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 Lighthouse Database » North America » USA » Florida

Cape Florida Light
Key Biscayne, Florida

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General Information
Date Established: 1825
Date Present Tower Built: 1847
Date Automated: 1978
Height of Tower: 95 ft.
Height of Focal Plane: 100 ft.


Distance from You:
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Open to Public?: Yes. Admission charged to enter state park

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*Photos on this page are the property of oceanview, unless otherwise noted, and may not be downloaded or used without permission from the copyright owner.

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Cape Florida Lighthouse is a conical brick tower at the southern end of Key Biscayne. Today, you can climb the 109 steps to the lantern room and gallery.

First established in 1825, the tower was dark from 1836 through 1846 after being attacked by Seminole Indians. The light was rebuilt in 1847, and heightened from 65 to 95 feet in 1855. During the US Civil War, the light was damaged by Confederate sympathizers so it could not be used as an aid to the Union. The lighthouse was repaired and re-lit again in 1866, but was extinguished again in 1878 when the Fowey Rocks Light was established 6 miles off shore.

The light fell into disrepair over the years, but was restored and relit in 1978. Replicas of the keepers house and other out buildings destroyed by the Seminoles in 1836 were built in the 1970s also. The keepers house currenly has artifacts of the lighthouse, while the cookhouse is used to show a movie about the lighthouse and surrounding area. Hurricane Andrew caused extensive damage in 1992, but repairs allowed the light to be lit again in 1996.

Directions: Lighthouse is located in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. From Interstate 95 in Miami, exit for the Rickenbacker Causeway at Exit 1. Take the causeway (toll $1.25 for cars), which becomes Crandon Boulevard, through Key Biscayne to the end. You will be at the entrance to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

Admission fee for Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park (as of 1/18/12):
$8.00 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.

$4.00 Single-occupant vehicle or motorcycle.

$2.00 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.

Lighthouse tours are given at 10.00 am and 1:00 pm, Thursdays through Mondays only. Space for the tours is supposed to be limited to 10 people, so arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled time to assure a space. You can not enter the lighthouse grounds without being on a tour, but you can easily see the lighthouse from the beach just to the north of it.

Photo Credit: ericlighthouse (#3)

Submitted by: oceanview Date posted: Fri Sep 8, 2006 Views: 2641