeper at Bakers Island Light and Monhegan Island Light in Maine. This story helps to understand and appreciate what life was like for he and his family at these lighthouses.

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.


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