Florida Lighthouse 1: Anclote Key

Our goal this year is to visit at least 15 lighthouses and after visiting 11 in Washington state and British Columbia, we finally made it to our first Florida lighthouse in 2015.

Anclote Key Preserve State Park, off the coast of Tarpon Springs, is only a short boat ride across St. Joseph Sound. A ferry is available in Tarpon Springs, but it’s also easy to kayak across the water from Anclote River Park, a county park. Our mode of transportation was our 15′ skiff making the trip both cheap and easy.

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Since the five miles of white-sand beaches are only accessible by boat, we encountered only a handful of people even on a summer day. I’m sure a weekend trip may be more crowded, but on a Wednesday, we saw fewer people than the shipwrecked inhabitants of Gilligan’s Island.

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We anchored near the pier, the recommended location, and then followed the boardwalk to the lighthouse. The lighthouse is not open to the public except on specially designated days, and in fact, we did not see the park ranger during our recent visit.

After reading about the history of the lighthouse, which was first lit in September 1887, and then taking a few pictures, we finished our time on Anclote Key swimming in the warm Gulf Waters and enjoying a little beach time and a picnic lunch.

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Only three more lighthouses to go to complete another of our 15 in 15 adventures.