This relatively small public beach about 9 miles south of Daytona Beach is a popular escape to local residents and those wishing to get away from the commercial development of Dayton and Flagler Beaches. The development and redevelopment of the Ponce Inlet Beach area is focused on lower density condos rather than high rise structures and hotels, so the beach and shoreline maintains much of the undeveloped charm found in smaller communities. The more relaxed and un-crowded character of the area, along with some beautiful sand and sunrises, no doubt have contributed to it being named as one of the top destinations by “Dr. Beach” in 2007.
This beach, along with Lighthouse Point Park which are located at the southern end of Peninsula Drive just across the inlet from New Smyrna Beach is a top destination for not only beachgoers, but naturalists and those seeking to “land the big one”. Fishing along the jetty both on this northern side and the south side has long been a popular sport for locals and some impressive catches have been made here.
The beach itself is characterized by the same broad expanse of hard packed off-white sand which both Daytona and New Smyrna Beaches are famous for. This area of Florida coastline is open (based on tide, season and time of day) for vehicles to drive on the sand for a small vehicle access fee (currently $5). Beachcombers may not be as delighted with the small collection of shells and other treasures, but after a storm can still find some keepsakes to remember their visit.
Those wanting to take in a little history of the area will want to drop by the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse when not relaxing on the beach. Lighthouse Point Park consists of 52 acres of pristine land on the north side of Ponce de Leon Inlet and features fishing, nature trails, an observation tower, swimming and picnicking.
Lighthouse Point Park is also one of the beach access points (along with the Beach Street ramp) for those wishing to drive along this coastal area famed for the flat hard packed sand of racing legend.