There are 30 lighthouses in the state of Florida and 5 of them are located within Florida State Parks. Below is a list of the four Florida State Parks that you can visit to see a lighthouse.
Four Florida State Parks to Visit to see Lighthouses
More information about each of these parks can be found below.
- Egmont Key State Park
- Anclote Key Preserve State Park
- Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
- Gasparilla Island State Park
Which lighthouses are located in Florida State Parks?
Even though there are only 4 Florida State Parks listed, there are 5 lighthouses that you can visit within these parks listed below. There are 2 lighthouses in Gasparilla Island State Park.
- Egmont Key
- Anclote Key
- Cape Florida
- Gasparilla Island
- Port Boca Grande
Can you climb any of the lighthouses?
Yes, you can climb some of the lighthouses located in Florida State Parks when they are open. The only lighthouse tower on this list that is closed permanently to the public is Egmont Key Lighthouse to preserve the structure.
Anclote Key, Cape Florida, Gasparilla Island, and Port Boca Grande towers are open to the public for climbing on selected dates. More information on each of these lighthouses can be found below.
Which of the Florida State Parks are accessible by car?
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park and Gasparilla Island State Park are both accessible by car. A ferry or private boat is needed to reach Egmont Key and Anclote Key State Parks.
1. Egmont Key State Park
One of the best day trips from the Tampa Bay area is Egmont Key State Park! The Egmont Key Lighthouse is located on Egmont Key near St. Petersburg, Florida. The park is only accessible via private boat or ferry. A ferry departs daily from Fort De Soto Boat Ramp, provided by Hubbard’s Marina Ferry.
The ferry will drop you off close to the lighthouse, and after walking a short distance you can take in the view of this 87-feet tall lighthouse. It was built in 1858 and is now owned by the Coast Guard. The grounds are open to the public, but the tower is closed for climbing to help preserve this historic lighthouse.
The ferry ride from Fort De Soto County Park is about 1 hour and you will have approximately 3 hours left to explore Egmont Key before returning to Fort De Soto Park. More information on the ferry can be found here.
Other activities at Egmont Key State Park
After you finish exploring the lighthouse grounds you can choose from the additional activities below to spend the rest of your time at the park.
- Hike the nature trails
- Relax on the beach
- Explore the historic gun batteries
- Enjoy a picnic lunch
IMPORTANT: This is a remote park and there are no restroom facilities in the park. Additionally, there is no food or beverage available for purchase. I recommend packing a picnic lunch in addition to plenty of water. There is no park entrance fee, but a fee is required for the ferry.
Check out this post to learn more to plan your visit to Egmont Key State Park.
2. Anclote Key Preserve State Park
Anclote Key Preserve State Park is located approximately 3-miles offshore of Tarpon Springs, Florida. At the southern part of the key is Anclote Key Lighthouse which was built in 1887 and is 110-feet tall. The lighthouse tower is only open on the second weekend of the month November through May. Transportation to the island to visit the lighthouse is not available and it is only accessible by private boat or charter.
If you want to visit the park without climbing the lighthouse ferry service is provided by multiple companies. The ferry will make a stop on the island, but there is not sufficient time to get to and climb the lighthouse. See below for ferry providers to Anclote Key according to the Florida State Parks website.
- Dream Catcher Explorations
- Island Paradise Charters
- Parrotidse Express
- Odyssey Cruises
- Spongeorama’s Cruise Lines
Other activities at Anclote Key Preserve State Park
If you hire a private charter or have your own boat and can spend more time on the island, see below some additional activities that can be enjoyed.
- Relax on the beach
There is no food or beverage available at this park. Therefore, you will want to ensure to pack some snacks as well as plenty of water. There are two compostable toilets on Anclote Key. One of these facilities is located near the lighthouse. There is no park entrance fee.
3. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is located on Key Biscayne, Florida where the 95-feet tall lighthouse stands on the southern end of the key. This lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. According to the Florida State Park website the lighthouse grounds are currently closed as of November 17, 2023. Check back on the Florida State Park website for the most up to date information.
The lighthouse grounds and tower are typically open Thursday through Monday for tours at 10 AM and 1 PM. Additionally, the lighthouse grounds are typically open from 9 AM to 5 PM. There are 109 steps to the top of the lighthouse.
Additional activities at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
This state park is often very busy on weekends and holidays and at times reaches capacity. Therefore, it is recommended to arrive early to ensure you can get into the park. The park is open from 8 AM to sundown. Below are other activities you can enjoy while visiting the park.
- Relax on the beach
Food and beverages are available for purchase from Lighthouse Café. The menu can be found here. Restroom facilities are available and there is a fee of $8 per vehicle to enter the park.
4. Gasparilla Island State Park
Gasparilla Island State Park is one of the most beautiful parks I have ever visited! Located in Boca Grande, Florida there are two lighthouses at the park, Gasparilla Island Lighthouse and Port Boca Grande Lighthouse. Gasparilla Island Lighthouse is 105-feet tall, and Port Boca Grande is 44-feet tall. The lighthouses are located just under 2 miles from each other.
Gasparilla Island Lighthouse grounds are open to the public and the tower is open for climbing on select dates only. See the Barrier Island Park Society website for specific dates. There are 134 steps to the top of the lighthouse.
Port Boca Grande Lighthouse and Museum is currently closed from damage that occurred during Hurricane Ian in 2022.
Additional activities at Gasparilla Island State Park
After you finish exploring the lighthouses below are other things to do at the park!
- Relax on the beach
Restroom facilities are available at this park. More information to help plan your visit can be found on my blog post. A fee of $3 per vehicle is required for park entrance which can be placed in the honor box.
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