The Choptank River Lighthouse

The Choptank River Lighthouse stands on the waterfront in Cambridge, the seat of Dorchester County on Maryland’s 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.

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 is a small museum celebrating the rich maritime heritage of Dorchester County and the Eastern Shore.

Erected in 2012, the Lighthouse now serves as an icon for Cambridge and a symbol of its revitalization.  Read more about the Choptank River Lighthouse.
Jill Jasuta Photography Lighthouse at Moonrise
Visitors from Virginia 2017

Visit the Lighthouse



The Lighthouse is open daily, 9am-6pm, from May 1 through October 31. Volunteer“keepers” staff the small museum inside on Friday afternoons and all day Saturday and Sunday. Visitors on other days are welcome to take self-guided tours. There is no admission, but donations are greatly appreciated. 

Here are more details about visiting the Lighthouse, including scheduling access by elevator and making appointments for offseason visits.

2018 Raffle Prize: Lighthouse Party for 20 during July 4 Fireworks

Win a catered party for 20 at the Choptank River Lighthouse on the night of the Fourth of July Fireworks. That is the prize in an annual rattle organized by the Cambridge Lighthouse Foundation. Tickets cost $10 each. Here are more details on the raffle, including where to get tickets.

Jill Jasuta Photography Fireworks at the Lighthouse Watermark

2018 Visitor Giveaway: Enter Drawing for Canvas Photo Print

The photo of our Lighthouse you see below is now on display in our  museum as a spectacular 16-inch x 24-inch canvas-wrap print. The work of prominent local photographer Jill Jasuta, it will be given away in a random drawing to one of our 2018 visitors.

Here's how to enter: (1) Take a photo of yourself while visiting the Lighthouse. (2) Post the photo on social media. (3) Email the photo to [email protected]. That's all it takes! More details on the Visitor Giveaway are here.

2018 Visitor Giveaway with Watermark JIll Jasuta Photography

Light Night 2017 Collage

"Light Night!" is Sat., Aug. 25

This year’s 3rd annual edition of the big Light Night party is going to be the best yet. There will be food, dancing, auctions, door prizes, and lots more fun, all within sight of the Lighthouse at the Cambridge Yacht Club. This will also be Light (It Up) Night, when the Cambridge Lighthouse Foundation flips the switch on a dramatic new exterior lighting array being installed at the Lighthouse this summer.

More details about Light Night 2018 are coming soon—tickets on sale in June.

Get Lighthouse License Plates


Show your pride in the Choptank River Lighthouse by buying a specialized license plate! 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

A Special Exhibit: Views of the Underground Railroad 

A special temporary exhibit is currently located upstairs at the Choptank River Lighthouse. While the original Lighthouse was not standing  on the waterfront in Cambridge during the middle years of the 1800s, the views that the Lighthouse offers to visitors today nonetheless give a commanding introduction to the stories of Dorchester County native Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.

You can find more information about that exhibit here.

Underground Railroad Exhibit Photo
Jill Jasuta Photography LIghthouse in Daytime

Rent the Lighthouse for      a Picture-Perfect Event

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 or email [email protected].

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 their time in Cambridge and Dorchester County. Our keepers to put in one half-day shift a month during visitation season. To learn more, call 410-463-2653 or email the Cambridge Lighthouse Foundation.

You can also help with other activities, including party planning, marketing, and more!

Lighthouse Volunteer JoAnne Baker

Support the Cambridge Lighthouse Foundation


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, and its volunteers. There is a donation box inside the Lighthouse if you'd like to support this work. Proceeds from sales of gifts and keepsakes available in the small museum inside the Lighthouse go the the Foundation as well.

You can learn more about the Foundation (including how to make a donation by mail) here.
Jill Jasuta Photography Spiral Stair at Lighthouse

About the Photography

Many of the beautiful photos that you see here are by one of our volunteers, Jill Jasuta Photography. You can see more of her photos of Dorchester County and the Eastern Shore on her Facebook page. You will also find a selection of matted prints of Jill's Lighthouse photos for sale in the small museum inside the Lighthouse.

"The Jewel of the Choptank"


Shown below, "The Jewel of the Choptank" is an oil painting by Cambridge artist George Wright. George was among the tireless group of civic-minded volunteers who got our replica Lighthouse built. A print of this painting is hanging at the Lighthouse. There are also notecards made from the print available for sale in the small museum inside the Lighthouse when our volunteer Lighthouse keepers are on duty.
Prints of "The Jewel of the Choptank" are also available at: Downtown Frame of Mine, 319 High Street, Cambridge, 410-228-7977
The original hangs at:
Dorchester County Visitor Center, 2 Rose Hill Place, Cambridge
George Wright in the Choptank River Lighthouse
CRL George Wright Painting Jewel of the Choptank