The Lighthouse Bonus Round

Completing the Journey
Port Bg Lighthouse Sunset

Port Boca Grande Lighthouse Sunset

For those historians, adventurers, and lighthouse aficionados who feel cheated because we failed to complete the perimeter of the Florida peninsula, here are a few west coast tips and suggestions. While the west coast offers a completely different vibe than the east coast, there is something satisfying about coming full circle.

Sanibel Island Lighthouse

While temporarily closed because of Hurricane Ian, The Sanibel Island Lighthouse, built in 1884, was one of the first lighthouses on Florida’s Gulf coast. Visitors are still welcome to drive by and look.

Port Boca Grande  and Gasparilla Lighthouse

The Port Boca Grande Lighthouse is the oldest structure on the island. It has been a beacon to mariners since 1890 and now houses a fascinating, well-maintained museum. Visit for the lighthouse but stay for the eclectic island life that is home to such notables as the Bush family, the Eisenhower’s, and DuPont’s. (

Tourist Tip: If you see serious looking men standing outside Fugate’s (one of the popular island shops) wearing dark glasses and Hawaiian shirts, they could be secret service. A certain former First Lady loves that shop. 

Charlotte Harbor Lighthouse

When phosphate mining the railroads were a buzzing enterprise, the Charlotte Harbor Lighthouse was a much-needed fixture at the bend of the harbor to guide ships to the railroad docks in Punta Gorda. Now that those are days gone by, the lighthouse stands as a monument to another era.

Egmont Key Lighthouse

There was a time when the only way to reach Egmont Key was by boat. Despite the increase in tourism, Egmont Key remains virtually unspoiled. The lighthouse dates from 1858 and is the oldest structure in the Tampa Bay area, still used for its original purpose.

Anclote Key Lighthouse

While not the most picturesque of the lighthouses, it is unique with its skeletal construction. Built in 1887 on Anclote Key, the brown, square pyramidal tower fancies a black lantern. It’s a demonstration of the wide variety of lighthouses. 

Cedar Keys Seahorse Key Lighthouse

Be sure to check to see if they’re open, as the lighthouse has a limited schedule. Even if the lighthouse isn’t open to visitors, you can take your photos and enjoy the charm of historic Cedar Key. 

Once you’ve reached Cedar Key, you are just a few miles away from the Forgotten Coast, back to the beginning of your lighthouse, bucket list journey

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Categories: Travel