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.
With an in-depth collection of Victorian-era art and artifacts, Lightner Museum could find no better setting to house its works than the former Alcazar Hotel, built in 1887. Relics cover three floors of the intricately architected building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designed in Spanish-Renaissance style by the visionaries behind the New York Public Library. Inside the magnificent lobby, whitewashed pillars connect high ceilings bordered by intricate plastered molds with amaranthine-hued mosaic floors.
Wander into the Science and Industry room for views of a taxidermied crocodile suspended from the ceiling, mingling among cases filled with statuettes and antique globes. Moving into neighboring galleries, a carved and gilded neoclassical rocking chair and colorful, mosaic-like Louis Comfort Tiffany lamps provide insight into the daily lives of Victorian citizens. Other 19th-century paintings and statues showcase the era's artistic inspiration as well as its curious fashions, such as wearing Santa Claus hats year-round.
Passing through Saint Augustine with a long drive ahead? Get some rest and a satisfying meal at Ghosts & Gravestones Frightseeing Tours in Saint Augustine.
Ghosts & Gravestones Frightseeing Tours is surrounded by endless parking options.
Even seasoned jet-setters will find Ghosts & Gravestones Frightseeing Tours impressive, so next time you're in Saint Augustine, make this your preferred hotel choice.
St Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum displays the loveliest pieces of art and culture in Saint Augustine.
Head on over to the in-house restaurant for a delectable meal.
Bring the whole family to this museum, where kiddos are welcomed with open arms.
Parking is plentiful, so guests can feel free to bring their vehicles.
Looking for a unique art museum? Head on over to Oldest House Museum in Saint Augustine and browse through a wide variety of art pieces.
Check out this museum's restaurant, where you can stay for lunch or grab your meal to go.
Parking is plentiful, so visitors can feel free to bring their vehicles.
From scenic sites to exciting attractions, Potter's Wax Museum in Saint Augustine is a prime choice for your next vacation.
Maintain easy access to your vehicle when you opt to park in one of the convenient spots nearby.