Adventures written by the VAMONDE Team
A short drive across the Rickenbacker Causeway takes you to Key Biscayne, a barrier island off the coast of Miami. If you continue to the southern tip of the island, through Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, you’ll end up at the Cape Florida Lighthouse. This historical landmark was built in 1825 as a lookout tower to guide sailors home and protect the coast from invaders.
See what the Cape Florida Lighthouse looks like today:
In 1835, during the Second Seminole War, the lighthouse was attacked by Indians who set fire to the structure with the lighthouse keeper and his assistant still inside it. The structure was rebuilt in 1847 and raised 30 feet in 1855, bringing it to the current height of 95 feet.
During the Civil War, Confederate sympathizers destroyed the lamp and lens in an act of vandalism. Decommissioned as a lighthouse in 1878, it was used as a yacht club for five years and later as a signal station during the Spanish-American War.
Today, the State of Florida owns the lighthouse, which is a popular tourist attraction, as is the state park it's located in. During a tour of the tower and the keeper’s cottage, you can learn about Florida’s maritime history. You can also climb the 109 stairs to the top for a panoramic view. The lighthouse has made several TV appearances in episodes of Miami Vice, Burn Notice, and the German version of The Bachelor.
Cover image by Tamanoeconomico [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)].