Upon arrival in Hope Town Harbour you'll first see a much-photographed Bahamas landmark, an 89-foot-tall, peppermint-stripe lighthouse built in 1838. The light's construction was delayed for several years by acts of vandalism; then-residents feared it would end their profitable wrecking practice. Today the lighthouse is the last hand-turned, kerosene-fueled beacon in operation. Monday through Saturday from 9 to 5 and Sunday from 10 to 2 you can climb up the spiral staircase to the top for a superb view of the sea and the nearby cays. There are 101 steps in all and there is no graceful way for an adult to crawl through the small door onto the viewing platform that goes all the way around the top. The lighthouse keepers and their families live in the small cottages at its base, so keep noise to a minimum as one of them is resting up for his nonstop night shift. There's no road between the lighthouse and the town proper. You can use your own boat to cross the harbor or catch a ride on the ferry before it leaves to go back to Marsh Harbour, but if you take a ferry it probably won't be back for at least an hour.