Today, about 10 light stations include some sort of museum. Twenty allow grounds visitation. About a dozen have become bird sanctuaries, wildlife refuges or a nature preserve, and a few house research facilities. A half dozen are located in state or local parks. The Burnt Island Light near Boothbay Harbor offers a living history tour that teaches visitors about the life of a lighthouse keeper and his family. The lighthouse at Isle au Haut is privately managed as an inn, and the town of Bristol rents the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse to visitors on a weekly basis to provide income for lighthouse upkeep. One keeper's quarters provide guest housing for the US Navy, while another serves as the residence of a town manager. One lighthouse is even part of a summer camp. To experience the life of a lighthouse keeper, the Burnt Island Living Lighthouse tour offered by the Maine Department of Marine Resources is a great family activity. The light station's beautifully restored buildings serve as a "living" history museum where interpreters in period clothing portray a lighthouse family who once called Burnt Island home.
Altogether, more than 30 lighthouses allow visitation of their grounds or public access inside some of their buildings—providing fascinating glimpses of the life that was. Many more can be seen at a distance from a nearby park or beach or a passing tour boat.