It’s summer in Florida and its the time the native Floridians really hit the beaches. Popular attractions are some of Florida’s surviving 30 lighthouses which are open to the public, thanks in part to groups like the Florida Lighthouse Associations.
The lighthouse was an important asset in protecting shipping along Florida’s 1,350 miles of coastline. Boaters along the Keys know there are operational lighthouses still keeping ships away from the dangerous reefs. I prefer lighthouses I can visit in my car.
The Best Lighthouses To Visit: PONCE DE LEON LIGHTHOUSE (Daytona) is “Big Red”, at 175-feet and 213 steps, the active light is the second tallest brick light in the USA. There are also three keepers dwellings, an oil storage house, and a pump house to see.
CAPE FLORIDA LIGHTHOUSE (Miami) was rebuilt in 1846 after the Seminoles attacked it and with its Lighthouse Keeper’s Museum, is a great attraction at Bill Baggs State Park.
SAINT AUGUSTINE LIGHTHOUSE (1871) resembles a 167-foot barber shop pole and is wonderfully haunted. Kids under 44″ are restricted from the 219 steps. Nice museum.
BOCA GRANDE LIGHTHOUSE (see photo) is unlike the others for it and its twin keeper’
s house are 44-foot white frame buildings, that survived 150 mph hurricane a few years back.
PENSACOLA LIGHTHOUSE is a 150-foot conical tower, white on the bottom and black on top. It is not only an active lighthouse – the U.S. Coast Guard will be your host.
KEY WEST LIGHTHOUSE is a 86-foot white conical brick tower used from 1847 to 1969 and open daily.
CAPE CANAVERAL LIGHTHOUSE is a 1848 masterpiece of 145-feet and 179 steps. You will need to contact Patrick AFB to take the Wednesday and Thursday full tours.
(This will be part of a series “BEST OF FLORIDA” seen at this blog at my other sites.)