Ponce Inlet Lighthouse: A Beacon of History
Towering at 175 feet, Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse is Florida’s tallest lighthouse and the second tallest in the entire United States. It’s a designated National Historic Landmark and over the years, it has become one of the crown jewels of tourism in Volusia County and the great thing is, it’s just a 12-mile drive away (approximately 24 minutes) from Daytona Beach.
So, why should you make a side trip to Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse when you visit Daytona Beach?
One of the Most Fantastic Views of the Atlantic Ocean
Have a great meal or a good rest before visiting the lighthouse. You’re going to need it because you need to climb up 203 steps to reach the top of the tower. But it’s all worth it when you reach the top. At 175 feet, you’ll get one of the most panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Here, you can examine the Watch Room, the Service Room and the Lantern Room. In the Lantern Room, you’ll find a historic artifact – a 1933 third order rotating Fresnel Lens, which was one of the most technologically advanced navigation lenses in the US when it first arrived.
Visit the Lens Museum
Have you ever wondered how lighthouses evolved from their humble beginnings to the modern navigation aids that they are today? You can satisfy your craving for knowledge Ponce Inlet’s Lens Museum. Here, you’ll see how Fresnel lenses bend the light emanating from a simple kerosene lamp to a powerful beam that can be seen 18 miles out to the sea. You’ll see different versions of the Fresnel lens and how it evolved technologically.
Beach Access and Picnic Areas
If you’re looking for a break from the vibrant scene of Daytona Beach, Ponce Inlet also offers access to beautiful shorelines and coastal treasures. Just 2.5 miles north from the inlet, you can find Winter Haven Park where you can have picnics with your friends and families. It’s also closed to vehicular traffic so it’s more serene, peaceful and relaxing. There’s also the Lighthouse Point Park with picnic sites, nature hiking trails, coastal dune system, swimming areas and direct access to the beach. It’s one of the unspoiled areas in The World’s Most Famous Beach.
Other Things You Need to Know
Here are some of the pertinent things you need to know to help you plan your visit to Ponce Inlet:
• Admission rate is $5 for 12 years old and up, $1.50 for 11 years old and below and free admission for 2 years old and below
• You can find a map/directions going to Ponce Inlet here
• General group tours, summer group tours, special interest tours and educational tours are available all year round. You can check out this page for more information
• Hours of operation: Sept. 3 to May 25 – 10am to 6pm (last admission at 5pm); May 26 to Sept. 1 – 10am to 9pm (last admission at 8pm)
For more information, visit http://ponceinlet.org/.
Image Source: captainkimo.com
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