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Historic Port Boca Grande Lighthouse Museum set to reopen after Hurricane Ian restoration

January 19, 2024
By Staff Report

The Port Boca Grande Lighthouse & Museum, a cherished local landmark and the oldest structure on Gasparilla Island, is thrilled to announce its reopening to the public on Monday, Feb. 5. This marks a significant milestone as the museum has been closed since September 2022 due to the destructive impact of Hurricane Ian.

Perched majestically atop iron pilings at the extreme southern end of Gasparilla Island, The Port
Boca Grande Lighthouse has served as a guiding light to mariners since its establishment in 1890. The house-dwelling style lighthouse is not only an iconic beacon but also houses a comprehensive museum dedicated to preserving Boca Grande’s and Charlotte Harbor’s rich history.

Hurricane Ian struck in September 2022, subjecting the lighthouse to severe structural and water
damage. Over the past months, a dedicated restoration effort has been underway to revive this
historic gem, ensuring it continues to stand tall as a symbol of resilience and heritage.

Starting Monday, Feb. 5, the museum will welcome visitors with new operating hours
from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Monday (closed on Tuesdays). To celebrate its grand
reopening, special incentives await visitors on the inaugural day. Patrons will enjoy a 25%
discount on all items in the gift shop, complimentary snacks and a unique opportunity to climb
the Boca Grande Lighthouse.

From the lantern room and catwalk of the lighthouse, visitors can revel in breathtaking
panoramic views of the entire island, Charlotte Harbor and Cayo Costa. This reopening event
promises not only a glimpse into the past through the museum’s exhibits, but also a chance to
appreciate the beauty of Gasparilla Island from a historic vantage point.

“We are delighted to welcome the community and visitors back to the Port Boca Grande
Lighthouse Museum after months of restoration following Hurricane Ian,” said Sharon McKenzie, Executive Director, Barrier Islands Park Society. “This reopening is a testament to the dedication of our BIPS and Florida State Parks team, the restoration team, Razorback LLC and Wright Construction and the resilience of this iconic structure.”

The Port Boca Grande Lighthouse & Museum invites everyone to join in this momentous
occasion and experience the restored beauty of this cultural landmark.