Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse is located on Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor in New Castle, NH. The public is allowed into the grounds of Fort Constitution, also located within the station, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. The grounds immediately around the lighthouse are not open except during open houses and special events. Another good place for a view of the lighthouse is from Great Island Common in New Castle.
Special notice to all visitors to Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse: Please note that the lighthouse is on an active U.S. Coast Guard station. It is imperative that everyone observe the posted signs and stay away from all Coast Guard buildings, boats, and other facilities. We are grateful for the Coast Guard’s cooperation and we need everyone to act in a responsible fashion while on this military installation. Thank you.
Our open houses are every Sunday from late May (Memorial Day weekend) through mid-October (Columbus Day weekend) from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The admission to climb the lighthouse is $4 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under.
No reservations are needed; tours are on a first come, first served basis. Children must be 42 inches tall to climb to the top, and adults are not permitted to carry children up the stairs. Visitors get to climb to the lantern room to enjoy the magnificent view and to see the fourth-order Fresnel lens up close. Volunteers will tell visitors about the history of the light station, and there will be souvenirs for sale.
There are 44 stairs to the watch room and a 7-rung ladder to the lantern room. Flat shoes (not sandals or flip-flops) are strongly recommended to climb the ladder into the lantern room.
The lighthouse will be open from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 1, 2017, as part of our annual Family Weekend (July 1-2).
The lighthouse will be open from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 9, 2017, in conjunction with Maine Open Lighthouse Day.
We need more volunteers to help with our open houses! If you’re interested in helping let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (603) 534-0537.
If you are looking for stamps for the U.S. Lighthouse Society’s Passport Program, you can get the stamps for Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, Whaleback Lighthouse, and White Island Lighthouse at our open houses. The Seacoast Science Center in Rye, NH, has stamps for these lighthouses plus Boon Island, Maine. Click here for hours and more information. The Kittery Historical and Naval Museum has a stamp for Whaleback Lighthouse; click here for hours and information. Discover Portsmouth has stamps for Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse and Whaleback Lighthouse; click here for more information.