BOCA GRANDE — To help raise money for the restoration and upkeep of Gasparilla Island’s two historic lighthouses, the Barrier Island Parks Society has come up with a unique experience: Take a climb up a lighthouse in Boca Grande.
The society offers tours and climbing events for both the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse, 880 Belcher Road, and the Gasparilla Island Lighthouse, 220 Gulf Blvd.
Boca Grande Lighthouse
For the Boca Grande Lighthouse, visitors can pay $10 to climb up to the lantern room and cupola and take a look around.
Climbs are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Friday from Nov. 1 to April 30, with the next one being this Friday. Reservations are not required, and climbs are available as space allows. Climb tours are led by knowledgeable BIPS Light Keeper volunteers who will share the fascinating history of the light, the light keepers and their families.
Gasparilla Island Lighthouse
If you are a bit more adventurous, you could try a 20-minute climb tour to the top of the historic and newly restored Gasparilla Island Lighthouse, which is on the Gulf of Mexico beach. The next climbing day is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 26. Cost for regular day climbs is $15 per person, or $5 per child aged 6-11, and is payable the day of the climb. Cash or check only.
Here are the rules for climbing:
1. Sensible climbing shoes or sandals with straps preferred.
2. Shirts and shorts/pants or swimsuit covers are required.
3. No food, drinks or gum.
4. No backpacks, selfie sticks, drones or other video equipment.
5. Children must be at least 44 inches tall to climb. Must be accompanied by an adult for ages 15 and under.
6. No carrying children up the stairs is allowed.
7. If you are pregnant or have a heart condition, you might want to consider not climbing.
8. If you are afraid of heights, please do not climb.
9. You will not be allowed to climb if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
10. BIPS staff and volunteers can refuse entry to anyone at anytime.
11. Climbs will be canceled during inclement weather.
The Port Boca Grande Lighthouse & Museum and Gift Shop is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Nov. 1-June 1. Summer/fall hours are June 1-June 31 and Sept. 1-Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Wednesday through Saturday and Sundays noon to 4 p.m. The Lighthouse is closed during August and on major holidays.