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Things to Do at the Lighthouse

Did you know that the Ponce Inlet Light Station is over 125 years old? Step inside the white picket fence and take a trip back to 1887. Tour the houses and buildings of one of the most authentic, complete, and well preserved light stations in the country. Learn what is was like to live in Florida at the turn-of-the-century and marvel at the courage of the lighthouse keepers and their families.

The Ponce De Leon Inlet Light Station is home to Florida's tallest lighthouse.  Standing 175 feet above the World's Most Famous Beach, visitors can climb one of Florida's only publicly accessible lighthouses for spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, inlet, and inland waterways. Follow in the steps of the Light Station's historic keepers as you climb 203 steps to the top of the Lighthouse. Examine the Service Room, Watch Room, and the Lantern Room's 1933 rotating 3rd order Fresnel Lens. Walk out onto the gallery deck and enjoy the fresh ocean breeze as you gaze at the Florida coast far below. 


Once home to three lighthouse keepers and their families, the Ponce De Leon Inlet Light Station features three separate dwellings with detached woodsheds and privies. Completed in 1887, the structures were originally built without running water, indoor plumbing, electricity, or air conditioning. As you can guess, life at the station would have been very tough at the turn of the century. Explore the restored keepers' dwellings and examine  exhibits related to to the fascinating history of Ponce De Leon Inlet Light Station, the United States Lighthouse Service, and local area.

Built at a time when whale and paraffin oils were just starting to be replaced by kerosene, the Oil Storage House is one of the largest of its kind. Built far away from the Lighthouse and Keepers' dwellings in case of fire, the Oil Storage House is the only historic structure located outside of the Light Station's picket fence. Nearly destroyed by vandals in 1970, the Oil Storage house was restored by the Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association in 1989. Although no longer used to store fuel oil, the structure still houses its 1929 oil tanks in addition to several static minor aids to navigation displays.

How did a small light like a kerosene lamp become a big light that could be seen 18 miles out to sea? Huge Fresnel lenses were used to bend the light into a single strong beam. Visit the Lens Exhibit Building and learn about the evolution of lighthouse illumination. Compare the massive Cape Canaveral First Order rotating Fresnel Lens with the Ponce Inlet First Order fixed Fresnel lens.

Walk over to the Cuban Raft enclosure and examine two authentic rafts used by Cuban refugees to escape political oppression in the 1980's. Imagine what it must have been like for refugees crossing the treacherous Florida Straits in search of freedom. Discovered a few miles down the beach, these handmade rafts are now on exhibit at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse. What kinds of hardships do you think the refugees may have encountered during their voyage?

Learn how early keepers once relied on generators for all their electrical needs. Examine the Radio Room exhibit and learn how radio waves were used to guide ships at sea. Discover how Daytona Beach and neighboring communities served as a major Navy training area during World War II and how Coast Guardsman stationed at the Lighthouse kept watch for enemy submarines lurking along the Florida coast.


Take a walk through the natural coastal hammock behind the Light Station and discover what life was like for early Florida pioneers. Search for flora and fauna used and consumed by Light Station families when this was still an isolated post. Observe wildlife in their natural habitat including birds, lizards, and the protected Gopher Tortoise.

Learn the unique and interesting history of the Ponce Inlet Light Station and surrounding area during this informative 20 minute video produced by the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association. Located in the Woodshed Theater a viewing of A Heritage Remembered is a wonderful way to kick off your tour of the historic Light Station. Copies are available for sale in the Gift Shop and online at lighthouselocker.org

Visit our unique lighthouse and nautical themed gift shop for the perfect souvenir to commemorate your lighthouse visit. Commonly found items include a wide variety of lighthouse and nautical themed merchandise including clothing, housewares, art, toys, jewelry and more. With so much to choose from, a gift from the Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station can be found for nearly any occasion including anniversaries, birthdays, and most major holidays. Merchandise may also be purchased online at our website store at lighthouselocker.org
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(386) 761-1821

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Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association
4931 South Peninsula Drive - Ponce Inlet, FL 32127
(386) 761-1821
Open Daily to the Public at 10:00 a.m.
Last admission one hour before closing

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