Sandy Hook Lighthouse
Gateway National Recreation Area Q1
Route 36 at Sandy Hook, Highlands
Near the tip of Sandy Hook is the oldest working
lighthouse in the United States. The lighthouse was
first lit on June 11, 1764, to assist ships navigating
into New York Harbor. During the Revolutionary War,
this lighthouse was captured by the British. When
patriot troops tried to destroy it in 1776 to end the
occupation, they found the structure strong enough
to withstand their artillery, and it remained in the
hands of the British until the end of the war. The
grounds are open daily, with weekend tours of the
interior from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Sea Girt Lighthouse P12
Ocean Ave. & Beacon Blvd., Sea Girt
In 1889, Congress approved $20,000 for the
establishment of a lighthouse in the vicinity of Squan
Inlet, and the Sea Girt Lighthouse became the last
live-in lighthouse constructed on the Atlantic Coast.
The structure was equipped with a fourth-order Fresnel
lens, lighted by a kerosene lamp, and was visible 16
miles out at sea. The restored lighthouse interior is
open to the public on Sundays from 1 to 4 pm.
Photo by ShoreGrafx
Twin Lights Q4
Lighthouse Road, Highlands
Nowhere else on the eastern seaboard have man and nature conspired to
produce such a magnificent vista. On a clear day, the New York skyline,
Verrazano Bridge, all of Sandy Hook, the ocean, the bay and even Coney
Island can be seen in all their glory. But that’s just one of the reasons to
visit Twin Lights, sitting majestically atop the Navesink Highlands. The
towers connect visitors with a unique combination of history, nature
and technology. The view is spectacular. The museum and grounds are
delightful. And it’s all free.
More than 200 feet above sea level, Twin Lights has stood sentinel over
the coastal waters of northern New Jersey since 1828. As the primary
seacoast light for New York Harbor, it was the brightest light on the Atlantic
Coast for generations of seafarers. The first Fresnel lens was used here,
and it was one of the first electrically lit lighthouses in the country. Twin
Lights was decommissioned in 1949, and today visitors can tour the
gallery and lighthouse, see the 9-foot bivalve lens on display and climb
the North Tower for a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean. Twin Lights
is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. If you’re
into Geocaching or Letterboxing, visit the Twin Lights on Saturday and
Sunday afternoons to discover interesting features about the lighthouse.
Go to twinlightslighthouse.com for times and additional information. The
lighthouse is open daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day and Wednesday
through Sunday the rest of the year.
Photo by M. Colarusso
Monmouth County is home to three
working lighthouses that have
played key roles in American history.