St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum

St. Augustine attractions range from historic to must-see-cheesy. When visiting for just a few days, it can be hard to decide what to do in St. Augustine! Although not walkable from downtown, The St. Augustine Lighthouse is an easy choice for those interested in history, 360* views of St. Augustine and a whole lot more! Here’s what you’ll want to know before you go:

Height to Climb: We’ve been to the Lighthouse grounds many times but our littles had never been in the lighthouse- children must be 44″ before they conquer the climb. In the past, they’d have to play in full sun in the grassy area at the base of the lighthouse or walk quietly through the museum while big siblings climbed… neither option was particularly friendly to wee ones.

The Lighthouse experience improved 100 times for our family when they nestled a ship-shaped playground in a wooded area next to the tower. Now, little ones can play with one parent while the rest of the family climbs the tower!

A picnic table provides a resting spot for parents or grandparents next to the fun ship-shaped playground.

Learn Cool Facts: Did you know every single lighthouse has a unique paint job? Sailors are able to identify the town they’re approaching by the lighthouse. You’ll learn fun trivia like that when you explore the Lighthouse Museum and Keeper’s House.

It is iconic and as beautiful on a cloudy day as a sunny summer one- The St. Augustine Lighthouse is a must-see in St. Augustine.

Two rooms flank the entrance hallway to the Lighthouse and house artifacts, extra lenses and informational plaques. Make time to pop in each room before making your way up the steps.

I love the beauty of old St. Augustine. Even utilitarian buildings and spiral staircases are built with elegant simplicity.

It’s a long way up: Landings pepper the 219-step climb so you can rest on a bench if needed. Timothy enjoyed testing his strength against the weighted oil can meant to replicate the hefty load lighthouse keepers carried to the top each night.

protip: The stairs are narrow- don’t try to hurry past other climbers! If you are able to wait for a group to pass on a landing, be courteous and do so.

Although windows on the way up allow for some ventilation, the breeze when you step from the tower onto the viewing platform is blissfully refreshing. And the view is breathtaking {even if you’re not panting from the climb!} 

This shot of two proud first-time-climbers, the intracoastal an undeveloped barrier island and then the Atlantic Ocean makes my lifelong-Florida-girl heart sing! The climb is totally worth it!

Andrew made the climb twice- oh to be 7 again!!
360 degree view of St. Augustine! Walk around to the other side of the tower and see the Bridge of Lions, Cathedral Basilica and Flagler College.

More to Explore: Back on the ground, there is still a lot to explore in this 10 acre compound. Nature trails wind throughout the property and give visitors an understanding of a “maritime hammock” habitat. The Keeper’s House is home to a museum that spans the history of St. Augustine. Nearby, maritime archeologists unearth and preserve artifacts from shipwrecks off the coast. Many days, local craftsmen continue work on a seaworthy boat that will  be auctioned off to raise funds for research and education. It’s easy to spend a morning or an afternoon exploring The St Augustine Lighthouse grounds.

Don’t forget the Gift Shop: They sell flip flops that leave a lighthouse imprint in the sand as you walk. ’nuff said!!!

Ghost Tour: If you’re into the paranormal, it’s easy to spend an evening exploring the grounds, too. $25 gains access to the lighthouse tower, the keeper’s house and the trails during their Dark Side of the Moon Ghost Tours. Join celebrity ghost hunters from Ghost Hunters, CNN, Fox News and The Weather Channel in exploring the “most haunted lighthouse in America”… if you dare. Start times for Dark Side of the Moon change seasonally- usually around 7:30 in the winter and 9:30 in the summer.

St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum
100 Red Cox Road
(904) 829-0745

Admission: $9.95 adults, $7.95 seniors and children over 44″ tall, children too small to climb the tower are free.

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