Oldest Lighthouse & Museum


Credit St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum

The historic city of St. Augustine is the site of the oldest navigational aid in the United States; the original, a Spanish watchtower, was converted into Florida’s first lighthouse in 1824. A second lighthouse was completed in 1874 to replace its predecessor, taken by the sea after a long battle with erosion in 1880. Constructed of Alabama brick and Philadelphia iron, it rises an impressive, candy-striped 165 feet above sea level and contains 219 steps; its massive lens consists of 370 hand-cut glass prisms arranged in a beehive shape 12 feet tall and six feet wide. Visitors to the Old City are invited on self-guided tours of the Lighthouse, Museum and Shipyard Playground, with a variety of fabulous, fun and informative guided tours offered to enhance an already fascinating experience. Climb to the top and enjoy stunning 360 degree views of St. Augustine, St. Augustine Beach, the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean; be regaled with the colorful stories of lightkeepers, sailors and fishermen who’ve shaped and protected the coast of Florida for more than 500 years and ponder centuries of maritime history and trivia as you marvel at three stories of intriguing exhibits and authentic artifacts, many from the sites of old shipwrecks.

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