Florida Guide > Other Florida
Ponce de Leon Inlet
When the family needs a break from the theme parks, the cooling sea breeze of the Atlantic Coast makes a refreshing change.
The most popular destination is Daytona Beach, approximately 1 hours drive from Orlando. During the summer months, especially at weekends, the beach can be a little crowded.
Those looking for a little more space may like to consider the beautiful wide beach at Ponce de Leon, approximately 10 miles south on Peninsula Drive.
Ponce de Leon has the same hard-packed sand where cars are permitted to park on the beach.
The main focus is on the beach and the jetty where the fishing is very good. Large barracuda can frequently be seen chasing schools of mullet. Some fishermen climb out onto the jetty rocks looking for the best spot to cast their bait.
If you prefer to eat fish rather than catch them, Ponce Inlet is renowned for its seafood restaurants.
In addition to swimming and sunbathing the surf is moderate and a particular attraction to boogie boarders and surfers. The jetty is very popular with surfers because surf there is always a little bigger and better formed. Even if the surf is reasonably small, surfers can still get a little action.
There is also volleyball nets set up in several areas of the beach for public use.
From the beach it is easy to spot the Ponce de Leon lighthouse which guards the hazardous inlet at the tip of the Daytona peninsula.
Towering 175 feet high, this striking red building is the tallest lighthouse in Florida and the second highest in the United States. It was built in 1887 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1998.
The lighthouse and museum is open to the public all year round and welcomes over 100,000 visitors per year. Those who are willing to climb the 203 steps up the lighthouse tower are well rewarded with a magnificent view of the Florida coastline and Halifax River from Daytona Beach to New Smyrna Beach.
Below the lighthouse is a keeper’s cottage furnished in 1890’s style.
Nearby Lighthouse Point Park offers nature trails, an observation tower and picnic areas.
Take exit 85 from the I-95, drive east on Dunlawton Avenue across the Port Orange Bridge to Daytona Beach Shores, then south 5 miles on Atlantic Avenue, head west on Beach Street then turn left onto Peninsula Drive.
Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum can be found at 4931, South Peninsula Drive, Ponce Inlet, FL 32127.
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