Florida LighthousesApril 2021
Six Florida lighthouses your family will love
By James Davis, Visit Florida
Florida’s lighthouses are full of intrigue — and climbing them provides amazing views, good exercise, and a glimpse into the past. These six beacons are sure to pique the whole family’s curiosity:
St. Augustine Lighthouse
Guarding Florida’s oldest port, the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum’s black and white spirals are iconic, as are the views of St. Augustine from atop its 219 steps. At night, brave adventurers, including kids 7 and up, can take the spooky Dark of the Moon tour that has been featured on “Ghost Hunters.” Children must be 44 inches tall to climb the tower; however, there is a “shipyard” playground at the base of the lighthouse for little ones to enjoy.
Visit on the right day from March to October and you can watch the U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, buzz past at eye level from the 150-foot high catwalk of the Pensacola Lighthouse. You can literally feel the engines scream. Kids must be at least 7 years old or 44 inches tall to climb. Check the website for flight schedules.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Lighthouse
At the end of Key Biscayne, you’ll find Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park and the oldest standing structure in Miami — the Cape Florida Lighthouse, built in 1825. Tours are given twice daily, except Tuesday and Wednesday. While at the park, enjoy an authentic Cuban lunch, or swim at the beach, a perennial Dr. Beach favorite.
Ponce De Leon Inlet Light Station
At 175 feet, the Ponce Inlet lighthouse is Florida’s tallest lighthouse. After climbing 203 spiral steps to the top, you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views of world-famous Daytona Beach. Afterward, explore nature trails or tour the grounds and museum.
Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse
If you’re 4 feet tall, you can climb the 108- foot Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, but there’s plenty to see on the ground. Be sure and tour the site and visit the museum to see how the lighthouse keepers lived. Exhibits include a lighthouse keeper’s workshop, a pioneer homestead, and Seminole chicken hut.
St. George Lighthouse
Climb the 92 stairs to the top and soak in the views of St. George Island. At the base of the St. George Lighthouse, little ones can enjoy the playground and beachfront property. Be sure to save time to explore the Keeper’s House Museum and the area visitor’s center also on the lighthouse grounds.