With 30 lighthouses to explore in the state, the east coast of Florida is one of the best places to start! There are 10 lighthouses along the east coast including the two tallest in Florida. One of the most exciting parts is many of the lighthouse towers are open to the public to climb. Continue reading to see which lighthouse you want to visit first.
East Coast Florida Lighthouses
There are 10 lighthouses along the east coast of Florida which are listed below.
- Amelia Island
- St. John’s
- St. John’s River
- St. Augustine
- Ponce de Leon Inlet
- Cape Canaveral
- Jupiter Inlet
- Hillsboro Inlet
- Cape Florida
- Fowey Rocks
Which East Coast Florida Lighthouses can be climbed?
There are 6 lighthouses that are open to the public to climb to the top. A few of these are open daily, but some are only open for special events or selected dates. Continue to read each individual section to learn more.
- St. Augustine
- Ponce de Leon Inlet
- Cape Canaveral – restrictions apply
- Jupiter Inlet
- Hillsboro Inlet
- Cape Florida
Which East Coast Florida Lighthouses are only accessible by boat or ferry?
Many of the east coast Florida lighthouses are accessible by land which makes it much easier to plan your visit. However, Fowey Rocks Lighthouse is located around open water and only accessible by boat.
Additionally, tours to Hillsboro Inlet are provided by the Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society via boat, but views of this lighthouse are available from land. See more information on each lighthouse below.
Which East Coast Florida Lighthouses are not accessible to the public?
Two of the lighthouses are located on the Naval Station Mayport and no public access is allowed at the base. These are the St. John’s Lighthouse and St. John’s River Lighthouse.
1. Amelia Island Lighthouse
The Amelia Island Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in the state of Florida, built in 1838. The 64-feet tall lighthouse is located in Fernandina Beach, Florida. The lighthouse grounds are open on Saturdays from 11 AM to 2 PM. The lighthouse tower is closed to the public, but tours inside the lighthouse are offered twice a month on the first and third Wednesday at 10 AM. The tour does not include climbing the tower. A minimum of 5 participants must be pre-registered for the tour and there is a maximum of 22 participants per tour. The cost is $10 per adult and $5 for children 12 years or younger.
More information can be found here.
2. St. John’s Lighthouse
This lighthouse is owned by the Coast Guard and there is no access to the public. The lighthouse is located inside Naval Station Mayport and access to the base is restricted to those with military identification only.
According to the lighthouse friend’s website a view of the lighthouse may be seen from Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park which is located outside of the base. The lighthouse is 64-feet tall.
3. St. John’s River Lighthouse
The St. John’s River Lighthouse is also located on the Naval Station Mayport base. The lighthouse is owned by the Navy and access to the public is restricted.
According to the lighthouse friend’s website a view of the lighthouse may be seen from the town of Mayport near the St. John’s River Ferry. This lighthouse is 72-feet tall.
4. St. Augustine Lighthouse
One of the most popular lighthouses to visit in Florida in the St. Augustine Lighthouse. It is the second tallest lighthouse in the state of Florida standing at 165-feet tall. The St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum is open daily to the public.
Visitors can climb 219 steps to take in the view from the top. Children must be at least 44 inches tall to climb. The cost to visit is $14.95 for adults. A $2 discount is available for children 12 years or under and seniors 60 years or older. In addition to the general admission the lighthouse offers a few guided tours.
More information on visiting the lighthouse can be found here.
5. Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse
The tallest lighthouse in the state of Florida is located in Ponce Inlet, Florida. Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum is open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM. During the summer the lighthouse is open until 9 PM. Adult admission is $6.95, and children aged 3-11 years is $1.95. The lighthouse is 175-feet tall and there are 203 steps to climb to the top. Children must be able to climb the lighthouse on their own to enter the tower. Additionally, special events such as climb to the moon are held once monthly and more information can be found on their website.
