Pensacola Lighthouse

The Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum is an interesting attraction for various reasons. This lighthouse itself certainly has historical significance. There is also the haunted element, which is often highlighted on Pensacola Lighthouse tours. If this isn't enough to pique your interest, you might fancy the fact that the Pensacola Light, as this structure is also known, can serve as the site for weddings and other special events. Add in the fascinating museum exhibits and the wonderful bay views, and it only gets better.

The Pensacola Lighthouse, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been helping ships find their way to harbor for well over a century. Situated right on Pensacola Bay, this historic tower stands 150 feet tall, and it rises to an elevation of around 190 feet above sea level, making it easy to spot on the horizon. The original tower, which was eventually demolished in favor of a new tower at a better location, was built in 1825. The lighthouse that you see today was completed in 1858.

Not long after the new light was finished, the Civil War broke out. Confederate forces gained control of the Pensacola Light during the war. This wasn't the case with Fort Pickens, however, which sits just across the Pensacola Bay. At one point, the juxtaposition of these structures resulted in an artillery duel between the Confederate forces and the Union forces. The lighthouse was damaged during this 1861 battle, though it managed to stand tall throughout.

Originally all white, the upper half of the Pensacola Lighthouse was painted black after the Civil War. This was done to make it stand out more clearly on cloudy days. You can learn more about this change and other significant events in the lighthouse's history by treating yourself to a tour. Coincidentally, you can also learn about the haunted history of the Pensacola Light on a tour. The structure is considered to be one of America's most haunted lighthouses, and the special ghost tours appropriately take place at night.

Other Pensacola Lighthouse tours focus more on the lighthouse and the adjacent museum, and there are some that allow visitors to watch Blue Angels practice sessions from the tower's top. The Blue Angels flying squadron is based in Pensacola. The National Museum of Naval Aviation is as well, and it too is a good place to go if you wish to take in a Blue Angels practice session.

The museum at the base of the Pensacola Lighthouse is known as the Richard C. Callaway Museum. It focuses on the history of the lighthouse and the general history of Pensacola as well. Also found at the site is a museum shop should you wish to pick something up during your visit. The Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum are open from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sundays, and from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The special moonlight and haunted tours are offered about once a month. Regardless of when you decide to visit the Pensacola Lighthouse, climbing to the top is among the main joys. The views of Pensacola Bay, Perdido Key, and the rest of the area are spectacular.

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