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Ida Lewis Rock
(Lime Rock) Lighthouse

ida lewis light

Newport, Rhode Island
Built in 1854


On Lime Rock on the southern side of Newport Harbor, atop the building managed by the private Ida Lewis Yacht Club. A small lighthouse light can still be found at the yacht club. Public access is prohibited and views can best be obtained by boat. The lighthouse can also can be viewed from a pier adjacent to the yacht club.

Latitude: 41° 28' 39" N
Longitude: 71° 19' 34" W

ida lewis light


Historic Stories:

Ida Lewis Rock Lighthouse, was originally known as Lime Rock Light, due to its location atop Lime Rock about 200 yards offshore.

One of the most famous heroines of the period, Ida Lewis, was famous for dozens of rescues. Her teenage years were spent as the lighthouse keeper’s daughter taking care of her sick father, who had suffered a crippling stroke, then as a young woman completely taking over the lighthouse and its duties while her mother took care of her invalid sister.

ida lewis light

Ida Lewis (Lime Rock) Light
Courtesy US Coast Guard

ida lewis
Image courtesy of
US Coast Guard

Her first rescue was in the fall of 1858, as a 16-year-old teenager. Ida became Keeper after her mother retired in 1879. Among her many awards, in 1880, she became the first female to receive the gold medal for heroism from the Carnegie Foundation. In 1881, she was awarded another medal from the United States Lifesaving Service for saving two soldiers from Fort Adams. She remained keeper until 1911, where she died at the lighthouse she had faithfully attended for over 60 years at the age of 72.



Places to Visit:

Newport has one of the highest concentrations of preserved colonial homes in New England. Visit the Museum of Newport History to learn about Newport’s rich history and architectural beauty in its many mansions. Tourists from all over the world come to visit its many attractions including it’s most elaborate mansions with tours of the rich and famous that shaped America’s 19th and 20th centuries. They include the Marble House, the Breakers, the Hunter House, Elms, Rosecliff, the Chateau-sur-Mer, Chepstow, the Kingscote, the Isaac Bell House, and Belcourt Castle which offers another unique opportunity to step back in time and enjoy the atmosphere of the Gilded Age.

The lighthouse is now part of the private Ida Lewis Yacht Club, but it can be viewed from a pier adjacent to the yacht club. The lighthouse is best viewed by boat. There are Princess yachts for sale that would be perfect options to view the lighthouse from the sea.




Local Boat Tours

Boat cruises mentioned below offer many types of cruises. While some may offer specific lighthouse cruises, some will pass by specific lighthouses as part of charters, narrated wildlife and historic tours, ferrying passengers, whale watching, fishing tours and other types of excursions. Contact info is provided to help you plan your special trips to New England’s shorelines. Enjoy!


Jamestown Newport Ferry

In addition to a stop over at Rose Island lighthouse they offer special 2-hour narrated lighthouse tours around Newport Harbor on Saturdays and Sundays during the summer months, departing from Jamestown, RI.


Rhode Island Bay Cruises
Offers weekly lighthouse tours in season during the months of May through October, including 10 lighthouses and a tour around Newport Harbor. They also offer sunset lighthouse cruises as well.

347 Roger Williams Way
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-4040


Save the Bay Tours
This dedicated organization for lighthouse and coastal preservation provides an Ultimate Lighthouse Tour, Northern Bay Lighthouse Tour, Southern Bay Lighthouse Tour, and Providence Sunset Lighthouse Cruise. Include stopovers to tour inside Rose Island lighthouse, and in the Northern Bay tour, they offer a stopover to explore Pomham Rocks lighthouse.

100 Save the Bay Drive, Providence, RI 02905
Phone: (401) 272-3540 or 272-3540, x133.



Classic Cruises of Newport
Newport Harbor excursions aboard a newly restored Elco Motor Yacht, built during prohibition in 1929, or go sailing on the 72-foot Schooner Madeleine. Both offer views by the Newport lighthouses.

Dockside/Reservations: (401) 847-0298


My book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, provides special human interest stories from each of the 92 lighthouses, along with plenty of indoor and outdoor coastal attractions and tours you can explore.

Look inside!



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