Who’s been to the St Augustine Lighthouse? Well today we are taking you there so let’s get to it.
The iconic lighthouse – with it’s black and white spire and bright red top – is one of St. Augustine’s most beloved sites and is situated on the northern end of Anastasia Island. The lighthouse still serves to illuminate the safe Harbour around it and guide locals home.
Today we are going to check out the lighthouse and the amazing neighborhoods right around it. If you love the idea of living near a landmark of maritime history, this blog is for you!
Like any seaside town worth its salt, the early settlement of St. Augustine erected a wooden watchtower near the current location on Anastasia Island. The landscape of the island and Harbour have shifted since then – both by natural and manmade efforts – but this point further east into the Atlantic remains ideal as a beacon for incoming vessels.
The original structure erected in the 16th Century underwent several eras of destruction, rebuilding, and upgrades. The current structure was built in the late 19th Century and still boasts its original lens of more than 370 handmade glass prisms. You truly appreciate the craftsmanship when viewing the light beam from even miles away on a clear night!
The tower itself is the tallest structure in St. Augustine, standing 165 feet above sea level. Visitors can climb the 219 steps to the viewing deck around the light, taking in sweeping views of the island and Salt Run, historic downtown, north to the Matanzas Bay and Vilano Beach, and the wide-open ocean to the east.
While the climb up can be literally breathtaking – that’s a lot of steps it is still well worth the effort and we are going to take you there so let’s go.
That view is awesome but the greater lighthouse complex has been expanded over the years and there is more to enjoy such as the Maritime Museum including the Keeper’s House, outbuildings where traditional boat making projects are carried out, and beautiful grounds with areas for relaxation and picnics under the Spanish-moss draped oak trees. The interactive exhibitions demonstrate the daily life of the Lighthouse Keepers and their families from the Civil War through World War II.
The Museum also boasts some amazing artifacts retrieved by the St. Augustine Archeological Maritime Program from the ocean and the inlet waters, like Spanish gold coins and a Revolutionary War-era shipwreck! Whether a local or just in town for a visit, the whole family will love the immersive experience and learning about the long and noble history of our lighthouse and the vital role it has played in St. Augustine’s history.
Now that you know a little bit about the St Augustine Lighthouse, we wanted to take a look at the beautiful neighborhoods literally in its shadow. Immediately around the complex is the aptly named “Lighthouse Park” neighborhood: first established in the late 19th to early 20th centuries, the homes here have a distinct Victorian charm and enjoy a lush setting with ancient trees and breezes from the salt run. There are newer, luxury homes with private docks and Mediterranean vibes all along the waterfront, while some cozy little bungalows are mixed in along the side streets.
This neighborhood also enjoys immediate access to St. Augustine Marina with Yacht Club, boat ramp, fishing pier, catamaran and kayak launch, and a lovely park with tennis courts, picnic tables, and playground area. As one of the most established and best-located areas of town, homes here start in the mid $400,000s and go well above a million!
Just across Anastasia Boulevard, you will find more diverse styles in the sprawling neighborhood of Davis Shores. We also have an awesome listing here that is under contract but has great views of the lighthouse. Davis Shores was developed in the early twentieth century and occupied the entirety of Anastasia Island’s northern end. From mid-century bungalows to modern mansions, this neighborhood has a lot to offer to buyers in terms of lifestyle and budget! Split into “north” and “south” by Anastasia Boulevard, Davis Shores offers HOA-free living within walking distance not only to the lighthouse but also to historic downtown or the beach at Anastasia State Park, plus all the events and entertainment at the Amphitheater. The prices range from the mid-400s and up as well.
Davis Shores and Lighthouse Park residents can also enjoy an array of shops and dining along “The Boulevard”. Catch a casual lunch at Osprey Tacos or try fine dining at The Blackfly; sample craft beers at Old Coast Ales or grab a power-packed smoothie at Creative Juices. There are many boutique shops and health and beauty services to pamper yourself. And don’t miss out on Reggae Sundays at the Conch House – a weekly event in the summer season for good times right on the Salt Run!
If you want to live in a historic neighborhood but still want to be close to the water, the communities surrounding the St. Augustine Lighthouse might be perfect for you. Whenever you are in town be sure to take a tour of the Lighthouse and museum – and if you have any spooky stories from your visit there be sure to drop a comment below! We would love to tell you more about this area and the homes available here… Call us any time to learn more and get information on current listings for sale.
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