Port Boca Grande Lighthouse Lantern Room open for tours

Port Boca Grande Lighthouse Lantern Room open for tours

■ STAFF REPORT

The Barrier Island Parks Society is making history again at The Port Boca Grande Lighthouse & Museum. Beginning November 1 thru April 30, BIPS will host climb tours to the top every Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost is $10 per person to tour to the top, and all proceeds directly support the preservation of this icon for future generations. Reservations are not required, and climbs will be available as space allows. Please note that climbs will close due to inclement weather and on major holidays.

The Lantern Room tours will be led by volunteer Port Boca Grande Lighthouse light keepers, who have completed in-depth training. BIPS volunteer light keepers are passionate about sharing and preserving the unique history of this beloved Lighthouse legacy, including the light keepers who operated the Lighthouse since 1890. In the past, the Lantern Room and cupola were only open for tours on one special day of the year to celebrate Florida Lighthouse Day.

The Port Boca Grande Lighthouse Museum is open November 1 through June 1, Monday thru Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Summer/fall hours are June 1 through June 31 and September 1 through October 31, Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays noon to 4 p.m. The Lighthouse is closed during August and on major holidays.

The Lighthouse Museum is free to visit, and donations are greatly needed and appreciated. Many believe that since the Lighthouse is inside a Florida State Park and is on the National Registry of Historic Landmarks, it is maintained and preserved by government funds. This is not the case. In fact, the Lighthouse is preserved solely by the Barrier Island Parks Society through donations, gift shop & climb proceeds and grants.

Barrier Island Parks Society Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit Citizen Support Organization supporting four local barrier island Florida State Parks: Cayo Costa, Don Pedro, Gasparilla Island and Stump Pass Beach. BIPS also manages, preserves and maintains historical structures, including Port Boca Grande Lighthouse & Museum, Gasparilla Island Lighthouse and Amory Memorial Chapel. Learn more about BIPS at barrierislandparkssociety.org.