Our Favorite Things to See at the Edgartown Lighthouse

Edgartown Lighthouse





The cast-iron, 45-foot-tall Edgartown Lighthouse stands guard over the Edgartown Harbor on stunning Martha’s Vineyard. The lighthouse, originally built in 1828, met its destruction in the Hurricane of 1938. The Coast Guard promptly rebuilt the structure and maintained it until January 2014, when the Town of Edgartown received ownership. It is currently maintained by the Martha’s Vineyard Museum.

Interesting Features of the Edgartown Lighthouse

One of the most interesting features of the Edgartown Lighthouse is the so-called ‘Bridge of Sighs.’ In 1830, Congress commissioned a wooden walkway from the shore to the actual structure. Families of departing sailors often stood on its wooden planks and watched their loved ones recede into the distance. Families of whalers, in particular, were hard-hit; whaling voyages were dangerous, and often lasted up to five years. Even in the best-case scenario, families and friends lived without their loved ones for years at a time. Additionally, the Martha’s Vineyard Museum established the lighthouse as a memorial to all children who’ve died.  Parents who’ve lost children can have their child’s name engraved into a granite cobblestone and placed in the lighthouse’s foundation. The Edgartown Lighthouse saved countless lives through its purpose, but also serves as a solemn memorial to all those taken too young.

The Edgartown Lighthouse is open to the public from May through early October. A lighthouse keeper is available during the designated hours (typically 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.). The hours of operation may vary due to weather. Admission is $5 for adults, and free for children under 12 and Martha’s Vineyard Museum members.

While You’re Out and About

Why not make a day of some of Edgartown’s numerous attractions? Enjoy walking through historic downtown Edgartown, wandering along beautiful South Beach, or just enjoying the shopping and beautiful galleries. You could even spend a day exploring all three of Martha’s Vineyard’s public lighthouses (Edgartown, East Chop, and Gay Head). Visitors to all three of these structures experience unsurpassed views of their area’s breathtaking beauty.  If you’re adventurous, you could even charter a boat for an afternoon!

After your day out and about, enjoy a casual dinner in a fun atmosphere, visit The Wharf Pub and Restaurant. Looking for something a little fancier? Try Alchemy, located on Main Street in downtown Edgartown.

Plan Your Stay on Martha’s Vineyard

When you’re making your sightseeing plans, be sure to reserve your accommodations with Sandpiper Rentals. Our Martha’s Vineyard vacation rentals are ideal for relaxing and unwinding in between all of the great activities you can participate in during your time on the island. Our rental properties are located all over Martha’s Vineyard, so you can choose to stay on your favorite part of the island. Whether you want to be right in town or more isolated, we have the perfect rental for you. Our homes are all unique, yet they all offer comfortable accommodations and luxurious amenities. Visit our website to check availability and learn about all of our services!

Photo credit: bpprice / Flickr

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