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It wasn’t something I had been dying to do but we figured we might as well since we were there and had time. It was a cold and sort of windy day so it was perfect for being inside, at least while we were climbing the lighthouse and wandering through the museum buildings.
Our first stop was the lighthouse itself and we set off up the 219 steps to the top of the 165 foot-tall tower. You might get a little dizzy on your way up, but the view is totally worth it. Don’t worry though, there are eight landings so you can rest without blocking the stairs.
Once you’re at the top you have the best view of St. Augustine and the Atlantic and you get to see the whole area, which I loved. After we spent some time at the top we headed back down to wander through the keepers quarters and the rest of the buildings that make up the Maritime Museum.
I was less enthused about that part (I’m not a huge museum person unless it’s a weird museum) and didn’t take much from it, but the one thing I do remember and thought was so cool was that all lighthouses are painted different so sailors didn’t get them confused and they knew where they were. How cool is that!?
One of my favorite things to do in Florida now is to climb lighthouses. When we visited Cape San Blas in the winter of 2020, we took a day trip over to St. George Island and ended up climbing the St. George Island Lighthouse while we were there. The view was better here, but it’s still really cool on St. George Island and totally worth the (shorter!) climb. They do have a more interesting history though, at least I think so.
So, if you like lighthouses, this is definitely worth a stop. If you like great birds-eye-views, it’s totally worth it. If you hate lighthouses, history, and great views, you should definitely skip this.
Where is the St. Augustine Lighthouse?
The lighthouse in St. Augustine is actually just outside of town on Anastasia Island. It’s a short drive from Anastasia State Park and downtown St. Augustine.
How much is the St. Augustine Lighthouse?
It’s $12.95 (general admission) for adults and gives you access to the lighthouse and the Maritime Museum. It’s $17-$30 for the special tours offered, depending on the tour.
How long do I need for the St. Augustine Lighthouse?
I would plan 2-3 hours for the St. Augustine Lighthouse, but this will definitely depend on whether or not you want to visit the museum exhibits, and if you do, how much/how fast you read everything. If you just want to climb the lighthouse, an hour should be good, maybe a little more.
St. Augustine Lighthouse ghost tours (and other tours)
One of the best things to do in St. Augustine is a ghost tour, but did you know you can do one at the lighthouse, too? Yup! I would love to do this next time I’m there. They also offer a few other tours that sound pretty cool.
This is the only tour that takes you up the lighthouse at night. The ghost tour is $25 and should be booked in advance. This is one of the most haunted places in St. Augustine and you’ll get to learn all about it on this tour. There is also an investigation only option that is offered on a more limited basis. You can also arrange private ghost tours.
This is a one-hour escape room-style adventure around the ground of the lighthouse. This could be a fun way to see the lighthouse and learn about it in a more interactive way, especially for families and Wannabe Nancy Drews like yours truly. It is $20 for adults and $18 for kids.
This tour is offered once a month and from the top of the lighthouse, you get to watch the sunset behind St. Augustine and the moonrise from the Atlantic. It includes champagne from the San Sebastian Winery and hors d’oeuvres from The Reef Restaurant.
Sunrise, Lens Room
If you want to go inside the lens room, this is the only way you can do that. You’ll get to see the sunrise while you get exclusive access to the lens room, which would be such a great experience, especially for anyone who really loves lighthouses.
Is the St. Augustine Lighthouse worth it?
Yes! You get in a good workout with all the stairs and have one of the best views around. You can see the coast as well as the town of St. Augustine. Plus, you don’t just get to climb the lighthouse, you can wander the grounds and visit the museum(s) on property. I’m glad we went even if just for the climb.
Have you been to the St. Augustine Lighthouse? What did you think of it? What is your favorite lighthouse in Florida?