6 Gulf Coast Florida Lighthouses to Visit  

Living in Florida, one of my goals is to visit all the Florida Lighthouses! This is a fun activity and the gulf coast provides multiple opportunities for a lighthouse adventure. Keep reading to learn all about the lighthouses along the west coast of Florida.

Gasparilla Island Lighthouse, from a far.

Gulf Coast Florida Lighthouses  

There are 6 lighthouses along the gulf or west coast of Florida listed below.  

  1. Cedar Keys 
  2. Anclote Key 
  3. Egmont Key 
  4. Gasparilla Island 
  5. Port Boca Grande 
  6. Sanibel Island  
View of the Sanibel Lighthouse from underneath it.

Which Gulf Coast Florida Lighthouses can be climbed? 

One of my favorite activities is climbing to the top of the lighthouse tower and taking in the view. However, you cannot climb all of the lighthouses, especially on the gulf coast. Only 3 are open to climb on select dates and times only.  

  • Cedar Keys
  • Anclote Key  
  • Gasparilla Island

Which Gulf Coast Florida Lighthouses are only accessible via boat or ferry? 

The following lighthouses are on an island an only accessible by private boat and/or ferry. More information can be found in the individual sections for each lighthouse.  

  • Anclote Key 
  • Egmont Key  
  • Cedar Key  
View of the Egmont Key lighthouse and surrounding trees and plants from the beach.

1. Cedar Keys Lighthouse 

Near Cedar Key, Florida Cedar Keys Lighthouse is located on Seahorse Key and is 33-feet-tall. This lighthouse is only accessible by boat or ferry. Tidewater Tours and Cedar Key Boat Rentals and Island tours offer ferry services when the lighthouse is open. It is typically open on select dates in March, July, and the third weekend in October. At the time of this publication tour information for 2024 was not available. I recommend checking out the tour websites for more information if you want to plan a trip.  

2. Anclote Key Lighthouse 

Standing at 110-feet-tall Anclote Key Lighthouse is located on an island near Tarpon Springs, Florida. The only way to visit Anclote Key Lighthouse is by private boat. The lighthouse is open on the second weekend of each month from November through May to climb from 10 AM to 4 PM. A donation of $7 is recommended if you climb the lighthouse. More information can be found here

Although there is a ferry service to Anclote Key State Park, the time on the island is not long enough to climb the lighthouse. Trust me, I’ve asked! I have not taken the ferry so I am unsure if you will still get a good view of the lighthouse on a ferry ride. 

One other option to get a distant view of the lighthouse is from Fred Howard Park. I have not visited the park in several years, but I plan to go back soon to see how the view is. If you’ve seen the lighthouse from the park, comment below and let me know if it’s worth it!   

3. Egmont Key Lighthouse 

Located near St. Petersburg, Florida the best way to visit Egmont Key Lighthouse is to spend a day at Egmont Key State Park. This lighthouse is only accessible by private boat or ferry. A ferry service is provided by Hubbard’s Marina daily leaving from Fort De Soto Park. The ferry takes approximately 1 hour each way and you have about 3 hours to spend in the park. More information to plan your trip can be found here.

To ensure preservation of the lighthouse, visitors are unable to climb this 87-feet-tall lighthouse. Once you get some pictures and take in the lighthouse grounds you spend the rest of your time exploring the park.  

Egmont Key Lighthouse and keepers quarters.

4. Gasparilla Island Lighthouse 

Gasparilla Island Lighthouse is located in Boca Grande, Florida and accessible by land. This 105-feet-tall lighthouse is only open on select dates for climbing between October and April. See the Barrier Island Park Society website for more information. Even if you can’t visit on a day the lighthouse is open for climbing, it is next to miles of pristine beach at Gasparilla Island State Park, and it is still worth a visit! Find more information on my blog post here.   

Gasparilla Island Lighthouse.

5. Port Boca Grande Lighthouse 

Located just down the road from Gasparilla Island Lighthouse is the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse. This lighthouse is 44-feet tall. There is a museum located inside the Port Boca Grade lighthouse. Unfortunately, the lighthouse and museum have been closed since Hurricane Ian in 2022. I recommend checking back on the Barrier Island Parks website periodically for the re-opening. 

Port Boca Grande Lighthouse.

6. Sanibel Island Lighthouse  

Standing at 98-feet-tall the Sanibel Island Lighthouse is located on Sanibel Island, Florida and is accessible by land. The Sanibel Island lighthouse is not open for climbing, but you can enjoy the lighthouse grounds. I visited this lighthouse prior to Hurricane Ian in 2022, however the lighthouse is still standing despite the storms damage.  

View of the Sanibel lighthouse.

Summary of Gulf Coast Florida Lighthouses 

Even though many of the gulf coast Florida lighthouses are not open for climbing, they are still fun to visit and learn the history behind the lighthouses. Have you visited any of these lighthouses? If so, which one is your favorite and if not, which one is first on your list? Comment below and let me know!  

The view from below Gasparilla Island Lighthouse.

Looking for additional Florida Gulf Coast adventures? 

Check out these posts! 

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 Florida Lighthouse association or Friends of Florida Lighthouses websites.  

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