Dining in a lighthouse hearkens back to our nation's mythical past, when seaside beacons guided pizza-delivery schooners and served as nightlights for sleepy giants. Guide fare safely into mouth ports with today's Groupon: for $400, you get a BYOB lighthouse dining experience for up to four people in the Newburyport Lighthouse from The Lighthouse Preservation Society (up to a $900 total value). The lighthouse dining experience includes the following:
- Six hours of private access to the tower's single dining table
- Choice of clam-chowder cup or wedge salad
- Choice of sirloin, pan-seared haddock, or a lobster roll
- Choice of double-chocolate cake or turtle cheesecake
The Newburyport Lighthouse elevates diners to feast on romantic meals prepared by Starboard Galley Restaurant and breathtaking views of the Merrimack River. After scaling stairs, a ladder, and a mystical beanstalk, diners dive into creamy bowls of clam chowder or excavate wedge salads for morsels of bacon and blue cheese. For the main course, flash-seared haddock or a voluminous lobster roll spring from the briny depths and into the kitchen to compete with a juicy, cooked-to-order sirloin. As dinner comes to a close and diners conclude intellectual discussions of The Little Mermaid, fluffy slices of double-chocolate cake layer moist cocoa onto tongues' sweet centers, and turtle cheesecake appeals to cravings for creamier richness.
Altitudinal eaters make jubilant toasts to the night sky with their own wine and spirits, which require no corking fee or Pog trade. During up to six hours gathered around the lighthouse tower's solo tabletop, diners can engage in extended tiddlywinks tournaments, surrounded by crystalline panes that frame landscape portraits. Before or after dinner, a spread of nearby attractions await exploration, including beaches, a boardwalk, and historic homes.
The Lighthouse Preservation Society
For more than 30 years, The Lighthouse Preservation Society has worked to save and maintain the endangered lighthouses of the United States. The organization has spawned Congressional hearings and legislation, sponsored National Lighthouse Day, and aided in the creation of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act and the National Lighthouse Museum. The organization has also raised lighthouse awareness in the national consciousness, placing hundreds of lighthouses on the National Register of Historic Places and landing the most scenic ones on popular U.S. Postage stamps. This is all in addition to the ongoing preservation efforts; to date, the organization has raised nearly $6 million for more than 160 lighthouse-restoration projects. It's little wonder that the nonprofit was chosen as a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Achievement Award for its efforts to maintain America's coastal heritage.
Even when a lighthouse guides its last ship, the organization keeps its spirit alive through creative adaptive reuse projects. They take special pride in their private dining program, headquartered in the Newburyport Lighthouse on Massachusetts' North Shore. Named the 'Most Romantic and Exclusive Dining' in the region by Boston's Phantom Gourmet for two consecutive years," and lauded by Yankee Magazine as a "glass-enclosed love nest," the intimate multicourse meals pair dishes from sea and land with views of the historic town harbor and picturesque beaches. The cozy circular room nestled at the top of the lighthouse retains its functional panoramic views, but also features comforts including padded benches, a dining table, a music system, and a climate control system. There's even an outdoor balcony, giving diners the chance to feel the ocean breezes from 60 feet in the air.