It's our third edition of Gothamist's travel content, Gothamist Getaways. A few times a year, we'll have a week of posts featuring looks at travel, food, products and tips—near and far—for making your trips more enjoyable. So sit back, dream of your next journey and let us know if you have any hints for us—email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This autumn, NYC will be home to a Lighthouse Museum on Staten Island and the city will also host the 22nd Annual Little Red Lighthouse Festival. Maybe ships don't need them anymore due to computerized navigational systems, and they attract more tourists than boats to the shoreline, but if you’re interested in history, architecture and great views, consider checking out some of these area lighthouses. From coastal Connecticut to Hudson, NY to New Jersey, enjoy these perfect early fall escapes.
The Ledge Lighthouse (Custom House Maritime Museum)
New London Lighthouse Tours
Through October, you can see three New London area lighthouses on the New London Maritime Society’s fifty-five minute narrated Lighthouse Harbor Tour in Connecticut. Until the end of September you can hop aboard the Ledge Lighthouse boat tour. It’s a two and half hour tour with an hour visit to the lighthouse (above). They also offer lighthouse boat tour weekend packages with local lodgings.
Built in 1874 and located on the Hudson River, between Athens and Hudson, this lighthouse is still in service. Departing from the town of Hudson, climb aboard the Little Spirit for a ten-minute cruise over to the lighthouse and a tour of this historic lighthouse by Emily Brunner who lived in the lighthouse in the 1930’s & 40s when her father was the lighthouse keeper.
Did you ever dream of being a lighthouse keeper? Or spending the night in a lighthouse? Book a room at the bed and breakfast at the Saugerties Lighthouse. Due to its small size and popularity, they are full until January 2015, but contact them about cancellations. If not, book a winter weekend at the lighthouse.
Sandy Hook Lighthouse (cseeman/Flickr)
Sandy Hook Lighthouse
Yes, the Nation’s oldest working lighthouse is just across the water in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Lighthouse tours are offered daily from 1pm-4:30pm. Pack some binoculars because Sandy Hook is also great spot for bird watching.
Little Red Lighthouse Festival
On Oct 11th from 12-4pm, New Yorkers celebrate the city's only remaining lighthouse, just under the George Washington Bridge. Get there early because tickets for tours fill up early. With food vendors, fishing clinics, and a reading of the classic children’s book The Little Red Lighthouse and The Great Gray Bridge, the festival attracts a family friendly crowd.
You don’t have to wait until the new museum opens in November, prior to the opening the museum is offering a fall foliage lighthouse boat tour and other activities, including a lecture series. Check out their website for updates.
Alison Lowenstein, Gothamist Getaways editor, is the author of NYC guidebooks, and travel articles for National Geographic Traveler, Newsday, NY Daily News, Travelandleisure.com, etc. When she isn’t planning trips, she enjoys jogging around the streets of NYC. Despite her athletic pursuits, her favorite food is the donut. You can find her on Twitter at @cityweekendsnyc