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Whether it is taking a picture next to Eastern Point Lighthouse or taking in the spectacular views of Annisquam, there is perhaps no better summer experience than visiting the lighthouses that pepper the coastline of Boston’s North Shore. These lighthouses undoubtedly add to the romance of New England’s landscape. Here are six must-see lighthouses to visit this summer:

Annisquam Harbor Light Station, Gloucester

Standing 40 feet tall, the Annisquam Lighthouse in Gloucester touches the Annisquam River for which it is named. In 1931, the Coast Guard added a foghorn to this impressive lighthouse after the request of many fishermen and mariners. The nearby lighthouse keeper’s house remains mostly original to this day. The best spot from which to view the lighthouse is nearby Wingaersheek Beach. This lighthouse also has been featured on the silver screen, appearing in the film The Women (2008).

Eastern Point Lighthouse, Gloucester

Eastern Point Light

Situated in the sea-faring town of Gloucester, Eastern Point Lighthouse offers some spectacular views for those visiting. Commonly known as America’s oldest seaport, Gloucester’s harbor has welcomed fishermen, whalers, and mariners as early as 1616 with the Eastern Point Lighthouse standing as a welcoming beacon since 1832. The lighthouse itself is complete with an iron lantern and a copper dome that glistens in the sunlight. Visitors can park in the adjacent Mass Audubon parking lot ($10 per vehicle for nonmembers) at the end of Eastern Point Boulevard and stroll the nearly half-mile-long granite breakwater for stunning views back to the lighthouse.

Bakers Island Light Station, Salem

Bakers Island Light Station

Sailing across Salem Sound you might happen upon this historic lighthouse located on Bakers Island, Massachusetts. The light station, which occupies 10 acres of land, has been continually run by the government since 1798. Since 2014, the land upon which the lighthouse sits has been owned by the Essex National Heritage Commission. Solomon Blake, a Boston-based contractor, designed and built the building for just $3,674.57 in 1798 – and it is still going strong. Essex Heritage runs boat trips to the island throughout the summer, and even offers overnights and camping options.

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Plum Island Lighthouse, Newburyport

Plum Island Lighthouse

First lit in 1788 by good old-fashioned whale oil, this historic lighthouse was the 13th ever built in the United States. The strong currents of the Merrimack River and Newburyport Harbor made this beacon a welcoming guide to those mariners fighting the shifting tides of the harbor. In 1927, the lighthouse underwent significant transformations and went completely electric after years of storms battering its exterior. Today the city of Newburyport manages and owns the site. Visitors can park in nearby public spots and explore the grounds of the lighthouse, or visit to sign up for a tour of the interior run by The Friends of the Plum Island Light.

Marblehead Light, Marblehead

Marblehead Light

While not the most classically pretty lighthouse of the lot, this one-of-a-kind, 105-foot-tall tower boasts an impressive story. With its unique skeletal structure, this lighthouse is the only of its kind in the New England region. Like many early lighthouses, Marblehead Light originally featured whale-oil-burning lamps inside the structure to keep mariners safe from Marblehead’s rocky shores. This was later updated to a Fresnel lens and reflectors. Up close, the lighthouse also features two bronze plaques describing the history of the lighthouse as well as its first lighthouse keepers. Located in Chandler Hovey Park at the end of Follett Street on Marblehead Neck, the lighthouse is one of the most convenient in the region to visit.

Twin Lights on Thacher Island, Rockport

Thacher Island

One mile off the shore of Rockport, Thacher Island is home to a pair of towering lighthouses. In 1861, two beautiful granite lighthouses were constructed standing 298 yards apart on the island. In 1932, the North Tower was shut down, and the South Tower was later electrified by a submarine cable to keep the light running at all times. In 1989, the North Tower was relit in an effort to keep the history of the twin lighthouses alive. Today, visitors can enjot the towers, stroll miles of trails, and even camp out on the island. To visit, reserve a spot on one of the occasional boat trips run by the Thacher Island Association, or take your own kayak or small boat over to the island. For more information visit