Nearby Colleges / Schools / Universities
Ponce de Leon is a small town in the Northwest Florida panhandle near the Alabama line. Some folks think the Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon, may have searched for the Fountain of Youth here. The area retains a rustic charm of beauty and tranquility all its own. Here you can enjoy a slower paced living with plenty of elbow room.
Our location couldn’t be better. Although it is secluded and offers bountiful wide open spaces, our area is not far from modern conveniences and facilities. Interstate 10 affords easy access to most places, as well as US 90 and a network of state highways. A 45-minute drive can put you on the Gulf Coast enjoying beautiful white sand beaches and gorgeous blue waters. State recreation areas line the shore, offering camping and facilities. Other easy drives will take you to the capital city of Tallahassee on the east, the Port of Pensacola on the west, and Panama City and Fort Walton Beach on the south.
Ponce de Leon is located in Holmes County. The county seat is Bonifay. The population of Holmes County is approximately 16,000. Ponce de Leon accounts for only a small portion of that number. The fact that Ponce de Leon doesn’t have a red light can attest to that fact.
This is a great place to raise a family or simply retire away from the hustle and bustle of city life. We are blessed with Florida’s world-famous, wonderful climate. We enjoy all four seasons, with winter usually being mild (a mean temperature of 44.2 degrees). The summer mean temperature is 81.9 degrees. Average rainfall is 58.4 inches. Outdoor activity can be enjoyed almost every day of the year.
The fishing enthusiast will discover an area of great fishing, whether it be salt water or fresh water. Area fishing lakes include Cassidy, Holley and Juniper. The Choctawhatchee River is a 10-minute drive. And of course, the Gulf offers some of the world’s greatest deep sea fishing. Wild game such as deer, duck and turkey abound for the hunting enthusiast.
Ponce de Leon has two diver’s springs: Vortex and Morrison. Divers are fascinated by the crystal clear water, caves, and fish. Diving instructions are available. Recreation areas include our own 443-acre Ponce de Leon Springs State Park, which features a nature trail, picnic areas, and clear spring in which swimmers can frolic and cool down.
Other amusements include a Championship Rodeo held in October in the county seat (Bonifay).
Florida’s oldest library still in operation is located in DeFuniak Springs (Walton County), just 10 miles west of Ponce de Leon. Another point of interest is Lake DeFuniak, said to be one of only two perfectly round natural lakes in the world. Folklore has it that the lake was formed by a large meteor crashing to earth centuries ago. The circumference of the lake is 5,280 feet which makes a pleasant mile. A walk around the lake is a walk into Victorian times with the 100-year-old homes surrounding it.
Horses are a main source of enjoyment in this area. Roping, team penning, trail rides, as well as family fun days are popular pastimes here. Our major industry is agriculture, which is growing all the time, if you’ll excuse the pun. The cattle business, timber (especially pine), and poultry farms are primary resources.
Our soils vary in character from the heavy river bottom lands to the lighter sandy loam of hills, underlaid by clay subsoil. It is adapted well for growing crops or your own personal garden.
Florida has a unique Homestead Exemption law. Under this law, Florida residents may claim a $25,000 homestead exemption for their permanent residence. In addition, land (10 acres or more) used for agricultural purposes is entitled to Agricultural Exemption which reduces the amount of real estate taxes paid. Florida has no state income tax.
Ponce de Leon has an elementary school, as well as a middle/high school. (For more info on our schools and school district, click here.) They are on the nine-week school system (nine weeks on, one week off). Summer vacation is during June, July, and part of August.
Holmes County is served by five surrounding airports. Panama City Beach, Ft. Walton Beach, and Dothan (Alabama) airports are within an hour's drive, while Pensacola and Tallahassee are 1.5 hours away.
There are four hospitals within a 30-mile radius of Ponce de Leon. The closest one being 10 miles away in DeFuniak Springs.
The drinking water here is excellent and plentiful. The air is clean. Our lovely rolling terrain contains the highest elevation in Florida. Holmes and Walton counties are great places to live. Discover for yourself why northwest Florida has been referred to as “Florida’s Best Kept Secret.”
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