Salt Life’s Favorite Lighthouses; Four Historic and Beautiful Sites
Sep 22, 2021
More than 18,000 lighthouses exist worldwide. Some old, some new, some open to the public, and some appreciated from a distance. Functional and beautiful, lighthouses are beloved by all ages and are often popular travel destinations.
Members of the Salt Life team shared with us their favorite lighthouses, and we encourage you to check them out! Not only are these lighthouses amazing to see in person, but they are also full of so much fascinating history.
1. Vermilion Lighthouse, Ohio
On the shores of Lake Erie, you will find Vermilion, Ohio, a place that was once known as the “town of sea captains.” During prohibition times, this city was a bustling port for illegal liquor from Canada, full of captains and sailors alike. The lighthouse that stands tall here is a favorite of Salt Life’s Ryan and Tom Martino.
The Vermillion Lighthouse was initially constructed from wood in 1847, but just 30 years later, in 1877, it was replaced with a new lighthouse made out of iron. Over time the lighthouse started to lean, and in 1929, it was finally removed. Shortly after, it was replaced with a steel replica that is still in Vermillion today. While visitors cannot enter the Vermilion Lighthouse, they can walk right up to it and are welcome to take photos.
Interestingly, the leaning iron lighthouse was taken to Buffalo, New York, renovated, and installed on Lake Ontario. To this day, both lighthouses are standing strong and proud.
2. Cape Hatteras Light Station, North Carolina Stand-up paddleboarder and avid-traveler, April Zilg’s, favorite lighthouse is on Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks, and happens to bethe United States’ tallest brick lighthouse. Reaching almost 200 feet from the foundation to pinnacle, the Cape Hatteras Light Station was first lit in 1803. Unfortunately, this original lighthouse was too short and its light was too weak. 60 feet was added to the height of Cape Hatteras Light Station in 1853, along with a red paint job that made it much easier to see.
Weather and time took their toll on this lighthouse, and in 1868, a replacement was built. Due to constantly high groundwater, the new Cape Hatteras lighthouse was built on a floating foundation featuring an octagon base and brick structure. It was painted distinctly with black and white stripes. Typically open to visitors from April to October, guests of all ages are invited to enjoy the 269 steps from the ground to the top of this lighthouse.
3. Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, Florida
This lighthouse is very popular with the Salt Life team. Jacki Shea, Lauren Hall, and Amber Lewis named the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse their favorite lighthouse to visit. Constructed in 1860, its famous red paint job was actually added in 1910 as a way to cover up discoloration from Florida’s unforgiving humidity.
The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse still guides ships on the Atlantic coast each day while also providing excellent views of Palm Beach County and the Atlantic Ocean to its visitors. It has 105 steps on a spiral staircase from bottom to top, but the trip is well worth it. Visitors can see historical buildings, brand new homes, yachts, kayakers, dolphins, and manatees from the lantern room.
4. Faro Blanco Lighthouse, Florida
Mystery surrounds this Floridian lighthouse. A favorite destination of Alex Vandegrift, the Faro Blanco Lighthouse doesn’t have a well-documented history but is a staple in Marathon, Florida. Alex even shared with us that this lighthouse “holds a very special place in my heart, as it is where I grew up with my family as our yearly family vacation. We still make sure to visit it at least once a year! Faro Blanco is beautiful and in a gorgeous location!”
It is commonly believed that the Faro Blanco Lighthouse was built around 1950 and utilized for private navigation. It was significantly damaged by Hurricane Donna in 1960 but quickly repaired. However, in 2005, the impacts of Hurricane Wilma forced the lighthouse to be condemned. Luckily, it was rebuilt in 2014 as part of the Faro Blanco Resort and Yacht Club. A new lantern was installed, and today it serves as the Dockmaster’s office.
Sometimes the history behind a destination is just as cool as the destination itself. Thanks to our Salt Life team members for sharing their favorite lighthouses with us. We hope you enjoyed this little bit of history and may even consider visiting a few of these nautical landmarks. If you do stop by, make sure to grab a photo and share it with us on social media, @realsaltlife.