Information on:

Cape Henry Lighthouse

583 Atlantic Avenue

The Cape Henry Lighthouse silently guards the entry way into the Chesapeake Bay. Standing near the "First Landing" site of the Jamestown settlers where in 1607, Captain Newport raised a cross to offer thanks for their safe crossing of the Atlantic, the Lighthouse has stood sentinel since it was completed in 1792.

Authorized by George Washington and overseen by Alexander Hamilton, the construction of the Cape Henry Lighthouse was one of the first acts of the newly formed Federal government. The octagonal sandstone lighthouse was designed by New York architect John McComb and was in active use for nearly a century before being replaced by a new cast iron lighthouse still standing nearby. It is one of the oldest surviving lighthouses in the United States.

Preservation Virginia acquired the Cape Henry Lighthouse in 1930 whe.n Congress deeded the lighthouse and 1.77 acres of land to the organization in order to preserve it and make it accessible to the public. Over the years it has restored the lighthouse and its surroundings including repairing the lantern after damage from Hurricane Barbara in 1953, repairing the damaged original Aquia sandstone, and restoring the surrounding dunes.

Today visitors to the Cape Henry Lighthouse can climb to the top of the tower to enjoy spectacular views of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. They can also enjoy a quided walking tour of the area as well as a visit to our museum shop.


Megan VanGuilder

Saturday, May 26, 2018
Nice. But not good if you have smaller children. They have to be a certain height to go up and you can't carry children. May be common sense but my husband didn't think of it and we didn't get to go up. But still great views, clean location, and nice. But please remember you are on an active military base. No speeding.

Traci W

Sunday, June 3, 2018
Very inexpensive lighthouse and one of the smaller ones on the East Coast, so it is a good one for your first. You will have to go through a military check since it is on a base. Be prepared with your id, registration, and proof of insurance. The lighthouse is pretty, but there are a lot of stairs. There is no public bathroom, but there is a decent sized portable john.

Kailee Riley

Thursday, June 7, 2018
Very cool to see! It is on a military base so expect to have your car searched, they will keep 1 drivers license that you pick up when you leave. You can get an Uber there but they need to have a military pass to get in the base.

jennifer morse

Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Wonderful site to see. The historic interpreters were so helpful and knowledgeable. Billy is a wealth of information. I loved seeing for miles from the top. A definite “must do” while in Virginia Beach.

Kathy Liebrum Bailey

Monday, May 28, 2018
Be prepared for lots of steps to get to f the base of the Lighthouse. I'm sure the view from the top is amazing. Next time I will do the steps! Top notch security just to get on base.

Cape Henry Lighthouse is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media