Why Ponce Inlet?

Why Ponce Inlet?

Why would you want to go to Ponce Inlet when EVERYBODY wants to go to Daytona Beach???

How about population 3,100 vs 62,000+ to start with, more demographics here if you are into that or want crime data.


Do a little research on the Daytona Beach area.  Daytona is billed as the "Home of NASCAR" and the "Worlds Most Famous Beach" so people think of it as a separate isolated place on the ocean. 

The reality is that the Daytona beach area is a long stretch of sand that encompasses several towns.  The transition from one town to the next on the beach is simply a sign.

Racing started with the north straight stretch being the beach and the south straight stretch being hwy A1A.  The race course was in the more rural area down south of town near the inlet and the lighthouse.  The race course north turn was at the North turn restaurant and the south turn was at the beach access near the inlet.  Of course now racing is on the super speedway over by the airport and mall, not near the beach at all.

As far as the beach itself, from Ormond by the Sea to the inlet it is all one stretch of sand.  If you walked the length of it you wouldn't notice much difference between the towns of Ormond beach, Daytona beach, Daytona Beach Shores, Wilber by the Sea, or Ponce Inlet as far as the natural beach and ocean.  You will notice a huge difference in beach use, crowds, commercial buildings, crime, demographics, and conservation standards though. 

Take a look at these photos and ask yourself which beach would my family prefer?

First the drive on section in Daytona:

beach w cars

This is a typical day on Daytona in the drive on section.  Folks drive in and park, set up camp, hang out in the sun and play in the water.  Not a bad plan.



Of course some times are a little busier in Daytona and some sections are more crowded.  Car exhaust doesn't really smell all that bad and you can always put the smaller kids on a leash to keep them out of traffic.

beach cars

This is a normal Daytona Beach population in the summer months. 

bike week

A busy day during bike week on Daytona. Lots of activity.


Now here are some photos of the no drive conservation section of beach at Ponce inlet.  These were taken in August of 2015.  The only way to get to the beach here is by bicycle or on foot.  That really limits the crowds because walking and riding a bike while packing a chair, tent, umbrella, cooler, kids etc. tends to be harder on folks than driving down the sand and stepping out of a car.  That means if you are not staying local to the area you are probably not setting up here for the day.


Looking South towards the lighthouse, North Turn restaurant on right.

Looking back North towards Daytona Beach Shores on the horizon.  Southpoint is on the left along with the two Sandcastle buildings.  After that its all residential in Wilber by the Sea with only scattered multi unit buildings on the beach until Daytona Beach Shores.   Sombody has been here today cause they left footprints.



Sunrise from our balcony after a rainy night.

beach 3

Normal beach use.  No cars except trash pick up and occasional Beach Patrol / Lifeguards.  The kids can run free and play in the sand.


Which beach vacation location would you prefer?

Now you need to do some comparison shopping, check out the website at southpointcondo.com and ask about the rates for a week in unit 601, a two bedroom, two bath apartment with a private balcony like ours that has everything a home has.  We also have a rate sheet on this site for a seasonal guide.   You will be suprised, I was the first time I stayed here several years ago.  If ours is booked please check out our neighbors units as an alternative.

Then go compare that to the cost of a hotel room that has a microwave, mini fridge, and one bathroom.  For a fair comparison make sure you have the cost of an ocean front room with a private balcony (blocked sides) not a community porch.  Make sure you also find out about the sales taxes, parking fees, resort fees and coin laundry costs.  Every hotel doesn't tack on extra fees to the room rate but some do. They will probably have free donuts, powdered eggs, and microwaved sausage patties at breakfast and a cleaning staff to work your day around all week too.



In summer its hot, sometimes very hot like mid 90's and lots of sunshine most days. The positive side of the hot weather is the almost constant sea breeze off the ocean caused by the inland updraft. In the mornings the land heats up faster and more than the sea so this warm air rises and bulls in cooler sea air all day.  The high temperature makes the water feel great and the breeze helps you cool off as soon as you exit the water.  During late summer and early fall the subtropical climate brings in occasional thunderstorms, especially farther inland where the updraft is.  Sometimes you will spend the entire day at the beach in the sun while watching rain clouds inland that never seem to make it to the beach.  The sea breeze usually keeps them inland until sunset but towards late evening a rain shower may develope on the coast.  

Late fall and early winter are usually great with a mix of warm and cool days and nights.  Late fall has some really warm ocean temperatures for swimming too. You may need a light jacket in the evenings if you are out on the beach or in the shade on some days but other days low eighties are not that unusual.  It's best as always to check the forecast before you pack during the transitional seasons.

Late winter and spring weather are also a mix of warm and cool weather.  The ocean is cooler but the days are usually pretty nice and get warmer the later in spring it gets.  If you just came through a winter anywhere north of Atlanta its like a release from the freezer.  I don't know about where you live but after wearing a coat for eight weeks, shoveling some snow, and scraping the windshield every day a week or two of 70+ degrees feels pretty good for a change.