Daytona Beach is a 23-mile span of sand that's wide enough to walk, drive and park on. Main Street Pier and nearby Ocean Walk Village are the focal points of beach activities and contain concessions, arcades, water-sports equipment rentals, restaurants and shops are all within walking distance. You can even fish from the pier.
New to the beach-front is Ocean Walk Village, an upscale shopping and entertainment area. This Oceanside district, rich in history, is leading the revitalization effort in the waterfront area.
The granite blocks paving the walkway recount historic racing events. Most of those races were held on the beach before the International Speedway was built in 1959.
Daytona Beach Boardwalk
Behind Ocean Avenue between Main Street and Auditorium Boulevard, Daytona Beach.
Step back in time and enjoy the old-fashioned arcades, then test your driving skills at the mini go-cart track. Visit the souvenir shops for fascinating trinkets and souvenirs. Main Street Pier is a beach landmark. Brightly colored cable cars run along the pier. There is musical entertainment at the historic, sun-washed oceanfront Bandshell, which hosts open-air live musical acts, from reggae bands to pops-style band music, from April to December. Call for more information on the Bandshell Concert Series
Daytona International Speedway
1801 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach.
(386) 253-7223. Toll-free
Daily 9 am-6 pm. Fees vary by activity.
This 2.5-mi/4-km track is home to the Daytona 500, Pepsi 400 and several other major events sanctioned by NASCAR, which is headquartered in Daytona Beach. When there is no racing, the visitors’ center offers guided tram tours of the track. The Daytona USA attraction has NASCAR history exhibits as well as several interactive activities, including Daytona Dreamlap: a wild simulator ride based on the Daytona 500 race. Check out the Richard Petty Ride-Along. You can ride in a stock car for a few laps around this world-famous race course for a fee. With proper instruction, you can even drive the course yourself.
Museum of Arts and Sciences
1040 Museum Blvd., Daytona Beach.
Monday-Saturday 9 am-5 pm, Sunday noon-5 pm. Admission charged.
The only portrait of Argentina’s Eva Peron painted while she was alive is housed in this interesting and diverse museum. Among its permanent exhibits are collections of art from China, Africa and Cuba. There is also an extensive fossil record of Florida’s Pleistocene mammals (included are a rare elephant and a 13-foot-tall giant ground sloth). Changing exhibits too. The museum operates a planetarium and maintains a sculpture garden.
Marine Science Center at Lighthouse Point Park
100 Lighthouse Drive, Ponce Inlet.
Saturday, 9-5 pm, Friday 9 am-8 pm, Sunday noon-5 .
Nestled in Lighthouse Park, amidst nature trails and a boardwalk, the Marine Science Center displays wonders of the aquatic world. Explore the 5,000-gallon artificial reef aquarium, interactive displays and a wet-dry lab. The museum highlight is the sea turtle rehabilitation program.
Bulow Plantation Ruins State Park
Old Dixie Highway north of Ormond Beach
Open daily 9 -5 . Admission
charged per vehicle.
Explore the peaceful grounds of a plantation and sugar mill, founded in 1821 and destroyed during the Seminole Indian War. Visit the ruins and open-air museum and hike nature trails.
Ocean Walk Village
If you’re visiting Beach Front Park, this lively shopping and entertainment center is a refreshing experience. Ocean Walk Village offers restaurants, a margarita and fajita bar and the best mai tais outside of Hawaii. If you’re hungry, grab a bite at Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co. Restaurant & Market. For a sweet treat, try their gumpberry cobbler. The Village also includes Cold Stone Creamery, Starbucks, a Harley Davidson storefront and a 10-screen, all-stadium movie theater. 100 N. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach.
This shopping center offers a variety of desirable shopping and dining options. Parking is free. 300 N. Beach St., Daytona Beach. Phone 386-671-3272.
25 Riverside Drive, Ormond Beach
Free admission, donations
Guided tours Monday-Friday 10 am-2:30 pm, Saturday 10-11:30 am. Museum opens 9 am Monday-Saturday. Closed Sunday.
Wander freely through the first and second floors of the former winter home of John D. Rockefeller, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Here you’ll discover eclectic assortments of museum quality items. The Casements is a cultural center for Ormond Beach, offering classes, exhibits, events and a gift shop.
Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse
Ponce Inlet, Florida
Open daily. Summer hours
(Memorial Day-Labor Day) 10 am-9 pm, final entry 8 pm. Admission charged.
Rising from the scenic fishing village of Ponce Inlet is the second tallest brick lighthouse in the U.S. The Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse is a National Historic Landmark. Visitors can climb the 230 spiraling stairs to reach the lighthouse gallery and a stunning view of the inlet.
Lighthouse Park at Ponce Inlet
Open daily 6 am-9 pm. Admission charged per vehicle.
After visiting the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse south of town, head to neighboring Lighthouse Point Park and enjoy the peaceful beauty of this 52-acre preserve. Stroll down nature trails or visit the beaches. There are two: one solely for people and the other specifically for the family canine members.
Daytona Beach is known as the best sports beach around. Local rental companies make many choices possible:
Rent an all-terrain vehicle, a bicycle or a surfboard.
Several charter boats offer deep-sea fishing trips, and parasailing is available.
You can also water ski, windsurf and ride Jet Skis. Popular surf clinics are available through local surf shops.
Nearly 20 golf courses surround the city, including the Indigo Lakes Golf Course, considered among the best in the state. Moreover, Daytona Beach is home to the Ladies Professional Golfing Association. LPGA International features two public 18-hole golf courses and a three-hole golf academy.
Arts and Entertainment
Seaside Music Theatre
Two locations: 176 Beach St. and 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach.
(386) 252-6200. Toll free 800-854-5592.
Daytona Beach’s only professional theater offers entertaining musical shows. Productions are staged in the summer and winter months and feature a full-pit orchestra. Intimate plays and musical revues are the fare in the winter season, while summer brings five musicals and a children’s production.
There are plenty of beachwear and water toys in shops along the ocean. Shops on Atlantic Avenue carry trendy surf wear and swimsuits.
Visitors looking for antiques and collectibles, can head to Beach Street, between Bay Street and Orange Avenue.
Motorcycle riders looking to complete their outfits or add some bells to their bikes will find several shops north of the Daytona Speedway, on Beach Street, including the world-renowned Harley-Davidson Store.
Daytona Flea & Farmers Market
2987 Bellevue Ave. (at the junction of I-95 and US 92), Daytona Beach.
Friday-Sunday, 8 am-5 pm.
With more than 1,000 vendors, this is one of the largest open-air shopping venues in the state. Look for fresh produce, citrus and seafood at the farmers' market.
The area's biggest shopping center, Volusia Mall, is near the speedway on International Speedway Boulevard. It boasts more than 100 stores, anchored by major retailers.
The Trails Shopping Center in Ormond Beach features quality shopping in an outdoor marketplace setting.
Fountain Square Shopping Village
142 E. Granada Blvd., Ormond Beach.
This is a lovely little shopping plaza with a European flair. It showcases upscale boutiques.