Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse
At over 150 feet above sea level, Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse claims to have the best view in Palm Beach County. The 108-foot-high tower has been illuminating the coast around Jupiter Inlet for 158 years. It is the oldest structure still existing in the county.


The site for the lighthouse on the north side of Jupiter Inlet was chosen in 1853. Located between Cape Canaveral light to its north and Hillsboro Inlet light to the south, it was designed by then Lieutenant George G. Meade of the Bureau of Topographical Engineers. This is the same General Meade who led the Union troops at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. Lieutenant William Raynolds improved on Meade’s design by adding more height and a double wall. Due to construction delays, the tower was not completed until May 1860. The lantern was officially lit on 10 July 1860. It was automated in 1987. The lighthouse is still an active aid to navigation, maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. In 1975, it was put on the National Register of Historic Places.

More recently, in January, 2018, a 16-year-old boy attempted suicide by jumping from the lighthouse balcony. However, his attempt was thwarted by a palm tree, which broke his fall. He bounced off the tree, landed in some bushes on the ground, and was flown by helicopter to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

Activities at the lighthouse:

In addition to the lighthouse itself, the grounds consist of a museum and gift shop as well as a 120-acre outstanding natural area, all operated by the Loxahatchee River Historical Society. An admission fee includes admission to the museum, a climbing tour of the lighthouse, and access to the natural area.

The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area was designated by the U.S. Congress in May 2008 to “protect, conserve, and enhance the unique and nationally important historic, natural, cultural, scientific, educational, scenic, and recreational values of the Federal land surrounding the Lighthouse for the benefit of present generations and future generations for the people in the United States.” The natural area boasts a hiking trail to a lagoon observation tower that passes through three Florida habitats: scrub habitat, tropical hammock, and mangrove swamp. Lighthouse Park, behind the museum, contains a small playground, soccer fields, tennis courts, and a virtual geocache.

The lighthouse is open Tuesday-Sunday from May through December, and daily from January through April 29. It is closed on the following days: New Year’s Day, Easter, April 30, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day. Hours of operation are from 10a.m. to 5p.m., with last admittance at 4p.m. It is located at:
500 Captain Armour’s Way
Jupiter, FL 33469

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