I’ve climbed a lot of lighthouse steps. I’ve even scaled to the tops of lighthouses in Australia, where the view is over the other side of the ocean on the other side of the world under completely new skies. But while it is spectacular to gaze at the thundering Pacific from New South Wales, Australia and San Diego, California, one of my favorite lighthouses is a towering beacon in the sky called the Pensacola Lighthouse.
I first visited the Pensacola Lighthouse with my family, and I wasn’t expecting to be as impressed as I was. We huffed up 177 steps, round and round and round and round, until, breaking onto the windy balcony at the top, we absorbed some of the most beautiful views on the Gulf Coast. From the top, we saw Pensacola Pass (where Pensacola Bay meets the Gulf of Mexico), three historic forts (including Fort Barrancas), the downtown Pensacola skyline, and the historic Navy Yard.
Built in 1859, the lighthouse is located in mainland America’s first European settlement, so it is rich in history. Far below the rotating bulb at the top of the tower, the Keeper’s Quarters contains a newly-renovated maritime history museum.
The weather is perfect, right? So let the sightseeing commence! In fact, the lighthouse should be next on your list of Saturday adventures. Grab a friend, kill your quads racing to the top, and prepare to be amazed by the view from the top of the Pensacola Lighthouse.0