The St. Augustine Lighthouse is a beautiful and still-active lighthouse located in St. Augustine, Florida.
Standing at the north end of Anastasia Island, this landmark has been a notable attraction in the community since 1874 and is actually the most recent of many towers that have been built in the area.
About the Lighthouse and Museum
The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum, Inc, a nonprofit maritime museum and private aid-to-navigation, owns the lighthouse. It is open to the public.
The admission fees to tour the lighthouse pay for its continued preservation while also funding programs in maritime archaeology. The museum is dedicated to preserving and teaching about the rich history of the port and the lighthouse itself.
The museum is also home to the nation’s only museum-organized underwater archaeology field schools.
Graduate and undergrad students from around the world head here during the summertime to gain job experience and to help research hundreds of documented shipwrecks.
The original tower was originally built as a Spanish watchtower in the late 1500s. Considered Florida’s first lighthouse, it was a navigational landmark for hundreds of years.
By the 1870s erosion of the shoreline threatened the structure, and Congress allocated money to build a new one. This is the St. Augustine Lighthouse that you see today.
It’s the area’s oldest surviving brick structure and rises 165 feet above sea level. The original lens still sits inside of it, continuing as a beacon for any at sea. The culture and history of St. Augustine definitely includes the historic St. Augustine Lighthouse.
The museum serves more than 225,000 visitors each year who want to come and see the many attractions the St. Augustine Lighthouse has to offer. Guided tours are held daily on the hour and are free with your admission.
You’ll see the artifact conservation areas, which have items from different shipwrecks that were recovered. Then you’ll move on to see ship modeling, Heritage Boat Building, and other interactive exhibits.
Another great attraction to check out while you’re touring the museum and the St. Augustine Lighthouse is the family-friendly “Wrecked!” exhibit. It features artifacts from a 1782 British loyalist shipwreck found in St. Augustine with ties to the American Revolutionary War.
One of the newest exhibitions at the museum, it will show you how archaeologists at the St. Augustine Lighthouse explore shipwrecks and discover artifacts underwater.
And of course, you can climb to the top of St. Augustine Lighthouse—one of the things we’d say is a must-do when visiting. You’ll go up 219 steps to reach the top of this beautiful and historic lighthouse.
You can see a breathtaking view of St. Augustine and the sparkling waters below. It’s a view you won’t soon forget, and definitely helps make the St. Augustine Lighthouse top the list of places to see while on vacation.
Events at the St Augustine Florida Lighthouse
Luminary Night and Night Fest
Many St. Augustine events take place throughout the year at the city’s Lighthouse and Maritime Museum. One of the most popular annual events in St. Augustine takes place on the first Saturday in March. “Night Fest” is a family-friendly celebration of community and history.
Another much-anticipated tradition is the annual “Luminary Night” which occurs on the first Wednesday of December each year and includes thousands of candlelit luminaries, children’s crafts, live music, and a visit from Santa Claus.
Dark of the Moon Tour
If you’re looking for something on the spookier side, make sure to check out the “Dark of the Moon” tour. This no-gimmicks ghost tour takes you into the lighthouse at night.
The St. Augustine Lighthouse is considered one of the most haunted places in all of St. Augustine. The exclusive ghost tour will be sure to spook you as you take the guided ghost tour of the lighthouse and the museum. Make sure to book this tour plenty in advance because it fills up fast.
Camp programs, specialty tours, interactive exhibits, historic boat building and more are available throughout the year to continue the reach for knowledge and exploration of the lighthouse’s rich history.
Sunset Moonrise Lighthouse Tour
Once a month, guests are able to enjoy an amazing view from the top of the lighthouse tower where they can watch the sun slowly descend below the historic St. Augustine skyline.
As the full moon ascends from the Atlantic horizon, the breathtaking view can be enjoyed with complimentary champagne from the local San Sebastian Winery and delicious hors-d’oeuvres from The Reef Restaurant.
These lighthouse tours are very popular as a romantic date night or as a better way to appreciate the beauty of St. Augustine. Space is limited. Since tours often sell out well in advance, it’s a good idea to purchase tickets ahead of time. Of course, there are many other tours available in St. Augustine.
If you’re looking for a way to get a real sense of the history and beauty of St. Augustine, visiting the lighthouse in St. Augustine is the perfect way to do just that.
Contact us today at (800)-398-5980 learn more about the many local attractions and how you can stay here affordably at our St. Augustine resort.