Scenic Florida Lighthouses Located Near Vacation Destinations
Florida’s rich history dates back more than 450 years and includes some of the best sightseeing attractions in the state – lighthouses. These structures have stood the test of time and provided travelers a guiding light during darkness. Plus, most sites welcome guests to climb to the top and admire the state’s natural beauty. If this sounds like a fun activity, here are some scenic Florida lighthouses in vacation destinations.
Florida Lighthouses to See During Vacation
Amelia Island Lighthouse
Built in 1838, Amelia Island Light in Fernandina Beach is the oldest lighthouse in Florida. Throughout the years, the light has brightened Fernandina Harbor and guided ships and fishermen. It measures 67 feet and still guides those in the Atlantic. To see it, schedule a guided tour or visit on Saturday when the grounds open to the public.
Cape Canaveral Lighthouse
Cape Canaveral Lighthouse sits on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. For more than 150 years, the light has stood tall and experienced enhancements bringing it from 65 feet to 151 feet. It also beams approximately 22 nautical miles into the ocean. Public tours are available by reservation and last about 3.5 hours. Due to its location, a photo ID is required.
Egmont Key Lighthouse
This may be one of the most remote Florida lighthouses. Perched on Wilderness Island near St. Petersburg, Egmont Key Lighthouse dates to 1848. In addition, the only way to get here is by boat.
Once on the island, admire the lighthouse’s 87 feet and fort that served during the Spanish-American War. Visitors enjoy this attraction because they can escape from crowds and explore at their own pace. While visiting Egmont Key Lighthouse, expect to see shore birds, walking trails and lots of sand.
Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse
Completed in 1860, Jupiter Lighthouse overlooks Loxahatchee River and Atlantic Ocean, and stands tall at 108 feet. Jupiter Inlet sits between Port St. Lucie and West Palm Beach on Florida’s east coast.
To experience all this site offers, plan a three-hour tour of the lighthouse and trails. Guests may climb the lighthouse, but should meet all age, height and ability requirements. Then take scenic photos of the area and waterfront community. Afterwards, stop by the museum for exhibits and souvenirs.
Key West Lighthouse
Key West Lighthouse was one of the only Florida lighthouses managed by a woman in the 19th century. The first lighthouse was built in 1825, but was destroyed during Great Havana Hurricane of 1846. The second Key West Lighthouse opened in 1848, as part of the U.S. Navy base. The lighthouse played an essential role in helping vessels navigate Key West’s waters.
Today, guests climb 88 steps to the top. After taking photos and admiring scenery, learn about lighthouse keepers, their families and lifestyle.
To find Pensacola Lighthouse, head to Naval Air Station Pensacola. Built in 1859, this lighthouse has 177 steps to the top. What stands today is the second version of this lighthouse, which first lit in 1859.
After climbing to the top for Gulf views, visit the maritime museum. The Richard C. Callaway Museum is located inside the keeper’s quarters, which dates to 1869. Visitors are required to bring certain items and meet requirements before granting access.
Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
Located near Daytona Beach, Ponce Inlet Lighthouse overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and was constructed in 1887. The lighthouse pays homage to Juan Ponce De Leon, a Spanish explorer. Today, it serves as the tallest lighthouse in Florida and a place to honor local history.
After climbing 176 feet for photo ops, head back down to visit the museum and other attractions located on-site. Ponce Inlet Lighthouse sits on an educational site with historic homes, a keepers’ quarters, and old buildings used for storage, radio and water. Just don’t forget to pick up a souvenir at the gift shop.
St. Augustine Lighthouse
St. Augustine Lighthouse has provided guidance over the Atlantic Ocean since 1874. It includes 219 steps to the top where visitors can take epic photos.
After exploring the lighthouse, visitors should try other activities. The shipyard playground offers a place for families to play and learn. Then check out volunteer boat builders, visit the museum, watch live demonstrations and play games. All ages enjoy interacting and learning about the lighthouse’s keepers.