Disappearing Island Florida
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The Ultimate Guide To Disappearing Island Florida

Many Floridians have heard of  Disappearing Island, Florida; however, most have not had the chance to visit. Some people have formed opinions of this overlooked oasis from what they have heard vs. experienced. I’ll be the first to admit I was a little skeptical about visiting Disappearing Island. I had heard it’s a party location reminiscent of a bad night out in Cancun. Fortunately, it is not, and it’s one of the best places to visit on Florida’s east coast! Sure, there are sections of the island that some boats all tied upon, and some do, in fact, party. Yet, there’s plenty of Caribbean charm to be enjoyed and tons of space to secure your spot away from the crowds.

Disappearing Island Florida

In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about one of New Smyrna Beach’s best landmarks – Disappearing Island, Florida, and other attractions worth visiting. Popular among the locals and tourists of the New Smyrna and Daytona areas –  keep reading to find out more!

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Facts About Florida Disappearing Island

What is a Disappearing Island?

Disappearing Island is a natural phenomenon; that’s where the magic happens! It is located in Floridian waters between New Smyrna Beach and Ponce Inlet. The daily tidal change is what makes this island shrink and grow.  A big sandbar appears during low tide when the warm water recedes. When high tide hits, the islands, which are sandbars, disappear – hence the name.

Fantastic ocean views surround Disappearing Island, the North Indian River-Halifax River junction, and Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, making it a perfect place to escape from the monotony of a working week and relax with your family & friends. Going to Disappearing Island, Florida, is like a getaway without leaving the country.  The second you arrive, you will immediately feel like you are in the Caribbean. 

The water is evident and bright blue. The white sand is immensely soft, and the vibe is unlike a typical beach day in Florida. We’ve visited many times, and I can tell you from experience that if you were blindfolded and arrived at Disappearing Island, Florida, you would assume we took you to the Bahamas or further south.

Where Is Disappearing Island, Florida?

Disappearing Island, Florida, is located inside of Ponce Inlet in between New Smyrna Beach and the town of Ponce Inlet.

Ponce Inlet is the place where two rivers meet and enter the Atlantic Ocean.  Originally called Mosquito Inlet, it was renamed Ponce de Leon Inlet in 1927. There are two rivers, the Indian River Lagoon and the Halifax River.  High tides create an island-like area where the currents meet.  This is a popular spot for boaters.  Spruce Creek, Hunter Creek, and Rockhouse Creek are some of the creeks feeding into these two rivers. 

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

Ponce Inlet is divided into two state parks.  The park on the north side is called Lighthouse Point Park, while on the south side, it is called Smyrna Dunes Park. 

Is Ponce Inlet a barrier island?

Ponce de Leon Inlet is a natural opening in Florida’s East Coast barrier island connecting the north end of Mosquito Lagoon and the south end of Halifax River to the Atlantic Ocean.

Video Of Disappearing Island

GPS Water Coordinates For Disappearing Island Florida

GPS Water Coordinates:  29.074742, -80.931316

Who Will Enjoy Disappearing Island Florida?

Disappearing island is a breathtaking setting to relax and enjoy with family or friends. Anyone who appreciates being on the water will have a great time here. And, if you are looking to show off some of Florida’s most “Caribbean-ish” waters, this is a place to take people.   However, it’s not a place to enjoy complete solitude, as it can get crowded on weekends. 

Disappearing Island

Next, if you’re a fan of luxurious Florida resorts, this island may not be so attractive for you: don’t expect restaurants, casinos, gorgeous Florida hotels, or anything like that there. It’s nothing but spectacular views and a relaxing environment. 

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So, who will enjoy Disappearing Island? Anyone who enjoys yachting, boating, fishing, or catching a suntan. It’s difficult not to enjoy it.  I can’t imagine anyone not having a great time here. I think it’s one of the most beautiful places on the East Coast of Florida. 

It’s a great place for families with kids; the shallow water has no waves, making it safe for children.

