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Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse

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The Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association maintains and operates the very historic Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum. This museum is open to all ages year-round and provides an extremely enjoyable and educational vacation experience. Visitor’s will be encouraged to climb the stairs of the 175-foot tower which is Florida’s tallest lighthouse and the second tallest masonry lighthouse in the entire U.S. At the top they will get an excellent view of the Ponce Inlet and many nearby water inlets.

Photo credit orlandosentinel.com.

This top position also contains one of the most complete and authentic historic Florida lighthouse stations anywhere. It is near other very historic and educational Florida location such as St. Augustine and the Kennedy Space Center. Beside the Florida lighthouse tower, sits the historical destination, the lighthouse keeper’ house which today houses the museum. There are many very interesting things here such as the large Fresnel lens collection which is said to be the best of its kind in the world. The centerpiece of this collection is the original restored Fresnel Lens of the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse itself.

Fresnel Lens at the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse museum.

There is also very knowledgeable personnel on-hand who will tell you what it was like to live in the lighthouse and how the early 1900s-era lighthouse keeper controlled the whole thing. In addition, the museum offers several exhibits that provide very interesting information about the United States Lighthouse Service. There are several exhibits throughout that look at general Florida history and facts about the lighthouse restoration. The lighthouse tower and keepers’ house are not the only historic buildings on the premises.

The Lighthouse Keeper’s house. Photo credit Steve Martin on Flicker.com

There are various other related lighthouse buildings scattered about on the premises. The lighthouse and museum are so popular that it is commonly visited by many thousands of people every year. (As many as 170,000!) Every year the lighthouse operators celebrate July 4th by having what they call Independence Days from June 30 to July 4. If you are interested in making this part of a planned vacation contact Mary Wentzel at mwentzel@ponceinlet.org or by calling (386) 761-1821 ext. 18, for more information. Let them know when you will be coming and book a tour for your group.

Lighthouse stairs. Photo credit Russell Hewatt on trover.com.

This National Historic Landmark is located just 10 miles south of Daytona Beach. It sits just on the outskirts of the town of Ponce Inlet which is near many other points of contemporary Florida life. This is a far cry from its days of operation when the lighthouse lived far from any civilized life. The Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum provides a short video that shows prospective visitors what they can expect. This is something that is considered a must-do event for any traveler interested in Florida and/or maritime historical destination.

Be aware, that your admission to enter the Lighthouse Point Park does not also include admission for the Lighthouse and Museum. Although the park does provide free accommodations for RV travel, you will need to pay admission to the lighthouse and museum separately upon arrival. The lighthouse and museum are accessible every day all year long except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Its hours of operation on all its open days are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  For more information, visit ponceinlet.org.

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