Visit Cape Cod’s Famous Lighthouse: The Highland Light

Cape Cod is known for its historic buildings, especially its lighthouses. One of the most famous of these buildings is the Highland Light. The Highland Lighthouse Cape Cod has been in operation since its construction over two hundred years ago and has helped prevent ships from crashing into the rocky shores of Cape Cod ever since. Visitors to the Cape should definitely check out this iconic piece of Americana during their stay in this beautiful coastal region.

History of the Highland Light

The Highland Light, previously known as Cape Cod Light, is an active lighthouse on the Cape Cod National Seashore. The Highland Light was built in 1797 and established at this point on the Cape at the authorization of George Washington. The Highland Light was the first light on Cape Cod and was originally built to keep ships from crashing into the shore. Over time, the Cape Cod Highland Lighthouse needed to be remodeled and moved back from the shore to prevent the lighthouse from falling into the water. Historians have kept the building as close to original as possible while still keeping the building safe to reside in.


The lighthouse was originally run by a lighthouse keeper who lived on the grounds, but now the light is automated and run by the United States Coast Guard and still used to help guide ships. Since it’s considered a popular Cape Cod tourist attraction The grounds remain open year-round, but the  Highland Lighthouse is open to the public from May to late October. During this time, guests can enter the Cape Cod Highland Lighthouse and view this iconic piece of history. Visitors are free to walk around the grounds and the buildings to see all parts of the lighthouse; guided tours are also available. The museum includes various parts of the old Highland Lighthouse, including the original bulb, pictures of the original structure, and a marking of the original lighthouse location before it was forced to move. This historic lighthouse has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a must see if you are staying in the Cape Cod area.

If you would like more info on the Highland Light or any other of Cape Cod tourist attractions, please browse our website or call our office for more info. We offer vacation rentals for every travel style, including our Halloween and Thanksgiving rentals. We would love to help you plan your trip to see the Highland Light and any of the historic places that Cape Cod has to offer!

Cape Cod National Seashore, east side of Cape Cod
Coordinates: 42 02 21 N   70 03 44 W

Photo by Asilverstein

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