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Juan Ponce de Leon Landing Beach, Melbourne Beach

Orlando, FL
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Juan Ponce de Leon Landing Beach, Melbourne Beach, Orlando FL

Description

Juan Ponce de Leon was the first white man to reach Florida. A Spanish explorer, he had sailed on Columbus' second voyage to America, as a gentleman volunteer. A few years later he was a top military official, and years later while exploring the Caribbean, he landed on Melbourne Beach in 1513 thinking it was an island. He named the land La Florida. When he returned eight years later to settle Florida, he was wounded by the native Calusa people and later died.
A historian, Colonel Peck, used Ponce de Leon's logs to figure out where he would have landed, and this is the beach! There are plaques, artwork, and a large, appealing statue to commemorate the landing.
The water is rough at this beach so it's not the best for swimming (though there aren't many rocks like in the beaches to the north)- watch out for rip tides and if they pull you out, swim to the side not directly against them. Sometimes when the tide is high, there isn't much beach left here. This beach is most popular for surfing and fishing, rather than swimming. There are many fishermen along the shore.
There are covered picnic tables, restrooms, showers, and a wheelchair accessible ramp, but no lifeguard which is a real shame since the beach has such strong surf. 
If you're lucky you'll see baby sea turtles here in the morning, or mama turtles laying eggs at night. 
It's peaceful and fairly uncrowded at this beach because it's quite far from any towns. It's nice to stroll along and collect shells. In the afternoon you can sit under the wooden boardwalk for shade.
Across the street is an easy, shadeless hike to the intracoastal and back, 3/4 of a mile total.
Just slightly north is Coconut Point Beach, another lovely beach. 

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Photo Gallery

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Sea oats and sea grape, with ocean in the distance.
Sea oats and sea grape, with ocean in the distance.
Stairs down to the beach, and fishing lines at the shore.
Stairs down to the beach, and fishing lines at the shore.
Colorful beach umbrella and lots of people enjoying the beach on a Saturday.
Colorful beach umbrella and lots of people enjoying the beach on a Saturday.
Kicking back at the beach on the weekend.
Kicking back at the beach on the weekend.
There are people, young and old.
There are people, young and old.
Surfers.
Surfers.
Pretty sky.
Pretty sky.
Sea grape, sea oats, and ocean.
Sea grape, sea oats, and ocean.
The parking lot has flowers and palms.
The parking lot has flowers and palms.

Directions

Juan Ponce de Leon Beach is located at 4005 Highway A1A, Melbourne Beach, FL 32951. There is free parking!

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Last Updated: Fri, 21 Feb 2020 18:15:46 GMT