Just Add Water

Your Very Own Lighthouse

A unique overnight retreat in Newport


Very seldom do the practices of the ancient era stand the test of time to remain in use today. Even more seldom do those practices appear right here in southern New England. While the technology may have changed, the concept of the lighthouse still remains the same: to help people of the sea navigate the waterways. With over 400 miles of coastline in Rhode Island alone, there are many breathtaking views of the ocean, but just as many areas for boats to become victims of the water.

The jagged coastline, sweeping rock formations, and unseen reefs make the trip into the safe and protected harbors a formidable one.

When you think of lighthouses today, you might think of them as replicas that rich people like to build in their backyards in place of the traditional fort or treehouse. But there are actually over 20 lighthouses remaining in the local area, some even dating back to when our country was first established.

With the ability to view them by land or sea, a lighthouse excursion makes a great trip any time of year. And if anything, viewing lighthouses should definitely be in the rotation of typical trips you take your visiting family members on while they’re in town. Let them wander the grounds or listen to a tour guide while you conveniently escape back to the car for a nap.

For those extended family members who are a little too zany to put up with, why not suggest a stay in that perfect harbor-view location? The Rose Island Lighthouse offers the experience of a lifetime where people can actually stay in a lighthouse overnight. In addition, you can even become a keeper of the lighthouse for an entire week.

Be wary though, this is not for the usual crowd who would normally book at the Hotel Viking. By taking on full responsibility of the lighthouse, you will get to see, do and feel everything a lighthouse keeper would have so many years ago. They’ve equipped the house with as few modern amenities as possible so that people can fully immerse themselves in the age-old experience.

For tips on coaxing your guests in to staying there rather than your house, talk up the bravery and importance of the historic lighthouse keeper. Passed over for the more obvious fireman or police officer, the lighthouse keeper thrived during the most treacherous weather Mother Nature could serve up. Without these people, many lives, ships and goods would have been lost to the depths of the ocean.

But if that does not work and being a lighthouse keeper in your mind is adventure enough, have no fear – Rose Island is one of the few open to the public. So venture out for the day and then safely return to the creature comforts of home in the evening. Make this the summer you stop taking your beautiful morning commute for granted and actually stop in to visit one of these historic landmarks you regularly pass right on by.