Daytona Beach Florida Offers Beaches and Racing
World-famous Daytona Beach, Florida draws over 7 million visitors year-round for two main reasons. Its 23 miles of hard white sand beach that is 500 feet wide at low tide has always attracted the Florida beachcombers, especially since driving is permitted right on the beach. The second main draw of course is the Daytona International Speedway, site of the famous Daytona 500 every February and the Pepsi 400 every July. The two go hand in hand since auto racing began on this sandy beach in the early 1900s.
Today you can drive on an 18 mile stretch of hard sandy beach at Daytona Beach. The remaining five miles of beach are set aside for beachgoers who prefer to not share the beach with vehicles. Although years ago there was no charge to drive on the beach, the price now is $5 per vehicle per day from February 1st through November 30th. After 3 pm the charge is only $3 and driving on Daytona Beach is permitted from one hour after sunrise till one hour before sunset during the winter months of November through April, and from 8 am till 7 pm during the months of May through October. The speed limit is 10 mph and it is strictly enforced with fines of a minimum of $41. Seasonal passes are also available for residents and non-residents. All pedestrians and bicyclists can access the beach for no fee at any time.
Daytona Beach is a popular family vacation spot with hundreds of hotels right on the beach. The white sandy beaches remain a draw for millions of visitors, and when you are tired of a beach day, a fun way to spend part of a day is to tour the Daytona International Speedway.
Daytona International Speedway Tours
Depending on your level of interest, your time schedule, and your wallet, there are three different types of tours from which to choose. The least expensive is the Speedway Tour which costs $16 per adult and $10 for kids from 6-12. This 30-minute tour will give you a chance to ride along Pit Row, stroll in the infield, experience the banked walls of the track and learn about the history of racing at Daytona. Tickets are sold at the track beginning at 9 am daily for timed tours throughout the day.
For those looking for more, the All Access Tour is a 90-minute tour and costs $23 for adults and $17 for kids ages 6-12. Coupons are sometimes available and you can but the tour for as little as $15. On this tour, you will drive onto the track in a little tram, and go behind the scenes and see the Drivers’ Meeting Room, the Nasser Garages, drive on Victory Lane, and go up to the Press Box seven stories above the track, which should provide some great photo opportunities.
The VIP Tour is a privately guided tour on an air-conditioned bus where you will experience firsthand the Drivers’ Meeting Room, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garages, and tech inspection, as well as the DAYTONA 500 Club President’s Row. You will drive on Victory Lane and get to see the track from a special suite seven stories above the track. In addition, the tour includes special access to the Archives Building with artifacts and previous champion trophies and other pieces of racing nostalgia. The final part of the tour ends within the Coca-Cola Theatre and you will also have a chance to see Matt Kenseth’s DAYTONA 500 winning car. The three-hour tour requires advance reservations and costs $50.
Blackout dates exist due to schedules races, practices, and car shows. You can find these dates before planning a visit by clicking here. The track is not open on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. No matter which tour you choose you will have time to get out and take photos. When I went I was most amazed by the feeling of experiencing the 30 degree banked turns on the track. It is worth the price for something you can only experience at Daytona Beach.