Many of New England’s picturesque lighthouses open their doors for tours in May. Is this the season you finally climb one to the top? Here are eight seaside structures you can get into this month.

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse in Bristol, Maine. —Maine Office of Tourism

This lighthouse, established in 1827 and replaced in 1835, is located in Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park, which opens May 8. Park hours are Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Nauset Light in Eastham. —Nauset Light Preservation Society

You’ll find this iconic lighthouse pictured on Cape Cod Potato Chips. It will be open May 12 from 1 to 4 p.m. for tours. Check out the lighthouse calendar for additional tour dates and times.

The Race Point Lighthouse and keeper’s house at the tip of Cape Cod. —Ken Wiedemann

This lighthouse, established in 1816, and replaced 1876, will open May 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for Mariner’s Day, when guests will receive tours, free refreshments, and free transportation to and from Race Point Beach. After that, tours will resume on the first and third Saturdays of the month from June until October.

Gay Head Lighthouse is located on Martha’s Vineyard in Aquinnah. —Mark Lennihan / AP

Tour this lighthouse, established in 1799 and replaced in 1854, on Martha’s Vineyard starting May 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and throughout Memorial Day weekend. See the website for tour dates after that.

West Quoddy Head Lighthouse
West Quoddy Head Lighthouse in Lubec, Maine. —Ryan Scott / flickr

You’ll find this lighthouse, established in 1808 and replaced in 1858, in Quoddy Head State Park, where it will open for the season on May 27. Park hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Beavertail Lighthouse
Beavertail Lighthouse in Jamestown, R.I. —Leonardo DaSilva / flickr

The lighthouse was established in 1749 and replaced in 1856. The museum opens on May 25, but you can climb the tower on May 27 and then on certain scheduled days following.

Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse
Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse in New Castle, N.H. —Selbe. / flickr

This lighthouse, established in 1771 and replaced in 1878, opens May 26 and is open for tours every Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. through Columbus Day weekend.

Sheffield Island Lighthouse
Sheffield Island Lighthouse in Norwalk, Connecticut —Mark / flickr

The Norwalk Seaport Association provides ferry rides to Sheffield Island to tour this 1868 lighthouse beginning May 26.


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