Choptank River Lighthouse

The Choptank River Lighthouse stands along a two-mile-wide stretch of waterfront in Cambridge, the seat of Dorchester County on Maryland’s storied Eastern Shore. Built in the “screwpile” style characteristic of the Chesapeake Bay, it is a faithful replica of an earlier beacon that guided sailing vessels up and down the Choptank River in the early years of the 20th century.

Open for visitation 9am-6pm daily between May 1 and October 31, the Lighthouse offers visitors commanding views of historic Cambridge and the Choptank River. Inside the Lighthouse is a small museum celebrating the rich maritime heritage of Dorchester County and the Eastern Shore.

Erected in 2012, the Lighthouse has become an icon for the exciting revitalization under way in Cambridge. Our beacon has been featured in countless newspaper and magazine articles in publications around the Mid-Atlantic region, and across the whole country. Visible from busy Route 50 as it crosses the Choptank, the Lighthouse also serves as a beacon of homecoming for local residents.

Read more about the history of the Choptank River Lighthouse.

Choptank River Lighthouse

Visit the Lighthouse

The Choptank River Lighthouse is open daily, 9am-6pm, from May 1 through October 31. Volunteer docents staff the Lighthouse on Friday afternoons and all day Saturday and Sunday during visitation season. Visitors during open hours on other days are welcome to take self-guided tours.

There is no admission charge. Donations are greatly appreciated. A small selections of souvenirs and keepsakes from your visit are available when docents are on duty (cash or check only). 

Elevator access to the Choptank River Lighthouse is available by advance appointment: 
• The City of Cambridge at 410-228-4031 or [email protected]
• The nonprofit Cambridge Lighthouse Foundation at 410-463-2653 or [email protected]

Offseason visits to the Lighthouse can be arranged by advance appointment: 
• The nonprofit Cambridge Lighthouse Foundation at 410-463-2653 or [email protected]

The Lighthouse participates in the U.S. Lighthouse Society Passport Program. Passport stamps are available on site when volunteer docents are on duty or by mail after your visit by sending a request to the Cambridge Lighthouse Foundation, P.O. Box 1235, Cambridge, MD 21613. Donations of $2 per stamp are greatly appreciated.

Support the Lighthouse

The Choptank River Lighthouse is owned by the City of Cambridge and serves as an office for the city dockmaster. The visitor experience is managed by a community nonprofit, the Cambridge Lighthouse Foundation. You can learn more about making a donation to support that nonprofit here.

Volunteer at the Lighthouse

Our volunteer “Lighthouse Keepers” serve as ambassadors for our community, welcoming visitors to the Lighthouse and helping them make the most of the time they spend in Cambridge and Dorchester County. We ask our keepers to put in just one half-day shift a month during visitation season. To learn more about becoming a keeper, call 410-463-2653 or email the Cambridge Lighthouse Foundation.

Lighthouse License Plate

Show your pride in the Choptank River Lighthouse by buying a specialized license plate! You can now order a special plate from the Maryland MVA for your vehicle. Half of the $50 license plate fee is a donation that supports the work of the nonprofit Cambridge Lighthouse Foundation. For details and forms, contact 410-463-2653 or email the Choptank Lighthouse.
Choptank River Lighthouse license plate

Rent the Lighthouse

Looking for a distinctive and beautiful spot for an upcoming event? The lighthouse is available for special event rentals! What a great space for an event with beautiful water views all around. The lighthouse can accommodate 30 people. For details, call 410-228-4031.

Take the Lighthouse Home

"Jewel of the Choptank," an original oil painting by Cambridge artist George Wright, depicts the new lighthouse on Cambridge's waterfront on a fall morning.

Prints of the painting are available at:
Downtown Frame of Mine
319 High Street
Cambridge, MD

The original hangs at:
Dorchester County Visitor Center
2 Rose Hill Place
Cambridge, MD

During visitation season when volunteer docents are on duty, a small selection of keepsakes are available at the Lighthouse. The selection includes lapel pins, wine glasses, ornaments, and matted photos by Jill Jasuta Photography. Purchases can be made with cash or check only.
CRL George Wright Painting Jewel of the Choptank