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 , especially during the summer, is during the sunset and moonrise tours.
- The sunset tours run weekly, every Wednesday, throughout the summer. Hikers will see two spectacular light shows in one tour: the sun painting the sky oranges, reds and purples, and the lighthouse illuminating the night sky. Tour dates are as follows: May 6, 13, 20 and 27; June 3, 10, 17 and 24; July 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29; August 5, 12, 19 and 26; and September 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30—all tours are weather permitting and last 75 minutes.
- For the night owl (relatively speaking), hike the steps for a moonrise tour on May 3 at 7 p.m.; June 2 at 7:30 p.m.; August 29 at 7 p.m., and September 27 at 6:15 p.m.
- All tours take roughly 75 minutes and cost $20 ($15 for members), and flip-flops are not permitted (sorry Charlie).
- Call 561-747-8380 ext. 101 to RSVP.
- For more information, visit jupiterlighthouse.org.