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Commonly Asked Questions

Do you plan to visit the Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum in the near future? Are you looking for some tips to make the most out of your trip to Ponce Inlet? Don’t worry you are not alone.

Future visitors like you contact the lighthouse on a daily basis to ask questions about a wide range of subjects including parking, handicap accessibility, places to eat, and much more. We are here to answer these and other common questions to help make your lighthouse visit the best it can possibly be.


Commonly Asked Questions:


  1. When is the museum open?

The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum is open to the daily to the public with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Please refer to the museum’s Hours of Operation for more details.


  1. Can you climb to the top of the lighthouse?

Yes, the lighthouse is open for climbing. Access to the lighthouse is included with your paid admission. With the exception of the lantern room which houses the tower’s third order Fresnel lens, the entire lighthouse is accessible to the public, however, we ask that you be aware of the following rules and safety tips before climbing the 203 steps to the top.

  • Tower climbers should be in good physical condition due to the strenuous nature of the activity.
  • Proper footwear should be worn while climbing the tower. Proper footwear includes closed toed shoes with non-slip soles, and low heels. Flip flops, sandals, and high heeled shoes are not recommended.
  • Children must be able to climb the tower on their own.
  • Running or jumping is not allowed in the tower.
  • Do not climb or lean over the edge of the staircase or gallery deck railings. Serious injury or death can result from falls.
  • Guests choosing to climb the lighthouse should use the hand railings at all times.
  • Wait to pass fellow lighthouse climbers on the staircase landings.
  • Anyone throwing objects from the tower (or down the interior) will be escorted from the museum immediately.
  • An emergency radio is located in the service room at the top of the tower. Please contact museum staff if you or someone else is in need of assistance or medical services. Use of this device is authorized for emergency purposes only.
  • The tower can become quite warm, especially during the summer months and there are no water fountains in the lighthouse. Please make sure you are properly hydrated prior to climbing.


  1. Can you bring food or beverages into the museum?

Food and beverages (including water) are not allowed on the museum grounds. Spilling any of these items on historic floors, walls, or exhibits can easily cause irreversible damage and pose serious slip hazards for our patrons.  Experience has taught us that we can best protect this National Historic Landmark by not allowing visitors to bring in food and drink. Water fountains are conveniently located in several locations throughout the light station grounds. Accommodations to this policy can be made in accordance with the specific medical needs of our guests. Please talk with the gift shop manager upon your arrival if necessary. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding regarding this issue.


  1. I am planning to visit the lighthouse in the near future. Do I have to sign up for a guided tour before arriving?

Most visitors explore the lighthouse and museum using a self-guided tour map that is provided with each paid admission. Self-guided tours do not require reservations of any kind. However, parties of 10 or more that wish to enhance their overall lighthouse experience may do so by signing up for a Group Tour in advance of their planned visit. Private and after-hour tour options including Climb to the Moon and Climb with the Keeper are also available for those who are interested for an additional fee.


  1. Will bad weather have any impact my visit to the lighthouse and museum?

Florida may be called the Sunshine State but it is also known for its stormy weather. This is especially so during the hot summer months when afternoon thunderstorms are common. Inclement weather may require staff to temporarily close the tower. For your safety, the tower is not open for climbing when thunder, lightning, or significant weather events such as tornado watches or warnings are present within the lighthouse’s general area. When this occurs, the lighthouse will be reopened once it is safe to do so. In instances where guests cannot wait for the tower to reopen, rain checks can be issued upon request to provide free admission at a later date. Please check the local Weather Conditions when planning your visit.


  1. Does the museum provide free parking?

Yes, free parking is provided for all lighthouse guests for the duration of their visit. The museum’s lower main parking area is reserved for motorcycles and regular-sized vehicles only. Oversized vehicles including buses, RVs, and travel trailers may utilize the museum’s overflow parking lot that is accessed via a short driveway near the northeast corner of the main parking area. The museum’s main entrance and gift shop may be reached from either location. Please be Advised: Museum parking is reserved for the lighthouse patron vehicles only, all other vehicles are subject to tow at the owner’s expense.


  1. Are pets allowed at the lighthouse and museum?

Pets are not permitted but service animals are.

  • Pets: Pets are not permitted in either the gift shop or on the light station’s historic grounds. We advise potential visitors to leave their pets either at home or in their hotel rooms when planning to visit the lighthouse and museum. This is especially important during the hotter months of the year when temperatures are regularly in the upper 80s and 90s. Leaving your pet in the car in these conditions is not only illegal but potentially fatal.
  • Service Animals: Although pets are not allowed, the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum recognizes that some guests may require the assistance of a service animal while touring the historic light station. A “service animal” is defined as a dog that is specifically trained to assist, do work, or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. Service animals are by legal definition, not pets.  In accordance with Florida Statute F.S.A. 413.08, any visitor with a disability may be accompanied by a service animal while visiting the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum.  Service animals in training are also allowed. Please Note:  Service animals must remain under the control of their handler for the duration of the visit and must have a harness, leash, or other tether with the exception of situations when the handler’s disability prevents their use. Lighthouse staff can request that the service animal be removed from the property if the animal is out of control and the animal's handler does not take effective action to control it, the animal is not housebroken, or the animal poses direct threat to the health and safety of others.


