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“Must climb to the top”

Key West Lighthouse and Keeper's Quarters Museum
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$80.63*
and up
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and up
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Ranked #20 of 180 things to do in Key West
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 18, 2013

The climb was a bit scary for me, but it was so worth the little stress I experienced. The spiral staircase just seems to never end., going down was a bit worse for a scary cat like me.

Thank BeachfunMissouri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 18, 2013

I was in several lighthouses during my life ,this is a small very well conserved and with a great narrative history. If you go to Hemingway house you must go here too and you can see all key west from the highs. The yard is great conserved and the house of the keepers it's incredible we'll maintain . Don't lose the incredible tree in the front that you can see in my picture profile

Thank Mariana G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2013

I'm deathly afraid of heights. But I climbed to the top of the lighthouse and was very impressed! I was glad I made it haha Breathtaking views of Key West stretch out past the deck.

Easy to find, relaxing to walk around. $10 each adult but be sure to ask about the special. We weren't aware we could pay a certain price and go see three locations! I think it was something like buy two get one free.

Definitely climb the lighthouse. It's sooo worth the trembling legs and conquered fears. And it's beautiful.

The Keeper's Quarters are very pretty and packed with history. Lights from the lighthouse beacon, furniture, pictures and clothing. Be sure to check out the histories on some of the families who've been the keepers of the lighthouse.

Thank RainJames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2013

Located just across the street from the Hemingway House, The Key West Lighthouse was built in 1847 to replace the original wooden tower destroyed by a hurricane. Originally 66 feet tall, the lighthouse was extended almost 50 years later by twenty feet, bringing it to its present height. It is the tallest structure in town that is accessible to the public. Entrance is on Whitehead Street, and after paying an admission fee it’s a quick two minute walk to the lighthouse proper. Ascent to the top via 88 circular stairs is fairly quick, and you are rewarded with an expansive 360-degree view of the entire town, from Stock Island to Fort Taylor and Fleming Key to South Beach.

The museum is located adjacent to the tower in the old Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters. Built in 1887, access here is included in the admission fee. Spread out over the five rooms is the story of the people who lived in the house along with a collection of lighthouse artifacts and brief descriptions of the maritime history of the Keys. This includes listening stations, a succinct chronologic documentary of the area, and numerous old photos.

Was the visit worth the admission fee?

Absolutely. Although obstructed a bit by the natural year-round foliage, the views from the top of the lighthouse were memorable. The museum is also important if anything to hold on to memories of a lost profession. The entire concept of a lighthouse keeper itself is a bit of an “artifact,” as the occupation has joined the milkman and ice storage custodian in the dustbin of history.

Could the experience be improved on?

Yes. The museum in particular seemed to be organized in a bit of a haphazard fashion, with no logical progression or story of the times. I found myself going back after the documentary and trying to piece everything together into a cohesive whole. It seemed a bit like the area was in the midst of an identity crisis and was trying to decide which story (maritime history vs. personal history vs. lighthouse history) to tell and how to tell it (individual narrative vs. artifacts vs. photos).

Overall a visit here was worth the admission price and comes recommended with the above caveats.

1  Thank midway42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2013

Unless you are a true light house buff, the museum itself may be a bit on the boring side. However, it does give a true feeling of what Key West was like years ago. The climb up the lighthouse was not very strenuous, and well worth it for the views.

Thank Janet P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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