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“Lots of stairs” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Cape Henry Lighthouse

Cape Henry Lighthouse
583 Atlantic Ave., Fort Story, Virginia Beach, VA 23459
+1 757-422-9421
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Ranked #2 of 9 Museums in Virginia Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Activities: Hiking
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Attraction details
Owner description: Preservation Virginia acquired the Cape Henry Lighthouse in 1930 when Congress deeded the house and 1.77 Acres of land to the organization in order to preserve it and make it accessible to the public. Over the years lighthouse and its surroundings have been restored 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.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Stairs / elevator, Activities for older children
Butte, Montana
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Lots of stairs”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

There are a lot of stairs to get to the top of this lighthouse, but once you have done this the view is fantastic. The staff working the gift shop are very friendly. The search at the gate to get in on this military instillation is pretty long. The fee to go up really is kind of high for what this is.

Visited January 2014
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584 reviews from our community

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Midlothian, Virginia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
“Great Lighthouse”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2014

A must see sight at Virginia Beach, Virginia. Easy to get to, quick trip, cheap and historical. Be sure to have your drivers license, car registration and proof of insurance with you to get on the base.

Visited January 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Fort Story, VA”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2014

There are two lighthouses, the older one which you can climb. They are near the Chesapeake Bay point which makes for a spectacular view. To get access you must pass through base security.

Visited January 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great views”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014 via mobile

My family and I went to Norfolk to visit our oldest son who is the Navy. We visited the lighthouse on a beautiful Sunday morning. Children must be 42 inches tall to climb the lighthouse. I did not see this anywhere listed prior to going and thankfully we have a tall 7 year old. You cannot carry them either. We got to use our sons military discount for our group of 6. So it only cost us $20. Nice selection in the gift shop. Spectacular views from the top of the lighthouse.

Visited January 2014
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Auckland
Level Contributor
21 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“A must do Lighthouse - heaps of History”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2014

Our family (with kids) were holidaying around US recently and visited this light house. We have travelled from New Zealand, which has its fair share of lighthouses, being coastal pacific. Having seen a few back home, it was a rare delight to see a working lighthouse shadowed by the old historic light house.

We visited 2 days ago and got turned away by the base check point the reason was as overseas travellers, our car (which was loaned) had all the documentation, except a notarized document from the owner to say we were bonafide users of this vehicle - a rule to get onto the base. We were quite disappointed and turned back. Our daughter (aged 9) mentioned whilst returning, "if they couldn’t allow the car, maybe we can walk, we only want to see the lighthouse". On return we looked up the website, and emailed an inquiry. We received a prompt email enquiry response from the Site Coordinator confirming that we were fine to walk to the lighthouse, if we had I.Ds and made a visitors pass and it was just a mile to walk it.

We returned and after having only one person’s ID checked, we took a 25 minutes walk to the light house. It was a pleasant walk crossing base staff housing, a chapel, post office, & the vet clinic to name a few things. The 6 information boards outside the visitor centre were very descriptive of the location, and history - a recommended read before you go in. Once inside we were greeted by Justin, who has an amazing passion for this place and is evident in his love to share information. Our kids loved the climb up (191 steps), and were appreciative of the information from Justin. It was truly rewarding to see the working lighthouse from the top of the old lighthouse. The weather was superb, which allowed us to see the Cape Charles lighthouse on the other side. The aerial view of a dolphin pod playing in front of the first landing was mesmerizing. Justin gave us a few things to look at whilst at the light house i.e. graffiti from 1791, old fuel tank storage location, and 2 retaining walls with their construction history, to preserve the sand erosion. We missed the December lights, but they were still in place – so a bit of imagination lit it up.

Once done at the light house and the shop, we headed opposite the gas station to the first landing, and once again it was full of well logged history. The landing beach with 2 great viewing platforms is a must see. If you see dolphins from both platforms - it is nature at it’s the best ever.

Highly recommended the lighthouse visit if you are at Virginia Beach. From our experience (weather permitting) you do not need a car to get there, and can park on the side streets outside the base..

Visited January 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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