The Key West Lighthouse opened in 1848. A major Key West attraction, it was built to help ships navigate the shallow, reef-filled waters that the Florida Keys are known for. Over the years, the Key West Lighthouse was upgraded. One of the upgrades involved adding an extension to the tower so that the light could be seen from greater distances. You can learn all about the history of this Key West landmark at its onsite museum. You can also climb the 88 steps that lead to the top of the lighthouse and be treated to amazing panoramic views.
Among the things that are on display inside the Key West Light House and Keeper’s Quarters Museum is the first order Fresnel lens from the rather unique Sombrero Key Lighthouse. This other lighthouse can be found near Key Vaca in the Florida Keys city of Marathon. What makes the Sombrero Key Light so unique is that it is a cast iron lighthouse with a skeletal, pyramid design. Also, it is the tallest lighthouse in the Florida Keys, standing 142 feet tall, and is set on a mostly submerged reef. As for the Key West Lighthouse, it reaches a height of 86 feet, and because of where it is set at Whiteheads Point, its light is set at approximately 100 feet above sea level.
The address for the Key West Lighthouse and Museum is 938 Whitehead Street. That puts the beacon within close proximity of any other number of Key West attractions, including those that are found along world-famous Duval Street. Admission fees apply for anyone over six years of age. Discounts are issued for children ages six and up and for students with a proper student ID. The Key West Lighthouse hours are daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and it is closed on Christmas.