South Carolina is a treasure trove of amazing and unique sights. Among those visual gems are the lighthouses that can still be found along our coast. Sadly, only two of them are still fully functional, but it makes the others no less appealing.
1. Morris Island Lighthouse (Folly Beach)
Found just off the coast of Folly Beach, this is the second oldest lighthouse in South Carolina. It has been inactive since 1962. Slowly, the beach is swallowing this lighthouse and the group, Save the Light, is working with the US Army Corps of Engineers to try and stabilize it. Boat tours are available.
2. Georgetown County Lighthouse/ North Island Light (North Island)
This is the oldest lighthouse in South Carolina (built in 1811) and is still on the active list. Boat tours available.
3. Sullivan's Island Lighthouse/ Charleston's Lighthouse (Sullivan's Island)
This lighthouse was built in 1962 and is still guiding sea craft to the mouth of the Charleston Harbor. The site is open, however the tower is closed although the base is occasionally opened. Group tours can be arranged.
4. Harbour Town Lighthouse (Hilton Head, SC)
Most call this a facsimile lighthouse now as it can light up, but it is not used as a navigational beacon. It is shorter than other lighthouses, but it has been totally restored. The site is opened daily year around although there is a small entry fee for the tower.
5. Governor's Lighthouse (Little River, SC)
Like the one before it, this one is also known as a facsimile as it does shine, but it is built in a residential neighborhood and not a navigational device. It was built in 1984 in honor and to honor all South Carolina Governors.
6. Haig Point Lighthouse (Daufuskie Island)
First lit in 1873, this lighthouse is no longer maintained by the Coast Guard. It is however, community owned and serves as an event site. This particular lighthouse is an unusual site in South Carolina as it is reminiscent of the lighthouses built in the northern United States where the tower and the living space is joined together. The site and tower are closed to visitors, but there are guided boat tours.
7 & 8. Cape Romain Lighthouses (Lighthouse Island)
A 2-for-1 deal! The smaller of the two was built in 1827 and has been inactive since 1858. It is a squat, fat old brick tower that is in trouble of falling apart. The larger one was built in 1858 and has been inactive since 1957. Currently, both of them are closed to the public due to hazardous conditions.
9. Hunting Island Lighthouse (Hunting Island, Hunting Island State Park)
This is the second lighthouse that was built here as the first was destroyed in the Civil War. This lighthouse was built in 1875 and became inactive in 1933. However, you are in for a treat! This is the only historic lighthouse in South Carolina that allows you to go all the way to the top where you can take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding island. The tower is open March through November. Be aware that there is a state park entry fee.
10. Leamington Lighthouse (Hilton Head Island)
Built in 1881, this lighthouse was made to be a rear range lighthouse and is now inactive. Not open to the public and very difficult to see from the highway.
11. Bloody Point Lighthouse (Daufuskie Island)
Another unusual lighthouse, this one was built to be a front range with the light being in the upstairs window of the home. Unfortunately, only the home remains now and the lighthouse was deactivated in 1921.
There have been other lighthouses that have been lost to us. It is sad to see these beautiful structures slowly being taken back by nature. Thankfully, the above remain and hopefully with wonderful people we can keep them for some years to come.
Now I’ve got to go make a date to visit the ones I have yet to see. How about you?