6. Cape Canaveral Lighthouse
The Cape Canaveral Lighthouse is located on the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, adjacent to the Kennedy Space Center. There are some tours provided by the Kennedy Space Center that may include views of the lighthouse.
Additionally, guided tours of the lighthouse are provided by the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation. Only United States citizens can join these guided tours due to restrictions of entering the air force base. The tour is 4 hours in length, with approximately 1 hour spent at the lighthouse. The first 5 floors of the lighthouse are open for climbing. A minimum height of 48 inches is required. Reservations must be made at least 2 days in advance and a minimum of 4 people is required for the tour to run.
More information on Cape Canaveral Lighthouse tours can be found here as well as videos and virtual tours of this lighthouse.
7. Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse
The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday 10 AM to 4 PM (closed on Mondays). General admission is $12 with discounts available for US Veterans, senior citizens, and children. Children must be 48 inches tall to climb. The lighthouse is 108-feet tall and there are 105 steps to the top. Special events are held periodically throughout the year. More information to plan your visit can be found on the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse website.
8. Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse
Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse is located near Pompano Beach, Florida. The lighthouse can be viewed from the beach, but the grounds and tower are usually closed. Approximately once per month tours are held by the Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society. During these tours the lighthouse grounds and tower are open. Pease check their website here to see the next tour date.
Multiple tours are held throughout the day and reservations cannot be made in advance. The tours begin at Sands Dock, and you will take a boat to reach the lighthouse. Transportation cost of $35 per person is required. It is recommended to arrive early as tours often sell out in advance. Registration begins 30 minutes prior to the first sail time and the tour takes approximately 1 hour. The lighthouse is 144-feet tall and there are 175 steps to the top. Children must be 48 inches to climb the tower.
9. Cape Florida Lighthouse
Cape Florida Lighthouse is located on the southern end of Key Biscayne in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. The lighthouse is 95-feet tall and there are 109 steps to the top.
Please note that as of November 17, 2023, the Florida State Park website states the lighthouse grounds are currently closed. The information listed below is the typical hours the lighthouse grounds and tower are open. Check back for updates.
The lighthouse is open for climbing daily except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Tours are provided at 10 AM and 1 PM. The tour is free with a $8 per vehicle admission into the state park. In addition to climbing the lighthouse the keeper’s quarter is open during tour times. Children must be at least 42 inches tall to climb the lighthouse.
The lighthouse grounds are open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM and views of the lighthouse can be seen from the beach. More information can be found here. Be sure to check back on the Florida State Park website for reopening of the lighthouse grounds.
10. Fowey Rocks Lighthouse
Fowey Rocks Lighthouse is located approximately 6.5 miles offshore from the southern end of Key Biscayne. The lighthouse is owned by the National Park Service and located within the park boundaries of Biscayne National Park.
A distant view of the lighthouse may be possible from the Cape Florida lighthouse, but it will be best seen by boat or plane. Biscayne National Institute provides a tour with views of three lighthouses including Cape Florida, Fowey Rocks, and Boca Chita Lighthouse. It is noted that weather and sea conditions may impact how close the boat is able to get to Fowey Rocks Lighthouse.
Please note that Boca Chita Lighthouse is a faux lighthouse and not included in the list of 30 Florida lighthouses. Additionally, it is currently undergoing construction and anticipated to be completed in May 2024. More information on this tour can be found here.
Summary of East Coast Florida Lighthouses
There are 10 lighthouses along the east coast of Florida with 6 of them open to the public to climb. Each lighthouse is unique and is worth a visit. I have visited 4 of the 10 lighthouses so far including St. Augustine, Ponce Inlet, Jupiter Inlet, and Cape Florida. Which lighthouse do you want to visit first? Comment below and let me know!
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The information above was accurate at the time of publishing to the best of the author’s knowledge. Information will be verified and updated periodically. If you are planning to visit any of the Florida Lighthouses, I recommend verifying the most current information with the individual lighthouse websites.