When someone says Daytona, one of three things may spring to mind. If it's cars it's the Daytona International Speedway
and the 500, the opening race of the NASCAR Nextel Cup season. If you're a motorcycle fan thoughts of Bike Week
flood you mind. And if you're a college student there is yet another vision because Daytona Beach is well-known for its beaches and subsequent spring breakers.
Things to do in Daytona Beach
Give yourself plenty of time and wear lots of sunscreen because with so much to do, you'll need it.
Daytona Beach's vibrant shoreline, lined with hotels, motels, condominiums and houses, attracts over 8 million tourists each year. Hotel and motel rooms in all price ranges are typically plentiful except during special events. One of the best things about the beach is that you can drive on it. The speed limit is 10 miles per hour and you have to stay away from the dunes, but the sand is hard packed enough to support your car. If you've never driven on Florida beaches
before, it's really a kick!
The Daytona Pier is a great place to spend the day with your family; you can lay out, build a sand castle or just play around on the beach. After you’re done with your fun on the beach head on up to the boardwalk for some more fun; they have an arcade full of games, souvenir shops and great little places to get a slice of pizza, a corndog, a cheese steak sandwich or a good old fashioned pretzel and some popcorn. More about the Daytona Beach Pier »
Daytona's wide beaches of smooth, packed sand attracted automobile and motorcycle racers beginning in 1902, when pioneers in the industry used it for high-speed car testing and racing. Daytona Beach quickly became a Mecca for racing enthusiasts testing their inventions, earning the nickname "The Birthplace of Speed". On March 8, 1936, the first stock car race was held on the Daytona Beach Road Course. In 1959, William France created Daytona International Speedway to replace the beach course. Though racing on the sand is part of Daytona Beach history, automobiles are still permitted on the beach at slow speeds.
More about Daytona International Speedway »
Bike Week / Biketoberfest
draw motorcycle enthusiasts to Daytona each year. Bike Week, held in early March, draws 600,000 bikers and friends for over 10 days of fun. Biketoberfest, as the name suggests, hosts 100,000 guests on a weekend in the latter part of October. More About Bike Week and Biketoberfest »
Ponce Lighthouse & Ponce Inlet
Approximately 12 miles south of Daytona Beach, Ponce de Leon Inlet offers fishing from its pier, walking along its beach and even driving up to its jetty from the beach. The lighthouse is located near the inlet and is the tallest lighthouse in Florida. Take a tour for a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean!
Ponce Inlet »
Ponce Inlet Lighthouse »
Some other Special events that draw year round visitors to Daytona Beach include:
Speedweeks (Daytona 500 NASCAR race, Rolex 24 sports car race, Daytona 200 motorcycle race and others)
Coke Zero 400
Daytona Beach Bike Week
Sunglow Fishing Pier
Sunglow Fishing Pier extends 950 feet into the Atlantic Ocean. They have a bait shack on the pier where you can rent poles and get frozen bait, fish cleaning areas and seats. Fish caught in the area include: whiting, pompano, flounder, trout, Spanish mackerel, sheep's head, blues, shark, sailcat, and tarpon. They have a great restaurant called Crabby Joe’s Deck and Grill, and as you’d imagine it’s all about the seafood and tropical drinks. They serve crab, scallops, oysters and shrimp; they also have several chicken dishes and some pasta including spaghetti with meatballs. You can sit inside or watch the water as you eat or enjoy a fruity cocktail out on their magnificent deck.
Places to Stay in Daytona Beach
When you are planning a trip to Daytona be sure you check your calender and see what's going on, because between events scheduled at the speedway, Bikeweek and Biketoberfest there is always something going on in Daytona. If you've got tickets for an event at the Speedway there is a Ramada in close by and when you head over to the beach you'll find all sort of hotel and resort dotting the coast, a throwback to the days when Daytona Beach was THE place for Spring Break. All those kids had to have some place to stay. The Shores Resort and Spa is right on the beach as is Perry's Ocean-edge Resort and if you're looking to mix a little business with your pleasure you can use the El Caribe Resort and Conference Center.
View Daytona Beach Hotels »
Named for its founder, Matthias Day, Daytona Beach was settled in 1870 and incorporated in 1876. The towns of Daytona, Daytona Beach and Seabreeze were combined to form Daytona Beach in 1926. By then Daytona Beach had been dubbed "The World's Most Famous Beach."
From the end of the Civil War in 1865, Florida's tourism has boomed. Even today, tourism remains one of the main sources of income for the people who live in Daytona Beach. As of 2004, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates Daytona Beach's population to be 64,422.
Daytona Beach is a year-round resort area. But did you know it is also a college town? Daytona Beach is home to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
, Bethune-Cookman College
and Daytona State College
Being a college town helps keep the housing affordable, especially in the areas around the schools. However, there is also exclusive housing available along the Halifax River, and in other areas further out from the city center.
Daytona Beach is only an hour from the Orlando attractions
is also the headquarters of the LPGA. When you visit, there's one thing in Daytona you won't want to miss: RACING! No wonder Daytona Beach is such a popular vacation destination!
By Beverly Martinez-Collins – PlacesAroundFlorida.com