Visit the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse During Your New Smyrna Beach Vacation

Your next trip to New Smyrna Beach is bound to be exciting, full of family activities like playing games on the beach, going on nature walks, and finding the freshest local seafood. While you’re in town, it’s worth it to learn a little history. One of the best places to do that is at the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum! This attraction is just moments away from our most popular New Smyrna Beach condo rentals and allows you to spend a whole day learning about the fascinating history of the area.

historical Ponce De Leon Lighthouse and area

History of the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse

The history of the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse dates back to the year 1883. It was first established as the Mosquito Inlet Lighthouse and was designed based on the standards of the Light-House Board at the time. The land where the lighthouse stands today was purchased in 1883, but construction on the lighthouse didn’t begin until the following year. It was completed in 1887 and was first lit on November first of that year. 

The Mosquito Inlet Lighthouse continued to be a landmark throughout the early 1920s, and in 1921, bathrooms and indoor plumbing was implemented in all the keepers’ dwellings. It was six years later in 1927 when the name was changed to the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse in an effort to attract more tourism and real estate purchases. 

The Lighthouse fell into the hands of the Coast Guard in 1939, and things were quiet throughout World War II. By 1953, the lighthouse had been completely automated and no longer needed a keeper. The property was abandoned by the Coast Guard in 1970 (in favor of a new station nearby), deeded to the Town of Ponce Inlet in 1972, and in the same year, it was included on the National Register of Historic Places. 

ponce de leon lighthouse aerial view


Today, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse still stands as one of the most fascinating and popular attractions in the area. Visitors and residents alike can come to learn about local history and help preserve an important cultural landmark.

During your visit, consider embarking on a guided tour! An expert will walk you throughout the property and tell you all about the fascinating backstory in vivid detail. This is an excellent way to get a thorough experience and have all your questions answered, helping truly bring history to life.

To get a hands-on taste of what a lighthouse keeper would have experienced, climb up into the tower for yourself! As you hike up the steps, just imagine being a keeper and having to haul a huge can full of kerosene all the way up to the top! All your hard work of climbing will be rewarded with a stunning view of the Mosquito Lagoon, Halifax River, and all the other beautiful surroundings.

Once you’re done at the lighthouse, there’s plenty more to see and do in the area! Local attractions like the Timothy Pollard Memorial Park, the Ponce Preserve Park, and the Kay & Ayres Davies Lighthouse Park are all great options for getting outdoors with your family, or you can learn more about what New Smyrna Beach is known for. Of course, the beach is also right nearby, and there are some of the best restaurants to dine at before you head on to the next activity.

ponce de leon stamp

Hours and Rates

This New Smyrna Beach lighthouse is open in the off-season (usually Labor Day to Memorial Day) from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and in the peak season (usually Memorial Day to Labor Day) from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Adult admission costs $6.95 each, children ages 3-11 cost $1.95 each, and infants 2 and under can enter for free.

The Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse is just one of the many attractions you can see near our New Smyrna Beach rentals. Contact us today to learn more about our properties and to book your stay!