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Cape Florida Lighthouse

Updated on January 27, 2016

Key Biscayne is Home to this Historic Beacon

The Cape Florida lighthouse is located on the southern tip of Key Biscayne in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

This lighthouse was built in 1825 and at that time was 65 feet tall. After a fire, it was rebuilt in 1847 and in 1855 it was elevated to 95 feet. It is a white conical structure that stands on the edge of the Atlantic coast.

I have photographed many lighthouses and I found this one to be particularly accessible. I was able to capture the lighthouse at various angles and had a clear shot of the lighthouse from the beach. I also was able to go inside the lighthouse and the replica of the keepers house.

I hope you enjoy the photos I have selected for this lens.

photos by Mary Beth Granger

Palm Lined Path

The entrance to the lighthouse is lined with stately palm trees. You feel like you are walking through a tunnel that opens up at the lighthouse. I love the feel of walking down that path, although I wish the palms would have parted enough to show a bit more of the lighthouse for the photo.

Iconic View


I enjoyed visiting the lighthouse and taking over 200 photos. This one taken on the edge of the lighthouse grounds is one of my favorite shots.

Take note of the sky in this photo and the photo below. One was taken from each side of the lighthouse and the direction of the sun really made a difference in the color of the sky between the two photos. I think I like this one the best.

A View from Inside - winding staircase

The inside of the lighthouse base is very narrow, with just enough room for the winding staircase. There are 110 steps to the top where you have a fantastic view of the south Florida coastline.

The lighthouse keeper was charged with keeping the lantern and the lens in working order. In addition he was required to white wash the exterior of the tower periodically and maintain the living quarters, out buildings and gardens.

Several of the lighthouse keepers had families and everyone, including the children, would participate in the lighthouse duties.

Lighthouse Keepers House

Lighthouse Keepers House
Lighthouse Keepers House | Source

Keepers House - two story brick house


The keepers cottage is a two story house that was built in 1825 and then rebuilt in 1847. The top floor had three bedrooms and downstairs were two nice sized rooms, divided by the staircase. Here you can see the living area of the house. There was a kitchen attached to the back of the house.

The information in the keepers house stated that six different families occupied the house from 1825 until 1875 when it was abandoned.

The current house is a replica of the original and was built in 1969. It houses furniture that would have been common for the period and also has informational posters on the walls. The information for this lens was gathered from those posters.

Underground Railroad Part of Cape Florida area - Slaves escape to Bahamas

I found this information about the area to be interesting. There certainly is a lot of history in the area. I always thought of the underground railroad as moving slaves up to the northern states. I never considered that they were also moved out of the country to the Bahamas.

Miami Skyline - from Key Biscayne Causeway


As you leave Key Biscayne you get a wonderful view of the Miami skyline. We were driving down the causeway and I saw a park along side of the road so we pulled over so I could photograph the Miami skyline. It reminds me of television programs from the Miami area where they pan this skyline before the show. It really is a beautiful sight.

Do you have a favorite lighthouse? - stop by and drop me a line

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    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 3 years ago from Idaho

      Very cool to actually be able to look inside the lighthouse, love this lens!

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 3 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      I love the light station at Ocracoke Island in OBX, North Carolina. You shared some gorgeous photos here, as always. My folks live in Miami, not far from Key Biscayne, so I've gotten to see this from a distance, but I've never been inside. I especially liked the circular staircase shot and the adorable keeper's home.

    • profile image

      Ruthi 3 years ago

      Your opening image is so surreal! Your love of lighthouses and photography always shines through your articles, Mary Beth

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 3 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      A beautiful lens. makes me want to visit this lighthouse.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 4 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      You know my favorite lighthouse, Mary Beth (LOL), but I've always loved this page about the Cape Florida lighthouse. It looks so Florida! Having lived in Florida myself, I love reading about it and seeing photos of it as I still miss it.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      I know this one as I was there and visited. Thanks for great memories coming back to me. Entire key Biscayne is so beautiful.

    • SquidooPower profile image

      SquidooPower 5 years ago


    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 7 years ago from Washington KS

      Beautiful pictures. I've never been to Florida, or to any coast, so have never seen a lighthouse up close in person. Your lens was the next best thing.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 7 years ago

      Wow! Gorgeous pictures! Makes me want to travel more.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great photos of the light - it definitely is one of the prettiest ones around in south Florida and I have the good fortune of living so close to Key Biscayne where I can go down and visit it anytime I like.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @Virginia Allain: If you're taking about the Thomas Point Shoal light out in the Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis, I was just there last weekend where I got to go inside of it and learn all about it. A former Coast Guarder who used to work in that light back in 1970 made his first visit out there since then and it was fascinating hearing his tales of his experience 40 years ago.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Cape Florida Lighthouse is beautiful. Another wonderful lens.

    • profile image

      southshoretees 7 years ago

      Beautiful! My favorite lighthouse in off of Cohasset, MA, Minot's Ledge (I have a lens on it). It has a great story behind the light. The southern lighthouses have a look all their own far different from the New England ones. Great lens!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      I liked the photo of the seagulls and the lighthouse. Actually all the photos are great!

      There's a wonderful octagonal lighthouse in Maryland's Eastern Shore that you should see sometime.

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 8 years ago

      Great shots and I love the way you've incorporated your Zazzle options with the history of the lighthouse. Very effective!

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 8 years ago

      There's something quite intrigueing about lighthouses. Lovely photo's.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 8 years ago from La Verne, CA

      I wish I lived near a lighthouse. I am not close to the ocean.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 8 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I love your lighthouse photos, Mary Beth and they make such wonderful photo products on Zazzle, particularly your featured coffee mug. Beautiful scene. I've never seen the Cape Florida Lighthouse, but have seen many others up and down the East Coast from Maine to Florida. I'd have to say my favorite -- or at least the one I know best - is the Tybee Lighthouse on Tybee Island, GA, as I lived there for 13 years (not at the lighthouse, but on the island .. (smile). Looks like you are enjoying your time in Florida.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 8 years ago from Central Florida

      I love all lighthouses. There's a wonderful octagonal one in Maryland that you should see.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Beautiful photos of Cape Florida lighthouse. Great job!