Lighthouses are romantic – symbols of an era when life was simpler and travel by water was the norm. Beacons of safety and civilization, a port in a storm; lighthouses inspire and comfort us.
Historically lighthouses were built with accommodations included for the lighthouse keeper. After all, someone needed to be there to keep the whale oil burning. Thanks to the invention of electricity, there is no longer a need for the lighthouse keeper.
At the confluence of the Hudson River and Esopus Creek is the Saugerties Lighthouse. A monument to a bygone era, it is now an extremely popular bed and breakfast, with a museum showcasing the history of the Lighthouse and the steamboat era on the Hudson River. The Guardian UK named the Saugerties Lighthouse one the top five in the world that includes a bed and breakfast.
Staying at a lighthouse is a very intimate experience. I think in our busy and noisy world today, a lighthouse seems like a welcome escape back to nature and ourselves.
Sadly, I did not stay at the Saugerties Lighthouse, but I did walk the Lighthouse Trail.
The Saugerties Lighthouse trail is a lovely spot for a nature walk, meditation, or a picnic. In some areas it’s very wooded and in others you’ll find tall grasses and patches of wildflowers.
If you walk all the way to the lighthouse there are picnic tables, however, be respectful that the Lighthouse is a functioning B&B.
The trail is a half mile long and very easy. Just be sure to go at low tide. At the entrance to the trail there is a map and a day-by-day tide table, with times for high and low tides.
The Lighthouse Trail is open everyday from dawn to dusk.
The interior of the Lighthouse is open for tours weekends and holidays from Memorial Day through Labor Day, 2:00 to 5:00 pm and by appointment. The Bed and Breakfast is open year round. If you want to stay at the Lighthouse you’ll need to book months in advance.
When I arrived in Saugerties I had no idea there was a lighthouse, much less that you could stay there, so I missed the opportunity to arrange a tour of the interior. The official website for the Saugerties Lighthouse is lovely and has a lot of great photos. The exterior is charming too – an indication of what you will find inside.
Have you ever stayed in a Lighthouse? What was your experience?