Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard & Nantucket
There is no greater concentration of wonderful lighthouses than those of Cape Cod and the Islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Our first stop is going to be Martha's Vineyard, but before embarking from the Steamship Authority ferry dock just south of Falmouth, we've allowed time to visit nearby Nobska Point Light. As we finally steam out of Wood's Hole, we can see Nobska Light from the ferry.
We've barely recovered from that excitement when Vineyard Haven comes into view, with East Chop Light visible off the port side, and West Chop Light to starboard. On the eastern side of Martha's Vineyard is the whaling port of Edgartown, home to Edgartown Harbor Light. At the western tip of the island, perched on the colorful clay cliffs, is the unique Gay Head Light.
Farther out to sea is the equally charming island of Nantucket. This historic old whaling capitol features three photogenic lighthouses, including the second lighthouse in America at Brant Point, the endangered Sankaty Head Light, and the recently rebuilt tower on Great Point.
Back on the mainland, the tangled history of Chatham Light and Nauset Light reveals itself. And to the north, the stately Highland Lighthouse Station stands on a mountain of clay amidst the sand hills of the National Seashore.
Cape Ann is Massachusett's "other Cape." About an hour north of Boston, Cape Ann's two major towns are the old seaport of Gloucester, and the tourist village of Rockport. Probably the most famous site on Cape Ann is "motif number 1," the red fisherman's shed that has adorned so many calendars that when it was blown off it's foundation by a vicious blizzard in the mid 1980's, the town had it immediately rebuilt. Cape Ann also features some wonderful old seaside mansions that are now romantic inns, and of course several lighthouses. Between Gloucester and Rockport are the colonial era Twin Lights on Thacher Island, and Eastern Point Light. On the northern side of the cape is the diminutive and picturesque Annisquam Harbor Light. Finally, there are two minor lights, one just outside Rockport Harbor on Straightsmouth Island, and one in Gloucester Harbor that can be seen from the Rocky Neck Art Colony area, called Ten Pound Island Light.
There are many more lights in Massachusetts. To the north of Boston, in Salem, is the Derby Wharf Light, and south of Boston is the off-shore Minot's Ledge Light and the colonial-era Scituate Light.