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NJ Lighthouse Weekend Challenge: Complete

The weekend of October 18th-19th marked this year's NJ Lighthouse Challenge. Janine from travelrunlive.com came across this a few months back, and so in our neverending quest to prove that {most of} NJ is NOT the armpit of America, we decided to attempt this challenge.

Completing this challenge in a single weekend is no easy feat-it involves several hundred miles of driving, and we literally went down the east coast and up the west because there are several random lighthouses nowhere near the shore, on the other side of the state by the Pennsylvania border. And of course, because it's us, we weren't gonna drive all that way without getting in a few more activities. As you all know, we're also in the process of completing the NJ Wine Passport program, and so we decided to knock out the entire Cape May Wine Trail while we were down there, and those two crazies that were with me even ran a 5K at one of the wineries! But that's a whole other separate adventure worthy of it's own post, so more on that later.

My baby sister Sara decided to tag along for the weekend, and since we both live in Carteret, and Janine and Brian are in Hazlet, we decide to start with the Sandy Hook lighthouse and work our way south from there. The lighthouse opened at 830am for the day, and when we arrived at 815am, there was already a long line and they were open for business. If you're planning on doing this challenge, we highly recommend arriving early-especially if you're planning on climbing the lighthouses. Because the inside of them is small, only a few people at a time are allowed to climb, and you get those inconsiderate people who want to spend 20 minutes up there taking in the view or having a damn conversation. I had mapped out the entire day, and even allowing only 15 minutes at each stop, it was still 10 hours of driving if we were going to reach our goal, so the lines made me nervous. We made up the time tearing down the Garden State Parkway though, and the lines were never that long at any of the other ones for the duration of the challenge.

At your first stop, you'll have to pay $1 per person to get your "game piece". After that, you have to check into each stop and you're given the corresponding game piece for that lighthouse. The goal is to collect them all. Most climbs were free, though they politely requested a small donation {and a few required one}.


STOP 1: SANDY HOOK LIGHT





STOP TWO: NAVESINK TWIN LIGHTS



STOP 3: SEA GIRT LIGHT

STOP 4: BARNEGAT LIGHT




STOP 5: BARNEGAT LIGHT MUSEUM

STOP 6: TUCKERS ISLAND LIGHT

STOP 7: ABSECON LIGHT

STOP 9: US LIFE SAVING STATION 30 


STOP 10: TATHAM LIFE SAVING STATION

STOP 11: HEREFORD LIGHT

STOP 13: CAPE MAY LIGHT





STOP 12: EAST POINT LIGHT




STOP 13: FINNS POINT LIGHT

STOP 14: TINICUM LIGHT



BONUS {BECAUSE WE'RE AWESOME}: LUCY THE ELEPHANT


It was a CRAZY weekend, and I was so excited that we not only finished, but managed to hit five wineries and Lucy the Elephant. Yes, NJ has a gigantic, random elephant down the shore-you can even climb her if you're willing to part with $8.

Check back soon for more on the rest of our epic weekend!

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