Tuesday, August 31, 2010

10 Best Lighthouse

Ten Best Lighthouses to Sleep in

We've scoured the country for the best lighthouses from the coasts to the Great Lakes and north to Alaska—and found 10 that you simply cannot miss.

Ever dreamed of staying in a lighthouse? In America, these coastal guardians have a proud history of keeping ships out of harm’s way, and now a few will harbor you safely beneath their lanterns for the night. There are options for every budget,, from hostel accommodations to renting out an entire keeper's house.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel, Pescadero, California

Perched at the top of a 35-foot cliff in Pescadero, California, the Pigeon Point Lighthouse is one of the tallest in the nation. Although the tower has been closed to the public since 2002, according to general manager Jeffrey Parry, the lamp room still houses the original first-order Fresnel lens. Today, the four Coast Guard family houses, built in 1959, serve as an international hostel for budget-minded travelers.

Relax in the hostel's cliff-top hot tub after a long day of exploring nearby beaches and redwood forests. In late winter, you can watch the elephant seals mating at Ano Nuevo State Park. Accommodations include gender-specific dorm-style rooms, private single or double rooms, and private family rooms, all with shared bathrooms.

Accommodations range from $23-25 for Hostelling International members in a dorm room and up to $117 for a private family room for non-members. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, on-site parking, baggage storage, and secure lockers.

Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum, Northport, Michigan.

After being decommissioned and closing in 1972, this light station on Lake Michigan stood vacant until the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum was formed to give it a new life. The 1858 lighthouse is now open to the public as part of a volunteer program, where you can stay in the old assistant keeper's quarters and perform duties that a keeper would have done, such as cleaning, collecting admissions, painting, and mowing the lawn. "You get to live here and be a part of history," says Keeper Program Coordinator Lisa Drummond.

There are two bedrooms in the quarters, one upstairs and one downstairs, with a shared bathroom and kitchen. During the peak season, accommodations are adults-only, but the off-season program allows families with children to share the space. The other half of the house is dedicated to the museum, which houses artifacts from the 1920s and 1930s that have been donated by the previous keeper's children.

To participate in the Keeper's Program, you must submit an application, and a fee of $195 per person per week (about $33 per night), plus a museum membership of $15-25, covers costs. Rooms may be rented separately. During the off-season, guests can stay a minimum of two nights for a fee of $100 per night for up to four people.

The rest of the article here.

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