To sum it up. If you love the warm water, can handle a potential party, or are willing to find a quiet spot, you’ll love Disappearing Island. 

Map of Disappearing Island Florida

GPS Water Coordinates:  29.074742, -80.931316

Map Disappearing Island Florida

Disappearing Island Tide Chart

As mentioned, the daily tidal change makes this island shrink or grow. It’s best to access Disappearing Island for easy access when it’s low tide. This way, you can claim your section. You also need to follow the tides to know when to exit. Here are the tide charts: 

How to Get to Disappearing Island, Florida?

You can only reach Disappearing Island via boat or personal watercraft. Although there is no public ferry system to get there, it is easily accessible – you can get there on your boat or rent a boat.  Given that the island has restricted access, it is one of the charms; it adds to the sense of adventure.

Can you kayak to Disappearing Island?

Technically, you can; however, you should be advised that this is a hectic body of water with lots of boat traffic.

Can you swim to Disappearing Island?

I am sure it’s possible. However, I would not recommend this!

Boat Ramps To Access Disappearing Island Florida

There are many boat ramps to launch from; we will cover the three most common ones people use.

Launch from the Port Orange Causeway Park or North Causeway boat ramp in New Smyrna Beach and take a leisurely course along the picturesque waterway. You’ll enjoy watching scenic landscapes and magnificent homes on your way! It’s almost guaranteed that you will see dolphins in the water on their voyage to and from Disappearing Island!

The most convenient boat ramp and the most  Swoope Site Boat Ramp. It is an excellent facility with clean restrooms and two steep ramps. The surfaces are grooved for good traction, and there are floating docks for mooring. The docks aren’t big and can only hold 2-3 boats simultaneously. Therefore, patience is required during busy times. Also, the floating docks are exposed to intercostal water traffic – lots of it.

Despite being a “slow speed” zone, it’s not uncommon for passing boats to create a wake big enough to rock any boat, which is a little unsettling. We have all experienced this somewhere.

Swoope Site Boat Ramp

The closest and easiest way to access Disappearing Island in Florida is the Swoope Site Boat Ramp. This boat ramp is also the closest to TaTa Island if that is where you are heading.

  • Address: 2455 Boat Ramp Dr, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168
  • Ramps: 2
  • Ramp Fee: No
  • Parking Spaces: 36
  • Rest Room: Yes
  • Hours: 24
Swoop Site Boat Ramp

North Causeway Boat Ramp

  • Address: N. Causeway, west of bridge; Boat Yard St. New Smyrna Beach, Florida
  • Ramps: 3
  • Ramp Fee: No
  • Parking Spaces: 40
  • Rest Room: Yes
  • Hours: 24
North Cause Way Boat Ramp

Port Orange Causeway Park Boat Ramp

  • Address: 93 Dunlawton Ave. Port Orange, Florida
  • Ramps: 3
  • Ramp Fee: No
  • Parking Spaces: 60
  • Rest Room: Yes
  • Hours:  24
Port Orange Causeway Park

Where to Stay In New Smyrna Beach and Ponce Inlet

As mentioned above, New Smyrna Beach is not packed with resorts. However, there are tons of great options for you here:


Water Floats & Mats You Need To Enjoy Disappearing Island Florida

floating water mats

Ponce Inlet: A Place to Visit Near Disappearing Island

Ponce Inlet is on the south of Daytona Beach. It is known for excellent waves, nature trails, one of the tallest lighthouses in the U.S., and a marine science center with interactive exhibitions and an observation tower. Make sure to relax in the parks and at one of Ponce Inlet’s scenic beaches, where you can swim, sunbathe, walk, or jog. 

Ponce Lighthouse

Ponce de Leon Lighthouse is 175 feet tall with 203 steps, and visitors can climb it every day. It offers an excellent workout for those who want exercise; however, the climb is entirely doable, even for children. And we promise you’ll love the view from the top of the lighthouse – it’s more than worth it! There is a museum too! Note that foods and drinks are prohibited there, and you can only smoke in the specially designed areas. 

