St. Petersburg Times

PHOTO GALLERY: Florida's lighthouses

Long before mariners used GPS to keep from running aground, the lighthouse was the primary aid to navigation. Florida has dozens of historic lighthouses. Below you will find a listing of some of the more dramatic structures. For a complete list or more information on the lighthouses you see here, contact the Florida Lighthouse Association, 81 Lighthouse Ave., in St. Augustine. Most historic lighthouses have support organizations. To learn more go to
1. AMELIA ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE: Located in the city of Fernandina Beach, this active lighthouse has no public access. Built in 1839, the conical tower is white with a black lantern. It stands 64 feet above the ground.

2. ST. JOHNS LIGHT STATION: This lighthouse replaced the old St. Johns River Lightship in 1954. Sixty-four feet high, with a white tower on top, the lighthouse is operated by the U.S. Navy, which allows access to the grounds only.

3. ST. AUGUSTINE LIGHTHOUSE: One of Florida’s most photographed lights, this classic black and white spiral lighthouse was built in 1871 and rises 167 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. This active light is open to the public.

4. PONCE DE LEON INLET LIGHTHOUSE: Built in 1887, this is the only Florida lighthouse listed as a National Historic Landmark. At 175 feet high, it is the second tallest lighthouse in the United States. This active light is open daily.

5. CAPE CANAVERAL LIGHTHOUSE: Located inside NASA’s security zone, this 145-foot active lighthouse has no public access. Built in 1848, it has an iron tower with black and white horizontal bands.

6. JUPITER INLET LIGHTHOUSE: This red-brick lighthouse is 145 feet tall and open to the public. Built in 1854, the lighthouse is said to have one of the oldest Fresnel lenses in the state.

7. HILLSBORO INLET LIGHTHOUSE: With the bottom painted white and the top painted black, this 142-foot lighthouse was first lit in 1907. The active light is open to the public.

8. CAPE FLORIDA LIGHTHOUSE: Construction began in 1825 on this 95-foot lighthouse. Located on Key Biscayne and operated by the Florida Park Service, this active lighthouse is open to the public.

9. FOWEY ROCKS LIGHTHOUSE: Visible from Cape Florida but accessible only by boat, this 125-foot lighthouse was built in 1877. This active light is maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard.

10. CARYSFORT REEF LIGHTHOUSE: This lighthouse is only accessible by boat. Rising 112 feet above the ocean, this is the oldest iron screwpile lighthouse in operation.

11. ALLIGATOR REEF LIGHTHOUSE: One hundred and fifty feet high with a white skeletal frame, this lighthouse is active and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard.

12. SOMBRERO KEY LIGHTHOUSE: This lighthouse is accessible only by boat but can be viewed from Sombrero Beach State Park in Marathon. This 156-foot structure, built in 1858, is active.

13. AMERICAN SHOAL LIGHTHOUSE: This brown pyramidal tower is 124 feet tall and was built in 1879. The light is still active and maintained by the Coast Guard,

14. SAND KEY LIGHTHOUSE: Off Marathon and accessible only by boat, this 132-foot high light is still active.

15) KEY WEST LIGHTHOUSE: This in-active light is 86 feet high, with a white-brick conical tower. Built in 1847, the lighthouse is open to the public.

16. DRY TORTUGAS LIGHTHOUSE: A conical brick tower, the upper half black, the lower half white, stands 157 feet above Loggerhead Key. Built in 1858, the working lighthouse is managed by the Coast Guard.

17. SANIBEL ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE: A brown skeletal tower built in 1884, this lighthouse rises 112 feet above Sanibel Island. The light still works and the public may visit the grounds only.

18. PORT BOCA GRANDE LIGHTHOUSE: This 106-foot tall structure, built in Deleware but moved to the present location in 1927, has a white skeletal tower.

19. PORT BOCA GRANDE LIGHTHOUSE (GASPARILLA ISLAND): Built in 1890, the house-style lighthouse is only 44 feet high. The lighthouse, operated by the Florida Park Service, is open to the public.

20. EGMONT KEY LIGHTHOUSE: A white conical tower at the mouth of Tampa Bay, this construction on this 76-foot high lighthouse1847.

21. ANCLOTE KEY LIGHTHOUSE: This recently-restored structure was deactivated in 1985. It stands 96 feet high.

22. ST. MARKS LIGHTHOUSE: Construction on this 88-foot white tower began in 1829. The public can visit the grounds through the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.

23. CROOKED RIVER LIGHTHOUSE: Half white, half red, this 103-foot tower in Carabelle was built in 1895. The lighthouse is not active, and the public may visit the grounds only.

24. CAPE ST. GEORGE LIGHTHOUSE: First lit in 1852 and deactivated in 1994, this 74-foot lighthouse guided mariners near Apalachicola. The lighthouse is only accessible by boat.

25. CAPE SAN BLAS LIGHTHOUSE: Constructed in 1885 and no longer active, this 96-foot tall lighthouse has no public access.

Sources: Florida Lighthouses by Kevin M. McCarthy and William L. Trotter, University of Florida Press; The Florida Lighthouse Association,

Map by DON MORRIS, Times staff artist • Text by TERRY TOMALIN, Times Outdoors Editor