Florida Lighthouses by RV: Gulf Coast Tour

By: Lauren Tjaden


It’s a great idea. I wish I had thought of it.

However, it was Joe from El Monte RV Rentals that came up with the sweet suggestion to take a tour of the Sunshine State lighthouses via RV – not yours truly. Thankfully, he’s sharing his RV road trip tips and wealth of knowledge about lighthouses.

As Joe points out, Florida’s coastlines boast more three dozen lighthouses, so unless you’re planning a long vacation, you may want to plan more than one trip to see them. (Hmm, I didn’t think you’d mind.)

For the same reason (over three dozen lighthouses) I’m splitting up the blogs about them into three parts. The first of these is focused on the gulf coast.

Ready to roll down the road and snag a glimpse into maritime history that’s anything but boring? Read on!

Gulf Coast Florida Lighthouses (listed from south to northwest):

·    Sanibel Island (near Fort Myers) features a pyramidal iron lighthouse commissioned in 1890. 
·    Boca Grande Light (Gasparilla Island) is a nicely restored frame dwelling capped by a lighthouse tower. While in the area, you can also snag a glimpse of the skeleton tower Boca Grande Rear Range Light. 
·    Egmont Key in Tampa Bay is home to a lighthouse once hotly-contested during the Civil War. Swing north to Anclote Key Preserve State Park near Tarpon Springs to view another early structural light. 
·    St. Mark’s Lighthouse (25 miles south of Tallahassee) is rich in history and was first lit in 1831. 
·    Climb the Crooked River Lighthouse when you visit Carabelle. 
·    St. George Lighthouse has been carefully reconstructed by volunteers and is open for tours. 
·    The lighthouse at Cape San Blas and its partially restored keeper’s dwellings boast a fascinating past – and happen to be resting on some of the most beautiful sands in Florida.
·    St. Joseph Point Light is privately owned but is visible from the road.
·    Pensacola's Lighthouse Museum features a complex of historic buildings located on Naval Air Station Pensacola. 

More Joe tips:

Florida lighthouse fans should know about two invaluable sources for lighthouse-related information. The Florida Lighthouse Association’s website features photos as well as technical and visitor information. LighthouseFriends.com is a well-researched compilation of lighthouse data from across the country. RV campers will also appreciate the helpful campground information supplied by such sites as RVParkHunter.com.

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