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Ponce Inlet along Florida’s central Atlantic coast is a quiet tourist destination named after the famous Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon, who visited the inlet while searching for the fountain of youth. Even though he never found it, today, you can find a beachfront condo or house for rent in this beautiful little town. Children and pets are welcome at many of the locations, which feature air conditioning, outdoor grilling, internet access, and other fun amenities.
Ponce Inlet Lighthouse: The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse sits on ten acres of land at Ponce Inlet’s southern tip and it was first lit in 1887. It is the tallest lighthouse in Florida, and it became a National Historic Landmark in 1998. The 203 steps up to the top might seem intimidating, but the stunning views from the top are worth it, and even kids can make it to the top easily.
St. Augustine: St. Augustine is famous for its historical legacy of the Spanish in North America. It is about an hour north of Ponce Inlet. St. Augustine has many historic sites such as the Castillo de San Marcos, an old Spanish Fort, and the Matanzas Bay.
The Ponce Inlet’s beach stretches for miles along the Atlantic coastline. Most of the condos and houses for rent are within easy walking distance of the beach, or even directly facing it so you can spend entire days relaxing by the water. If you love water sports, you can rent jet skis, go parasailing, or take a guided fishing and boating tour around the inlet.
Canaveral National Seashore: The Canaveral National Seashore by Cape Canaveral is just south of Ponce Inlet and New Smyrna Beach. Its 24-mile stretch of undeveloped beach is the longest stretch along Florida’s east coast and contains beautiful national park where you can see native birds, and fish. At the southern end of the barrier island is the John F. Kennedy Space Center.
Marine Science Center: The Marine Science Center has all kinds of exhibits for the entire family. You can safely pet live stingrays (the stingers have been removed) in the Touch Pool, learn about the many native marine animals like dolphins and manatees, and visit the rescue center where injured animals such as turtles and birds come to be rehabilitated.
John F. Kennedy Space Center: You will love seeing the Space Center and learning all about NASA’s historic space program. It’s a short trip south, and can be easily combined with a side trip to the National Seashore.
Ponce Inlet has consistent weather all year round. If you want to spend your days at the beach, the best time of year is going to be the summer months or early fall/late spring when temperatures are an average of upper seventies and mid-eighties.
Private or Rental Car: Private transport is recommended. From the Daytona or Orlando airports, you can rent a car. The Dunlawton Avenue Bridge is the primary access point to Ponce Inlet south of Daytona Beach.
Daytona-Orlando Transit Services: This is a regional transit service that takes vacationers from the Orlando International Airport to various destinations in the area. You can schedule pick-up and drop off for Ponce Inlet, and it is a very affordable transit option.
Water Taxi: For a more historical experience, you can take the water taxi to and from different stops along the shore and travel Ponce Inlet the way it has been done for centuries. This route offers the best view of the lighthouse, the marine life, and is a fun way to reach New Smyrna Beach.