montauk point lighthouse with lens

At the Montauk Point Lighthouse, a Restored Beacon Shines Again

Welcome to the world-famous Montauk Point Lighthouse, located at the very tip of eastern Long Island. Our magnificent lighthouse provides unforgettable 360° views over the Block Island Sound, the Atlantic Ocean and points west. Whether you’re in town for a week or a day, no visit to Montauk is complete without a stop at its historic lighthouse.

The Montauk Point Lighthouse, commissioned by President George Washington in 1792, is one of the best-known and most-beloved icons of Long Island. It was the first lighthouse to be built in New York, and is the fourth-oldest working lighthouse in the nation. It was named a National Historic Landmark in 2012, one of only 12 lighthouses to be so honored.

From the history of the first inhabitants to the diversity of America today, Montauk Point Lighthouse Museum brings visitors face to face with the rich heritage we all share.  While you’re here, tour the lighthouse grounds and experience the natural beauty and splendor of Montauk. Discover magnificent views from the top of the tower – an iconic monument that has served a crucial role as a beacon to mariners for over 225 years.

Museum Virtual Tour

Wish you were here? Our Virtual Visit page will bring you as close as you can come to exploring the Lighthouse without leaving home! Check out our interactive virtual museum tour and webcams below. Watch both full-screen for optimum viewing pleasure.

To navigate through the museum, click on any arrow to move to the next room, and use your mouse to move left, right, up and down. Click on the “i” for close-up pictures and more information about certain items in our collection. For the best experience, click on the three dots on the top right of the picture, and choose the “full screen” option. And when you’re in the Oil Room, don’t miss the video climb to see the sunset from the top of the tower!

Live Webcams

North Side
Aimed at North Bar and False Bar

Tide Rips
Wide-angle lens facing Northeast towards
“The Elbow, Great Eastern, Block Island”

South Side
Zoom lens aimed at toe of bluff, just West of Turtle Cove

Photography by

Quick Facts

  • Authorized by the Second Congress in 1792, under President George Washington.
  • Construction began on June 7, 1796 and was completed on November 5, 1796.
  • The builder was John McComb, who also built Gracie Mansion and two other lighthouses that are still standing: in Eaton’s Neck, Long Island and Cape Henry, VA.
  • First lighthouse in New York State.
  • Fourth oldest active lighthouse in the United States.
  • Foundation is 13’ deep and 9′ thick.
  • Constructed of sandstone blocks from Connecticut, 8″ high and varying in length from 18″ high to 44″.
  • The walls are 6′ thick at the base tapering to 3′ thick at the top
  • In 1860, 30 feet were added to its height and a new lantern room was built by Ira Winn of Portland, ME.
  • The height of the tower is 110′ 6″.
  • There are 137 iron steps to the top.
  • Its 3-½ order Fresnel lens served in the tower from 1903 until 1987, and today can be visited in the lighthouse museum.
  • The lighthouse was tended by civilian keepers until 1939, when the Coast Guard took over.
  • During the Second World War, the Army moved into the lighthouse and built the large tower that stands next to it for the purpose of watching for submarines.
  • Named a National Historic Landmark in recognition of the significant role played by the lighthouse in American maritime history.
  • The Montauk Historical Society leased the property from the Coast Guard in 1987, and bought it in 1996.  The Coast Guard is still responsible for maintaining the aids to navigation.
  • The light flashes every 5 seconds and can be seen from a distance of 19 nautical miles.

The Montauk Historical Society (MHS) owns certain trademarks and rights directed to the Montauk Point Lighthouse and its likeness. Any commercial use of our trademarks, or the likeness of the Montauk Point Lighthouse, is prohibited without the expressed consent of MHS. Licenses of our trademarks and rights are available and encouraged. The proceeds from the licensing program are used to support the MHS’s efforts to run and maintain the Montauk Point Lighthouse, its Museum, and facilities connected to it. Please Contact Us for additional information.