Standing sentinel over Absecon Inlet, the Absecon Lighthouse stands quite tall and is in fact the third tallest in the United States. Having recently celebrated its 150th birthday, it is also one of the oldest. Located at the north end of Atlantic City, this lighthouse is a beacon that shines a light on the history of the New Jersey landscape, while climbing its 228 steps to the observation deck affords a stunning view of the new city skyscape as well as breathtaking views of the ocean.
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The lighthouse first started beaming guiding lights out to sea in 1857, and to this day the light still shines every night although it’s no longer a working lighthouse, as it currently doesn’t serve as a navigational beacon. The structure is 171 feet tall and climbing the many steps to the top is no easy feat, but the view from the top is worth it and it is a keen draw to locals and visitors alike.
Slightly lower down than the lighthouse’s observation deck, and a little more accessible, is the museum and gift shop. Converted from the old keeper’s house during the lighthouse renovations, the museum now serves as custodian and storyteller, documenting and preserving the artefacts and way of life of the lighthouse keepers of yesteryear. The museum is now also home to the original Fresnel lens used in the lighthouse when it was first constructed.
The lighthouse offers group tours and guided talks for schools and local groups as well as an overnight program. Information and booking guidelines can be found on the website.
Admission and Opening Hours
Visitors are free to take in the 2-acre lawn and admire the lighthouse from the outside; pets on leashes are also welcome on the grounds. In order to climb the tower, there is a fee of $7 for adults, $5 for seniors aged 65 and above, $4 for children between the ages of 4 and 12, and $3 for Atlantic City residents with proof of ID. Admission is free to active duty military personnel and kids under the age of 4.
The Absecon Lighthouse is open all year round, but the operating hours do change depending on the season. From September to June, the lighthouse is open Thursdays through Mondays from 11:00am to 4:00pm; they are closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. July until August the lighthouse is open 7 days a week from 10:00am to 5:00pm and they open later on Thursdays until 8:00pm. The last admitted climb up the tower is always half an hour before the scheduled closing and the lighthouse is closed for 2 weeks around Christmas and New Year’s as well as for Thanksgiving.
31 S. Rhode Island Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401, Phone: 609-449-1360