Lighthouses kept sailors safe from crashing their ships on rocky coasts -- until modern technology left them obsolete. Now many of them serve as museums or lodges.
It is a long walk up these steep stairs to the top of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, which is the tallest lighthouse in the United States. Curious about one of the oldest lighthouses? See the next picture.
The Portland Head lighthouse stands proud above the rocky coastline. See a New England coastal lighthouse on the next page.
Rising just at water's edge, the lighthouse at New London is one of the taller lights in New England at eight stories tall. Now visit the west coast and see a rugged lighthouse.
Visitors to the Heceta Head lighthouse in Oregon are treated to this wonderful view of the rugged coast line, which evokes the mighty cliffs and redwood forests of the Big Sur Country. See one of the most beautiful lighthouses on the next page.
The striking architectural design makes the Admiralty Head lighthouse one of the most beautiful in the Pacific Northwest. A lighthouse that looks like a fire station? See the next picture.
Looking more like some sort of overgrown fire-house than a lighthouse, the Holland Harbor lighthouse is a favorite of artists and photographers. Find out where the "castle" lighthouse is located on the next page.
Rising with castle-like walls and turrets, the massive brick lighthouse is located in Mackinaw City, Michigan. See what lighthouse is built on reef on the next page.
The Spectacle Reef lighthouse stands 95 feet tall and is located on a submerged reef about 11 miles east of the Straits of Lake Huron. See the oldest active lighthouse next.
The oldest active lighthouse on the Great Lakes, Marblehead Light is located on the headland of a peninsula. A long and not tall lighthouse? See the next picture.
The pier at Grand Haven is one of the longest in the Great Lakes region. It is visible far out on the lake, warning mariners of shallow waters close to shore. The next lighthouse is one of the most photographed.
The white conical lighthouse at Point Aux Barques is among the most photographed lighthouses in the Great Lakes region. Thousands of tourists flock to the popular site every summer.
Hawaii has few sites as popular as Makapuu Point, with its commanding prospect over the world.
This close-up view of the light room at the top of the Old Point Loma tower reveals the sturdy construction -- heavy glass, riveted steel, contoured roof -- that helped it withstand the winter storms.
With its thick walls of mortar and country rock, the Sand Island lighthouse will likely be standing a century from now.
Presque Isle Lighthouse has a squared shape and bold color blocks that make it particularly striking.
Conical and cylindrical lighthouses, such as the West Quoddy Head Lighthouse, are among the most common along the eastern coast. From a distance, West Quoddy Head Lighthouse resembles a barber pole or a gigantic piece of candy.
The green, flashing light of the Portsmouth Harbor lighthouse still helps mariners find their way near the entrance of the Piscataqua River.
The Block Island lighthouse is distinctive in the size of its oversized catwalk platform, as can be seen in this magnificent image.
One of the quiet joys of a lighthouse is walking the dunes, fields, and beaches nearby. The seas can be a source of solace and renewal.
The lighthouse at Michigan City faithfully guided mariners for more than a hundred years, from the pre-Civil War era to the dawn of the modern age.
The shoreline around Portland Head Light alternates between rugged rock formations and beaches of smooth, sorted cobblestone. Portland Head is one of the most frequently visited lighthouses in America.
Although visitors to the Cape Neddick Lighthouse are separated from the tower by a short expanse of saltwater, the best views are actually from the nearby coast.
The cylindrical design was preferred by lighthouse builders in the mid-Atlantic and southern states, as was the case at Cape Hatteras, Cape Florida, Biloxi, and here, at Point Isabel.