For some unexplained reason, our family loves to visit and climb lighthouses. They are definitely a piece of history you can feel a part of. Climbing up the stairs to the light at the top knowing that this structure was commissioned by our first president, George Washington, that the view from the top reveals a history of ship wrecks in the water below, or even its military role in protecting our shores, gives you a sense of historical depth. Some people collect Hard Rock glasses when they travel, we climb lighthouses.
Horton’s Point Lighthouse adds to a great day trip to the North Fork. There is a small museum with exhibits of marine and nautical objects, paintings, and documents. There is also a small collection of furnishings and tools (ie; sextant, spyglass). It’s an easy climb to the top of this lighthouse which is only two floors. The grounds are small but well maintained for a brief tour or a picnic. Next to the parking lot, you can find a staircase that leads down to the beach. Another great spot for a walk or picnic on a nice day. This is not a “swimming” beach, but you can definitely put your feet in the water as you walk along the shore.
You can combine this trip with a visit to any of the quaint villages in Southold Township- Mattituck, Greenport, Orient, Southold and Cutchogue. Mattituck, Greenport and Southold have some nice places to eat. Greenport is a terrific village to spend half a day with restaurants, ice cream, interesting shops, and (another one of our favorites…) a carousel.
We found this lighthouse really unique and interesting with the decor and the view. A personal favorite is the gargoyle at each corner of the lighthouse roof that collects rain and redirects it away from the structure. Learning about “Dead Man’s Cove” was another unexpected treat. There have been a documented thirteen shipwrecks (before the lighthouse was erected) off the point that you can see in the right conditions (preferably low tide and calm waters). We were told that this was a popular scuba diving spot. Binoculars would be a great item to bring for a really good view of the shipwrecks!
Admission to the Lighthouse is $5.00 per person or $10.00 per family. The grounds are open year round, while the lighthouse itself is open seasonally- Memorial Day through Columbus Day, Saturday & Sunday 11:30am – 4:00 pm. There is no charge for parking, but the lot is small.
Horton’s Point Lighthouse is on the State & National Registers of Historic Places.
Horton’s Point Lighthouse is located at the north end of Lighthouse Road in Southold, NY. (From Highway 25 in Southold, turn north on Youngs Avenue and continue for just over a mile until it ends at Old North Road. Turn right on Old North Road, and then make a quick left on Lighthouse Road, which will lead you to the park and Horton Point Lighthouse.)
For some more fun facts about lighthouses visit: http://www.us-lighthouses.com/faq.php
Family Adventure Rating ♥
Cost– This is a low cost trip. Not including your travel costs, a family of five can visit here for $10.
Parking & Transportation– The parking lot is free, but also small. The size probably accommodates the usual number of visitors they receive. The property is located on the water through a residential community. There are no public transportation options directly to the property and it may not be feasible to take the railroad and taxi service unless you live relatively close.
Location– Specifically for this adventure, this is a terrific location. You are high above the sound on a cliff overlooking historical shipwrecks. Beautiful and interesting views. If you have time after the lighthouse, the beach is but a staircase away. I’ve seen fishing, but I don’t believe swimming is allowed. However, people do dive at the shipwrecks.
Day Trip or Overnight– This is a day trip. It’s not too far off Route 48 (to Orient Point) or Route 25 (to Greenport). It would be a great addition to your trip to Orient Point State Park, the Orient Point Ferry, or the Greenport Village.
Experience– This is a quiet adventure of exploration and history that could easily include an afternoon nap on the beach or picnic lunch on the lawn.