Visit Daytona Beach

Florida Guide > Places to Visit

Extending South from Ormond Beach is the lively and boisterous Daytona Beach. As many as 200, 000 students descend on the beach for Spring Break. They pour in in their thousands from all over US and Daytona Beach is was of the most sought after destinations for them, so it would be advisable not to visit during Spring Break. Daytona actively tries to discourage them but it has no effect on these fun seeking students! Daytona’s famous 23 miles beach is one of the few in Florida where cars are allowed to drive onto the sands, a hangover from the days when enthusiasts raced on the beaches.

Daytona is still a mecca for motorsports fans. The nearby speedway attracts huge crowds, especially during the Speedweek in February and the Motorcycle Weeks in March and October. Downtown Daytona known simply as Mainland lies across the Halifax River from the beach. Most of the action, however, takes place on the beach, which is lined with a wall of hotels. The old fashioned Boardwalk is nostalgic and tacky, with concerts in the bandstand, arcades, go karts, and cotton candy. The gondola skyride glides above the Ocean Pier, whilst down on the beach, jet skis, windsurfers, buggies and beach bicycles can be rented. You are advised to take extreme care if you take young children onto the beach. Do not forget there will be cars driving along the beach and serious accidents have been known to occur.

Across the Halifax River in the restored Downtown area, the Halifax Historical Society Museum occupies a 1910 bank building decorated with fancy pilasters and murals. Local history displays include a model of the Boardwalk in about 1938, with chicken-feather palm trees, a Ferris Wheel, and scores of miniature people.

West of Downtown, exhibits at the excellent Museum of Arts and Sciences cover a great range of subjects. There are notable Cuban and African collections and a planetarium. Ga, ble Place is run by the same museum and was build in 1907 for James N. Gamble of Proctor & Gamble. This primitive hunting lodge sits on a bluff above Spruce Creek, and is surrounded by open porches. The furnishings inside are all period pieces and extremely interesting. Tours are provided but by reservation beforehand only through the museum. The tour also takes in the Snow White House, which was built in 1938 for Gamble’s great grandchildren, and is an exact copy of the one in the 1937 Disney classic.

If you can spend a couple of days in the Daytona area, you will certainly enjoy all it has to offer without being rushed.

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