The Lightner Museum in downtown St. Augustine is a must-see stop for anyone visiting this historic city. Housed in the former Victorian-era hotel, the Alcazar, this unique museum holds a diverse collection of beautiful and unusual artwork ranging from paintings and sculptures to furniture and mechanized musical instruments. Among all of the many landmarks in St. Augustine, the Lightner Museum stands out as an unforgettable place to check out while you’re here!
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Reasons to Visit the Lightner Museum
The historic Lightner Museum is one of the more interesting and memorable places to visit in St. Augustine. This architectural masterpiece is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today it stands as a museum filled with eccentric victorian era art collected over many years. Allow ample time to meander through the 4 floors of interesting pieces of the permanent collection. You may be lucky enough to be visiting during the showing of a special exhibit that the museum periodically hosts. The Lightner Museum is a fixture of St. Augustine and your trip here wouldn’t be complete without a stop here! Here are 5 great reasons to visit the Lightner Museum!
- While exploring this unique place you’ll discover a colorful history that has made the Lightner Museum what it is today. First built as the Alcazar Hotel in 1888, it was the height of opulence during the Victorian Age. During the depression, the hotel closed and was purchased by Otto Lightner, an editor, and publisher who had a passion for collecting. He used the museum as a space to contain his vast collection of decorative and fine arts.
- The permanent collection, which is a big reason for a visit to the Lightner Museum, is made up of fine and decorative art from Otto Lightner’s collection of about 20,000 objects! The primary focus of the pieces is the gilded age and victorian style. From the first floor that contains science and industry exhibits and a music room filled with several player pianos and other mechanized instruments all the way up to the ballroom that is a gallery for many oil paintings from around the world, this collection contains surprising and fascinating objects.
- There are special exhibits periodically that often feature other private collectors at the Lightner Museum. Upcoming exhibitions include American Impressionism: Treasures From the Daywood Collection which showcases works from a transitional time in American art. There is also Illuminate: Lightner Museum’s Stained Glass Rediscovered, which features 12 newly restored windows from the Lightner collection. Be sure to check for more interesting exhibitions.
- When visiting the Lightner Museum you will be struck with the beauty of the impressive building itself. The historic ambiance can be felt as you are transported to the victorian era of the Alcazar Hotel. As you wander the 4 floors history is experienced through the architecture and lovingly restored details of the space. The integrity of this historic building has been kept well intact and it is seen and felt.
- You can choose one of three tours to experience the Lightner Museum. On the self-guided tour, you may explore at your own pace around the museum with docents available for any and all questions you might have. The docent-led tour is where a well-trained docent will lead you through the galleries, highlighting any interesting and noteworthy items in the collection. During the curator-led tour, the museum curator will discuss their favorite pieces from the whole collection as well as talk about the significance of the architecture.
The Best St. Augustine Lodging
After exploring and sightseeing at historic and interesting places like the Lightner Museum, you’ll want to come back to a relaxing place not too far away. Let our Florida inn be the romantic escape you’ve been searching for. Full of old-world charm, our historic bed and breakfast has all of the modern comforts you expect in your guest room like a king or queen size bed fitted with fine linens and bedding, heating and air conditioning, a private bath, and much more.
While the configuration, size, and decor differ from room to room, the fact that they are all beautifully appointed remains a constant. Indulge in our free amenities like a gourmet breakfast, brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, and evening desserts. If you are ready for the perfect place to unwind and get away while in the heart of St. Augustine’s historic district, book your stay with us today!