If you love historic lighthouses, you will want to plan a visit out to Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Historic Park. Learn about the history and culture of the watermen, tour the Keepers Quarters and climb to the top of the lighthouse. You don’t need a lot of time to tour Piney Point Lighthouse, but you will want to linger for the views.
In our effort to highlight all of the best museums in Maryland and across the D.C. area, we spoke with April Havens, the Site Manager at Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Historic Park, to share what makes this museum special, why you should visit, and what you need to know before you go.
Where is the Piney Point Lighthouse Museum And Historic Park located?
Location: Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Historic Park, 44720 Lighthouse Road, Piney Point, MD 20674
What topics does the Piney Point Lighthouse museum cover?
We cover lighthouse history, Chesapeake Bay watermen and the local history of the area.
What is your museum’s claim to fame?
The Piney Point Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse on the Potomac River.
What is your favorite exhibit or artifact in the museum?
My favorite exhibit is the copula at the top of the Piney Point lighthouse.
What kinds of special exhibits and events do you host throughout the year?
- National Lighthouse Weekend
- Christmas Holiday exhibits and others
Are there guided tours available?
Guided tours are part of our regular museum entry fee. Guests can view exhibits in the main museum and are then guided to the Potomac River Maritime Exhibit Building, Keepers Quarters and Lighthouse.
Tours are given in English. Accommodations can be made prior to visiting the lighthouse if a sign interpreter is required.
How much time should someone plan to spend at the museum?
The complete tour and exhibits at the museum take approximately one hour per group. A lot depends on the amount of information each person or group would like to learn.
The grounds are open for anyone who would just like to walk around and read the interpretive panels on their own.
Access to the Maritime Exhibit, Keepers Quarters and Lighthouse are only available via the paying tour.
What should someone bring with them and what items are not allowed in the museum?
Come for the day and bring a picnic lunch. We have tables in the beautiful area down by the lighthouse.
Bring some beach chairs and enjoy a day in the sun. Please keep in mind that no swimming is allowed though.
If you enjoy biking, bring your bike and take a ride out to St. Georges Island after your tour with us!
We do not allow food or drink inside the museum. We sell water and some snacks that may be eaten outside.
If you have a kayak, we have a launch located on the back creek where you can enjoy solitude and nature.
Is photography allowed inside (without flash)?
What should parents of young children know before visiting the museum?
Parent should tell kids that this is a museum and that only some things can be touched. There are some kids hands on items that we are currently in the process of re-thinking due to COVID-19. Kids will be able to climb to the top of the lighthouse with parents, play on the beach, play in the picnic area.
- Quiet voices should be used.
- No running or jumping.
What’s the coolest item for sale in the gift shop?
Our gift shop has so many unique items, many from local artists that it is hard to pick just one! Plan on browsing to find something that speaks to you.
What should teachers planning a field trip know before reaching out to you?
Teachers should have 2-3 dates in mind, a time frame and what they are most interested in having the kids learn.
Example: Are they most interested in the Lighthouse and Keepers or more about the watermen who worked the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay?
As much information as possible will help us cater a trip for your group.
What else should a visitor know before visiting?
For those traveling a long distance, please call to make sure we are open. Things do happen!
If you are coming for a particular reason, such as climbing the lighthouse, definitely call so you aren’t disappointed. Sometimes, if we are doing preservation work, we do shut down different sections, but we will try to post what is closed on the website.
What are your normal days and hours of operation?
- We are open 7 days a week.
- Regular hours are 10am-5pm spring, summer, fall.
- Winter hours are 12pm-4pm Nov-March 24.
Is the museum accessible?
Yes, portions of the museum are accessible. The main museum and exhibit area, along with the Potomac River Maritime Exhibit Building are accessible.
Some folks will be able to access the historic lighthouse but may not be able to climb to the top. The historic keepers quarters, does not have a ramp for wheelchairs access.
Does the museum have a bag check or coat room?
Is there parking available?
Yes, plus we have limited parking for motor homes and trailers.
Is there an admission fee?
- $7.00 adult
- $3.50 Senior, Military with ID, Students
- Children 5 and under are Free
Tickets may be purchased at the entrance desk next to the gift shop. Credit cards encouraged!