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St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum

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St. Augustine Lighthouse

St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum

© Dawn Henthorn, licensed to About.com

Overview:

Explore the Victorian era house, climb 219 steps to the top of the 165-foot tower, and examine the artifacts in the maritime museum at the site of Florida's first lighthouse. The view at the top is magnificent and the audio self-guided tour very interesting!

Address & Phone:

81 Lighthouse Avenue
St. Augustine, FL 32080

Phone: 904-829-0745

Website:

Spectacular view is worth the climb!:

The St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum is perhaps the best "attraction" in the ancient city and the view from the top will be the highlight of your visit. Climbing the 219 steps of the St. Augustine Lighthouse takes a good deal of effort, but several landings offer a welcome respite along the way; and, once the top is reached, the view is spectacular and definitely worth the effort!

The self-guided tour of the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum is made more interesting by the audio recordings provided by a self-regulated hand-held electronic recorder. Visitors may pick up one as they exit the welcome center. It allows visitors to tour the grounds, lighthouse and museum at their own pace.

After the old lighthouse tower crashed into the sea due to sand erosion, construction on the new lighthouse tower was started in 1871 and completed in 1874. In 1980 a massive restoration project began and in 1981, the lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today the St. Augustine Lighthouse Station consists of the 165-foot 1874 tower, the 1876 Keepers' House, two summer kitchens added in 1886, a 1941 U.S. Coast Guard barracks and a 1936 garage that was home to a jeep repair facility during World War II.

The museum is housed in the old Coast Guard barracks and pays tribute to the Coast Guard men and women who manned the lighthouse to watch for enemy ships and submarines during World War II. Also housed in the museum are old light prisms and a growing number of World War II memorabilia.

The museum also researches boat building and the history of the local shrimping industry and displays artifacts at the outdoor Boat Works exhibit area. Check the Lighthouse calendar for boat building demonstrations.

This is a great experience for young and old. There is a height and age requirement for children to climb the Lighthouse tower, and children may not be carried.

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