Sunday, February 7, 2010

St. Marks Lighthouse, Florida - Romantic Sentinel on the Gulf

Continuing our look at some of my favorite romantic spots in the South for St. Valentine's Day, one of the most beautiful is the solitary white tower of the St. Marks Lighthouse in St. Marks, Florida.
Located far out in the marshes of the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, the St. Marks Lighthouse has guided ships in and out of the port of St. Marks for nearly 180 years. Completed in 1832, the lighthouse has witnessed the changes of ships from sail to steam to modern gas and diesel engines. It has weathered untold hurricanes and even Union attack during the Civil War. And yet it still stands, one of the most beautiful spots on Florida's Gulf Coast.

This is the place that millions of Monarch butterflies gather in the fall for their annual migration across the Gulf of Mexico and the sweeping views of the marshes and the Gulf provide outstanding opportunities for seeing wildlife and birds. It is an amazingly beautiful setting, far removed from the crowded beaches and scenery blocking condos of much of the rest of the Florida coast.

The lighthouse grounds are open to the public daily and there are walking trails, a scenic overlook and displays telling the history of the lighthouse and the significance of the national wildlife refuge. It is a remarkable and often overlooked place.

To learn more, please visit

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