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9 incredible U.S. lighthouses to visit

By: Josh Lew on May 23, 2013, 5 p.m.
Cape Henry old and new lighthouses

Photo: kellyv/flickr

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Cape Henry Lighthouses, Virginia

The Old Cape Henry Lighthouse, completed in 1792, was the first lighthouse ever established by the U.S. government. Actually, the lighthouse was supposed to be constructed 20 years earlier, but the Revolutionary War broke out while the foundation was still being laid. The original lighthouse is no longer in use, but it is still standing, a relic of the early days of American history.

A more modern lighthouse, aptly named the New Cape Henry Lighthouse, is used as a navigation aid today. It is operated by the Coast Guard and is one of the few U.S. beacons that still have staff members living onsite. The grounds surrounding these lighthouses offer great views of Chesapeake Bay and visitors can walk through the nearby dune-lands to reach the lighthouses themselves.