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Old Cape Henry Lighthouse

583 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23459
757 422 9421
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Certificate of Excellence 2013
Type: Lighthouses
Activities: Hiking
Description: Take a recommended drive to the oldest government-built lighthouse in America.
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358 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
20 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2014 NEW

Two lighthouses for the price of one. But one is off limits and the other one is mostly hidden behind a hill and tall bushes so you can only see the top unless you pay the $8 feet to climb it. Don't come to the base after 5 pm or you won't even get to see that much.

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Virginia Beach
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014 NEW

Big screening process before going on base if one is not military. Opened all car doors, trunk, glove compartment. Must have license, car registration and insurance on you. Even though non-profit, there is $8.00 fee each to get in. Structure is old, but can climb to the top for very nice view. Last leg is hardest with skinny metal steps... More

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Burlington, Canada
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
19 attraction reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014 NEW

Be prepared to have your car searched to get onto the military base. This was an polite and interesting experience. A fee is charged to climb from the parking lot level to the base of the lighthouse where a guide explains the history of the lighthouse, some local information and plans for revamping. The climb to the top was well... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Salt Lake City, Utah
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2014 NEW

It is a great light house with an interesting history. I would suggest going there if you have a military ID or if a family member has one. At the top you can a great pictures from the top of the light house of the ocean

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2014

Took my son to this lighthouse when he was 3 mons old he was not able to go of course. So we had to take him back for his 11th birthday. He loved it. He wanted to race me up the steps. Once he got to the top he did not want to leave. My mom always took me to... More

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Providence, Rhode Island
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2014

After getting onto the base where the lighthouse is located (your car will be searched, be helpful and prepared), we drove to the lighthouse where we were greeted by the folks at the gift shop where you purchase your tickets. Then we climbed the stairs where we met with a group to listen to the guide give a talk about... More

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2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2014 via mobile

Warning: this is on a Military Base, you will need an ID, and all of your insurance/registration information for your car. They will also search you car. Good visit, but we looked suspicious when we had a hard time finding out insurance information! :/

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Omaha, Nebraska
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2014

While this is a unique piece of U.S. History for me it wasn't worth the effort of walking up all the stairs to get to the lighthouse let alone the steps up the lighthouse itself. It only takes up about 20 minutes of your day to get in, see it and get out.

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Richmond, VA
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
11 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2014

First you must navigate through the gate by providing the sentinels with ID and a car search, but once done with that you can enjoy the historic lighthouses and fabulous views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay the way it looked when the United States was fighting for its very existence. My guest paid the $5.00 fee to... More

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San Diego, California
Top Contributor
175 reviews 175 reviews
22 attraction reviews
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2014

Given the history--as well as the location on Cape Henry--this is really worth the visit. The docents were very knowledgeable and pleasant. (I added to their store of knowledge by mentioning that Alexander Hamilton was the father of the federal lighthouse program when he served as George Washington's Secretary of the Treasury.) The steps are a bit arduous, particularly for... More

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