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Place Category: Beach Towns
Ponce Inlet is a scenic town located just south of Daytona Beach. This small but beautiful town offers excellent waves, awesome nature trails, Florida’s tallest and iconic lighthouse, a lovely boardwalk and much more. Tourists will find Ponce Inlet’s gorgeous beaches perfect for relaxing and having fun at the same time.
According to records, in 1513 explorer Juan Ponce De Leon landed in this area. In 1803, a Minorcan by the name of Antonio Ponce (Ponz or Pons) was granted 175 acres of land north of the inlet which he used for farming, this includes the area where the present day Ponce Inlet Lighthouse stands. In 1812, Antonio Ponce was killed while in service to the king of Spain. His widow as granting an additional 230 acres of land in return for Ponce’s services. Later in 1821, Florida was ceded to the United States of America the area was renamed as mosquito inlet. It was only in 1928 when it was renamed to Ponce Inlet once more.
Today, Ponce Inlet offers tourists a one-of-a-kind experience. There are plenty of exciting things to do in town that will make you want to stay longer.
Attractions in Ponce Inlet
• Ponce Inlet Lighthouse – This present-day lighthouse was completed in 1887, it is restored to its former glory and currently managed by the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association. It is known as one of the most well-preserved lighthouses in the United States. Every year, more than 80,000 tourists visit the lighthouse and the museum nearby. Standing at least 175 feet this lighthouse is also considered as the tallest lighthouse in Florida and second tallest in the whole country.
• Lighthouse Loop – This is a scenic drive which is also enjoyed by many hikers, runners, and those who love to bike. It passes through several cities including Daytona Beach Shores and Port Orange.
• Marine Science Center – This science center offers tourists to enjoy some of the best and unique marine life found in the area. The Marine Science Center aims to provide protection and rehabilitation of sea turtle habitats.
• Kay and Ayres Lighthouse Park – Located very near the lighthouse, this park offers a playground, picnic areas, and beautiful plants that make it the perfect place to relax after exploring the lighthouse.
• Lighthouse Point Park – This park is large at 52 acres offering visitors the chance to hike on nature trails, fish, swim, and view the lighthouse from its observation deck. The park is home to a variety of Florida animals such as the raccoon, armadillos, skunk, and different species of shore and migratory birds.
• Mary Keller Rehabilitation Sanctuary – This preservation center has helped various species of birds, especially those that are endemic to the area.
• Ponce Inlet Jetty – This jetty is unique as it is an outcropping of rock that is located at the end of the town, near the Daytona Peninsula. You will enjoy a day in this beautiful area where you can relax, go fishing, or even watch for dolphins.
• Enjoy Water Sports – There are numerous shops who offer lessons and gear assistance for various water sports available in the area. You can try boating, deep sea fishing, sports fishing, surfing, and kayaking, and much more.
How To Get There
Driving to Florida, you can easily take I-95 and take Exit 256 to SR-421 drive east towards Port Orange. Drive on the Taylor Road ramp towards Daytona Beach Shores. Drive onto FL-421 East as it will merge to FL A1A leading you to the downtown area of Ponce Inlet.