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Boston invites you to visit its legendary lighthouses

Boston’s maritime history is defined in part by the beacons that brighten the harbor and make the surrounding waterways safe for mariners. Among the places that make Boston so distinctive, tThese trusted lighthouses have protected whaling, shipping, commercial fishing and naval vessels through violent storms and foggy days since Boston Light first shone in 1716, making it the oldest lighthouse in America. Discover Boston’s nautical past and hear stories of shipwrecks, heroism, and romance . Public tours are run in season and some lighthouses can be viewed by boat offshore.

Deer Island Light

Location: Near Deer Island, Boston Harbor

Accessibility: This lighthouse no longer exists (replaced by modern fiberglass structure). The modern tower can be seen from many sightseeing cruises leaving Boston and from a public trail around Deer Island. The facility: Lighthouse built 1982. Light flashes alternately white and red every 5 seconds.

Boston Light

Location: Little Brewster Island, outer Boston Harbor

Accessibility: The lighthouse is open to private boaters by arrangement. Call 617-223-8666. Boaters must drop off passengers and anchor offshore. There are also public tours in season, on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands also run occasional cruises to the island. The Friends can be reached at 349 Lincoln Street, Hingham MA 02043; 781-740-4290. The facility: Lighthouse built 1783. Light flashes white every 10 seconds; fog signal is one blast every 30 seconds.

Long Island Head Light

Location: Long Island, Boston Harbor

Accessibility: The lighthouse and grounds are not open to the public; the lighthouse is best seen by boat. The facility: Active aid to navigation managed by U.S. Coast Guard. Lighthouse built 1901. Light flashes white every 2.5 seconds.

Graves Light

Location: Outer Boston Harbor

Accessibility: The lighthouse is not open to the public. It can be seen from points along the shore in Winthrop (Shore Drive), Hull (Nantasket Beach), and Nahant, but is best seen by boat. The facility: Active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation. Lighthouse built 1905. Light flashes two white flashes every 12 seconds; fog signal is two blasts every 20 seconds.