Maritime Heritage

Florida has one of the longest continuous coastlines in the country with more than 1,260 miles, not to mention the more than 12,000 miles of fishable rivers, streams and canals. Florida’s water resources and transportation along them have influenced many aspects of our culture. In Florida, there are both prehistoric and historic sites located offshore and in rivers and sinkholes - from submerged Native American canoes and habitation sites to the remains of sunken steamboats and schooners.

Some of Florida’s most impressive maritime sites date from the Colonial Period, such as two ships from the first colonization attempt by Spaniard Tristán de Luna, today known as the Emanuel Point and the Emanuel Point located just off shore in Pensacola Bay.  The site is the oldest European shipwrecks known in Florida and the second oldest in the United States.

Lighthouses are another reminder that Florida’s history and development has been guided by the determination of seafarers and those brave enough to face the uncertainty of the sea.  Learn more about the vital importance of these beacons for Florida history by visiting one of Florida’s many preserved lighthouses and museums.

Find out more about one of Florida’s shipwreck trails today:  1733 Spanish Galleon Trail, Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail, Museums in the Sea, Maritime Heritage Trail.

31 - 40 of 49

Cape San Blas Lighthouse

In 1847 Congress appropriated $8,000 for a lighthouse. Two years later a conical brick tower was completed. The signal from the 85-foot high structure could be seen for 10 miles offshore.... Read More

Region: Northwest

County: Gulf

City: Port St. Joe

View Website

Cape St. George Lighthouse

The Cape St. George Lighthouse first stood at the southern-most tip of “Little” St. George Island in the Gulf of Mexico. The island is 8 miles offshore of Apalachicola in the Florida... Read More

Region: Northwest

County: Franklin

City: St. George Island

View Website

Crooked River Lighthouse

For 116 years the Crooked River Lighthouse has stood as a beacon, guiding timber ships as well as local fishermen and oystermen through the treacherous pass between Dog and St.... Read More

Region: Northwest

County: Franklin

City: Carrabelle

View Website

Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse

Constructed in 1907, the lighthouse was illuminated with one vaporized kerosene lamp “I.O.V.”system. In 1932, this was replaced with a 250W bulb and by 1972 was fully automated. ... Read More

Region: South

County: Broward

City: Pompano Beach

View Website

Loggerhead Key Lighthouse

Almost 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West lies the remote Dry Tortugas National Park. The 100-square mile park is mostly open water with seven small islands.  Accessible only by... Read More

Region: South

County: Monroe

City: Key West

View Website

Sanibel Lighthouse

First lit on August 20, 1884, the Sanibel Lighthouse is now on the grounds of a city park. The lighthouse was automated and unmanned in 1949 and the dwellings taken over by the U.S.... Read More

Region: South

County: Lee

City: Sanibel

View Website

Garden Key Lighthouse

Almost 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West lies the remote Dry Tortugas National Park. The 100-square mile park is mostly open water with seven small islands.  Accessible only by... Read More

Region: South

County: Monroe

City: Key West

View Website

St. Marks Lighthouse

Constructed in 1842 to replace an earlier 1831 structure which was threatened by erosion, the St. Marks Lighthouse is located at the mouth of the St. Marks River on Apalachee Bay. After... Read More

Region: Northwest

County: Wakulla

City: St. Marks

View Website

Amelia Island Lighthouse

Constructed in 1839 using materials taken from the former 1820 Cumberland Island Lighthouse in Georgia, the Amelia Island Lighthouse is the oldest existing lighthouse in Florida. In... Read More

Region: Northeast

County: Nassau

City: Fernandina Beach

View Website

St. Marks Lighthouse

Constructed in 1842 to replace an earlier 1831 structure which was threatened by erosion, the St. Marks Lighthouse is located at the mouth of the St. Marks River on Apalachee Bay. After... Read More

Region: Northwest

County: Wakulla

City: St. Marks

View Website
31 - 40 of 49