is the admission for the lighthouse to go inside? Do you pay to see the outside of the lighthouse?
If my memory serves me well. There is no charge to look around the outside.
You can see the lighthouse from the parking lot, but we'll have to put up a call for another opinion -- I seem to recall that if you wanted to see anything more than the gift shop and the parking lot, you have to pay the admission fee.
Well worth it, by the way -- even if you don't climb the light, the exhibits in the lower rooms of the light, and the museum in what used to be the lightkeeper's cottage are well-presented and interesting.
Sunshine is right - to go any further than the gift shop and there is an admission charge. Quite reasonable for entry to the grounds. The view from the top is great and the light keepers house and exhibits are well done. There is a height restriction for climbing - check their website if you have kids.
You can see the lighthouse from a distance nearly anywhere on the north end of the island if that is all you are looking for. However, the lighthouse and the Keeper's house are inside a walled courtyard and there is admission to get inside the courtyard and tour the buildings. I will say it is well worth the admission to climb to the top of the lighthouse and look out over the island.