The best way to get to know the massive architectural landmarks dotting our coasts is to take one of the amazing Florida lighthouse tours you'll find wherever these towers of light have been built to greet the sea. Yes, it's one thing to read about these beauties and click through their photos online, but there is nothing like the feel of walking through one of the Sunshine State's many beautiful lighthouses, which remain a vital living component of safety and economy for millions of people.
Every lighthouse has its own unique history and character, right down to their bones. The earliest lighthouses were built from stone and brick. But evolving with the times, modern construction materials and techniques have gradually been employed to keep lighthouses strong and standing for years to come. Built to guide ships through the worst of weather, the lighthouses themselves must be able to withstand heavy winds and corrosion from moisture. You'll feel this intense sense of strength and stability built right into walls.
For most visitors, the main event of any lighthouse tour is the opportunity to get a peak at the source of the light itself, the giant lens atop every tower. Check out firsthand how light is focused through the Fresnel lens and marvel at what must have looked like a form of magic to sailors of days gone by. You'll be literally dazzled by the power of a simple piece of glass to transform what is essentially a lantern into a powerful, reliable tool for navigation. This is one eye that never blinks.
Now, hopefully, none of the Florida lighthouse tours you embark upon will coincide with truly stormy weather. Because then you might miss the one part of the tour that no website could ever convey - the view from the top. On a pretty day, you'll be able to see for miles in every direction, viewing the awe-inspiring Florida coasts in all their beauty, and the mighty sea in all of its incredible power and scope.
The view from a structure as tall as the record-setting Ponce Inlet de Leon Lighthouse, at a staggering 175 feet in the sky, is simply breathtaking. More than 140,000 make the trip to visit the Ponce Inlet every year, taking a wide range of tours with their group or school for a day of adventure and gorgeous Florida history. If you want to make it to the top and catch that stunning view, be prepared to hike up more than 200 steps. But soon you'll see why all those steps are absolutely worth it.
It's one thing to investigate a lighthouse on your own, but with a highly knowledgeable tour guide, your trip will become infinitely more valuable. Try one of the very unique "Climb with the Keeper" tours, with an authentic lighthouse keeper to show you the grounds.
Here's a fun tip: lighthouses are romantic! Stumped on where to take your special someone on a date? Consider trying Florida lighthouse tours - informal studies show the beautiful construction and magical views are scientifically proven to make you fall in love. At the very least, you'll fall in love with the magnificent landscape, and the sentinel towers standing proudly to protect it.