Photo by Henry Gonzalez
Once again, it’s possible to tour one of the most intriguing lighthouses on the Chesapeake. The Thomas Point Shoal Light is one of the rare offshore working lighthouses open to visitors. It was the last of the region’s lighthouses to be automated — a lightkeeper continued to work the beacon until 1986. And it wasn't a cushy job.
The light is located in the middle of the bay – a good 30-minute ride from the Maryland shore. The ride can be bumpy and then visitors need to transfer to the lighthouse dock, and climb a steep ladder leading through a small hatch. (For more, check out this Washington Post story about visiting the light, and its history).
Tours are managed by the Annapolis Maritime Museum, and run $70. They sell out quickly and are only available on eight dates, although there are three trips a day, on Sundays between June and August. Contact the museum to book a tour at 410-295-0104.
If that only whets your lighthouse appetite, consider the two-day historic lighthouse tour offered by Chesapeake Lights. It passes by 12 lighthouses, with guests overnighting on shore. It’s not a luxury trip, but it's sure to light up the face of any lighthouse nut.