SouthFlorida.com
Make every weekend epic with our free Weekender newsletter. Sign up today!

Get a birds-eye view of South Florida from its lighthouses

Johnny Diaz
Contact ReporterSouth Florida Sun-Sentinel
See South Florida from on high

Like towering beacons that dot the coast, South Florida's lighthouses beckon tourists and locals to come inside.

Besides being architectural jewels, these giants tell stories, having guided mariners for more than 100 years into safe harbor.

These structures also stand out for their picturesque backdrops, which have been used for weddings, proposals, even selfies.

Here are some lighthouses to climb up and check out.

Cape Florida Lighthouse

1200 South Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne

Built: 1825

Height: 95 feet high or 109 steps

What to see: Climb up the narrow spiral stairway to the top for views of downtown Miami, South Beach and the historic Stiltsville community of water-dwelling homes. Located at the southern tip of Key Biscayne, the white lighthouse is said to be the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County. The name comes from Juan Ponce de Leon, who dubbed the area "Cape of Florida" in 1513.

There is no charge for the tour, which is offered Thursday through Monday, but entrance to the park is $8 with two to four people in a car or $4 for a vehicle with one occupant, $2 for cyclists and pedestrians.

For more information, call 305-361-5811 or visit floridastateparks.org/park/Cape-Florida.

Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse

The Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society Museum is at 2700 N. Ocean Blvd., Pompano Beach (The lighthouse is on the north side of the Hillsboro Inlet.)

Built: 1906

Height: 147 feet high or 175 steps

What to see: Views of Hillsboro Inlet, Atlantic Ocean and Pompano Beach. The lighthouse was built in Detroit and then shipped 4,000 miles via Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, down the Mississippi River to the Gulf and Key West before arriving at Hillsboro. The lighthouse first illuminated in 1907.

The black and white steel-frame tower is in a gated community in Hillsboro Beach and accessible only by tour.

There are monthly tours for $25 per person. The next one is Aug. 8. Tours are by boat and leave from the Sands Harbor Resort boat dock, 125 N. Riverside Drive, Pompano Beach.

For more information, call 954-942-2102 or visit hillsborolighthouse.org.

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum

500 Captain Armour's Way, Jupiter

Built: 1860

Height: 108 feet high or 105 steps

What to see: Views of the Loxahatchee River, Atlantic Ocean and Jupiter. The crimson brick lighthouse, which is based at a U.S. Coast Guard station, glowed in purple and pink hues last October to show support for breast cancer awareness and domestic violence awareness month. The lighthouse is also a popular spot for proposals and weddings. The area along the waterfront museum, which is in a restored World War II naval housing building, is also popular for sunbathers.

Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Tours are $9 for adults and $5 children ages 6 to 18 and free for kids under age 5.

For more information, call 561-747-8380 or visit jupiterlighthouse.org.

Copyright © 2017, South Florida
57°