Visiting Delaware’s Famous Lighthouses

Located on the east coast of the United States, Delaware is home to some of the most iconic lighthouses in the country. With its rich history and stunning coastal views, Delaware’s lighthouses make for an ideal tourist destination. In this article, we will explore some of Delaware’s famous lighthouses, their history, and what makes them unique.

Cape Henlopen Lighthouse

Built-in 1767, the Cape Henlopen Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses in the country. The lighthouse served as a beacon for ships entering the Delaware Bay for almost 200 years before being deactivated in 1924. In 1976, the lighthouse was restored and opened to the public as a maritime museum.

The Cape Henlopen Lighthouse is located in Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, Delaware, and visitors can climb the 112 steps to the top for a panoramic view of Delaware Bay.

Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse

Located at the entrance of the Delaware Bay, the Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse was built-in 1926 to mark the dangerous shoals in the bay. The lighthouse is constructed out of reinforced concrete and was designed to withstand severe weather conditions.

Today, the lighthouse is owned by the State of Delaware and is open for visitors to climb the 45-foot tower to the top, which offers a magnificent view of the Atlantic Ocean.

Fenwick Island Lighthouse

The 87-foot Fenwick Island Lighthouse was built in 1858 to guide ships away from the dangerous Fenwick Shoals. The lighthouse still operates today, guiding vessels through the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean.

The Fenwick Island Lighthouse is located on Route 1 in Fenwick Island, Delaware, and visitors can climb to the top for a panoramic view of the beach and surrounding area.

List of Other Lighthouses to Visit

Apart from these three famous lighthouses, Delaware also boasts a number of other lighthouses that are worth visiting for their historical and architectural significance.

Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse

Built in 1885, this lighthouse is located on the Delaware Breakwater and served as a beacon for ships entering the Atlantic Ocean through the Delaware Bay.

Ship John Shoal Lighthouse

This conical-shaped lighthouse stands 45 feet tall and was built in 1877 to mark the dangerous Ship John Shoals in the Delaware Bay.

Mispillion River Lighthouse

This unique lighthouse has an octagonal shape and a cast-iron structure. The lighthouse is located on the Mispillion River in Milford, Delaware and was built-in 1873 to help guide sailors on the river.


Delaware’s famous lighthouses not only serve an important function in aiding the safety of passing ships, but they also offer visitors a glimpse into the state’s history, as well as stunning views of the surrounding areas. From the oldest lighthouse in the country to the more modern, concrete Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse, Delaware’s lighthouses are worth visiting due to their architectural and historical significance.

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