Here at The Manatee, we are proud to cruise by natural vistas and local landmarks every day—including the famous Ponce Inlet Lighthouse! In honor of National Lighthouse Day on August 7th, we’re taking a closer look at the history behind this beautiful, brick-red light. Just read on to learn more!
The original lighthouse is older than the Sunshine State itself
That’s right! Though it was destroyed after powerful storms and erosion, the original local lighthouse was built in 1835, 10 whole years before Florida received statehood. (Of course, lots of Florida’s rich history took place well before the statehood milestone—St. Augustine, America’s oldest city, was founded 280 years earlier in 1565!)
What’s in a name?
Ponce Inlet is named for Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon, who named “La Florida” after arriving on land and observing the state’s lush natural landscape.
Ponce Inlet used to be known as Mosquito Inlet
While Ponce Inlet and the famous light are named for Juan Ponce de Leon, it wasn’t always this way! Before Juan Ponce de Leon earned the namesake honor, the region was known as Mosquito Inlet thanks to its swampy river climate.
1.25 million bricks were used in the lighthouse’s construction
A lot of time and materials went into crafting Ponce Inlet’s impressive landmark! 1.25 million bricks in total went into framing the famous façade, whose red exterior is not paint but actually a special mineral coating.
At 175 feet high, the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is the tallest in Florida
The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse stands proudly above our stretch of the Sunshine State as the tallest in Florida, and is also among the tallest in the country!
It takes 203 steps to climb to the top
Walking up the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse works up a sweat—203 steps’ worth, in fact! The view at the top, of beautiful Ponce Inlet and the blue horizon ahead, is a must-see gem.
Of course, whether you want to kick back and relax after a long day of climbing, or simply want to see the light from a new perspective, the Manatee is here to help! Our beloved river cruise affords beautiful views of the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and other historic features throughout the area, as well as natural wildlife and aquatic vistas you don’t want to miss.
Book your adventure today! We can’t wait to cruise with you soon.