|Address:||583 Atlantic Ave, Fort Story, VA 23459, USA|
|Working:||10AM–5PM 10AM–5PM 10AM–5PM 10AM–5PM 10AM–5PM 10AM–5PM 10AM–5PM|
Neat lighthouse, fairly steep climb, but a nice view of the area once up top. Unlike some other lighthouses Ive been to, Cape Henrys light doesnt allow for a walk outside the light tower once youve reached the top...youre just looking out from the enclosed glass area at the top. Still a great view though. There is a per-person fee to climb the lighthouse, and the gift shop is nice to see. Apparently you can only climb the old lighthouse...the newer lighthouse, located right across the street from the old one, but it doesnt seem thats open for climbing. Like many of the other reviews state, this lighthouse is on an active military base and as such, you will need to show your drivers license, registration, and proof of insurance; as well as having your vehicle searched (open all doors, open hood) in order to be allowed entry to the base. This ultimately was not an issue for us but it caught us off-guard as there is nothing on the lighthouses web site that provides this information. I was simply following my GPS and when we pulled up to the gate, I was afraid we were going somewhere we shouldnt have been going. The guard at the gate was friendly and said we were in the right place, clearly stated everything that they would need to do for us to get on base, and pointed us in the right direction.
The website will fail to tell you its on an active military base, which I have zero problem with as I support our military 100%. The reason I give it a 1 star is because of them simply failing to tell you important information when purchasing tickets online. We drove 30 minutes from our hotel to see the lighthouse after buying tickets online and being denied because Pennsylvania takes forever to send you an updated registration card. Our current registration card was out 4 days, yet every other document was spot on as asked for and we were still denied. Again I dont knock the military for doing their job as Im happy for that its the lack of information given upon purchasing tickets. We did not expect any of this and its lucky we had any of the info asked for as many people on vacation tend to leave stuff securely in their room.
So not worth it. This visit cost us $40.00 for our family of six and took us all of ten minutes. Its basically climb an enclosed spiral staircase (191 steps) to the top, take a look, come back down. The lighthouse is on a small bluff encircled by trees, so there really arent even any grounds to walk to extend your visit. There are a few benches circling the lighthouse and a very limited view of the water if you try hard enough to see it. Theres also a guy set up outside the lighthouse with a table of "artifacts" (basically a few rocks, a fossil shell, and some photos). It took us longer to get on base (upwards of thirty minutes due to security checks) than to see the lighthouse. The beach is closed to civilians. Basically, this trip was a bummer.
We biked here from our hotel, which was about a 6.5 mile ride. Thankfully you can avoid most of the busy roads by staying on side streets. When we got to Fort Story, they checked our IDs as we were expecting. However, if you bike there, you must have a helmet to ride your bike on the base, otherwise, you have to walk it. It was a cooler, rainy morning so we thought wed be okay (we knew the lighthouse closed when the heat index was high) but when we got there, it was closed. They told us we could still go up and in the first floor for $5. We paid and climbed the stairs to the base of the lighthouse, but I have to say after riding there and paying, it was pretty disappointing without being able to go up.
This is a very cool place not many people visit when they are in Virginia Beach. You should be aware that it is located in a military base and for that reason there are two checkpoints to enter this area. You will be required to provide your drivers license, registration and proof of insurance of your car. There is a fee to climb the lighthouse. Fort Story lighthouse is apparently not operational. Access to this Lighthouse is not allowed. I am not sure if this is a pet friendly area but I doubt it taking into consideration the security points and all the restrictions to visit this area. Overall the place is fantastic and it is completely recommended when you are in Virginia Beach.
The reason I am giving this place a one star isnt because of the lighthouse, its about the entry. I called the place ahead of time to ask them if I need to bring anything. They said you didnt have to bring anything. I drive 30 minutes from my hotel to the lighthouse. When we get there they asked for vehicle registration. Which I did not have because I left it in the hotel since they said not to bring anything. So I had to turn around and drive back to my hotel wasting an hour if my life. Maybe they should tell you this info before you come there
Before you go, you should be aware that the lighthouses Old Cape Henry and New Cape Henry Lights) are on an active military base therefore you need to have proper ID and they will search your car at the gate. After walking up a small path and passing through the gift shop where you pay admission, youll have access to climb the old lighthouse. You wont be able to access the new lighthouse but youll have excellent views of it from the old lighthouse. You also have excellent views of the beach, the ocean and the bay.
Die vermutlich sichersten Leuchttürme der Welt! ;-) Zwei Leuchttürme innerhalb einer Militärbasis. 191 Stufen, um den älteren der beiden Leuchttürme zu erklimmen. Pass nicht vergessen, um in die Basis betreten zu dürfen.
We really enjoyed getting to see this landmark from Americas history, along with the First Landing Cross. In case, like me, you missed this piece of info, Fort Story is an active military base, so make sure you leave your guns at home and have your vehicle registration, drivers license, and insurance cards handy when you get to the gate. Since Im a former military dependent (20 years), once on base it felt like I was home! This is a must-do for history buffs.
Great place to bring your out of town guest. Ive lived here 13 years and this was the first time I climbed Ft. Henry Lighthouse. Im 55 and overweight and it wasnt difficult at all. The last set of stairs were straight up and only one person (either going up or down) could be on those stairs. A little claustrophobic at that point. Beautiful views once your on top. No fears for those afraid of heights.
Interesting site to visit with a great historic value. The biggest hassle is getting through base security though, so no guns or other contraband in your car. My kid really enjoyed walking to the top and the view. The visitor center staff is super helpful and there was a surprising amount of items available for reasonable prices. Just remember to be ready for the inspection on your way onto the base.
David Dziedzic, Jr.
Great people running the lighthouse. Great views and a cool lighthouse. The newer lighthouse is undergoing renovations currently. Everyone should note that the lighthouses are on the grounds of Fort Story. You will need to go through a military checkpoint and search to get on base. Plan extra time for the security process. Well worth the wait though.