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 $25, you get admission for two to the Dark of the Moon paranormal tour at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum (up to a $50 value).
The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum's guides regale guests with the chilling tales of former occupants of St. Augustine's oldest surviving brick structure, which has been featured on the show Ghost Hunters. Weekend twilight tours feature 90-minute guided sessions followed by 30 minutes of roaming time that allows visitors to toss slinkies down the 219 spiral steps. Spooky stories catalog the lives of past lighthouse keepers, their families, and their untimely ends. The eerie ascent terminates at the tower's 12-foot-tall Fresnel lens, the 370 hand-cut prisms of which have been used to warn approaching ships and help wandering apparitions read the laundering instructions on their sheets. Tours take place every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 8:30 p.m., April–September, and at 7:30 p.m., October–March.
Although the tour is open to all ages, it is recommended for children 7 and older. Children must be at least 44 inches tall to climb the tower.
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.
81 Lighthouse Ave.
St. Augustine, Florida 32080