Florida’s St Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum gives visitors both breathtaking 140 foot views of Northeast Florida from the top of the Lighthouse and a trip back through centuries of St. Augustine’s history at the Museum to learn about the region’s maritime heritage. The history begins with Ponce de Leon, and continues through artifacts left behind by shipwrecks in the coastal waters, to the 20th century growth of the shrimping industry.
Be sure to see the newest interactive exhibit, Wrecked! It’s a double feature – a display of American Revolutionary War artifacts retrieved from a 1782 British loyalist ship wrecked off St. Augustine, and the story of how underwater archaeologists locate historic shipwrecks like this one that lie on the ocean floor. The Museum invites you to “dive” into this relatively unknown part of American history.
General Admission includes several guided tours:
- Tiny Clues invites visitors to look for the smallest artifacts and discover shipwreck secrets in a hands-on archaeology activity (offered daily at 10 am and 4 pm).
- Behind the Scenes Tour guides visitors on a tour of Lighthouse history, wooden boatbuilding and shipwreck archaeology (offered daily on the hour from 11 am – 3 pm).
Self-guided Exhibits include:
- The Keepers’ Office at the base of the Lighthouse tower displays the tools and everyday tasks of the lighthouse keeper.
- From Whaling to Whale Watching tells about early lighthouses’ use of whale oil to fuel the lights, and the transition away from whaling to whale watching. Visitors also will learn about the best time of year to whale watch from the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse.
- St. Augustine Light Station Tour explores the surrounding grounds for stories about the Light Station and how it has changed over time.
- Legends of the Light provides a “View from the Top” for those who do not climb the stairs to the top of the Light, hands-on activities for children, and a ship model display.
- At Home with the Harns in a Post Civil War Household peeks into the first lighthouse keeper’s Victorian parlor and tells about the home life of the family in the 1880s The exhibit includes interactive games and school activities from that era.
- Heritage Boatworks displays small wooden craft built by the Museum’s volunteer boat builders and tells about boat building using historic documents, tools and materials.
- Maritime Hammock Nature Trails invite visitors to explore Anastasia Island’s natural environment. A Maritime Hammock Scavenger Hunt helps them search for different animals that live in this coastal habitat and learn about historic uses of different plants.
The lighthouse and museum are open daily from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm. General Admission tickets are $12.95 for adults, $10.95 for seniors and children ages 12 or under and 44″ or taller. Dark of the Moon Ghost Tours and Private Tours also are available. Online savings or a printed discount coupon are available on the website.
Lighthouse Park is less than two miles from Casa de Solana Bed and Breakfast in St. Augustine’s historic district. Guests choose their accommodations from our ten unique guestrooms on three floors. Some rooms include fireplace sitting areas, shaded balconies, or outdoor sitting areas. Just go online or give us a call to choose your favorite room and reserve your St. Augustine getaway.