2081 Radford Blvd, Pensacola, FL, USA
www.pensacolalighthouse.org - (850) 393-1561
Pensacola Lighthouse Reviews
A beacon of hope... May 16, 2013
The Pensacola Lighthouse is a good deal. A really beautiful structure, with black markings recalling the majestic beacons of the Outer Banks. Admission struck me as a tad salty at $6 (accompanied by a plea for another $1 donation, which of course, I agreed to), but a good deal in retrospect.
They have done an admirable job of restoring and preserving the lighthouse, in addition to amassing a notable collection of period artifacts. The grounds are lovely and well maintained, the lighthouse itself one of the most splendid specimens I’ve ever climbed. The spiral stairwell is uncharacteristically roomy, braced by sturdy steel steps which make for an easy ascent. Like all other lighthouses, the stairwell gradually tapered, but it wasn’t until squeezing through the final trapdoor to the catwalk that I needed to remove my backpack.
Your first encounter at the top is getting up close and personal with the light’s Fresnel lens. I relished this because in the museum down below I had just learned the correct way to pronounce the term (fruh-NEL). So many lighthouses over the years and I never knew the correct pronunciation!
It was refreshing up top. Splendid views in sunny weather were highlighted by a deliciously cool breeze. I never realized how white the sand beaches were in this neck of the woods before scanning miles of them from this lofty perch. A park attendant was standing watch on the catwalk and she helped me identify interesting spots during the twenty minutes I savored the views. I also enjoyed watching people pop out onto the catwalk – it is a really tall tower and virtually everyone instantly recoiled, instinctively backing up to the wall, away from the railing.
Retracing my steps, I toured the keeper’s house which possessed quite a few nooks and crannies. I had already surveyed several of the rooms on my way to the lighthouse stairwell, but was surprised to discover plenty more upon my return. Ventured upstairs to the teeny room where the keeper and family lived, enjoying how well everything was decorated and documented.
Then I noticed a sign proclaiming “more exhibits and video down below”, so it was off to the basement. This was mildly disappointing. Just a pair of rooms populated with tacky artwork and relics similar to displays upstairs. The video was in a small adjoining room where a pair of benches were parked in front of a TV hooked up to a VCR. An endless loop was playing of a dopey episode of “Ghost Hunters” (or some other silly name, I’m really not sure). Naturally the segment documented several intrepid supernatural stalkers spending the night in the Pensacola lighthouse. I tuned in for a minute, got disgusted (every random noise seemed to be conclusive evidence of spirits), and exited.
There are several points of interest on the lighthouse grounds, so don’t stop exploring once you get back outside. The gift shop also seemed nice, though I didn’t spend any time there.
Part of the Hanging Out travel blog
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