Florida has some beautiful light houses along it’s large coastline. While vacationing in Florida, you should make it a priority to visit them. Many of them allow you to climb to the top to see spectacular views of the surrounding areas. Many also include museums with information on the history of the lighthouse.
Lighthouses played a critical role in Florida’s history; making it possible to explore, settle and develop Florida by using its 1350 miles of coastline (second only to Alaska in states with longest coastline). Florida’s coastline was extremely dangerous, resulting in the wrecking of many ships and the loss of many lives. The Florida coast contains coral reefs that are hidden under water just off shore. The low lying terrain can be seen only a short distance at sea. Consequently, the ships could crash upon the reefs before they could see the land. Also, the northward flowing Gulf Stream is just a few miles off shore. The southbound ships had to stay shoreward of the Stream in order to make headway, causing the ships to travel dangerously close to shore.
To give the ships a visual reference a series of lighthouses were constructed along Florida’s coast, some located on coral reefs themselves. Other lighthouses were built in some of the harbors to guide the ships safely into port. At one time there were about 65 lighthouses off Florida, but the elements, time and neglect have resulted in the loss of many of them. As a result only thirty remain, including one that is now a private residence. Today with GPS and other navigational aids the role of the lighthouse has been diminished, in fact some consider them to be obsolete. However, many of the small boats that can’t afford the electronics still depend on them.
Below is a map and list of light houses in Florida listed A-Z
Alligator Reef Lighthouse, near Indian Key
Amelia Island Lighthouse, Fernandina Beach
Amelia Island North Range Lighthouse, Amelia Island
American Shoal Lighthouse, near Florida Keys
Anclote Keys Lighthouse, near Tarpon Springs
Boca Grande Lighthouse – Gasparilla Island Light
Cape Canaveral Lighthouse,Cape Canaveral
Cape Florida Lighthouse, Key Biscayne
Cape San Blas Lighthouse
Carysfort Reef Lighthouse, near Key Largo
Cape St. George Lighthouse, St. George Island
Cedar Key Lighthouse, “Seahorse Key, near Cedar Key
Charlotte Harbor Lighthouse
Crooked River Lighthouse, near Carrabelle
Dames Point Lighthouse, St. Johns River
Dog Island Lighthouse
Dry Tortugas Lighthouse, Loggerhead Key, Dry Tortugas
Gasparilla Island Lighthouse, Boca Grande
St. Marks Lighthouse, Apalachee Bay
Tortugas Harbor Lighthouse Garden Key Light