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This page has information on getting to Anclote Key and the lighthouse. At the bottom are links to boat rental places.

Getting to the Island

The Anclote Key lighthouse is one of the more difficult lighthouses to visit since it is in a fairly remote location. Boat rental places are available out of the Anclote River area (more information below), and boats can be launched from either the Anclote River Park, or Sunset Beach Park for smaller boats. At one time I had a 16' aluminum boat that I would launch from Sunset Beach Park, but I would have a hard time recommending the launch of larger boats from that location. Anclote River Park is a better choice for launching larger boats, and provides better facilities since Sunset Beach Park only has a beach launch. No matter whether you rent a boat or bring your own, it is important to keep in mind that some areas can become very shallow and dangerous. There are shallow rocks located to the southwest of Sunset Beach Park, and during low tide the area can be very difficult to navigate, even with a smaller boat. The channel coming out from the Anclote River area is surrounded on both sides by very shallow sandbars. As you near the island, it is imperative that you be cautious due to the fact that the waters near the island become extremely shallow and almost impassible with most boats in some areas.


The best place to land on Anclote Key to visit the lighthouse is near the pier, although the pier itself is off limits to the public. You can safely anchor your boat near the pier since that area is fairly deep because it was probably dredged to some extent during the restoration so that barges and boat traffic could reach the island. I have found that the pier area is also an excellent area to cast net for live bait if you want to try your hand at fishing. There is a wooden boardwalk from the pier area that goes to the lighthouse area, which to my knowledge is open to the public. You can follow this pier to the lighthouse to get a view of the tower, but the grounds are still closed off to the general public. Occasionally the lighthouse is opened for people to climb and enjoy. During my visits to the island since a full-time ranger has been on the island, I have found that he is always very friendly and open to conversations about the island and its natural beauty. If you run into the ranger (Chris Berner) on the island, I am sure that he appreciates the companionship and conversation if you have the time, but he is not able to offer tours of the lighthouse.

Boat Rentals

Here is a list of boat rentals and tours that can get you to the island:

Windsong Boat Rentals

Windsong Charters

Southwind Charters

Carolina Mike's Kayaking Adventures

Anclote Village Marina

Sun Line Cruises

Art's Aquatic Adventures

Spongeorama's Cruise Lines

Friends of Anclote Key (General park and camping info)