“silently guarding the Chesapeake Bay”
The Cape Henry Lighthouse silently guards the entry way into the Chesapeake Bay. Standing near the "First Landing" site of the Jamestown settlers where in 1607, Captain Newport raised a cross to offer thanks for their safe crossing of the Atlantic, the Lighthouse has stood sentinel since it was completed in 1792.Authorized by George Washington and overseen by Alexander Hamilton, the construction of the Cape Henry Lighthouse was one of the first acts of the newly formed Federal government. The octagonal sandstone lighthouse was designed by New York architect John McComb and was in active use for nearly a century before being replaced by a new cast iron lighthouse still standing nearby. It is one of the oldest surviving lighthouses in the United States.Preservation Virginia acquired the Cape Henry Lighthouse in 1930 whe.n Congress deeded the lighthouse and 1.77 acres of land to the organization in order to preserve it and make it accessible to the public. Over the years it has restored the lighthouse and its surroundings including repairing the lantern after damage from Hurricane Barbara in 1953, repairing the damaged original Aquia sandstone, and restoring the surrounding dunes.Today visitors to the Cape Henry Lighthouse can climb to the top of the tower to enjoy spectacular views of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. They can also enjoy a quided walking tour of the area as well as a visit to our museum shop.
You have to travel through a military base just to see the lighthouse... Including Id checks and vehicle inspections. I would have liked to know this before we added it to the roadtrip
The lighthouse is located on an active military compound. Be prepared to get your car quickly searched before entering. $8 admission to go up to which we said no thanks.
A perfect start to a trip involving the historic triangle (Yorktown, Williamsburg, Jamestowne). They have an outdoor monument area and trail to the beach that describes what happened here and how it relates to the other areas. There was no charge. We spent about 20 minutes here. We viewed the lighthouse from the outside but didn't go in an were fine with that. This is on an active military base so bring your military ID if you have one to make getting in easy. We got there about 30 minutes before the lighthouse opened and were allowed quick access with the military ID, not sure if we'd be allowed in without waiting if we didn't have one.
Heads up. This is an active military area. You will need legitimate ids and metal wanded in order to get a pass to go on the shuttle bus. The bus then will take you to the zone you are allowed to walk around.
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Cape Henry Lighthouse
- Sun - Sat: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
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