World War II Lookout Tower


Admission: $6 for adults;  first child free with paying adult; $3 additional children (ages 3-12); $3 for active & retired military (with valid ID). Purchase tickets at the Tower during hours of operation.


Free on-site parking/RV-friendly

Fire Control Tower No. 23 is New Jersey’s last remaining restorable World War II tower, part of the immense Harbor Defense of the Delaware system known as Fort Miles, playing a major part in coastal defenses.  Built in 1942, the tower was one of 15 towers that helped aim batteries of coastal artillery, stretching from North Wildwood, N.J. to Bethany Beach, DE. Four were in Cape May County, N.J.—the towers located in North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest were torn down and a third tower is located inside Cape May’s Grand Hotel, Beach and Philadelphia avenues.  Fire Control Tower No. 23 is on land now part of the Cape May Point State Park. The tower was listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places on May 29, 2003 and on the National Register on Nov. 17, 2003.

The Tower was restored in 2008-09 by the Mid-Atlantic Center for  the Arts & Humanities (MAC).  The project included: building spiral staircases in the Tower so that the public can safely climb to the top; construction of a wooden walkway from the street to the Tower, and a deck around its base, to preserve the fragile dune environment; replacing the missing windows and doors; recreating historical details, such as the original wooden ladders, and outfitting the watch room and viewing platform at the top; installing interpretive panels along the walkway and at every level in the Tower; introducing lighting and safety alarms; and upgrading the existing parking lot across Sunset Boulevard and connecting it with a cross-walk to the Tower. Robert Russell of Holt Morgan Russell was the restoration architect.

This project was funded by  three agencies that awarded MAC grants totalling $1.3 million: the New Jersey Historic Trust, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.

The 3rd level of the Tower features a "Wall of Honor" with then-and-now photographs of over 100 area World War II veterans.  In 2012, an "All Veterans Memorial" was erected on the deck at the base of the Tower.

Be sure to visit the exhibit gallery on the second floor to see changing exhibits.

For 2016: "Defenders of the Delaware."

The boardwalk, lined with interpretive panels,  the All Veterans Memorial on the deck at the base of the Tower and the entry level are all fully accessible.

MAC is also mounting permanent Memorial Plaques in the Tower that will allow family members to honor veterans of any war or engagement.  Click  HERE for a downloadable order form.


Won’t you help us tell the story of Cape May’s important role in homeland defense in World War II? Please donate today.

Join the Friends of the World War II Lookout Tower
The World War II Lookout Tower (Fire Lookout Tower No. 23) has become an important memorial for Cape May area veterans of World War II and all other wars. Help us educate the public and preserve the memory of the war years by joining the Friends of the World War II Lookout Tower. 

For more information on events sponsored by the  Friends of the World War II Lookout Tower, CLICK HERE
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The World War II Lookout Tower is approached by way of a boardwalk over the protected dune areas. Interpretive panels are mounted along the fence.
What to expect when you visit           
The World War II Lookout Tower is located on Sunset Boulevard adjacent to Sunset Beach. If you’re biking out to Sunset Beach, there is a bike rack so you can lock up and take a break from your ride. There is a large parking lot across the street from the Tower, and a Port-a-John located at the edge of the parking area. The Tower can be reached by way of an accessible boardwalk which crosses environmentally sensitive dunes. Along the boardwalk are interpretive panels explaining the Tower’s history and role in homeland defense during World War II. At the rear of the Tower is the All Veterans Memorial, an “eternal flame” monument with benches in a contemplative setting. The lower floor of the Tower is accessible and a small shop offers Tower mementos and bottled water. For those who do not climb, our staff has assembled a binder with photos and information, and can provide a wealth of information on the Tower’s history. The World War II Lookout Tower is an easy climb, with exhibits and information on different floors as you climb to the sixth floor spotting gallery. An interpreter at the top will explain the equipment used and the role of those who manned the Tower during the war. Volunteers at the Tower often include World War II veterans who enjoy meeting visitors and giving a first person account of life for those who served our country during World War II.
Get Directions To:
1200 Sunset Blvd.
North Cape May NJ