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Florida Guide > Places to Visit

St Augustine Lighthouse and Museum

We went to the Lighthouse and Museum on the recommendation of some other guests at our hotel when we visited St Augustine. They told us to allow at least an hour to tour the site and climb the tower, as the latter was one hundred and sixty feet high and we had my Father with us it took us nearer to an hour and a half.

The Lighthouse opens at 9. 00am and the last ticket is sold at 5. 45pm for a 6. 00pm close. It was a good job we did not leave it so late to get our tickets! During July and some holidays they are open until 7:00 pm, with the last ticket being sold at 6:45 pm. I believe they close Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day. As with many attractions in Florida Military personnel are admitted free with a valid military ID. This includes their spouse and children.

During bad weather, the observation deck and /or tower may be closed for safety reasons. If the weather looks threatening it is best to phone before you visit to make sure it is open.

The Lighthouse and Museum have stood on this site for centuries and has seen many triumphs and tragedies, as well as being a light for the land and sea. When you climb to the top of the tower you will have a spectacular view of the city, its beaches and the nation’s oldest port. You can hear the stories of the ships lost in the treacherous St Augustine Inlet. You will also be able to see the working Fresnel lens.


There is much local folk lore about people who lost their lives on this site. It includes the lighthouse keeper who fell to his death from the original tower; his wife later went on to become the keeper. When another keeper died of TB in the late 1800s his wife became an assistant keeper. It seems strange in eras when not many women worked that this should happen.

The man supervising the construction of the Lighthouse brought his family to live on site when it was being built. Unfortunately there was a tragic accident that ended with the drowning of two of his daughters and another girl.

We visited the Museum Store at the end of our tour. You may visit here free of charge you do not need to have been on the tour. There were lots of interesting things including as you would expect Lighthouse replicas, books, jewelry, gifts for the kitchen as well as wind chimes and nautical replicas.

As we left we saw an advertisement about specialty evening tours for Sunset/Moonrise and Dark of the Moon. We did not have time to find out more about these but intend to possibly go on the Sunset one next time we go to St Augustine.

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Page added on: 11 October 2010
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