Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse

 Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse
If you’re staying in Daytona or Ormond Beach and want a change from basking on the beach, consider taking a trip just a few miles south to Ponce de Leon Inlet. There you will find an 1887 lighthouse and museum to tour.

The Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse is the tallest in Florida, and the second-tallest in the U.S., at 175 feet. It is maintained and administered by Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, a non-profit organization. Your first stop should be in the gift shop where you can purchase admission to the complex. You will be given an armband that entitles you to admission to the lighthouse and all its outbuildings. No discounts are given save for a military discount. You can, however, schedule a guided group tour that will bring down the cost of each individual admission.

Your next stop will probably be at the lighthouse itself, for a self-guided tour. As you ascend the 203 narrow, spiraling stairs, stop and read the information signage on the lighthouse walls. When you reach the top level, you can step outside to the gallery deck where you will experience a refreshing ocean breeze and a panoramic view of the surrounding area, including Ponce Inlet, where the Halifax and Indian Rivers enter the Atlantic Ocean.

When finished with the lighthouse tour, you can tour the outbuildings, including the keeper’s and assistant keepers’ residences. However, if you are on a tight schedule, you may want to skip these and visit the other main museum attraction, the Ayers Davies Lens Exhibit Building, where there is a world-class collection of restored Fresnel lenses, including the rotating first-order Fresnel lens from the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse and the original Ponce Inlet Lighthouse first-order Fresnel lens.

If you’ve worked up an appetite climbing the lighthouse stairs, food is no farther than a short stroll across Peninsula Drive to Hidden Treasure Bar & Grill, where you can sit and eat fresh seafood right at the water’s edge. A sign posted at the entrance reads, “This is the last Old Florida Fishcamp Restaurant remaining on Florida’s east coast….We don’t serve processed, portioned, or fast food. So come in, sit down, relax, eat, drink, and enjoy the way it used to be.”

The lighthouse and museum complex is located at:
4931 S Peninsula Dr.
Ponce Inlet, FL 32127

It is open 7 days a week except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hours of operation are 10a.m. to 9p.m. (Memorial Day through Labor Day), 10a.m. to 6p.m. the rest of the year. Phone (386) 761-1821 ext. 10.

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