Free lighthouse admission Saturday

St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum to participate in Smithsonian Museum Day


The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum will participate in Smithsonian Museum Day on Saturday, Sept. 21.

Museum Day is an annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian Magazine. Participating museums and cultural institutions across the country provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. The Museum Day ticket provides free admission for two people from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21.


Guests must present a printed ticket in order to gain free entry. Registration is available at


“As a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum, we are thrilled to participate in this event each year, offering free admission to our guests on this special day,” said Kathy Fleming, executive director of the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum.


This year, Smithsonian is celebrating the Year of Music, highlighting and sharing Smithsonian’s vast musical holdings, bringing together resources in history, art, culture, science, and education.


The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is preparing for an upcoming World War II exhibit. Its collection of 19,000 artifacts includes recorded music and historic photos of St. Augustine vocalist Bobbie Hatchett singing with the U.S. Coast Guard Band in the Ponce de Leon Hotel dining room in the 1940s during WWII. What is now the Flagler College campus served as a USCG Training Center during the war.


Museum Day activities

At the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, climb 219 steps to the top of the 165-foot tower for a breathtaking view of historic downtown St. Augustine, the beaches, and the Nation’s Oldest Port. 

Discover St. Augustine’s rich maritime history at the site of Florida’s first lighthouse. Explore exhibits in the restored Keepers’ House about the lives of the Lighthouse keepers and their families, and shipwreck discoveries made off the coast of St. Augustine.

Also on site, the WWII US Coast Guard Coastal Lookout Quarters, Nation’s Oldest Port Demos, a Maritime Hammock Scavenger Hunt, a working Conservation Lab, and a View from the Top video (for those who don’t climb the lighthouse) in the Maritime Education Center, and the WWII Jeep Garage, which houses The Tin Pickle café.

For little one, find a shipyard playground and hands-on activities throughout the exhibits and grounds (children less than 44 inches tall can’t climb the tower but get free admission). The museum store will be open.

Featured exhibits

·         1874 Lighthouse Tower (self-guided climb up the 219-step spiral staircase)

·         1876 Keepers’ House

·         Wrecked! The Story of a Revolutionary War Shipwreck

·         At Home with the Harns

·         Legends of the Light

·         Nation's Oldest Port Demos (interactive demonstrations)

·         Northeast Florida Shrimping: Foundation of a Global Enterprise

·         Maritime Hammock Nature Trails

·         Maritime Education Center with exhibits and hands-on children's activities

·         Conservation Lab and PGA Viewing Window

·         World War II US Coast Guard Coastal Lookout Quarters


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