Popular Ways To Explore New Smyrna Beach

Wildlife – Nature Lovers Alert!

Many threatened bird species are nesting on Disappearing Island.  Visitors need to keep dogs under control so as not to disturb or approach bird nesting sites.  It is unacceptable for dogs to approach or disturb wildlife or bird nesting sites! 

Marine Life

Aside from being a picturesque island, Disappearing Island is also home to an ecosystem teeming with wildlife and marine life. Various birds soar through the sky, and marine creatures swim in the lagoon on this unique sandbar.

Disappearing Island is home to a wide variety of bird species. The island’s wildlife includes herons, egrets, pelicans, ospreys, and many other species of birds. Watch for this graceful creature as you watch them fish, nest, and soar through the skies.

Plenty of marine life is in the Mosquito Lagoon, and its surrounding water makes it a haven for aquatic life. It’s common to see dolphins in the lagoon, and if you’re lucky, you might see them performing playful acrobatics next to your kayak or boat. Their agility and charming antics never fail to captivate visitors.

Around Disappearing Island, you might also see manatees or sea cows. During the colder months, these gentle giants often seek refuge in the lagoon’s calm waters. Manatees are genuinely magical creatures to watch as they peacefully graze on seagrass beds from a distance.

crystal river swim with manatees

Various fish species can also be found in the lagoon, making fishing a rewarding experience. If you cast your line, you might catch redfish, snook, trout, and even tarpon. A rewarding and exciting fishing experience awaits anglers regardless of their experience level.

You’ll be blown away by the vibrant underwater world of Disappearing Island if you snorkel or dive there. Angelfish, parrotfish, sergeant majors, and other fish species live in coral formations. Seahorses, sea turtles, and elusive seahorses can all be spotted hiding among the seagrass.

Seashells and marine treasures are abundant along the shorelines of Disappearing Island. There are many natural items to admire and collect as souvenirs of a beachcombing trip, from fragile seashells to unique driftwood.

Remember to keep a distance from these incredible creatures and follow ethical practices when watching wildlife. Their natural habitats can thrive undisturbed if kept at a safe and non-intrusive distance.

Smyrna Dunes Park

Smyrna Dunes Park is a larger one of the two Ponce Inlet state parks. There is a place where you can have a picnic under a shed area complete with tables. The park has a tremendous handicap-accessible walkway; it’s long and has resting points. In addition, there is a 300-foot fishing pier, which is handicap accessible as well. 

Lighthouse Point Park

The park’s area is relatively large, and everyone can find things to appreciate here. The park boasts a large, smooth concrete, handicap-accessible walkway with spots to sit and rest. Good news for party-lovers – you can drink and park trailers in Lighthouse Point Park. However, parking a big vehicle can be a hassle, and you can’t park on weekends and special events. Anglers will appreciate the long jetty formed by huge rocks. The jetty helps to stop the ocean and makes a smoother area for vessels to enter the inlet, an excellent place to fish.

And last but not least, on the north side of Ponce Inlet, there are surfers. Lastly,  this place is known as the world’s shark bite capital, so be careful!

Disappearing Island Florida

Fishing At Disappearing Island Florida

You can fish at Disappearing Island. I often see people fishing, but it’s not ideal. The island is the main attraction, drawing people and many boats. Most people tend to fish from the New Symrna Broadwalk or the jetty. Many will tell you that fishing is one of the best things to do here (after enjoying the clear waters).

Can I Fish For Free Without A License?

No, as with all fishing, scalloping, lobstering, and crabbing in Florida, you must have the appropriate fishing license.  The state does offer free fishing or license-free fishing for seniors who are residents and kids under 16 years of age.   

