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18  Best Rhode Island Lighthouses To Visit And Photograph

18 Best Rhode Island Lighthouses To Visit And Photograph

Rhode Island is home to over a dozen beautiful lighthouses, many of which are easily accessible and perfect for photographers. Not only are the lighthouses beautiful, but so are the views. From Little Compton to Watch Hill, here are 18 of the greatest lighthouses in Rhode Island to check out and photograph.

Beavertail Lighthouse

  • Town: Jamestown (Conanicut Island)
  • Focal Height: 68 ft (21 m)
  • Year First Lit: 1749 (Former) 1856 (Current)
  • Status: Active
  • Location: HERE

Beavertail Lighthouse was built in 1856 and is the premier lighthouse in Rhode Island, marking the entrance to Narragansett Bay. The 64-foot lighthouse can be found at Beavertail State Park in Jamestown, Rhode Island. The state park offers some of the greatest views of the ocean state!

Block Island North Light

  • Town: New Shoreham (Block Island)
  • Focal Height: 61 ft (19 m)
  • Year First Lit: 1829 (Former) 1867 (Current)
  • Status: Active
  • Location: HERE

Block Island North Light, built in 1867, is a historic lighthouse on Block Island, Rhode Island. The lighthouse marks the entrances to Block Island Sound and Long Island Sound, helping mariners avoid obstructions – like the one-and-a-half-mile long Sandy Point reef. The lighthouse can be accessed by walking about half a mile from the parking lot at Settlers’ Rock.

Block Island Southeast Light

  • Town: New Shoreham (Block Island)
  • Focal Height: 258 ft (79 m)
  • Year First Lit: 1875
  • Status: Active
  • Location: HERE

Block Island Southeast Light is a lighthouse located on Mohegan Bluffs at the southeastern corner of Block Island, Rhode Island. The lighthouse was built in 1875 and stands 52 feet tall. Parking is ample near the lighthouse, making it far easier to access than the north lighthouse on Block Island. 

Bristol Ferry Lighthouse

  • Town: Bristol
  • Focal Height: 35 ft (11 m)
  • Year First Lit: 1855
  • Status: Deactivated in 1927
  • Location: HERE

Bristol Ferry Lighthouse is located on the shores of Narragansett Bay at Bristol Point. The lighthouse was built in 1855 and was operational until 1927. The lighthouse was deactivated in 1927 because that was the year Mount Hope Bridge was constructed. There was previously a ferry going across Narragansett Bay which required the navigational aid of Bristol Ferry Lighthouse. In 1988 the lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places. 

Castle Hill Lighthouse

  • Town: Newport
  • Focal Height: 40 ft (12 m)
  • Year First Lit: 1890
  • Status: Active
  • Location: HERE

Castle Hill Lighthouse is located on Narragansett Bay in Newport, Rhode Island at the end of the historic Ocean Drive. The lighthouse serves as an aid for ships passing through the East Passage of Narragansett Bay. It is a very unique lighthouse because it is built right into a cliff face and it almost seems like part of the natural landscape. The lighthouse can be accessed via several short trails. 

Conimicut Shoal Lighthouse

  • Town: Warwick
  • Focal Height: 29 ft (8.8 m)
  • Year First Lit: 1868 (Former) 1883 (Current)
  • Status: Active
  • Location: HERE

Conimicut Light, built in 1883, is a historic sparkplug lighthouse in Warwick, Rhode Island. The lighthouse can be seen from Conimicut Point Park in Warwick and Nayatt Point in Barrington. But, the best way to view the lighthouse is by boat. The lighthouse was automated in 1963 and was acquired by the town of Warwick in 2004.

Dutch Island Lighthouse

  • Town: Jamestown
  • Focal Height: 56 ft (17 m)
  • Year First Lit: 1826 (Former) 1857 (Current)
  • Status: Active
  • Location: HERE

Dutch Island Light is a historic lighthouse on Dutch Island off Jamestown, Rhode Island. The brick lighthouse was opened in 1826 with a focal height of 56 ft (17 m). The lighthouse was deactivated by the Coast Guard from 1972-2007. In 2000, the lighthouse was leased to the American Lighthouse Foundation and in 2007 they activated the lighthouse again. 

Hog Island Shoal Light

  • Town: Portsmouth (Hog Island)
  • Focal Height: 54 ft (16 m)
  • Year First Lit: 1901
  • Status: Active
  • Location: HERE

Hog Island Shoal Light, built in 1901, is a sparkplug lighthouse on a shoal off of Hog Island, Rhode Island. The light was converted from kerosene to electricity in 1959 with the laying of a submarine cable. It was among the last lights in the nation to be electrified. The lighthouse can be best seen from the Mount Hope Bridge area.

Newport Harbor Light

  • Town: Newport (Goat Island)
  • Focal Height: 33 ft (10 m)
  • Year First Lit: 1823 (Former) 1865 (Current)
  • Status: Active
  • Location: HERE

The Newport Harbor Light, built in 1842, is located on the north end of Goat Island, which is part of the city of Newport, Rhode Island. The lighthouse can be viewed from the Goat Island Bridge and also up close via a short walk. Parking is ample on Goat Island. 

