Almost any beach will do…this was Texas City Dike
Getting my feet wet was a must, although the water was still pretty chilly!
Of course the kids looked for seashells to take home as souvenirs. These little guys however were NOT allowed to come home with us!
View of Point Bolivar Lighthouse from the end of Texas City Dike
Key West Lighthouse
View from the top of the Lighthouse
Southernmost Point in the continental US. There was a loooong line of people waiting to pose for pictures and I decided to just take a quick snap between tourists 😉
What a lucky day it was when we visited Cape Florida Lighthouse on Key Biscayne. They were just about to lock up the lighthouse for the day, but said that if we made it quick, we could climb to the top. I don’t think we ever climbed a lighthouse faster than this one and practically ran the 119 steps to the top. Melissa doesn’t like the tight spiraling lighthouse steps and chose to wait for us at the bottom.
First glimpse of the lighthouse above the trees
Ocean view from the top
Walking away from the lighthouse, in search of the beach
Lighthouse view from the beach access
Another beautiful Florida lighthouse (also called Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse)
Loved the stairs!
Absolutely loved St. Augustine Lighthouse. Beautiful lighthouse, and beautiful grounds.
Couldn’t get the rest of the family to get into the shot with me, so it’s just a selfie (of some sort) in the “tourist mirror”. What a clever idea to put it there, don’t you think?
Did catch Mel unaware that she was going to be in my shot. (Evil mom!!)
View of the lighthouse keeper’s house from one of the lighthouse windows
View from the top
Another view from the top
And the awesome stairs, on our way back down
Our first stop after crossing into Florida was Pensacola Lighthouse. We had to drive through the Naval Air Station to get to it, and once at the top of the lighthouse, could watch airplanes taking off and landing. If you’re really lucky you can see the Blue Angels practicing (no such luck for us)
Getting our feet wet in the warm Gulf waters
View from the beach
No flip-flops allowed! The girls and I had to climb the lighthouse barefoot. There was even someone at the bottom of the stairs, making sure everyone deposited their flip-flops in a little cubby before climbing to the top. (I thought that was kind of fun and didn’t mind at all…although the kids didn’t agree with me)
Beautiful white sandy beaches. What really surprised me that the sand was cool to the touch and not burning hot like sandy beaches normally are.
We spent two wonderful weeks in Florida last June, driving across and then south along the Atlantic coast all the way to Key West, then back towards home along the Gulf coast.
It rained almost every day (with the exception of ONE) but thankfully the timing wasn’t too bad and it usually rained when we were driving from one destination to the next.
We saw some lighthouses and climbed to the top of most of them. This is Cape Florida.
We saw the most amazing rainbow that lasted well over an hour! This picture was taken from our hotel room balcony
Did I mention we saw some lighthouses?? This one is Pensacola Lighthouse as we were walking back from the beach.
Of course a slice of Key Lime Pie (or in this case Key Lime ice-cream pie!) is a MUST!
In Destin, Florida I even got a tattoo!! Just a henna tattoo…still too chicken for a real one. After I reassured Sara that it didn’t hurt at all, she got one, too.
** All pictures were taken with my iPhone
There are three lighthouses in Duluth, Minnesota, and I was able to get them all into the same shot. That’s Duluth Rear Range Light in the foreground, Duluth North Pierhead Light on the left, and Duluth South Pierhead Light on the right.
On our way back home from Michigan we spent a night in Duluth, Minnesota, and visited some lighthouses before getting back on the road the next morning. The first lighthouse we went to was Duluth North Pierhead Light.
Ontoganon Light was the last lighthouse we visited in Michigan this past summer, and we almost didn’t get to see it because of rain.
We packed up that morning to slowly make our way back towards home. Ontoganon Lighthouse was a couple hours’ drive away, and thankfully the rain had stopped by the time we got there. We stopped for a view across the water first and then tried to get closer, but a little “No Trespassing” sign at the gate on the road leading to the lighthouse made us think that it’s probably better to turn around and take the official tour. I have to say that this tour was certainly worth the money (admission was very reasonable). It started at the gift shop/museum and then we all boarded a shuttle bus that took us to the lighthouse. The guide was very knowledgable and walking through each room, you were actually allowed to touch the things that were there!
Keeweenaw Waterway Lower Entrance Light could be seen in the distance from the top of Portage River Light, and of course we had to make our way over there for a closer look…
Many thanks to Brian and his Photoshop skills for fixing the terrible lens distortion in this photo!
