All photos courtesy of the United States Lighthouse Society
The United States Lighthouse Society is a non-profit historical and educational organization that seeks to preserve and share the history of lighthouses and maritime culture in the United States. As part of its mission, this organization maintains a database of lighthouses that are available to rent across 15 different states (with one Canadian lighthouse thrown in for good measure).
But why stay at or even visit a lighthouse in the first place? These (now antiquated) beacons have a roughly 300-year legacy of helping ocean-going vessels navigate and avoid dangerous areas along the coast. But modern technology has taken over the job of the isolated lighthouse keeper. Now, pole-mounted remote-controlled aerobeacons have become the norm.
This is where the United States Lighthouse Society comes in. They were founded to help local groups preserve and restore these historic structures, creating educational opportunities and winning much federal recognition in the process. Some of their awards include:
- White House, the Preserve America Steward Award
- California Governor’s Historic Preservation Award
- U.S. Department of the Transportation Award for Outstanding Public Service and Historic Preservation
- Senate Rules Committee Commendation
- American Lighthouse Council’s prestigious Holland Award
A quick visit to the lighthouse rental database provides many unique destinations to visit. Stays fall into a variety of categories including bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals, hostels, lighthouse keeper for a fee, and volunteer host keeper opportunities.
While all of these options provide an interesting way to visit a historic lighthouse, the volunteer host keeper might be the most interesting to the overlanding community. This particular type of stay generally requires that you perform keeper duties in exchange for free accommodations which could include an RV hookup or small housing option.
No matter what kind of stay you are looking for, the best place to start your search is on the lighthouse accommodations page of the United States Lighthouse Society website.
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