Florida License-Free Fishing Days

Florida also offers a few license-free fishing that you can take advantage of. These days change yearly, so be sure to triple-check with the state before you head out:

Florida License-Free Fishing Days

Source: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

What You Need To Know About Disappearing Island Florida

  • Talk to locals or seasoned boaters and ask where you should park. Larger boats typically park on Disappearing Island’s west side since it’s protected from the waves. On the other hand, the east side, where the waves roll up, offers an ideal spot to anchor smaller boats.
  • Disappearing Island is a frequent place for locals and tourists to visit in New Smyrna, Daytona Beach, and the surrounding area. It is hectic during summer, weekends, and holidays. If crowds bother you, you plan your trip during the week.   
  • Arrive early to get to the perfect parking place at the shoreline. 
  • The island is dog-friendly, so visitors allow their four-pawed pals to play on the shore and in the shallows. If you take your dog, limit romping and noises to avoid bothering sensitive or rare wildlife. 
  • Do not leave any trash. Collect your garbage so that other visitors and you can enjoy the natural beauty of nature when coming here again. 


When is the best time to visit Disappearing Island?

Disappearing Island Florida

There isn’t a “best time”. It’s beautiful year-round. However, you need to understand the tides. As mentioned above, the daily tidal change makes this island shrink or grow. It’s best to access Disappearing Island when it’s low tide. This way, you can claim your section. You also need to follow the tides to know when to exit.

Can you camp on Disappearing Island, Florida?

Disappearing Island Florida

No, you cannot camp on Disappearing Island because the island is completely submerged underwater at high tide.

Is Ponce Inlet an island?

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

No, Ponce Inlet is not an island. The town of Ponce Inlet is located in Volusia County, Florida, United States.  South of Daytona Beach and Daytona Beach Shores, Ponce Inlet is located on the southern tip of a barrier island.

Closing Thoughts

Florida boasts plenty of things to do. There’s an endless supply of things to do for all tastes. Disappearing Island Florida is one you’ll never forget. The water of Disappearing Island gives the Gulf Of Mexico and the Florida Keys a run for their money. It’s simply one of the most beautiful places on Florida’s East Coast.

Whatever you’re looking for – magnificent landmarks, beautiful sandy beaches, breathtaking sunsets and sunrises, luxurious resorts or affordable recreational spots, theme parks, or exciting nightlife –  Florida will satisfy all your needs and desires. 

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  1. Started going there when I was in my tween years 1973 or 1974. We called it low tide Island back then because it only was there during low tide. About ankle deep during high tide. It is a beautiful area with views of the Ponce inlet lighthouse, the entrance to the Atlantic Ocean, beaches, etc. I have not been there in many years no access to a boat but can still go to dog park area at the southern tip of Ponce inlet which dead ends. I believe there are boat rentals or boat tours that will take you there now. Back in the early days it was not so crowded. A must visit if you come to the Daytona Beach area.

    1. Hi Jo-Ann,

      Thanks for stopping by:) I had no clue there were rental boats that take you out there. I’ll have to take a look at that. Also, I never knew it used to be called “low tide island” – very cool. Thanks for sharing. Nikki

    1. Hi there,

      Well, it’s the shark capital of Florida:) I haven’t seen any unusual reports this year (YET) but here is a cool site to follow shark activity out there:
      Enjoy… thanks Nikki

  2. Thanks for the article on D.I. My husband and I own a condo on the intracoastal waterway and most weekends we head to the island. I’ll often mention why don’t we head north or further south but time and again we stay right at the island. It is just beautiful. Also worth mentioning is on the opposite side from Ponce is a mostly quiet and tranquil boat ride stretching from south Daytona to New Smyrna. Great spots in and around to kayak or see our local manatees. No homes just pure Florida.

    1. Hi Karen,
      You are so welcome! Oh, I am jealous… My friends also have a condo out there and other friends rent every summer. It’s our friend’s all-time favorite spot out there and yes, it is beautiful. I am going to have to go explore the other side, I love exploring new areas with no houses. And, I love Florida. Never ceases to amaze me – ever… Nikki

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