Vintage postcard from EBAY.
The Old Cape Henry Lighthouse.
The new Cape Henry Lighthouse.
There is a lot of history here in Virginia Beach. Having grown up on a 1,600 acre farm that has been around since the early 1900s, I have an appreciation for old buildings and their history. I especially like the architecture, and it’s fun to imagine what (and who) went into the planning and executing of these old, yet structurally sound buildings. I stumbled upon the Cape Henry Lighthouses almost by accident. We were walking near the Fort Story Military Base one afternoon, and on the fly we decided to pop in and check it out.
I was intrigued with the tale of the two lighthouses that sit on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay. This location is nearby to where the English settlers arrived in 1607 (that’s 407 years ago!!!! Wow). The 90-foot-tall Old Cape Henry Lighthouse (the brick one) was built in 1792 and is one of the oldest standing lighthouses in the country. It’s also a National Historic Landmark. What I didn’t know is that this tower is the official symbol of the City of Virginia Beach. Almost 100 years later, its cast iron replacement (the black & white one) was built. It is the tallest cast iron lighthouse in the United States; it is also unfortunately not open to the public.
What you’ll need to explore the Cape Henry Lighthouses
• A picture Identification to enter the Fort Story Military Base (either via walking, biking, or driving)
• $8 for admission (if you choose to climb the old lighthouse)
• A quick review of their Visitor Information