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 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.
"Light Night!" is an annual celebration of our Lighthouse and its importance to this community. For four years running now, the event has drawn a sell-out crowd of 200 out to the Cambridge Yacht Club on a Saturday night in August for dancing, drinks, heavy hors d'oeuvres, auctions, and fun surprises. Information on future events will be posted on the Lighthouse Facebook page.
Visit the Lighthouse
The Lighthouse is open daily, 9:30am-5:30pm, from May 1 through October 31. Volunteer “keepers” staff the small museum inside on many Friday afternoons, as well as Saturdays and Sundays. 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
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.
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