Things to Do

10 Chesapeake Bay Lighthouses You Need to See This Summer

Be on the look out for these lighthouses on one of Captain Mike Richards' tours around the bay.

Captain Richards conducts many lighthouse expeditions around the Chesapeake Bay. Photograph of Mike Richards by Thomas E Nolan. Lighthouse illustrations by Michael Hoeweler.

Most of the Chesapeake Bay’s remaining lighthouses can be seen only from the water, which is where Tilghman Island skipper Mike Richards comes in. Captain Richards gives multiple lighthouse tours, including a two-light sunset cruise ($55) and a five-hour, five-light trip ($80).

On his daylong Northern Chesapeake expedition ($175; 410-886-2215),  you’ll get to see ten of Chesapeake Bay’s lighthouses. Check them out below.

Illustration by Michael Hoeweler.

Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse

Just south of Annapolis, this lighthouse was built in 1875 and by 1964 was the last manned light on the bay.

Illustration by Michael Hoeweler.

Sharps Island Lighthouse

During the winter of 1976-77, large ice floes pushed against Sharps Island Lighthouse, imparting its distinctive 15-degree tilt.

Illustration by Michael Hoeweler.

Sandy Point Shoal Lighthouse

This 1883 lighthouse is a sturdy three-story brick structure, visible from the westbound span of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Illustration by Michael Hoeweler.

Craighill Channel Lower Range Front Light

Built in 1873 near the entrance to Baltimore’s harbor, this is among the oldest lighthouses in the US built on a caisson foundation.

Illustration by Michael Hoeweler.

Turkey Point Lighthouse

In Elk Neck State Park, Turkey Point Lighthouse holds the distinction of being tended by more women keepers than any other in the bay.

Illustration by Michael Hoeweler.

Bloody Point Bar Lighthouse

Bloody Point Bar Lighthouse once housed a massive iron bell to alert ships navigating thick fog around Kent Island.

Illustration Michael Hoeweler.

Baltimore Light

The last light built on the bay, in 1908, it was the only American lighthouse powered by nuclear energy in the 1960s before being converted to a generator.

Illustration by Michael Hoeweler.

Pooles Island Light

Completed in 1825, Pooles Island Light is the oldest remaining lighthouse in Maryland.

Illustration by Michael Hoeweler.

Craighill Channel Lower Range Rear Light

At 105 feet, Craighill Channel Lower Range Rear Light, at the entrance to the Patapsco River, is the tallest in Maryland.

Illustration by Michael Hoeweler.

Fishing Battery Lighthouse

In the 1990s, plans fizzled to turn this dilapidated 1853 lighthouse—near Havre de Grace and the mouth of the Susquehanna River—into a bed-and-breakfast.

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