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9 incredible U.S. lighthouses to visit

By: Josh Lew on May 23, 2013, 5 p.m.
Grand Haven lighthouse, Michigan

Photo: John McCormick/Shutterstock

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Beautiful and lonely settings

Lighthouses hold a special place in American lore. Before the jet age, these coastal beacons were the most important landmarks for anyone who traveled by ship. Sailing is no longer a necessity for international travel, but lighthouses still have a role to play in modern times. Today's lighthouses are automated, so light keepers — the air traffic controllers of their day — are no longer needed.


Lighthouses fascinate because of the historic (and sometimes fictional) stories that surround them and their gorgeous yet lonely settings. Here’s our short list of the standouts. (Text: Josh Lew)