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Monday, October 19, 2015

10 Things To Do in Daytona Beach, FL

I was given complimentary accommodations, meals, and entry tickets to the following locations in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

As a native Floridian, I have always felt like I have a pretty good handle on all-things-beach. I mean, I grew up and now live about 30 minutes from 5-6 beaches. I could go to the beach at the drop of a hat on any day. But, I don't. Maybe it's because the novelty has worn off? I mean, growing up I went to the beach every weekend with my mom. As a teenager I spent a lot of weekends at the beach with my friends. When our kids were little we took them to the beach every now and again. These days we rarely go. Sad, huh? You guys who have to drive HOURS to the nearest beach probably think I'm nuts for not going as often as I possibly could. I just feel like there's nothing new to see. Until now. That is, until I went on a short trip to Daytona Beach, FL a couple of weeks ago. I was able to truly spend the weekend at the beach like a true tourist would. And I enjoyed EVERY MINUTE.

I'm here today to share with you 10 Things To Do in Daytona Beach, FL. These are just a handful of the activities we were able to take part in and enjoy to the fullest. So, here we go, in no particular order. At the end, tell me which are your favorites, or which you will surely go to on your next trip to Daytona Beach.

Collecting seashells on New Smyrna Beach in Florida #lovedaytonabeach
1. Go shelling on the beach. The ocean is FILLED with beautiful treasures that will wash up on shore. Put on a hat, lather on some sunscreen, grab your sand bucket, and go walk along the shoreline. You never know what beautiful sea shells or beach treasures you may find!

Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL #lovedaytonabeach
2. Are you a NASCAR fan? I'll be honest, I'm not. Or, I wasn't. BUT, after visiting Daytona International Speedway, and seeing the race track and hearing cars woosh by with such speed, I LOVED the atmosphere! When you take a guided tour you are told stories and history about many racing legends like, Dale Earnhart, Richard Petty and Jett Gordan. The Daytona International Speedway truly is a Daytona Beach must-see!

3. Visit a museum or two. Daytona Beach has quite a few museums. This museum pictured is the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art. Cici and Hyatt started their collection of fine art back in 1997 with two 19th century watercolors of the old St. Augustine gate. Over time, their love for fine art grew and grew...and grew into what is now a collection of more than 2800 works of art. That tidbit of information sheds light on why they had a need to build their own museum. While not every piece is on display at one time, you can view an exquisite collection of Florida art and more. So, while in Daytona Beach, go to a museum!

4. Wake up early enough to catch the sunrise. I know, I know, you're on vacation, you don't want to get up early. But, trust me, Florida sunrises are the best. You'll want to watch the sun rise over the ocean. If you're staying at beach front property, simply open the window and curl back up in bed. Or, if you aren't able to see the ocean from your bedroom window, take a blanket and go down to the shore. Either way, you'll be glad you woke up early. 

Daytona Beach, FL
5. Be a kid again! Ride the roller coaster and play in the arcade at the Daytona Beach Boardwalk and Pier. There's so much to do at the boardwalk and pier. Ride go-carts, grab some World's Most Famous saltwater taffy from Zeno's Boardwalk Sweet Shop, have a slice of pizza at Pizza King, or dine at Joe's Crab Shack. You can also get paddle board lessons from the folks at Oceanside Paddle Sports. You can truly spend an entire day at Daytona Beach Boardwalk and Pier.

6. Check the calendar for a list of festivals going on during your stay. Listen to local musicians, buy local art or handmade goods, and spend the day with the locals. Festivals are a great way to take a break from beach activities and still enjoy the day with your family.

7. Drive to nearby DeLand to shop along historic and beautiful Woodland Boulevard or New Smyrna Beach’s fun and beachy Canal St. and Flagler Avenue. There are so many quaint shops and eateries in DeLand. Stop into Pat and Toni's Sweet Things for a slice of pecan pie. Oh my yum, it is so delicious. There's also a super hip art gallery, The Hub on Canal, that you won't want to miss. Local artist set-up their easels {or whatever their medium is} and create works of art right there where you can watch them. It's a real treat to see an artist at work. New Smyrna Beach is a short drive from Daytona Beach, you won't want to miss it. 

8. Tickle your tastebuds. There are SO MANY amazing restaurants and eateries in Daytona Beach. Visit to look up nearby restaurants that feature cuisine you're craving. May I recommend Aunt Catfish's on the River for more seafood choices than you can catch with even your largest shrimping net or Racing's North Turn for, not only good food and great service, but racing history from right where racing got its start! 

9. Need to add a little fun competition to your days? Are you going to Daytona Beach with your children? Well, you could even do this with an all adult crowd. Create a scavenger hunt for you ALL to participate in. Go on a hunt for the beach, a sea turtles nest {remember not to disturb it, it's against the law}, sea shells, a crab, a sand dollar, a seagull, the pier, bits of sea glass, and anything else one might find at the beach. You could even make a more detailed list with things like, "a girl in a polka dot bikini" or "a man wearing jeans on the beach." Let the prize be a trip to get ice cream cones together or. {we didn't do this on our last trip, but doesn't it sound like tons of fun??? I think I'll suggest it for the next time!}

10. After you've had quite possibly the best day ever, but before you hit the sack, watch the sunset. And then, dream of all of the fun you'll have tomorrow. 

Daytona Beach is such a beautiful destination in Florida. There's SO MUCH to see and do. Have you ever been? Did you do any of the activities I mentioned? Is there a place that I've not mentioned that should be visited? Let us know about it in the comments. 


Paula Schuck said...

Oh my gosh!! It was so lovely to meet you in Daytona Beach. I also loved this picture at the end! It is amazing. The food was so good. I know I gained a few pounds. This was a great destination and there was so much to see. I think The Shores was a great destination too. Azure was the best restaurant for seafood that I have ever been to actually.

Unknown said...

I love Daytona beach and plan to go there this summer with my sister. I am looking forward to trying some of the cool places you mentioned. Thanks for the good hints and advice.