Once used to guide ships as they traveled along the rocky Atlantic Coast, lighthouses are now a beautiful and historic part of the Southern Delaware scenery. An adventure that family members of all ages can take part in, exploring the lighthouses of Southern Delaware, and life-saving stations near Rehoboth Beach, is a unique way to learn something new during your Beach View stay.
For the most devoted of lighthouse enthusiasts, VisitSouthernDelware.com recommends breaking your lighthouse excursion into three days to cover all ten of the lighthouse areas along the coast. Just looking for a unique afternoon learning experience? We recommend visiting one of these nearby structures with your entire family.
Located just 15 minutes outside of Rehoboth Beach, the Indian River Life Saving Station looks just as it did back in 1905. Built by the United States Lifesaving Service (the precursor to the United States Coast Guard), the station was constructed in 1876 in response to the alarming number of shipwrecks occurring along the coast.
Now included on the National Register of Historic Places, the station offers daily self-guided tours ($4 for adults, $2 for children under 12), as well as Lantern Tours every Wednesday night from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. For more information and to register for this unique summer event, call 302-227-6991. The cost is $10 per person.
More than 150 years old, the Fenwick Island Lighthouse was first lit on August 1, 1859 and has stood unwavering along the Delaware coast since that day. Decommissioned by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1978, the lighthouse went dark for three years until the Coast Guard agreed to pass ownership on to the State of Delaware. Re-lit with electricity, the lighthouse is now run by a group called “Friends of the Fenwick Island Lighthouse”.
Tours are offered from May through September and the lighthouse is open during the following times:
A floating lighthouse that resides in nearby Lewes, Delaware, the Lightship Overfalls is one of only 17 lightships still existing in the U.S., and one of only seven open to the public. Tours take place seasonally from May through October, and there are even festivals and activities going on around the ship each summer. A few of the most popular nights are listed below:
Located off the shore of Cape Henlopen State Park, the Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse was built from cast iron in 1885, and can only be reached by ship. There are a few boat tours that visit the lighthouse from the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal every summer season. Tours run every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
Also included in these tours is a visit to the nearby Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse. For reservations, call 302-644-7046.
All beautiful, historic landmarks, these four lighthouses have played an important role in Southern Delaware culture for hundreds of years. And now that you have some ideas for how to spend your Rehoboth Beach vacation, all that’s left to do is pack up your bags and book your stay at Beach View Hotel. We can’t wait to hear all about your family’s lighthouse adventures!
* Always contact a lighthouse or destination ahead of time to confirm hours and up to date information. Content revised on March 1, 2021.