Daytona Beach is a thriving beach community on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Known for its beach with hard-packed sand that allows motorized vehicles to drive on the beach in restricted areas, the region became a mecca for motorsports pretty much as soon as motorized vehicles became popularized at the turn of the 20th century. While visiting the NASCAR headquarters is reason enough to visit Daytona, the city has plenty of other opportunities for fun and entertainment. Here are the top 10 things to do while visiting Daytona:
- Spend time at the beach – With 23 miles of white sandy beaches, Daytona’s renowned hard-packed sand is not only great for sunbathing and beach games. The city has several restricted areas that still allow motorized vehicles after originally allowing car and motorcycle racing as early as 1902. Today, the beach is also known for being family-friendly and having beachfront parks with picnic areas, pavilions, boardwalks, and restrooms. Visitors will also find beachfront splash parks, beach volleyball courses, and jungle gyms for fun along the shoreline.
- Stroll the boardwalk – Originally dubbed the Daytona Beach Broadwalk when first built in 1938, the long stretch of concrete slabs along the beach is lined with many bars, hotels, restaurants, shops, and the City Walk shopping and entertainment complex. Since it was built with concrete as opposed to wooden boards, the Broadwalk was originally the name, but ultimately the Daytona Beach Boardwalk prevailed because let’s be honest…it just sounds better.
- Check out the Museum of Arts & Sciences – With more than 30,000 objects, the Museum of Arts and Science (MOAS) is one of the largest museums in central Florida. Some of its exhibits include Cuban art, Chinese art, Early American furniture and art, displays related to Florida history, and a large collection of Americana and memorabilia. If you are looking for fun things to do in Daytona Beach with kids, the museum also has a planetarium and auditorium.
- Attend one of the many festivals in Daytona – Often referred to as the festival capital of Florida, Daytona Beach hosts festivals and events all year long. Visitors can come to the city for festivals such as BikeWeek and Biketoberfest®, the Halifax Art Festival, or Turkey Run. The Summer Concert Series entertains with great music and fireworks on Saturday evenings. And celebrating Independence Day Weekend is always popular with the fan favorite Coke Zero Sugar 400, and of course the Daytona 500, the world-famous, most popular, and biggest NASCAR race in the circuit.
- Experience the rich history of the area – Much of Florida is rich in history as its temperate climate and fertile land proved to be very hospitable and native peoples inhabited the region well before it was settled by the Spanish and French. Visitors can learn of the Timicuan Indians, Spanish and French settlements, sugar mill plantations and the man who put Florida on the map as a tourist destination, Henry Flagler. They can also visit the Ormond Beach estate of oil magnate John D. Rockefeller known as The Casements.
- Get some thrills with the Richard Petty Driving Experience – The Richard Petty Driving Experience is a company that offers thrill seekers the opportunity to drive a racecar around the world-famous Daytona International Speedway. Guests can drive a 600HP NASCAR racecar around the 2.5-mile speedway, the home of the Daytona 500. If you want to experience the speed without the responsibility of being behind the wheel, the company also offers a ride along experience.
- Visit the Ponce Inlet and Lighthouse – Home to the tallest lighthouse in all of Florida, the Ponce Inlet and Lighthouse is full of activities and great dining options for the entire family to enjoy. Visitors can learn about the wonders of sea life at the Marine Science Center or go for an aquatic adventure with Ponce Inlet Watersports.
- Hit the links with a round of golf – The Daytona Beach area has several great golf courses for those looking to get in a round of golf with terrific weather year round. Golfers can experience two, four-star golf courses in LPGA International and the Daytona Beach Golf Club. The area also features courses that can fit any budget. And don’t forget about Congo River Golf, a fun adventure-themed miniature golf course with many additional attractions and fun for the entire family.