Best Views in the House
Quite possibly Palm Beach County’s most recognizable landmark, the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse is one of 31 Florida lighthouses. The first order Fresnel lens light atop the bright red beacon was first lit in 1860, guiding salty seafarers ever since. Standing a commanding 108 feet tall (156 feet above sea-level overall), guests are welcomed to climb the spiraling 105 metal stairs to catch one of the most spectacular views in the county—25 miles on a clear day.
Situated on the Jupiter Inlet Outstanding Natural Area—the Bureau of Land Management’s only east coast Outstanding Natural Area—the lighthouse and its adjacent museum, housed in a restored WWII Naval housing quarters, is operated by the Loxahatchee River Historical Society. On top of their daily lighthouse operations—the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse is still an operating lighthouse, helping guide boaters through the rather difficult portion of the Jupiter Inlet and its surrounding shores—the crew at JILM operate weekly daily lighthouse tours, sunset and full moon tours (a great opportunity to catch the view atop the crows nest), story time for kids, yoga classes with Mary Veal of Kula Yoga Shala on Mondays, and historical hikes along the property, among much more.
The site of the lighthouse used to be the hub of South Florida, well before Flagler built his East Coast Railroad, when it was the sire of a steamboat port-o-call and station for the Celestial Railroad that ran to Lake Worth. Now, the site is a working historical landmark. One of the best ways to experience the lighthouse is during a sunset or moonrise tour.
On August 29, the moon will present itself in its fullest form, with a moonrise scheduled for 7:43 p.m. Take in earth’s natural satellite in all its lunar glory on the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse’s Moonrise Tour. Set for both August 28 and 29 at 7 p.m., guests can hike the 105 metal steps as the sun begins its fiery descent and the moon rises from the eastern horizon like a pale oceanic orb. Make your way out of the lantern room and along the widow’s walk for some of the best views in PBC.
- Moonrise Tours run 75 minutes and cost $20 per person ($15 for members). Reservations are required; call 561-747-8380 ext. 101 to book a spot. The next Moonrise Tour will take place on September 27.
If the moonrise tour is booked, no worries, the lighthouse runs sunset tours every Wednesday. And before that dastardly daylights saving steals an hour of our afternoon, guests get a double whammy on the tour: sunset and moonrise. Admission is $20 per person, and times depend on sunset; call 561-747-8380 ext. 101 for the schedule.
- For more information, visit jupiterlighthouse.org.