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Lighthouse romantic getaways in Washngton.

A recent article in the Olympian's outdoor section talks about "rough" life of lighthouse keepers - the life of isolation, boredom, low pay, canned food and violent storms. The life that "may dent your romantic views of lighthouses".

While the "keepers" lives might have been "rough", and I can believe that living by yourself,eating canned food, is not that romantic, the Lighthouse romantic getaways now days offer a unique opportunity to discover a little of what it was like to be an actual lighthouse keeper with the emphasis on the romantic part, without quite as much work and time commitment.

Washington has at least 24 lighthouses, but only 4 ( known to me) available for weekend ( or weeklong) rentals.

The Browns Point Lighthouse is a ten-minute drive from Tacoma and a thirty-minute drive from Seattle. Guests become lighthouse keepers for a one-week tour of duty when they stay in the keeper’s cottage. Duties include such things as conducting tours of the lighthouse grounds and facilities, doing light daily maintenance, and raising the flag each morning. The 3-bedroom historic lighthouse keepers cottage on the shores of Puget Sound is available by the week for $700 during the summer and $500 in the winter.

The New Dungeness Lighthouse is unique ,because the location is the attraction in it's own. It is located at the tip of the nearly 5 mile long Dungeness Spit in Sequim, Washington. The Dungeness Spit is the world's longest natural sand spit and home to abundant wildlife, including bald eagles, seals, sea lions, hawks, deer, and many types of birds. The Lighthouse is isolated and a accessible only by four-wheel-drive vehicle or a long hike during low tides. Prices per week- $335 per adult, and $185 per child (under 18).

The area where the Pacific Ocean and the mighty Columbia River meet has long been one of the most important yet hazardous locations for ships along the West Coast. This area around the Long Beach Peninsula of Washington is known as the “Graveyard of the Pacific.” Two lighthouses were built to help guide ships through the high waves and shifting sandbars- the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse and the North Head Lighthouse.
Today the two keepers’ houses at North Head Lighthouse serve as a great base from which to explore the scenic and natural wonders of Long Beach Peninsula. Guests who stay at the keepers’ houses can tour the park’s historical coast, stroll along two sandy beaches, hike four nearby scenic trails through coastal forests and headlands, bike along the park’s paved roads, and enjoy a variety of recreational activities. The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment provides a great deal of information about the expedition, including a timeline of the journey, excerpts from diaries, and mementos. Prices- from $ 247 to 388(plus tax) PER NIGHT !

Located on the northeast corner of Maury Island in Puget Sound, the Point Robinson Lighthouse marks the halfway point between Seattle and Tacoma. Before 1925, Maury Island was only accessible by boat or bridge at high tide. Now, however, the island is easily reached from the larger Vashon Island, via a paved road on a narrow strip of land. The keeper's dwellings are available for weekly and per night rentals- $ 225/night to $1,380 per week depending on the season.

Just remember, that the life of a lighthouse keeper is not the summer vacation you might think it is. Duties include such things as conducting tours of the lighthouse grounds and facilities, doing light daily maintenance, and raising the flag each morning. But you will have enough time to tour the parks' historical coast, stroll along sandy beaches, hike nearby scenic trails, enjoy a variety of recreational activities and of course immerse yourself deeply into the romantic atmosphere provided by the Lighthouse life.Almost everyone agrees, that there’s a certain romance to being near the ocean.

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