on July 28, 2011
We really enjoyed our visit here, you only need about an hour or so to explore the lighthouse, climb to the top and have a look around the little museum. It costs $10 for adults and $5 for children, and when we visited first thing in the morning was not at all busy. I think choose carefully the time you visit, if there were a lot of people there, it might not be quite so charming.The lighthouse is over 150 years old. It was built in 1847 to aid ships navigating the dangerous reefs off the Lower Keys. It is the last of what were 4 lighthouses on the island.At the bottom of the lighthouse, they have the original lens - it is interesting to see close up, and is absolutely huge. You then climb 88 iron steps, which twist and turn in a spiral, all the way up tho the observation deck. It is well worth the climb - at the top you get a bird's eye view of the ocean and a lovely panorama of the whole of Key West. You can also walk into the massive lens. At the bottom, in a separate building, there is a museum in what used to te the lighhouse keeper's cottage. It lets you see how the early lighthouse keepers lived, and there is information about them and their families. One family of 6 living in the lighthouse, was swept out to sea in the 1846 hurricane. That was from an earlier lighthouse on this spot. They have authentic turn of the century furniture in the museum, as well as lots of artefacts that belonged to the former keepers. It is interesting, quaint and personal. They also have made what was one of the children's rooms into a sort of play room for children now. There are puzzles, books about lighthouses and some soft toys. Our son loved it, and it was great to keep him busy, while we wandered around and read all the information.There is a little gift shop and toilets at the entrance.I would recommend a visit here - the view at the top is beautiful, and the experience of climbing up a real lighthouse is exciting for children.
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