You may not be the first adventurer to travel the Floridian coast, and yet no one has ever experienced the region through the same eyes. Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon, who lent his name to Ponce Inlet, Florida, traveled this inlet in 1513 on his first exploratory mission along the coastline of Florida. Now you, too, will shade your eyes as you gaze across the gleaming waters flecked with soaring seabirds, and enjoy the area's rich history and recreational opportunity. Who cares who was first? Besides, we doubt Ponce de Leon got to stay in Ponce Inlet hotels as nice as yours!
When you've had time to drop off your belongings in one of our hotels near Ponce Inlet, make your way to the southern tip of town, where you'll find the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum. Named for the Spanish explorer, the 175-foot lighthouse is the tallest in the state and provides an excellent view of the surrounding area. The 203-step climb can be grueling for some, but like many things in life, lengthy toil leads to great reward. Just as the motion of spiraling ascent seems to become meditative, you reach the top and see the shimmering Atlantic stretched out before you, lined with white beaches and swaying palms. When you descend, you'll be glad you had the foresight to rent a car near Ponce Inlet, because you're at one end of the Lighthouse Loop, one of the region's most scenic drives. Of course, it's also the site of an annual half-marathon, so you'll pass plenty of runners and bikers too.
Leave the hotels in Ponce Inlet behind, and head north to continue exploring all the way up to Daytona Beach. Travelocity can help you secure great deals on Daytona Beach hotels (Ponce never got to enjoy those, either) so you can be the first to appreciate Daytona through your own eyes.