Ponce Inlet has long been known for its excellent surf conditions, laid back atmosphere, and less crowded conditions. Stretching nearly four miles to the mouth of the inlet, it’s hard to resist the relaxing waters, white sands, and spectacular sunrises and sunsets found along Ponce Inlet’s awarding winning beach. Enjoy an afternoon of rest and relaxation in the sand and surf after climbing 203 steps to the top of the lighthouse and exploring the museum. Soak in the relaxing atmosphere of this hidden corner of the World’s Most Famous Beach as you watch the waves roll in and bask in the bright Florida sun.
Ponce Inlet’s beaches also are home to hundreds of fascinating plant and animal species. Some animals, such as the loggerhead sea turtle and the piping plover, are threatened with extinction. As a result, they are protected by state and federal laws. To preserve this beautiful natural resource for future generations of beachgoers, all of us must work together to care for and protect this fragile beach ecosystem.
Driving on the beach is a Volusia County tradition dating back to the early days of the automobile. For years, beachgoers have enjoyed a leisurely drive on the wide, hard-packed sands. Please be a responsible beach driver by driving only in designated areas and observing the speed limit. The driving areas are designated by signs and wooden posts. Please watch for pedestrians, sunbathers and wildlife. Parking is allowed east, or seaward, of the posts
Those wishing to drive on the beach can so at the south end of Town. Accessed via the Beach Street Ramp at the stop sign on South Atlantic Avenue, this section of beach is open to vehicles from 8:00 am until sunset or 7:00 pm (whichever comes first) from May 1st through October 31st , and from sunrise to sunset from November 1st to April 30th, tides permitting. There is a year-round fee of $20 per day to drive on the beach; this includes one same-day re-entry. Annual beach passes cost $25 for Volusia County residents and $100 for non-residents.
Although the southern tip of Ponce Inlet is open to beach driving, most of Ponce Inlet beaches are closed to vehicular traffic. Many people prefer the safety and quiet solitude afforded by these less congested areas and elect to walk onto beach rather than driving. Reaching these pedestrian only areas is not only easy, but free. Simply pull into one of the public parking areas found along South Atlantic Avenue and follow the boardwalk to the beach. You can also choose to visit Winterhaven Park.
Winter Haven Park
Winterhaven Park is one of the area’s most popular beachfront parks. Conveniently located in the heart of Ponce Inlet, this beautiful 1.3 acre park offers many amenities including private restrooms, fresh water showers, picnic tables, BBQ grills, a handicap accessible boardwalk to the beach, and 82 off-beach parking spaces. Driving is prohibited here and a lifeguard is often posted nearby during busier times, making it one of the safest and most family-friendly beaches around. The entrance to the park is located at 4589 S. Atlantic Avenue in Ponce Inlet. Admission is free.