Friday, September 21, 2012

Anclote Key Lighthouse Open House

Anclote Key lighthouse

Last Saturday Ron and I had a chance to climb the Anclote Key Lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1887 and deactivated in 1985. After years of neglect and vandalism, a group of citizens raised $1 million to restore the lighthouse and it was relit in 2003.

I remember trying to get to the lighthouse years ago, before the restoration. We anchored our boat off the Gulf side of the island and started walking through the marshes. About half way there, we were swarmed by the most ferocious mosquitoes I’ve ever experienced. We were covered! We must have been a funny sight, screaming and running back to the boat. :-)  Things are a lot different now. A park ranger lives on the island full-time, boardwalks have been added and the mosquitoes are (mostly) under control.

It was windy on Saturday so it was a little rough getting out to the island, but it was worth the ride. The view from the top of the lighthouse was so pretty. Only 10 people were allowed in the tower at a time so we couldn’t linger at the top. As usual, I hated to come back down. There’s something special about being at the top of a lighthouse. After our climb, we headed back to the boat to meet our friends for lunch. A very nice day on the water!

Anclote Key lighthouse

view from top of Anclote Key lighthouse
View from the top
Anclote Key lighthouse lens

shadow of lighthouse

lighthouse stairs

flags at Anclote Key
Flags at half-staff in honor of those killed in the Embassy attack
memorial plaque

Anclote Key

Travel Tips: The Friends of Anclote Key State Park open the lighthouse to the public once or twice a year (usually in April and September). If you don’t have your own boat, Sun Line Cruises offers a ferry service out of Tarpon Springs (


  1. Very nice recount of your visit to the lighthouse. It seems there were considerable positive changes between your visit during the mosquito swarm day and your most recent visit. Good pictures too!

  2. Thanks for your visit and your pictures are great.
    Chris, Resident Ranger