For centuries, lighthouses have illuminated sailors’ journeys and helped fish find the location of underwater motivational seminars. Find some direction with today's Groupon: for $9, you get two adult admissions (a $19 value) to the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum in St. Augustine.
The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum preserves and exhibits the picturesque St. Augustine Lighthouse, the city’s oldest surviving brick structure, with a history extending back to the late 1500s. Take a self-guided tour through a large collection of World War II artifacts and photographs or the oral history library contained in the museum's permanent collection, pausing to query the on-site historical interpreters about the lighthouse's storied history or the exact distance to Tipperary. After perusing the museum, visitors can climb the lighthouse’s 219 steps to 165 feet above sea level, where they can view the Fresnel lens, a 12-foot-tall conglomeration of 370 hand-cut glass prisms that doubles as a planetary escape pod.
St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum
The St. Augustine Lighthouse has been keeping its luminous eye on the Atlantic’s endless horizon since 1874. In the 130 years since, the tower of Alabama brick and Philadelphia iron has served as the home of light keepers, a beacon to sailors, and a target of arson, eventually benefiting from a 15-year restoration project that commenced in 1980. Today, a staff of historians and protectors is eager to share the rich history of the nation's oldest port, not only through education and preservation but also by letting guests explore.
Visitors can scale the 165-foot, black-and-white lighthouse's 219 steps to the bright-red observation deck to catch breathtaking views of St. Augustine and spot gangs of dolphins making trouble by the shore. Lens-room tours allow up-close access to the regularly off-limits Fresnel lens, built in 1873, which weighs 2,000 pounds and shepherds ships with a light that radiates for 25 miles on a clear night. The clink of champagne glasses adds an element of glamour to Sunset Moonrise events, whereas Dark of the Moon tours let guests in after-hours to hear the tales of paranormal activity that earned the lighthouse a feature on Ghost Hunters.