There are some iconic attractions associated with Daytona Beach, Florida. Of course, there are the beautiful Atlantic beaches, known both as the “Birthplace of Speed” and as a premier vacation spot. Today, this long-famous destination is known for much more. It is home to a surprising variety of attractions that are bringing visitors with diverse interests, all year long.
On the coast, just an hour’s drive from Orlando, St. Augustine and the Kennedy Space Center, Daytona Beach is still steeped in racing, but it’s not just racing history. The innovative Daytona International Speedway (1801 West International Speedway Boulevard, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114; 800-748-7467) complex is home to much more than a race track. (But what a race track it is!) Speedway tours are also a fantastic way get an up-close look at the world-famous track, with its 31-degree banking, the infield Fan Zone, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and the recent $400 million renovation. The NASCAR Racing Experience (1801 West International Speedway Boulevard, Daytona Beach, Florida 32118; 800-237-3889) invites fans to drive a NASCAR race car at the “World Center of Racing!” Visitors can choose to drive a race car by themselves or take a ride along as a passenger.
Baseball history was made here, too. Jackie Robinson Ballpark (105 East Orange Avenue, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114; 386-257-3172), is the place where Robinson broke the color barrier. This is one of the oldest parks still used in professional baseball and is home to the Daytona Tortugas minor league team. The nearby Halifax Historical Museum (252 South Beach Street, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114; 386-255-6976) takes a broader look at the area’s history. This is a treasure trove of displays on topics ranging from Native American history to handmade surfboards.
Daytona Beach is home to some of the best museums and galleries in the country. At the Smithsonian-affiliated Museum of Arts & Sciences (352 South Nova Road, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114; 386-255-0285), where visitors can experience the beauty of art, the wonder of science, stories of history and Coca-Cola memorabilia. The Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art (352 South Nova Road, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114; 386-255-0285) has the largest collection of Florida art in the world.
Daytona Lagoon (601 Earl Street, Daytona Beach, Florida 32118; 386-254-5020) is a premier waterpark and family entertainment center filled with thrilling slides, chilling pools, fast-paced arcades and more than a million gallons of rushing water. Twelve water rides, a ropes course and a 70-foot-high zipline are only the beginning of the ways to enjoy a day of adventure here. From Adventure Mountain and Kraven’s Revenge to wave pools and the Castaway Children’s Play Area, there is fun for visitors of any age.
The 15 beach parks in Daytona Beach provide public parking–much of it free–and a range of amenities. State parks add a variety of ways to enjoy the diverse landscapes here. Tomoka State Park (2099 North Beach Street, Ormond Beach, Florida 32174; 386-676-4050) is great for birding, boating and camping along the Halifax River. Further inland, Blue Spring State Park (2100 West French Avenue, Orange City, Florida 32763; 386-775-3663) is home to the largest spring on the St. Johns River, a crystal clear, 73-degree designated Manatee Refuge.
Find Your Favorite
Daytona Beach is an excellent golf destination, ranked among the top 15 places to play golf in the U.S. There are nearly 20 courses from which to choose for year-round play. And of course, there is fishing. Whether pursuing a big game catch, trolling just offshore or casting on the inland waters, there are plenty of charter options here. There are also trails of all kinds to take in during a trip to Daytona Beach. Make time for these additional Daytona Beach area adventures: Ale Trail, Motorsports Trail, Iconic Trail, African American Heritage Trail and the Monument and Statue Trail.
Where to eat
For a little casual local flavor, try these area restaurants:
Down the Hatch Seafood Company (4894 Front Street, Ponce Inlet, Florida 32127; 386-761-4831), a favorite spot for casual waterfront dining, overlooks the scenic waters of Ponce de Leon Inlet.
Racing’s North Turn (4511 South Atlantic Avenue, Ponce Inlet, Florida 32127; 386-322-3258) is the place where beach racing history is recounted, overlooking the ocean.
Ormond Garage (48 West Granada Boulevard, Ormond Beach, Florida 32174; 386-492-7981) is a popular craft brewery and eatery, which pays homage to the area’s racing heritage and sits in the heart of a vibrant entertainment district.
Joe’s Crab Shack Daytona Beach (1200 Main Street, Daytona Beach, FL 32118; 386-238-4050) is an over-the-water eatery on Daytona Beach’s ocean pier, offering casual, family-friendly dining.
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