The Amelia Island Lighthouse is a unique tourist attraction on Amelia Island and certainly one of the more intriguing places to visit in the area. Built in 1838, it is the state’s oldest lighthouse and is often a stop for tourists on individual or family vacations to Amelia Island. The lighthouse is located on the north end of the island near many vacation rentals, and it is a landmark for St. Mary’s Entrance, an inlet that leads to St. Mary’s River.
A history of the Amelia Island Lighthouse
Amelia Island Lighthouse has a long and fascinating history. It is in the furthest west location amongst all the lighthouses on the East Coast. It is also the only lighthouse from the Territorial Period of Florida in the early 19th century that lasted without needing to be rebuilt. It stood the test of time because most other lighthouses were located near the shore and couldn’t withstand the elements and erosion.
During the Territorial Period of early Florida there were 16 other lighthouses built, but most of them eventually deteriorated or were lost to the sea. It is only one of two lighthouses remaining in Florida that were designed by the lighthouse builder Winslow Lewis.
It was first built in Cumberland, Georgia across the waterway until the people of the Florida Territory requested Congress to move it to Amelia Island in 1838 for better functionality. It was dismantled in Cumberland and constructed with the same materials and bricks on Amelia Island.
A fun tourist attraction to visit on your trip
Although there are plenty of things to do when you visit Amelia Island, it’s well worth taking the time to visit the lighthouse. Standing 67 feet tall with a brick construction, it impresses the viewer even at a distance. It is characterized by flashes every 10 seconds, and it also has a red flash in the southeast quadrant to warn boats about the dangerous shoals on the south end of the island. The exterior of the lighthouse is bright white with a black lantern room, and it’s quite a sight to behold. Although you can’t climb the lighthouse you can walk on the grounds during a tour and get a closer view to photograph it for yourself.
Tours open the first and third Wednesdays of the month
If you happen to be on Amelia Island for a family vacation or any other reason during the first or third Wednesday of the month you can register for a tour of the lighthouse. Visit the Atlantic Recreation Center at 2500 Atlantic Ave. or call 904-310-3350 to request a tour.
The cost is only $5.00 per adult and $3.00 per child and the tour has a maximum of 25 people. It’s the perfect activity for families because the lighthouse is located near the Fort Clinch State Park with all its exciting outdoor activities and many of our best vacation rentals. Contact ERA Fernandina Beach Realty today at (800)-741-4011 to book one of our comfortable and spacious rentals for your next family vacation to Amelia Island.