Visiting Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

While we were visiting our friends in Florida, they wanted to show us some of the interesting sights in their new area.   One of the historic places is the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse in Florida at 164-1/2 feet above sea level.  We had a lovely cool clear day, perfect for getting a bit of exercise.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

I had to get an architectural shot of the stairs looking up. There are 203 steps from ground level to the observation deck, and we went all the way up.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

Thank goodness there were nine landings to catch your breath and give the knees a break on the way up.  Along the way there were windows to see the views.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

At the top, a small room allowed a view of the First Order Fresnel lens that provides the light for the still working lighthouse.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

The view of the inlet was spectacular from the top.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

The ocean view on the other side was fabulous too.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

Views were wonderful all the way around. The red building in this shot is where we had lunch on the deck facing the inlet after our visit.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

Looking down, there are several buildings with the lighthouse that are part of the tour. This was an added building that houses the ticket counter and gift shop.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

The lighthouse keeper’s residence had large windows so you could see inside.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

It is amazingly well preserved.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

Here’s a view of the authentic kitchen and eating area. Look at that old stove!

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

The pictures were taken through the windows, so some glare was unavoidable. It was interesting to see the lovely hutch with its glass front doors.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

The bedroom had an old Singer sewing machine.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

Of course, I had to show you the quilts on the bed!

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

There were several other buildings to visit, including a woodshed theater that had a short video, two more houses for the first and second assistant keepers, and pumphouse. The really interesting exhibit was the Lens Exhibit Building that had many examples of the sizes and types of Fresnel lenses.  Learning about history and interesting inventions is fun.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

The First Order lens is the most powerful and largest.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

The actual lens from Cape Canaveral is on display.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

It is the same type of lens that is still in use here, and offers a better look than the one in the lighthouse.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

Several types of lenses were on display with good explanations of what each one could do and where it is used.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

From the second floor balcony, a different view of the largest lens is seen.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

More lenses viewed from the balcony.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

The balcony area had a lantern display too, showing much of the development of the ones we use today. There was also a large placard with Fresnel’s biography.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

After our lighthouse tour and a marvelous lunch on the waterside, we drove over to the beach and walked out on the pier.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

Looking back about halfway out, the pristine white sand beaches were being enjoyed on this weekend, and the lighthouse can be seen in the distance.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at From My Carolina Home

If you are interested in Lighthouses, see my post from last year on  North Carolina Lighthouses.  A wonderful book on Lighthouses of America is available on Amazon.

We visited several great spots while we were in Florida, and I’ll show more over the next few weeks as I get the space around all the other fun posts I have planned.  What are you doing for fun now?

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15 thoughts on “Visiting Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

  1. paintedthread

    I love those old Fresnel lenses. I was so bummed out when they took it out of Nauset Light on the Cape (but they kept it at the visitor’s center – complete with a button so you can see how it rotated). Looks like a fun trip!

  2. Sharon Schipper

    The lenses themselves are works of art, so intricate. Like huge diamonds, many facets.
    Thanks for giving me a vicarious vacation! If you are ever in Rochester, Minnesota, go to the Mayo Brothers Hospital Museum. Fascinating including many inventions, and a whole wall of items removed from people’s airways and stomach! how people could swallow such things, hee hee. Smithsonian American History Museum has exhibits of inventions as well, and I love looking at old catalogs and patent applications (another lost book from my library…) at people’s ingenuity and imagination.

  3. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole; This was such a fascinating and informative post. I love to see light houses and your spectacular pictures and descriptions made me feel like I was there. I am glad that you and your husband had a nice time and got to see a lot of historical sights. I am just working on quilt projects. I hope that you have a great day!

  4. Jennifer Rauch

    Ohboy! Reliving a trip there a few years ago! Can you imagine living/working for a lighthouse back then! You’d sure get your steps in for good cardio. Ate outside at the nearby restaurant with a funny name – very tasty! On the same trip we went to cute Mt. Dora & did the segway tour. Scary at first, but oh so much fun even on a very windy day! I think Kenny or Denny was his name, & he gently un-scared me!

  5. What a wonderful visit. I have always wanted to tour a lighthouse. That bed quilt in the house, and that child’s wooden high-chair are awesome. Thank you for sharing with us. Great photography also.

  6. I do love lighthouses. We visited Montaunk Lighthouse on Long Island once and climbed up to the top. It was and awesome view once I caught my breath form the climb. There were no resting spots on the way up and when you slowed down the people behind you complained. I let them complain and went the speed I was comfortable with but was still out of breath. LOL!

  7. Great tour! Hubby and I are planning a trip there this summer – it’s two hours away from us. I’ve always LOVED lighthouses and now I’m really excited to visit Ponce Inlet!

    Thanks again for sharing!

  8. Monica Kostak

    My husband and i got to Ormond Beach every July around our anniversary. We visited this lighthouse a few years back-yep-and walked the 150 steps! lol We enjoy seeing the sights but our Florida vacation is sun and sand mostly a total R&R vacation. Thanks for sharing. My daughter and her boyfriend are coming on vacation this summer with us and we might just have to visit the lighthouse again! 🙂

  9. My husband sails and my son was with the USCG for 20 yr. They both still used the lighthouses as a point of reference. They can both tell you which way the stripes are flowing if it has any. Son knew them by sight, light rotations and fog horn. He had to learn each time he was sent to a new station. 🙂

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