If you haven’t visited St. Augustine before, you may be surprised to learn that this beautiful, coastal town also has the prestige of being the nation’s oldest city. It’s the oldest permanently occupied European colony in the U.S. and its historical importance can’t be overstated. This city has a rich and fascinating maritime history to accompany our stunning waters and gorgeous beaches. One of the best spots in St. Augustine to learn about its past is the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum. The St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum is great for history enthusiasts of all ages and will take you from the origins of St. Augustine to the present day.
To explore other historical sites, as well as find out about the best dining, shopping, and outdoor recreation in St. Augustine, access our free travel guide.
Tour the Grounds of the Museum
There is a lot to explore within the museum, from the 1876 Keepers’ House and the 1874 Lighthouse tower to the nature trails and the wooden boatbuilding demonstrations. The best way to make sure you don’t miss out is by taking their guided tours and interactive programs. The Behind the Scenes Tour is definitely a must. It’s a good overview of the history of the lighthouse and the efforts made by the museum and their partners in archaeology and preservation. You’ll learn how our beautiful waters were once used to transport supplies and settlers to establish this nation. There’s also a Maritime Hammock Scavenger Hunt which will take you along the Maritime Hammock trails and introduce you to the local wildlife. These basic tours are included with the cost of admission, though they have some more exclusive tours, detailed below.
Take an Exclusive Tour of the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum
Exclusive Lens Room Tour
If you’re looking to get up close and personal with the lighthouse itself, the Exclusive Lens Room Tour is a must. One of the lighthouse’s most stunning features is its original 1874 Fresnel lens. This lens has been meticulously maintained and isn’t available for the general public to view. Still, when you go on the Exclusive Lens Room Tour, you’ll learn about the story and maintenance of this 9-foot-tall, 4,000-pound lens. You’ll also get to see what the lens sees, looking over St. Augustine as it continues its rotation, just as it has done for years.
Dark of the Moon Tour
If you’re looking for something a bit spookier, the museum also offers the Dark of the Moon Tour. With this guided tour, you’ll traverse the museum and conduct your own paranormal investigation, all while learning about the histories and mysteries of the area. As with all their private tours, there is limited space. Book early so you don’t miss out!
Of course, we can’t talk about tours without talking about the most exclusive one of all: the Sunset Moonrise Lighthouse Tour. Once a month, the museum opens the lighthouse so guests can watch the sunset and moonrise from the lighthouse tower. And with complimentary champagne and hor d’oeuvres served, it’s no wonder that this tour sells out months in advance. Remember to book your tickets to this tour when you book your room at the Agustin Inn to guarantee front-row seating to, as the museum puts it, Mother Nature’s nightly changing of the guard.
Support St. Augustine
Most importantly, you can feel good about purchasing a ticket to see the museum. All profits go toward historic preservation, maritime research, and educational programs. Once you visit our beautiful city, you’ll understand why we’re so passionate about preserving our past.
Finish Your Day at the Agustin Inn
Whether you’re exploring the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum during the day or taking a nighttime tour of the grounds, your room at the Agustin Inn will be waiting for you. It’s just a short, 10-minute drive away from the museum, located in the heart of downtown St. Augustine. Take a look at some of the packages we have available. Be sure to fuel up for your day of learning with our beautiful, two-course breakfast.