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Key Info

583 Atlantic Ave.


Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend


  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

Just north of First Landing State Park is Cape Henry Lighthouse, the first lighthouse ever authorized by Congress. The attraction still has connections with the government; located on the grounds of the Fort Story military base, you'll have to show ID (either a REAL ID Act-compliant driver's license or a passport) at the property's entrance. The brick lighthouse was constructed in the 1790s and was an important step for trade along the Virginia and Maryland coasts, as it made the Chesapeake Bay easier and safer to navigate.

Previous travelers had mixed feelings about the property's staff, but overall, many enjoyed exploring this historic attraction. Several were quick to praise the lighthouse's "amazing" views at the top and said that the climb up was fairly easy, although seniors and young kids may have a hard time.

Cape Henry Lighthouse is open from 10 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m. daily, excluding select holidays. But keep in mind that during thunderstroms (or when lightning is present) and on days when temperatures inside the tower exceed 124 degrees, the lighthouse will close. Travelers must be at least 42 inches tall to climb up the lighthouse.

Entry to the property costs $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and members of the military, and $6 for students. All tickets include four hours of access to the lighthouse, its picnic area and the museum store, as well as complimentary on-site parking. To find out more about Cape Henry Lighthouse, visit Preservation Virginia's website.

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