While in St Augustine last summer we had the chance to visit the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum. The entire trip I could not wait to stop at the lighthouse and get pictures. If you know anything about me you would know that I have obsession with lighthouses. I would travel the world just to take pictures of lighthouses; no joke. You might be able to tell from the pictures below.
When you pull up to the lighthouse there is house entrance you enter first. This is the shop and part of the museum. Where you can see history about locals and the lighthouse itself. While at the shop, I bought a pair of lighthouse silver earrings. They did have a good range of gifts and postcards if that’s your thing including real gold earrings and lighthouse replicas.
Once you visit the shop you will walk through the greenery in the back towards the lighthouse and the maritime museum. We took a stroll into the lighthouse first and to be honest in the first weeks of August in Florida it’s definitely hot. A neck fan is something I would highly suggest. While I didn’t get to walk to the top because of my swollen feet not my fear of heights; my husband did make the climb.
The St. Augustine Lighthouse rises 165 feet above sea level and contains 219 steps that are climbed by visitors. At the top, the original, first order Fresnel lens still serves the beacon, but today is lit by a 1000 watt bulb, and maintained by the museum and volunteers. The St. Augustine lens consists of 370 hand-cut glass prisms arranged in a beehive shape towering twelve feet tall and six feet in diameter. You can read more about it here. As you see above this is one of the beacons.
On display is the suit the lighthouse keeper would wear and one of the tools he used to work on the beacon. Could you imagine walking 219 steps to refuel the beacon every two hours or so. The families would often times help. In 1876, a brick light keeper’s house was added to the property, a triplex that held two families and a young, single, 2nd assistant keeper, most often of Menorcan descent. Brick summer kitchens were added in 1886.
After leaving the St. Augustine lighthouse we took a stroll through the maritime museum/ lighthouse keeper’s home. The home is set to the way they would have lived at the time when they serviced the lighthouse. Adorned with many items of that time period it is a fascinating look back in time. It’s a fantastic history lesson for the children that might be with you too.
Below the home is a second level with additional information about dives that took place surrounding the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum. Along with some stunning visual sets! They also have a dinner table set up which shows just how short people used to be. I don’t know how well you can judge from the photograph but this table is tiny!
The St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum should definitely be a stop on your list if your headed to St. Augustine for vacation. Without any doubt we definitely enjoyed our time there.
You can read more about St. Augustine at our round up post with plenty of locations to visit while your there. Have a look at my picture of the lighthouse from the water.
I laugh at how you can see my hands in his sunglasses but it was definitely fun trying to get the both of us in a picture along with the lighthouse. It’s HUGE and stunning in person but surely fun to navigate a photograph of. What are your vacation plans? Anywhere you think we should visit? Have you been to the lighthouse? Love to hear about it!