Don't get in a hurry if you go to Ponce Inlet. Their police vigorously check speed on the main 4-lane road into town, especially as it turns from 2-lane to 4-lane just where one might think the speed may be increased. Observe the posted signs, and don't ~assume~ speed limits change just because the road becomes broader. No warnings, no slack for out-of-towners, with hefty files (courtesy of Volusia County) considerably higher than the amount recommended by State of Florida. Heed this or it will be an expensive visit.
The lighthouse and marina are charming. Take you time to get there or you run a big risk (to your wallet and your driving record). Keep a very careful eye on the speedometer and commit no other traffic infractions.
I can understand prohibiting food inside the grounds, but I can't quite see why they prohibit water (and it was raining when we were there) unless they want you to buy the water that they have for sale.
We finally got to Ponce (which is a village, AND an inlet AND a lighthouse), and parked - then we realized that the entrance to the lighthouse was a little ways away. We started to walk over, but I thought that it was a National Monument/Historic place, and so Bob went back to get the car, thinking we could get it with the Golden Age Pass which I had left in the car.
Well it turns out that the lighthouse belongs to the county and is a Historic Landmark, but not administered by the NPS. So it was $5 admission for each of us (no discount for seniors) and $1 for a stamp for my passport.
Even though this is the tallest lighthouse in Florida and is visible from a long ways off on the ICW, you can't see any more than the top of it from the south side of the inlet.