Top 20 Seattle attractions

Alki Point Lighthouse

The Alki Point Lighthouse was constructed in 1913 by the U.S. Lighthouse Service, and is a current federal aid to navigation. It's located at Alki Point, at the southern end of Alki Beach in West Seattle.

The lighthouse is open for Sunday afternoon tours from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and is free to visit (check hours).

The grounds cannot be accessed outside of tour times. Visitors must line up outside the gate for a tour, and reservations are not necessary. No pets are allowed, and there are no restrooms.

History: The original Alki Point Light Station was established in 1880s by farmer Hans Hanson, and was little more than a kerosene lamp hung on the outside of his barn. It was upgraded to a lens lantern on a wooden post in 1887, and Hanson acted as the lighthouse keeper.

After the property was sold in 1910 to the U.S. Lighthouse Service, plans were made for the construction of the Alki Point Lighthouse, completed in 1913. The Coast Guard took over the light in 1939, and it was automated in 1984.

Park at the parking lot directly in front of the Alki Point Lighthouse, or find on-street parking nearby. Line up outside the gate to wait for the next tour.

The Alki Point Lighthouse is on U.S. Coast Guard property, and tours are run by U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliarists.

After a brief introduction at the parking lot, visitors take the concrete path down to the Alki Point Lighthouse.

The path passes the shed once used to store oil to burn the oil lamp, and coal.

Visitors line up and wait to enter the busy Alki Point Lighthouse.

The sign reads: "There has been a light showing safe anchorage off the point ever since the Denny Party first founded Seattle. This lighthouse, one of 13 in Puget Sound, area, was built and run by the U.S. Lighthouse House Service in 1913 as an aid to navigation. The service was taken over by the Coast Guard in 1939, but it wasn't until 1970 that one of the two civilian lighthouse keepers retired here at Alki Point".

Climb the spiral stairs to the top of the Alki Point Lighthouse. The final section to the lantern room is up a ladder, and children must be over 6 years old to complete this section. The octagonal lighthouse is 37 feet tall, and attached to a fog signal building. It's identical to the Point Robinson Lighthouse on nearby Maury Island.

There's a 4th order Fresnel lens on display (the original is at Admiralty Head Lighthouse at Fort Casey on Whidbey Island).

There are fascinating exhibits on the main floor of the Alki Point Lighthouse.

The views from the Alki Point Lighthouse are incredible, and include the Olympic Mountains, Mount Rainier and maritime traffic along Puget Sound. You can also see West Point Lighthouse at Discovery Park in Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood.

The Lighthouse Keeper's quarters are the residence for the 13th District Commander who is the senior Coast Guard officer of the Pacific Northwest (for Washington State, Oregon, Montana and Idaho). The quarters are not available for tours.

Here's another look at the Lighthouse Keeper's Quarters at Alki Point Lighthouse.

More Lighthouses in Seattle

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