Department of Environmental Protection

New Jersey State Park Service

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Cape May Point Lighthouse Historic Site Overview

The first known lighthouse at Cape May was built in 1823. By 1847 a new lighthouse was erected on a high bluff, however, due to the encroaching sea and poor building design it was eventually dismantled. Built in 1859, the current lighthouse used the original bricks of the 1847 lighthouse.

The 157-foot-high lighthouse is still an aid to navigation. Visitors who climb the 199 steps to the top of the lighthouse are rewarded with a spectacular panoramic view of the scenic Cape May peninsula.

Cape May Point State Park was once a military base. Battery 223 was built as part of the Harbor Defense Project of 1942. This gun emplacement was once 900 feet inland, surrounded by earth and covered by sod, making it look as if it were a hill when viewed from the sea or air. Periods of severe coastal erosion and storms have washed away much of the sand resulting in the gun emplacement now sitting on the beach close to the water. At low tide the gun turrets at the front are visible. Battery 223 was later converted to a Sound Surveillance System station during the early days of the Cold War (1955-1962) but storm damage forced it to be relocated to Fort Miles in Delaware. Visitors can approach the structure on foot if they proceed with caution as it has deteriorated. Climbing onto the structure is prohibited.

Fire Control Tower No. 23, constructed in 1942, was part of a network of similar towers built to spot and target enemy ships approaching the New Jersey shore. It was re-opened to the public in 2009 after an award-winning restoration effort.

For information on tours and hours of operation visit The Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities or call 609-884-5404. Admission to the Lookout Tower is $6 for adults, $3 for children ages 3 to 12 and children under 3 free. Additional program fees may apply.

For information on tours and hours of operation visit The Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities or call 609-884-5404.

The Park staff offer a variety of historical and natural interpretive programs throughout the year. Contact the park office for a schedule of programs and to register. Program fees may apply.

Facilities for People with Disabilities
We encourage people with disabilities who require special considerations to contact the historic site / park at the phone number listed in the general information on the home page of the historic site / park. The staff will assist with arrangements. Text telephone (TT) users, please call the NJ Relay Services at 800-852-7899.

For the Comfort and Enjoyment of All
This historic site / park is part of the NJ State Park system and your cooperation with the following will help ensure the survival of the museum collections, historic structures & features and surrounding property for the enjoyment and education of future generations!

  • Keep your historic site / park and surrounding property clean and green! Protect this site by taking your trash with you. Whatever you carry into the site, plan on carrying it out too. Bring a bag or two for trash, recycling and cleaning up after your pet. There are no trash receptacles at this site. Thank you!
  • No Smoking on NJ State Park Service Property. Pursuant to N.J.P.L.2005, c.383 (C.26:3D-56)
  • Alcoholic beverages are not permitted at state historic sites [ N.J.A.C. 7:2-2.6]
  • The collection or removal of any object from State Park property is prohibited without written permission from the Superintendent.
  • Use of metal detecting devices on or unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) on or over the property is not permitted without a special use permit (SUP) from the State historic site / park.
  • Commercial photography is not permitted on the property without a special use permit (SUP) from the historic site / park.
  • Interior photography, videotaping or audio taping are not permitted in the historic structure / visitor center / museum, except by prior written permission and for educational purposes only.
  • Non-commercial photography is permitted on the property (outside), but please help preserve the historic site / park and any surrounding property by not attaching anything to, climbing or sitting on historic structures and features or disturbing any plants, wild or cultivated. Photography may not interfere with other visitors to the historic site / park or impede site operations.
  • Food and beverages; pets/animals, except for service animals, are not permitted in the historic structure / visitor center / museum.
  • Please refrain from touching objects/furnishings in and building components of historic structures and museums, except where invited to do so by staff.

Please contact this historic site / park with specific inquiries about any of these restrictions, as there may be some variations at this specific historic site / park.

Related Links

Cape May Point State Park


Phone Number

Physical Address
303 County Hwy 629
Cape May, NJ 08204

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 107
Cape May Point, NJ 08212

Historic Site Hours

Park Hours Open daily dawn to dusk
Office Hours Daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Museum Hours Daily 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Historic Site Fees

Entrance Fee Admission to the Lighthouse is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 3 to 12 and children under 3 free. Additional program fees may apply.

Other Related Fees
Map / Directions

GPS Coordinates
38.933026, -74.960306