It was a loooong walk out to the lighthose…
….and an equally long walk back!
Also called Jacobsville Light. This lighthouse is privately owned, and it wasn’t clear whether or not they offered tours. One website said they did, another said they didn’t. We decided to stop anyway (and at least take some pictures) and were greeted by the owner. We asked about tours and she said that we were welcome to climb the tower and sent us to meet her husband, who was already up there, and he gave us a nice history of the lighthouse and the area.
44 feet above the ground
Sand Hills Lighthouse is in Ahmeek, Michigan and run as a bed & breakfast. They don’t offer tours, but that didn’t stop us from looking at it from the outside.
Eagle Harbor Lighthouse offers very reasonably priced tours ($5 for adults, children under 16 are free) and we took the self guided tour of the lighthouse and adjacent maritime museum. The lighthouse is still an active one and even though we could take the stairs all the way to the top, we couldn’t get into the room where the light is.
We could have taken a boat tour to visit Copper Harbor Light, but it was a bit expensive and we decided to skip it. We did have a nice view of it from across the water…
Unfortunately this is as close as we got to this beautiful little lighthouse.
Spent some time at Sand Point Light in Baraga, Michigan. The lighthouse wasn’t open to the public, but there was a picnic area right at the lake, and we kicked off our shoes and got our feet wet in Lake Suuperior.
The day we went to Big Bay Point Lighthouse was one of the more relaxed days of our vacation. That’s all we had planned that day. We left the hotel mid morning and made it to Big Bay just in time to eat lunch at the Thunder Bay Inn (the food was very good!) and then made our way to the lighthouse, which is run as a bed & breakfast. Tours were supposed to be available although no one seemed to be around.
The lighthouse is also for sale (for a mere $1,275,000). So…..if anyone has $1.2 million lying around and doesn’t know what to get me for my Birthday in February, this would be a great idea! 😉
You would think lighthouses are easy to find, right? Wrong! We almost didn’t find Christmas Rear Range Light, even with directions! They even seemed like easy directions: Drive M-28 west, between Munising and Christmas near the “Welcome to Christmas” sign.
As you saw in yesterday’s post, we found the “Welcome to Christmas” sign, parked, and walked towards the lake. We had to walk through loose sand, with plenty of broken glass everywhere (not a great idea with flip-flops) and about half way there, I told everyone to stay where they were while I went to take a look (I was ahead of everyone else). All I could see was some kind of strange white pillar with an oversized lightbulb at the top, which was actually the Christmas Front Range Light. If you clicked the link, you’ll agree that it’s not exactly pretty or even lighthouse-looking. The travel brochure with those wonderful directions showed a picture of the Rear Range Light, and I knew this was definitely not it!! And there was no sign of another lighthouse anywhere!
Back to the car we went, and just as I closed the door, buckled up, and Greg was about to back out of our little parking space, I glance in the side mirror and say “Ummm…what’s behind us??” Yup! There it was…on the other side of the road, hidden in the trees!
Of course we got out of the car, crossed the street, and went to take a close look.
A quick stop at Munising Front Range Light on the way back to our hotel in Marquette.
About 8 miles west of Grand Marais, Michigan is Log Slide Overlook, where in the late 19th century loggers used to slide logs down the steep slope into Lake Superior where they were loaded onto lumber schooners. There are outdoor exhibits along the trail to the overlook (none of which I photographed).
Once at the overlook, you can see Grand Sable Dunes to the east…
…and catch a glimpse of Au Sable Lightstation to the west. That’s as close as we got to this lighthouse.
Luckily the lucky shot wasn’t the only one I got of Presque Isle Harbor Breakwater Light. We did get a bit closer, although we decided NOT to walk out to the lighthouse. We could have….and most certainly would have, if the waves hadn’t been crashing over the pier. Didn’t want to risk getting the camera wet.
Yup, definitely got lucky, capturing Presque Isle Harbor Breakwater Light through the trees, at whoknowswhat mph!
McCarty’s Cove is in Marquette, Michigan, which was one of our vacation destinations this summer because it was more or less central to several other places we wanted to visit, and it was much more convenient to just stay at a hotel there for a few days instead of checking into a new one every day.
On our first evening there, we drove along Scenic Drive in search for the Marquette lighthouses. This is about as close as we got to Marquette Harbor Lightstation because it is U.S. property and maintained by the Coast Guard. Tours are available, but it was too late in the evening, and the fences and gates were locked.