If you go on Sunday, there is less traffic and the drive will be more enjoyable. Its eleven miles to the lighthouse from Interstate 95 and the view is picturesque. Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum has been designated a National Historic Landmark since 1998. Check their website for admission times so you will have plenty of time to visit all of the buildings and where you can print a 10 percent coupon.
The lighthouse was originally called Mosquito (Inlet) Lighthouse. In 1927, the Florida Legislature changed the name to Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum to honor Ponce de Leon for all his contributions to the State of Florida. Jesse Linzy was an African American who was a skilled concrete worker that helped build the lighthouse. A plaque is dedicated in his honor.
The main entrance building is where you purchase tickets and houses the gift shop. Nine buildings are part of the campus and each building has plaques that gives people a detailed history of everyday life for the families that lived there.
An employee told me that when you reach the top you could see for 19 miles. If you have a boat, you can reach the lighthouse from the inlet. There are beautiful gardens and a nature walk.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawling’s Cracker House in Cross Creek is now a Historic State Park. In 2006 the House and Farmyard were designated a National Historic Landmark. A cracker house is a wooden structure that was built by the early settlers. It was elevated so the air would flow, a lot of windows, porches and high ceilings that kept down the heat. Many citrus trees line the sandy path. She wrote “The Yearling” which won a Pulitzer Prize. She wrote eight other novels; three are still in print. Cross-Creek is located near Gainesville, Florida.
Parking is based on the honor system, its $3.00 a car load. I have been to the house three times and each time I learn something new. Surrounding the property is a Tenant House where the maids lived, several chicken coups and many citrus trees.
Visit Micanopy and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings home in one day; they are only ten miles apart. They give tours of the house from October through July. The tour of the house is $3.00, well worth the price; the guides are very knowledgeable.