For families on vacation, the Daytona Beach area makes child's play out of having fun. Twenty-three miles of sparkling white sandy beaches and beautiful blue-green waters make Daytona Beach an irresistible playground for kids of all ages.
The Beach :
The beach is up to 500 feet wide at low tide and is perfect for sand castle building, cycling, jogging, fishing or just relaxing in the sun. While at the beach, water sports enthusiasts can grab a surfboard, launch a boat or head out for a parasailing adventure. While driving is permitted on 11 of the 23-mile long beach area, four pedestrian-only zones are found at various intervals. The most central pedestrian beach zone is found north and south of the historic Daytona Beach Pier on Main Street in Daytona Beach.
Things to Do :
If you and your family can manage to tear yourselves away from the beach, you'll discover the Daytona Beach area is full of fun activities and attractions. Ocean Walk Shoppes at Ocean Walk Village, a shopping, dining and entertainment district located in Daytona Beach's core tourist district, is the perfect place for family fun.
Museum goers will enjoy the Museum of Arts and Sciences, a Smithsonian affiliate, that features a Center for Florida History. The museum is also renowned for its multi-cultural exhibitions. The museum also houses the Charles and Linda Williams Children's Museum – the region's only hands-on science center – and the Helene B. Roberson Visible Storage Building.
For maritime lovers, the Daytona Beach area has one of Florida's finest nautical museums at the Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station and Museum. Standing 175 feet tall, this lighthouse is the second tallest in the U.S., and Florida's tallest. Complete with its original lighthouse keeper buildings, the lighthouse grounds house maritime artifacts, educational exhibits and a rare Fresnel Lens exhibit. A climb to the top of the lighthouse's 203 steps is rewarded with a panoramic view of the Ponce de Leon Inlet's north and south arteries and surrounding area.
When planning a trip to the lighthouse, set aside extra time for a visit to the nearby Marine Science Center. With interactive exhibits on the area's marine environment, a seabird sanctuary and sea turtle rehabilitation facilities, the center provides a unique and entertaining learning experience for young and old.
The adventurous family will want to cruise the pristine waters of the area's scenic inland waterways. Visitors can choose to discover the area's eco-treasures aboard a selection of boat tours or sailing excursions, including Manatee Cruises, Fountain of Youth Eco/History Tours, Cracker Creek Cruises, Eagle Yacht and more. Tours range from one to two hours in length.
Deep sea fishing charters depart from several marinas daily. Half and full-day trips are available and include all the bait and gear necessary to catch the "big ones."
Nature lovers will enjoy the many parks and wildlife areas in the region. Tomoka State Park, north of Ormond Beach, was once home to the Timucuan Indians. The scenic state park is a perfect location for fishing, camping, hiking and boating.
After a full day of beach going or sightseeing, you will discover a wide variety of shopping, restaurants and nightlife.
The Daytona Flea and Farmer's Market is a bargain hunter's dream, featuring everything from food to clothing to antiques.
Beach Street in the downtown Daytona Beach Historic District offers a nostalgic experience as you stroll amid unique shops and restaurants along a lush, palm-tree lined avenue. Along with the Halifax Historical Museum, Cinematique Theater, News-Journal Center, Riverfront Park and antique shops, Beach Street is home to Angell and Phelps Chocolate Factory where chocolate lovers can see and learn how Angell and Phelps hand-make more than 100 kinds of candies.
Great golf is another reason worldwide visitors choose the Daytona Beach area for vacation getaways. The area is home to dozens of public golf courses including several championship greens that make it a perfect spot for year-round golfing fun.
Where To Stay :
There are rooms to fit every taste and budget in the Daytona Beach area. The area's more than 200 hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts that offer more than 12,000 rooms, suites and apartments -- many directly on the ocean. Condominium and vacation home rentals are also available. Those who love the "great outdoors" will find many campgrounds and RV parks throughout the area.
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