Hillsboro lighthouse

There are many historic gems to visit in South Florida but not all of them are always open to the public. One historic spot is the Hillsboro Lighthouse and in tonight’s Style File, 7’s Belkys Nerey puts the spotlight on a great day trip of boating and historic views.

WSVN — This is the way we go back in time here in South Florida.

Sit back and relax for a scenic boat ride down the intracoastal. We’re heading to one of the few working lighthouses left along the Eastern seaboard.

Ann Sampson: “Coming up the intracoastal was nice and to see how nice and serene it is.”

In the distance is the shining star of this tour, The Hillsboro Lighthouse.

You can’t visit the lighthouse any ‘ole day. The Hillsboro Lighthouse preservation society only offers tours about eight to nine times a year that arrive by boat.

Jackie Krupa: “I have lived in Fort Lauderdale for 24 years and never been here.”

Once you’re on dry land, the first order of business is to climb the lighthouse. Heads up, you will have to hoof it up 175 steps to get to the top.

Jackie Krupa: “Breathtaking. Literally.”

There are some stopping points on the way up to catch your breath and take some pictures, but the real payoff comes when you reach the top.

Ann Sampson: “Oh, the view is just incredible! Just to see the beach and to see the water. Very, very pretty.”

Arthur Makenian: “The marine life over here is really breathtaking. We have five or six reef sharks. They live over here year around.”

You’ll also get the 4-1-1 on the lighthouse’s interesting history, like the story behind the barefoot mailman and why the lighthouse is nicknamed “Big Diamond.”

Arthur Makenian: “Because it’s one of the largest lens of the type and the only operational lens. It makes the world’s strongest beam ever from any lighthouse.”

Stacy Dedubas: “The history of the lighthouse, how strong the beam is. Amazing information.”

And once you’re done touring, there are plenty of places to relax and hang out.

Arthur Makenian: “You have a beach on the Atlantic, a beach on the bay, people bring their lunches over here.”

See…history really can be so much fun.

Belkys Nerey: “The next tour is Saturday, April 12 and the shuttle leaves from the Sands Harbor Hotel in Pompano Beach. Starting next year, the tours will happen once a month. The cost is $25.

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