The Amelia Island Lighthouse has guided mariners since Martin Van Buren was president (before Florida became a state).
Designed by Winslow Lewis, the Amelia Island Lighthouse circa 1838 was built when Florida was still a “territory.” It features a double-walled tower and Third-Order Fresnel lens. The unique location of Amelia’s lighthouse, being three quarters of a mile inland (i.e., more sheltered from inclement weather), has helped preserve the structure. Originally, whale oil fueled the lighthouse lamps. Florida’s oldest operational lighthouse, it is also the “westernmost lighthouse on the east coast of the United States.”
Amelia Island Lighthouse Tours
Tours of the lighthouse grounds can be booked through the Fernandina Beach Recreation Center located on Atlantic Avenue by calling (904) 310-3350, advance reservations required. Guided tours take place on the first and third Wednesday each month at 10 am. The tour costs $5 per person, ($3 for kids under 12).
Tour participants catch the shuttle bus to the lighthouse from the Fernandina Beach Recreation Center located at 2500 Atlantic Avenue, (just up the street from the entrance to Fort Clinch State Park and near Fernandina’s Main Beach Park). The shuttle bus ride is just a few minutes. Expect to be on the lighthouse property for about an hour. (Much of the presentation is done inside an air conditioned building on the property.) Note that climbing the lighthouse staircase is not permitted.
Public Viewing Saturdays
For those who are not around on a Wednesday for the official tour, the Amelia Island Lighthouse property gates are open to allow access for public viewing of the grounds and lighthouse photo ops on Saturdays from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. The lighthouse is located at 215 O’Hagan Lane (turn onto North Wolff Street from Atlantic Avenue near Egans Creek Park).