The Sunshine State is home to an array of fantastic holiday destinations, but when you’re looking for the very best when it comes to beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a charming ambiance as well, it’s all waiting for you on Amelia Island. Here, visitors are invited to slow down, let go of stress, and savor the view for a while at their own leisurely pace. Packed with savory seafood eateries, boutique shopping, and eye-catching architecture, Amelia Island has a little something for everyone to enjoy. It’s also a destination rich in history. If you happen to be an adventurer drawn to maritime pasts, then you’ll want to be sure to add a stop at the Amelia Island Lighthouse to your itinerary when travel plans bring you this way.
Amelia Island Lighthouse: A Beacon Since 1838
A Landmark with a Fascinating History
Located: 215 O, Hagan Ln
The Amelia Island Lighthouse enjoys the title of the state’s oldest and is also the only one of its kind landmark from the Territorial Period. This majestic historical site has maintained it's original splendor without having to undergo extreme reconstruction or rebuilding, despite it's construction in pre-Civil War era. A visit here is a unique chance to experience where vessels traveling to Florida found their ways to shore, which impressively has remained lit for nearly 200 years.
Historical Fast Facts:
- Construction: 1838.
- Unofficial marker: The Amelia Island Lighthouse is an unofficial marker of the St. Mary’s Entrance, which is an inlet leading to the St. Mary’s River.
- Operational or non-operational: Amazingly enough, this lighthouse is still fully functional and operational to this day, shedding light consistently through the dark over Fernandina Harbor.
- Highest point on the Island: Sitting at 67 feet tall, this monument is considered the highest point on the island with its walls are no less than four feet thick at the base.
- The beacon: While the lighthouse was once lit using whale oil, it’s now outfitted with a third-order Fresnel lens designed in Paris and able to send out beams 15 miles to sea.
Planning Your Visit
When to Tour: First & Third Saturdays of Each Month between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The Amelia Island Lighthouse is a private property and maintained by the Coast Guard. Despite the current regulations, travelers to the Island are invited to experience this marvelous landmark, learn about it's history, and experience the wonder of this landmark. Visits to the lighthouse extend beyond the lighthouse with visitors having the opportunities to browse the grounds, capture their experience on their phones, and marvel at the structure from this unique vantage point.
Self-Guided Tour Information:
- Pre-registration: Required for any traveler.
- How to pre-register: Contact (904) 310-3350 | Fernandina Beach Parks and Recreation Department
- Arrival: 10 minutes before the departure time (10 a.m.).
- How to travel to the Lighthouse: Bus only, powered by Atlantic Recreation Center
- Pickup location: 2500 Atlantic Avenue
- Cost: Payment will be required at time of event and will be shared via the phone call to reserve the experience.
Private, Guided Tour Information:
Those opting for a private tour will not only allow you to see the exterior but also allows access to the interior of the lighthouse, but excludes climbing the stairs to the observation deck.
- Recommended Tour Guide: Atlantic Recreation Center.
- Tour times: 10 a.m.
- Excursion days: First and third Wednesday of each month (be mindful of holidays).
- Cost: 10 per adult; $5 per child 12 and under.
- Minimum: 5 guests.
- Maximum: 22 guests.
What to Pack for A Lighthouse Tour
- A camera or cellphone.
- A hat.
- Rain jackets.
- Comfortable shoes.
- Personal identification.
- Peronal, travel-sized first-aid kit.