A tidy building with an octagonal light tower rising from its mansard roof, Rose Island Lighthouse sits in Narragansett Bay, about a mile offshore and accessible via private vessel or ferry. Volunteers restored it to its circa-1912 state, complete with pitcher pump at the pantry sink. (All water comes from rain collected in a 3,000-gallon cistern. The building has some windmill- generated electrical power.)
Day visitors and regular overnight guests in the two first-floor bedrooms get just a taste of old-time lighthouse life. Volunteer keepers get the full experience—and the use of the second-floor apartment for the week. Duties—cleaning, managing the wind- powered electrical system, routine maintenance—can fill several hours a day. But the satisfaction lingers long after any muscle soreness has faded from memory.
Tip: Pack a cooler with food, beverages, and ice—there are no refrigerators here.
Book it: Rates start at $195; 401/847-4242 or roseislandlighthouse.org