Absecon Lighthouse, Atlantic City

4.2
#5 of 17 in Historic Sites in Jersey Shore
Lighthouse · Tourist Spot
The Absecon Lighthouse is a coastal lighthouse located in the north end of Atlantic City, New Jersey, overlooking Absecon Inlet. At 171 feet (52 m) it is the tallest lighthouse in the state of New Jersey and the third-tallest masonry lighthouse in the United States. Construction began in 1854, with the light first lit on January 15, 1857. The lighthouse was deactivated in 1933 and, although the light still shines every night, it is no longer an active navigational aid. The lighthouse is open to public visitation and, for a small donation, one may climb to the watch room and external gallery. A re-creation of the keepers' quarters was opened in 2002 and serves as a museum and gift shop. The original oil house now contains a Fresnel lens exhibit. Along with school and group tours, the Absecon Lighthouse offers an overnight program for Scouts, a winter arts program for children, and a wide variety of special events throughout the year.

The Absecon Lighthouse was designed by George Meade and still retains its original first-order fixed Fresnel lens. The lens is made of lead glass and weighs 12,800 pounds (5,800 kg) As the light was fixed (non-flashing), it does not have a landward segment allowing visitors to look up in the lens where the keepers entered it for maintenance.

Jack E. Boucher conceived and oversaw the preservation of the lighthouse in 1964.

The lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Historic American Buildings Survey, and the New Jersey Register of Historic Places.
Use our Atlantic City online tour planner to visit Absecon Lighthouse on your trip to Atlantic City, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Absecon Lighthouse reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
505 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • This was close to our hotel (Hard Rock) so we took a walk and checked it out (with a Groupon). Great little lighthouse, knowledgeable keeper, and the 228 stairs are punctuated by landings with...  more »
  • Hidden gem in Atlantic City. Take the hike to the top and the exhibits are great. Really worth a trip. Join the passport and help keep these amazing places running.  more »
Google
  • We loved our visit with The Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City. Because of health reasons, I decided not to climb , but my husband and son did. They loved it!!! They met Buddy, 👨‍✈️who greeted them all the way up there. They also have a Live cam. 🎥 As seen in the pictures. It’s a great way to say goodbye to 📍AC until we meet again.
  • A visit to the Absecon Lighthouse. The number of times I’ve been to Atlantic City, I couldn’t even begin to count. In all those times I never knew that such a great part of both N.J. and US history was right up the block on the boardwalk. The Absecon lighthouse is the 3rd tallest masonry lighthouse in the US and the tallest in N.J. We were greeted by a great staff with smile and useful information. Marshall and I took the trip up the lighthouse, which is no joke; 228 steps. We were greeted at the top by Buddy, one of the volunteers, who was full of both local history as well as so many lighthouse facts. At 92, the climb up and down must be one hell of a task, but I don’t recall a time during the 10-15 minutes we spoke when he didn’t have a smile on his face. Overall a great experience, highly recommended.

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