8231 Beach Road, Chincoteague Island, VA 23336 – Get Directions
Short Walk, Big Climb
They must've recovered the path to the lighthouse since the previous reviewer visited because my kids raced up to the lighthouse from the parking lot wearing flip-flops in less than 10 minutes - no problem.
There is parking for about 10 cars at the parking lot closest to the lighthouse. If the lighthouse is open and the parking lot is full, expect a short wait before getting a turn to climb to the top. The lighthouse is on a hill and looks like a nice place to walk around for a bit - but my kids weren't interested.
The climb up to the top is a fairly steep spiral staircase. My five and six year old practically ran to the top. But, tired preschoolers might struggle climbing all 150-200 steps and toddlers might need to be carried part of the way.
The view from the top is expansive. Due to the landscape, you can see quite a distance across the islands. It wasn't the most spectacular view just because there wasn't a whole lot to see.
Climbing up to the top of the lighthouse when it is open is free. I assume that the hours vary because there was a sign out on the road announcing that the lighthouse was in fact open and giving the hours for the day.
When we went to the Assateague Lighthouse it was closed. There was a tiny sign saying it was closed until Monday. The lighthouse interesting to see and so is the view from where the lighthouse is. I have to disagree with the previous comment about it being an easy walk. I wouldn't say it was difficult by any means, but we were trudging through hot thick sand much of the way. If you had health issues (bad knees, etc) this might not be so easy. My daughter was wearing flip flops and her feet were really bothering her by the time we were done.
Fun with the Family
An easy walk is the quarter-mile loop to this historic lighthouse and back. Originally built in 1833, the current lighthouse was constructed in 1866–67. It is one of many lights operated by the U.S. Coast Guard to warn ships as they approach the barrier islands of the East Coast. Open Friday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Easter weekend through Thanksgiving weekend.