For more than 165 years this lighthouse has marked the southern tip of the United States and today its one of Key West’s most fascinating historical attractions. The Key West Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters Museum is a fascinating day out. Climb to the peak of the lighthouse for sweeping views across the Caribbean Sea and the Florida Keys or spend some time exploring the photographs, artifacts and paintings that fill the attached museum. Housed within the keeper’s quarters, the museum shows you how the keeper lived and worked.
For more than 100 years, between 1848 and 1969, the Key West Lighthouse was essential for the ships attempting to navigate the shallow waters that surrounded the Florida Keys. After being decommissioned by the U.S. Coastguard the lighthouse was converted into a museum and major attraction. Climb the lighthouse’s 88 steps to reach the observation deck at the top. Pose for photographs with the vast Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico waters sprawling behind you, or look across the town of Key West to identify the other attractions of the area.
Trawl through a vast collection of artifacts in the museum. See the living quarters of the lighthouse keeper as you make your way through. Original items of furniture sit alongside the museum’s vast permanent collection. Understand what life was like in the town of Key West before tourism became the primary industry. Learn local stories about fishermen and seafarers, as well as the life stories of the various lighthouse keepers that called Key West home.
The Key West Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters Museum can be visited daily, except for Christmas Day. A small admission fee applies. Centrally located within the Old Town, and immediately opposite the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, the lighthouse can be reached on foot, aboard the Conch Train or Key West Trolley, or via taxi. Some metered street parking is available in the area.