The Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station boasts being one of the best preserved, most complete lighthouses in the nation. It also boasts being the tallest one in the Sunshine State. I’m here to verify that last part.
My rear-end and legs are still whimpering from climbing to the top of the 175-foot tower, located just a splash south of Daytona Beach in the town of Ponce Inlet.
But it was worth every one of the 203 steps.
The Lighthouse is strangely beautiful inside, with a spiral staircase that seems to go on forever. It twists smaller and tighter the higher you climb, and when you look down, it curls in an endless ribbon. Your voice echoes off the thick walls when you talk, and it feels mysterious and very old.
When you finally reach the top, with your backside and calves whining, and open the door, it will literally take away your breath. You can feel the wind and the gasp of fresh air. The world spreads below in a vast panorama; you can see the caps on the ocean waves, boats cruising the inlet, and even the high rises of Daytona Beach towering to the north.
It definitely brings a beach trip to a whole new level!
The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse (4931 South Peninsula Drive, Ponce Inlet) is open to the public year round.