Lighthouses of Coastal Georgia
Visiting along Georgia’s coastline offers many great adventures. One such activity is touring the site of the historic and helpful lighthouses.
From densely wooded mountains to bustling cities, quiet country roads to waves crashing on the shore, Georgia tourism is sure to have something for everyone. One such family-friendly Georgia adventure can be found along its coastline. Here there is an abundance of historic homes and architecture, some heart-racing ghost tours, unique shops and modern shopping centers, fine dining, and nearly a dozen lighthouses—all waiting for one’s personal discovery.
The Lighthouses of Georgia
There are several lighthouses along the Georgia coastline and on the barrier islands, and while they are not all in active use, most of them can be visited and some of them can be toured. Be sure to have on comfortable shoes and don’t forget the camera!
The Tybee Island Lighthouse
Despite being the oldest (1736) Southern lighthouse and the second oldest in America, the Tybee Island Lighthouse is well preserved. It is one of Georgia’s active lighthouses and has a Fresnel lens, the same one it has used since 1867. On-site are 3 keeper’s houses, with the principal keeper’s house being used as a museum. There are other historic buildings on the site as well, which can be toured for a small fee.
Cockspur Island Lighthouse
Inactive since 1909, the white brick tower, is owned by the United States National Park Service. The lighthouse is located on a sandbar and is only accessible by boat.
Tybee Knoll Cut Range Front and Rear Lights
These lighthouses were established in 1878, and remain active still today. They are located on the Daymark Island of the Savannah River estuary, The Tybee Knoll lighthouses are not open to the public, but feel free to take photos of the grounds and towers.
Sapelo Island Lighthouse
This is a privately owned and maintained lighthouse. The tower is 65 feet tall and is painted with bands of red and white. Onsite is a gallery and a brick oil house. The Sapelo Lighthouse is the nation’s second-oldest brick lighthouse and has been inactive since 1905.
Wolf Island Light
At the entrance of Doboy Sound, this lighthouse is only accessible by boat. It was built in 1868, but much of this wooden lighthouse was damaged or destroyed by a hurricane in 1898. Since then, it has been inactive. The Wolf Island lighthouse is owned and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
St. Simons Island Light
On St. Simons, one will find the North Tower and the South Tower. Their 150-foot planes provide light for the St. Simon Sound. The white towers guide in ships from Brunswick, Georgia. These lighthouses are only accessed by boat; the sites are open but the towers are closed. If walls could talk, the towers would tell stories of frustration, anger, and ultimately the murder of one of its lightkeepers.
Little Cumberland Island Lighthouse
Built in 1838, the 60-foot lighthouse is an old-style brick lighthouse. Inactive since 1915, Little Cumberland has a decorative light in its old-style white paint brick tower. The lantern room originally had 14 lamps, rather a single revolving light. It was not until 1857 that a third-order Fresnel light was installed. As Little Cumberland Island is privately owned, the site is not open to the public.
The Georgia lighthouses have interesting stories, ranging from Civil War conflicts to storms and murders to ghost stories. Take some time to visit these great locations of Georgia history while making memories in a beautiful part of this great Southern state.