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 Florida beachcombers, especially since driving is permitted right on the beach. The second main draw of course is the Daytona International Speedway, the 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.
Things to do
Daytona Beach, Florida is a popular vacation destination that offers a wide range of activities and attractions. Here are some things you can do in Daytona Beach:
- Visit the Beach: Daytona Beach is famous for its wide, hard-packed sand, which makes it ideal for driving and other activities. Visitors can swim, sunbathe, or participate in water sports like surfing, kayaking, and parasailing.
- Daytona Beach Boardwalk and Pier: Located in the heart of Daytona Beach, the Boardwalk and Pier offer a variety of amusement rides, games, and food vendors. Visitors can also fish from the pier or take a stroll along the boardwalk.
- Daytona International Speedway: Home to the Daytona 500 and other major races, the Daytona International Speedway is a must-visit for racing fans. Visitors can take a tour of the facility, watch a race, or even participate in a driving experience.
- Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse: Located just south of Daytona Beach, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in Florida. Visitors can climb to the top for stunning views of the surrounding area.
- Museum of Arts and Sciences: This museum features a diverse collection of exhibits and artifacts, including a planetarium, a giant ground sloth skeleton, and a Coca-Cola exhibit.
- Daytona Beach Bandshell: Located on the north end of the Boardwalk, the Daytona Beach Bandshell is a historic amphitheater that hosts concerts, festivals, and other events throughout the year.
- Halifax Historical Museum: Located in a former bank building in downtown Daytona Beach, the Halifax Historical Museum offers exhibits and artifacts that explore the history of the area.
- Daytona Lagoon: This water park and family entertainment center features water slides, a lazy river, mini golf, go-karts, and more.
- Marine Science Center: This center features exhibits and educational programs that focus on the marine life of the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River Lagoon.
- Tanger Outlets: Located just off Interstate 95, Tanger Outlets offers a variety of brand-name stores and restaurants, making it a popular shopping destination for visitors.
Overall, The Beach offers a variety of activities and attractions that can appeal to a wide range of interests and ages.
Where to Stay
There are many lodging options in The Beach, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly motels. Here are some options to consider:
- The Shores Resort & Spa: This beachfront resort offers luxurious accommodations, a full-service spa, oceanfront dining, and a pool with a tiki bar.
- Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort: Located in the heart of the Boardwalk, this hotel offers easy access to the beach, a pool with a lazy river, several restaurants, and a spa.
- The Daytona Beach Resort and Conference Center: This oceanfront hotel offers suites with kitchenettes, a restaurant, two outdoor pools, and a hot tub.
- Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach: This music-themed hotel features an oceanfront pool, a full-service spa, a rock memorabilia exhibit, and an on-site restaurant and bar.
- Hyatt Place Daytona Beach-Oceanfront: This modern hotel offers oceanfront rooms with balconies, a pool, a fitness center, and a 24-hour food and beverage market.
- Plaza Resort & Spa: This historic hotel, built in 1888, offers elegant accommodations, an on-site spa, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool with a hot tub.
- Holiday Inn Resort Daytona Beach Oceanfront: This family-friendly hotel offers a pool with a waterslide, a game room, and an on-site restaurant.
- The Beach Regency by Diamond Resorts: This condo-style resort offers one- and two-bedroom suites with kitchens, a pool, a fitness center, and a game room.
- Bahama House: This boutique hotel offers oceanfront rooms with balconies, a daily breakfast buffet, a pool, and a hot tub.
- Ocean Breeze Club Hotel: This budget-friendly hotel offers oceanfront rooms, a pool, and an on-site restaurant and bar.
There are many other hotels, motels, and vacation rentals in Daytona Beach, so visitors can find accommodations to suit their budget and preferences.
How to reach
The Beach is located on the east coast of Florida and is easily accessible by car, plane, or bus. Here are some ways to reach Daytona Beach:
- By Car: The Beach is located about 50 miles northeast of Orlando and about 85 miles south of Jacksonville. Visitors can reach Daytona Beach by taking Interstate 4 (I-4) from Orlando or I-95 from Jacksonville.
- By Plane: The closest airport to Daytona Beach is the Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB), which is located about 4 miles from the city center. DAB offers flights from several major airlines, including Delta, American, and United. Alternatively, visitors can fly into the Orlando International Airport (MCO) and drive to Daytona Beach (about a 1-hour drive).
- By Bus: Greyhound Bus Lines offers daily bus service to Daytona Beach from several cities in Florida and other states. The Greyhound station is located in downtown Daytona Beach.
- By Train: Amtrak offers train service to nearby cities like DeLand, which is about a 30-minute drive from Daytona Beach. From there, visitors can rent a car or take a taxi to reach Daytona Beach.
Once visitors arrive in The Beach, they can rent a car, take a taxi, or use public transportation to get around the city. The Votran bus system offers several routes throughout the city and surrounding areas. Additionally, many hotels offer shuttle service to and from the airport or other local attractions.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit The Beach depends on your preferences for weather and crowds. Here are some factors to consider when planning your trip:
- Weather: The Beach has a subtropical climate, which means it has mild winters and hot, humid summers. The average high temperature in the summer (June to August) is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average high in the winter (December to February) is around 70 degrees. The spring and fall offer pleasant temperatures, with highs in the 70s and 80s. Hurricane season is from June to November, so visitors should be aware of the possibility of tropical storms or hurricanes during that time.
- Crowds: The Beach is a popular vacation destination, so the city can be quite crowded during peak season. The busiest time of year is during Spring Break (usually in March or April), when college students flock to the beach. The summer months (June to August) are also busy, as families take advantage of school vacations. The winter months (December to February) tend to be less crowded, but many visitors come to Daytona Beach to escape the colder weather up north.
- Events: Beach is home to several major events throughout the year, including the Daytona 500 (in February), Bike Week (in March), and Biketoberfest (in October). These events can draw large crowds and may affect hotel availability and prices.
Based on these factors, the best time to visit The Beach is generally in the spring (March to May) or fall (September to November), when the weather is pleasant and the crowds are thinner. However, if you are a racing fan, you may want to plan your visit around the Daytona 500 or other races.