  1. Is there any security on site?

Your security and safety are important to us! The Preservation Association employs museum monitors to answer visitor questions, respond to emergencies, and address issues of concern as they arise. In addition to its staff, the museum also utilizes a video monitoring system to ensure visitor safety and security throughout the premises. We encourage guests to stop and talk with our museum monitors who can be easily identified by their yellow shirts to enhance their overall lighthouse experience.

  • Restricted Areas: Most of the light station is accessible to the public. However, certain areas are restricted to lighthouse staff only. Please respect the historic structures and museum exhibits by not entering areas that are fenced off or identified as off-limits to the general public.
  • Solicitation: Unauthorized solicitation of any kind, whether commercial, religious, political, personal, or otherwise; including the sale of products and solicitations of money, donations, contributions, or support; is not allowed anywhere on the museum property.
  • Lost and found: The museum’s Lost and Found is located in the gift shop. Please see a gift shop sales associate if you find something that someone has lost or need to find something you have misplaced while exploring the light station. You can also contact the gift shop manager by email at or by phone at (386) 761-1821, ext. 21 regarding any items you may have lost during your visit.


  1. What Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum an appropriate family destination?

The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum prides itself on maintaining a family-oriented atmosphere that is fun and exciting for young and old alike. We ask that all guests conduct themselves in a respectful and appropriate manner to ensure everyone has a wonderful time by following these simple rules:

  • Language: Be courteous and respectful of others by ensuring your language is appropriate at all times. Refrain from using profanity, making offensive comments, or engaging in conversations of an inappropriate nature for the duration of your visit. 
  • Behavior: Please ensure the members of your party behave in an appropriate manner. Unsafe, illegal, lewd, disruptive, and offensive behavior is not permitted.
  • Roughhousing: Visiting the lighthouse is a lot of fun. However, for the safety of the museum and its guests, please refrain from running, jumping, or climbing in, on, or around the historic structures and grounds.
  • Fighting: Abusive, threatening, or combative behaviors and altercations of a physical or verbal nature are strictly prohibited on museum property.
  • Vandalism: Vandalism is an illegal act. Defacing, damaging, mutilating, or destroying museum property, artifacts, exhibits or equipment including the alteration of computer software and moving of exhibit cases is strictly prohibited and punishable by law. All cases of vandalism will result in staff contacting local law enforcement and legal action against the offender.
  • Intoxication: Individuals suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances will be denied admission to the lighthouse for their safety and the safety of others. Those already on the grounds will be asked to leave.


  1. Is smoking allowed on the museum grounds?

Smoking, including smokeless electronic cigarettes (i.e. vaping) is strictly prohibited on the light station’s grounds. Smoking is only permitted in the designated area outside the gift shop by the main entrance.


  1. What is the dress code while visiting the lighthouse and museum?

Visitors are required to wear proper attire while visiting the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum.  Proper attire includes footwear (shoes, boots, sandals, and flip-flops), shirts, and pants/shorts. Clothing may not display graphics of an inappropriate nature including objectionable language, images, or designs.  For the safety of the historic buildings and all lighthouse guests, wheelies, skates, and cleated footwear (i.e. cycling shoes) are not allowed.


  1. Are backpacks, diaper bags, or camera bags allowed?

The Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station is a National Historic Landmark and home to one of the finest lighthouse museums in the world. Unfortunately, theft is always a threat for museums. We ask that you not bring large bags, backpacks, or other storage devices (i.e. suitcases/carry-ons) into the museum for the security of our museum’s collection. Diaper and camera bags of a reasonable size are permitted but may be subject to search by museum staff.


  1. Are strollers allowed inside the museum?

Carts (i.e. wagons) are not permitted. However, infant and toddler strollers are allowed throughout the historic light station with the exception of the tower. Strollers must not exceed 31” (79 cm) in width and 52” (132 cm) in length. We ask that visitors leave their strollers at the base of the tower when climbing the lighthouse. In an effort to protect the site’s historic structures, we also ask that you leave your stroller outside when possible. If you have to bring your stroller inside, please inspect the wheels prior to entering each building to ensure they are free of dirt and operate properly to avoid damaging the historic hardwood floors. The Preservation Association is not responsible for the security of unattended strollers or their contents.


  1. Is photography permitted at the lighthouse and museum?

Regular visitors are welcome to take all the pictures and videos they like while exploring the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum as long as their activity does not impede access to any public areas or interfere with the experience of their fellow guests. The use of selfie-sticks to suspend cameras over the edge of the gallery deck is not permitted due to the potential danger of objects falling from the top of the tower and onto people below. Professional photographers, videographers, and film crews wishing to photograph or film on site should visit the Professional Filming & Photography page on this website for more information.


  1. Can I paint, draw, or create other forms of art on the lighthouse grounds?

The creation of art using special equipment, pastels, paints, and other media are not allowed on the lighthouse grounds without the express permission of the museum’s curatorial staff at least two business days in advance of your planned arrival. Please contact the museum’s registrar via email at or by phone at (386) 761-1821, ext. 23 for more details.


  1. Can I fly my drone around the lighthouse?

People often ask to fly drones over the Ponce Inlet Light Station.  For the safety of our guests and the light station’s structures, flying drones anywhere over the National Historic Landmark is strictly prohibited.       

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