East Coast Lighthouse Tour
Study Engineering & Nautical History in the United States
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As you arrive in Baltimore, Maryland, you’ll get acquainted with your guide. Check out the shopping and dining options in the Inner Harbor while anticipating your week-long lighthouse tour.
On your first lighthouse day, you’ll check out the 1855 screw-top Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse in Baltimore. It was relocated from the Patapsco River and is now a museum. Next, head to Annapolis, about a 35-minute drive, to see the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse on Kent Island. It’s one of only ten lighthouses in the country to be named a National Historic Landmark.
Next up is the Fort McHenry National Monument. Located on the Chesapeake Bay, it helped to defend Baltimore from an attack by the British in the War of 1812.
Afterward, you’ll visit the Historic Ships Museum in Baltimore. Located in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, this museum is the result of the merging of the USS Constellation Museum and the Baltimore Maritime Museum. Check out the National Aquarium while you’re in the Inner Harbor area
This morning, you’ll travel from Baltimore to Virginia Beach, about a five-hour drive, to the 1792 Old Cape Henry and the 1881 New Cape Henry Lighthouses. Old Cape Henry is made from Aquia Creek limestone, the same kind that was used to build the White House. It has been designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. The taller New Cape Henry lighthouse is made of cast and wrought iron. They’re located right beside each other on the Chesapeake Bay.
Visit Nauticus and the downtown Norfolk waterfront this evening. There’s a maritime history museum, an aquarium and the battleship USS Wisconsin.
Today, you’ll visit the marine mammals and ecological exhibits at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center. There are fresh and saltwater exhibits covering native Virginia animals and marine ecosystems.
Next, spend time walking along the boardwalk at Virginia Beach. You’ll check out the Neptune Statue and the Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum. It tells the story of Virginia’s maritime history as well as that of the U.S. Lifesaving Service and the U.S. Coast Guard.
This morning, you’ll travel to Corolla, North Carolina, about a two-hour drive, to visit the 1875 Currituck Lighthouse. With a gigantic Fresnel lens, its light can be seen for 18 nautical miles. You’ll then travel south, with a stop at the 1872 Bodie Island Lighthouse, before reaching your destination near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, which will be your home base for the remainder of the trip.
Today, you’ll visit America’s tallest lighthouse, Cape Hatteras. This black and white tower has the unique characteristic of having been moved. After years of beach erosion – it was built in 1870 – it was in danger of being swept into the ocean. The 4,800-ton lighthouse was slowly and carefully moved in 1999 to a safer location. At 193 feet, it offers sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Afterward, you’ll visit the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum and the Museum of the Sea in nearby Buxton.
On your last morning in Cape Hatteras, enjoy a peaceful walk on the beach before heading home.
Your adventure has begun as you global travel to Amsterdam. As your plane descends, take a look out your window to see the Netherlands’ flat landscape and unending canals. A local guide will be waiting to greet you at the airport and transfer you to your city hotel.
Take some time to unpack and relax; you have the afternoon free. Stroll along the city streets, splash into the hotel pool, or enjoy a coffee at a nearby cafe. It’s up to you! In the evening, you’ll meet for dinner with your local guide — an excellent opportunity to ask questions about your upcoming schedule.
From the Chesapeake Bay to the Carolinas, lighthouses have served as navigational aids and beacons of hope for ships approaching the U.S. for centuries. Whether you study engineering, nautical history or architecture, this southeast lighthouse tour takes you from Fresnel lenses and cast-iron stairways to piracy, shipwrecks and lost treasure, providing a fascinating window into a beautiful and little-explored niche that will make you a lighthouse fan for life!
Interested in adding or modifying activities? No problem! All Worldwide Navigator itineraries can be customized to your liking!
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