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Shining a light on the East Coast's best lighthouses

The Portland Head Light is one of the most famous in Maine.

The Portland Head Light is one of the most famous in Maine.

The East Coast is filled with historic buildings, and some of the most notable examples of these line the Atlantic. Lighthouses cover the area, and help to warn ships of the rocky coastline. While most of these are either automated or no longer in use, they can be fun places to visit, as every lighthouse is unique. If bringing your moving boxes to the East Coast is in the cards, you will have your pick of local lighthouses.

Cape Lookout Lighthouse, North Carolina
The Outer Banks has multiple lighthouses that help warn sailors of the dangers of the coastline, but one of these North Carolina buildings helped set the standard for lighthouses in the area. Cape Lookout Lighthouse is located on the Cape Lookout National Seashore and has an interesting way to explain to boats what the coastal safety options are when approaching. According to the Travel Channel, the more than 150-year-old lighthouse has black and white diamond printing on it. This helps boats know where to avoid the shallow water and stay with the deeper water in the area.

Sandy Point Lighthouse, Maryland
Heading north will bring you to Maryland, which is also covered in lighthouses. The Sandy Point Lighthouse is located in Chesapeake Bay, and is one of the more unique-looking lighthouses on the coast. It has a cast-iron shell and is filled with cement, according to Fodor's. The structure is more than 100 years old, and is visible from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. If you are looking for a place to get an even better view, drive down to the beach, as it may be easiest there.

Boston Light, Massachusetts
Even big cities have lighthouses. The Boston Light is located on Little Brewster Island, and is one of the oldest functional lighthouses in the country, according to the Travel Channel. While it isn't the biggest light in the area - that award goes to the Graves Light - it is still maintained and a key for those traveling in and out of the area. The light reaches for miles, and is still used by the U.S. Coast Guard in order to gauge the distance of the coast. There are tours available at the light as well.

Barnegat Light, North Carolina
New Jersey is the home of another interesting lighthouse, which is also quite tall. The Barnegat Light stands more than 160 feet tall, and is only shorter than the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, a North Carolina structure, according to Fodor's. The Barnegat Light was created in the early 19th Century, but was reconstructed in the latter part of the century. It is notable for its interesting paint job, which has one half painted fully in red, while the other section is completely white. Long Beach Island is the destination you will want to visit in order to catch a glimpse of this light.

Portland Head Light, Maine
Going north to Maine will give you a wide array of different lighthouses along the coast. One of the most famous buildings is the Portland Head Light, located on Cape Elizabeth. It is the oldest lighthouse in the Pine Tree State, and is quite popular with visitors, according to the Travel Channel. This is one of the few structures of its kind that has not been rebuilt since it was created more than 200 years ago. It also played a significant role in the Civil War, as it helped cut down on ship raids.