How to Climb a Lighthouse


I did something this past week on vacation that I have never done before – I climbed my first lighthouse! My family was on vacation near Pensacola, Florida so we drove over to look at the lighthouse. For less than $20, our entire family had the opportunity to tour the museum, lightkeepers house and climb the lighthouse. Here’s some tips for how to climb a lighthouse to help you on your next adventure.

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Pensacola Lighthouse
Pensacola Lighthouse

How to Climb a Lighthouse

This was a great experience for us all and gave us a great work out as well. With 177 steps up to the top of the lighthouse, we worked muscles we didn’t know we had.

A few tips we learned

  • Wear tennis shoes or go barefoot. No flip flops are allowed when climbing. There is a designated “flip flop parking” area before you climb. It is much safer to climb barefoot than with open heel flip flops
  • People coming down have the right-of-way. I don’t know if this is true at all lighthouses, but at the Pensacola lighthouse this is a MUST.  The stairs are very narrow with a handle only on the wall.  When you are coming down, you absolutely need the rail.  So those who are climbing, just move over to the inside and hold on to the step above you.
  • Kids are allowed but must have help.  We took our 2 boys on the climb to the top.  Our 10 year old had no problem.  Our 5 year old did fine as well but we kept a close hold on his hand to make sure he didn’t accidentally slip.  A slip on these stairs would mean a pretty nasty fall.
  • Take your time.  This is not a race to the top.  There are several landing areas in most lighthouses.  Take advantage of them to catch your breath and rest.
  • Enjoy the view.  When you get to the top, take your time and enjoy the view.  It’s amazing what you can see from the top.
Pensacola Lighthouse
Pensacola Lighthouse

My parents love to visit lighthouses and have climbed many.  Do you climb them?  How many have you conquered?

  1. What’s the hardest/easiest lighthouse to climb?
  2. Which lighthouse was the talest that you conquered?

Any tips for a lighthouse novice?  I’d love to hear!

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  1. That looks like so much fun! I have always had a fascination with lighthouses, but have never had the opportunity to go all the way up in one. Thanks for sharing!!

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