We found a classic coastal beacon you can rent by the week.

By Eric Roth
February 28, 2007
Cape Cod Lighthouse
Eric Roth

Guests who stay at Wings Neck Lighthouse on Cape Cod often report a life-changing experience—or at least a breathtaking one. This simple 1890 New England lighthouse (with attached keeper’s cottage) once guided ships through Buzzards Bay and the Cape Cod Canal. But technology rendered it obsolete, and the government put it on the auction block. Today it’s a rental property maintained by Christina Stevens, whose grandparents placed the winning bid in 1947. Meticulously restored, the keeper’s cottage sleeps eight, and includes a living room with stone fireplace and a crisp, white, eat-in kitchen.

Even with all these homey comforts, the principal attraction remains the view, best seen from atop the tower. Climb the flight of worn mahogany steps, ascend 12 more feet by ladder, catch your breath, and just say, “whoa.” Standing in the turret, with the Atlantic stretching out before you, you’ll see why so many hardworking keepers turned their backs on the world and tended their lights in splendid isolation.

Now you can relive this lighthouse’s golden years without obligations beyond exploring the rocky shore and nearby beaches, or shopping in the neighboring villages of Falmouth and Sandwich. If you’d like to experience lighthouse keeping without having to polish the lens, this may be the rental for you.

A photo essay of Wings Neck Lighthouse
A View of Their Own, a look at lighthouse living with a couple who lived their dream for 14 years.

(published April 2007)