The Lightner Museum Tours

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About The Lightner Museum, St Augustine

Hotel Alcazar was built in 1887 in the Spanish Renaissance style architecture to provide luxury and comfort to wealthy patrons vacationing. Railroad magnate Henry M. Flagler commissioned architects Carrere and Hastings to give it a touch of splendour and glamour which summed up the atmosphere in this hotel. The hotel boasted a steam room, massage parlour, sulphur baths, gymnasium, a three-storey ballroom, and the world's largest indoor swimming pool. However in 1932 the hotel closed down, and in 1948 it was open to the public as the Lightner Museum.

Chicago publisher, Otto C. Lightner, purchased the building to house his extensive collection of Victoriana in 1946 and opened the museum two years later. He gave the museum to the city of St. Augustine. The building is an attraction in itself, highlighting the open courtyard with palm trees, and a stone arch bridge over a fishpond. On display at the Lightner Museum are artefacts from the 19th century. There are three floors to the museum, all of which are filled with relics of America’s Gilded Age.

Costumes, furnishings, mechanical musical instruments all give you a glimpse into the daily life of that era. And to represent this are collections of items like lighters, pipes, and glasses. Paintings from around the world are all exhibited. Each room is restored to its inventive splendour so guests can feel like they are walking back in time. The Museum is housed in the former health facilities of the hotel, including the spa and Turkish bath, and in its three-storey ballroom.

The museum's first floor houses a Victorian village, with shop fronts demonstrating emporia selling period wares, a Victorian Science and Industry Room exhibits shells, rocks, minerals, and Native American articles in beautiful turn of the 20th century cases, as well as stuffed birds, a small Egyptian mummy, model steam engines, elaborate examples of Victorian glassblowing, golden elephant bearing the world on its back, and a shrunken head. The Music Room, filled with mechanized musical instruments—including player pianos, reproducing pianos, orchestras, and others—dating from the 1870s through the 1920s.

The second floor contains examples of cut glass, Victorian art glass and stained glass work of Louis Comfort Tiffany's studio. The third floor, in the ballroom's upper balcony, exhibits paintings, sculpture, and furniture, include a Grande escritoire created for Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland, in the period 1806-1810.

The Lightner Museum is located in the historic downtown district of St. Augustine across from Flagler College.

The Lightner Museum Information

  • Include in your visit lunch at the Cafe Alcazar directly behind the museum in the former hotel indoor swimming pool.
  • Alcazar Cafe serves delicious food at affordable prices, service is outstanding. They serve lunch daily.
  • Lightner Museum provides a spectacular setting for special events. Corporate functions, award ceremonies, dinners and dances can be outstanding evenings held in the Museum's elegant environs.
  • The affluence of a golden era provides a unique milieu for weddings and wedding receptions.
  • Events ranging in size from 50 to 400 guests can be accommodated. Rates vary according to the size and type of event. The Museum is available for events after 6:00 pm any day of the year except on Christmas day.
  • Other areas in the museum are available for a more intimate setting. The Museum will try to accommodate you as best as possible and tailor the evening to your special event.
  • Even the exterior courtyard can be rented as well.
  • The Museum appreciates financial gift and donations but suggests you consult a financial or tax advisor to help you decide.
  • You can fund a specific project or exhibit. Or you can work as a volunteer.
  • If you have an object the museum might want, please describe the object: its size, age, condition, and history. If you can, send them a photograph. They will be happy to discuss it with you.

The Lightner Museum Tickets Prices

  • For Adults $10
  • For Children (12-18): $5
  • Children under 12 entry is free.
  • Active military with ID $6:College student with ID $5
  • Tour group rates: 10 or more, reservations required; Adults $6.00; Children $5.00

Restaurants Near The Lightner Museum

  • Reflections Bistro: Sandwiches
  • Old City House Inn and Restaurant: International
  • The Corazon Cinema and Cafe: Hamburgers, Hotdogs, Cafes
  • Casa Monica: Armenian

Love this? Explore the entire list of things to do in St Augustine before you plan your trip.

Fancy a good night's sleep after a tiring day? Check out where to stay in St Augustine and book an accommodation of your choice.

Address: 75 King Street, P.O. Box 334, Saint Augustine, Florida 32085

Phone: +1-9048242874

Ticket Price: 10 USD

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Time Required: 03:00 Hrs

Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

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Art And Culture, Museum, Landmark, Family And Kids, Architecture

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Share your experience - Rate The Lightner Museum, St Augustine

  • The website says they take their last customers at 430 completely wrong!! We got here at 4:15 and were rushed by the two ladies at the main entrance. We were told to go to 3r the ballroom, first because that closes at 4:30. Ok that was fine. So we rushed around the two top floors. By 4:35 we tried to go to the second floor but we couldn't they had shut the elevator off. So we go to the first floor to speak to the same two woman who were rude to begin with, I asked why we couldn't go to the second floor. And the rudest lady of them all she said her name was Dell was so beyond rude saying that they told us they would be closing. Mind you when we bought the tickets we were told we would not be rushed and the last entry was at 4:30 I asked for a refund seeing as it was not 5 and that's what time they close. The lady dell snickered with an attitude saying they close at 5 I said I get that and we are rising around as it is, I understand y'all want to go home but this is not fair. She would not refund me I had to ask several times to speak to a manager. Finally Dell went and got the manager Pauline which she was nice and reopened level two for us. We quickly did that level and level one. And we were out of there by 5:10. We would have loved to spend more time there, but with the staff you have we could not. Even if it was another half hour. We have to go home tonight so we basically just wasted money coming here having to take pictures of everything so we can read later on what exactly we were looking at. Only one good thing about this place was the lady on the 3rd floor 3r to be exact she was very nice and I wish I had gotten her name. My opinion in working with the public the website should say last customer come in at 3 and give Dell some lessons in kindness because she is a very hateful old woman!! We were here for father's day by the way thanks a lot!!

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  • I spent the afternoon here with my mother and was not disappointing. If you like museums, this little gem is like a trip back in time. I recommend allowing yourself a good 4 hours to really "see" everything. I particularly enjoyed the old buttons & furniture. Be sure to ask about Sir Richards clock.

  • Awsome historic spot. Check out the museum(paid). Or just stroll inside to see the open area park with coy pond and beautiful scenery for free. Well worth it to come here either way you visit.

  • I don't want to give anything away or spoil your fun but you have to go at least once! Some of the things here are so old and have so much history behind them it's almost unbelievable. This is the first big Museum I've ever been in and I was so impressed. It's so beautiful! I bought my tickets through Groupon which I don't know how long this ad will run but we paid $10 for two people when I believe the original price is $10 per person. Also the staff was very friendly.

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  • A friend and I went to look at the museum as a location for her wedding and it is absolutely amazing!! The location is beautiful and you can't beat the history of the location. We loved the tour and the ladies were so kind and helpful, answered all of our questions. Even the cafe inside was amazing, I highly recommend the margarita pizza and the coffee!

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