Plum Beach Light

  • Town: North Kingstown
  • Focal Height: Unknown
  • Year First Lit: 1897
  • Status: Deactivated in 1941
  • Location: HERE

Plum Beach Light, built in 1899, is a sparkplug lighthouse in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. The tower stands 52 feet high and provided navigation for Narragansett Bay ships. The lighthouse was deactivated in 1941 after the construction of the Jamestown Bridge. 

Point Judith Lighthouse

  • Town: Narragansett
  • Focal Height: 51 ft (16 m)
  • Year First Lit: 1810 (Former) 1857 (Current)
  • Status: Active
  • Location: HERE

Point Judith Lighthouse is located in Narragansett, RI, and stands 51 feet tall. The lighthouse serves as a guide to the west side entrance to Narragansett Bay along with the north side of the eastern entrance to Block Island Sound. There have been three lighthouses over the years at Point Judith with the most recent having been built in 1857.

Pomham Rocks Lighthouse

  • Town: East Providence
  • Focal Height: 67 ft (20 m)
  • Year First Lit: 1871
  • Status: Active
  • Location: HERE

Pomham Rocks Lighthouse is a beautiful lighthouse that sits off the shoreline of East Providence. The lighthouse was built in 1871 on a large rock and was designed by award-winning architect Albert Dow. The lighthouse can be best seen from the East Bay Pike Path or by boat.

Poplar Point Lighthouse

  • Town: North Kingstown
  • Focal Height: 48 ft (15 m)
  • Year First Lit: 1831
  • Status: Deactivated in 1882 (Now a private house)
  • Location: HERE

Poplar Point Light, built in 1831, is a historic lighthouse in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. The tower stands 45 feet tall and it is privately owned and not open to the public. Viewing the lighthouse from land is not easy, so it is best to view it via a boat. 

Prudence Island Lighthouse

  • Town: Portsmouth (Prudence Island)
  • Focal Height: 28 ft (8.5 m)
  • Year First Lit: 1852
  • Status: Active
  • Location: HERE

The Prudence Island Lighthouse, more commonly known locally as the Sandy Point Lighthouse, is located on Prudence Island, Rhode Island. The lighthouse opened in 1852 and is one of the few lighthouses in the country to retain a “birdcage” lantern. The lighthouse is an active aid to navigation today and is best viewed from Prudence Island or via boat.

Rose Island Lighthouse

  • Town: Newport (Rose Island)
  • Focal Height: 48 ft (15 m)
  • Year First Lit: 1870
  • Status: Active
  • Location: HERE

Rose Island Light can be found on Rose Island in Narragansett Bay in Newport. The lighthouse was built in 1870 built to an award-winning design by Vermont architect Albert Dow. The lighthouse was abandoned after the Newport Bridge was constructed in 1970. After it was deactivated, Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation was founded to restore the lighthouse. The lighthouse is a travel destination nowadays and can only be reached by boat. For a fee to the Foundation, visitors can stay overnight on the island as a “lighthouse keeper.”

Sakonnet Lighthouse

  • Town: Little Compton (Sakonnet River)
  • Focal Height: 58 ft (18 m)
  • Year First Lit: 1884
  • Status: Active
  • Location: HERE

Sakonnet Light, built in 1884, is a sparkplug lighthouse near Sakonnet Point, Little Compton. In 1954, Hurricane Carol severely damaged Sakonnet Lighthouse, but the lighthouse has been fixed up many times since thanks to the work by the Friends of Sakonnet Lighthouse Fund. 

Warwick Lighthouse

  • Town: Warwick
  • Focal Height: 66 ft (20 m)
  • Year First Lit: 1827 (Former) 1932 (Current)
  • Status: Active
  • Location: HERE

Warwick Lighthouse, also known as Warwick Neck Lighthouse, is a historic lighthouse in Warwick, Rhode Island. The 51-foot tall lighthouse was established in 1827 at the very bottom of Warwick Neck. Today, the lighthouse is operated by the Coast Guard and continues to be a navigational aid for ships in Narragansett Bay.

Watch Hill Lighthouse

  • Town: Westerly (Watch Hill)
  • Focal Height: 61 ft (19 m)
  • Year First Lit: 1808 (Former) 1857 (Current)
  • Status: Active
  • Location: HERE

The original Watch Hill Lighthouse was established way back in 1745 when the Rhode Island colonial government erected a watchtower and beacon during the French and Indian War and Revolutionary War. That first lighthouse was destroyed during a storm in 1781. The second lighthouse was built in 1807 but was closed in 1855 due to erosion. The current lighthouse in Watch Hill stands 45 feet tall and was established in 1856. The current lighthouse was automated in 1986 and leased to the Watch Hill Lighthouse Keepers Association.

Have you already seen all the Rhode Island lighthouses? Check out our recent blog post which features every lighthouse in Connecticut: https://www.whereaboutss.com/lighthouses-in-connecticut-to-photograph/

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Blog Post by:

Tom Riley (Founder and CEO of Whereaboutss)

Tom Riley

Tom Riley

View all posts by Tom Riley

Photographer based on Cape Cod

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