After a morning at the beach, enjoy lunch in one of the numerous waterfront restaurants where specialities such as seafood lasagne, lobster tacos and shrimp avocado salad are not to be missed. Don’t worry if you’re not a fish fan, there are plenty of burgers and succulent steaks available. Those with a sweet tooth must try the local apple fritters, which feature freshly chopped apples mixed into a homemade batter, cooked and coated with cinnamon sugar. Golden-brown pancakes are also widely available, best served traditionally with butter and maple syrup. There’s lots on offer for cocktail enthusiasts, with Mai Tais, Piña Coladas and Mojitos on the menu at local bars and cafes.
Those in search of active pursuits will have plenty of choice with national parks and hiking and biking trails in abundance. Blue Spring State Park is a popular Daytona Beach attraction with the inviting waters perfect for scuba-diving, kayaking and fishing. Blue Spring is the largest spring on the St John’s River and also a great spot for wildlife enthusiasts – manatee-viewing is a highlight. There’s also a picnic area, snack bar and playground for those who want to make a day of it. The peaceful Hontoon Island State Park is another must-see and accessible via park ferry or private boat.
Daytona Beach is famous for its race track so whether you’re into speedway or not, it’s worth booking tickets to check out this high-octane sport. If there are no big events happening during your trip, there are plenty of smaller speedway parks in the vicinity, including the Volusia Speedway Park which hosts Nascar races throughout the year. The Motorsports Hall of Fame America is essential for those interested in the history of the sport. Living Legends of Auto Racing in South Daytona is another museum packed with antique racers, authentic memorabilia and photographs.
There are lots of local attractions for those who want to get out and about during their holidays in Daytona Beach. The DeLand Naval Air Station Air Museum offers a fun family day out and it’s only a 20-minute drive away. This former World War II training base now plays host to an impressive collection of artefacts and military art. The Bulow Plantation Ruins State Historic Site in Flagler Beach is also worth a look. The site incorporates an open air-museum, sugar-mill ruins, nature trails and picnic facilities.
The chance of indulging in retail therapy is never far away while you’re on a Daytona Beach holiday. Whether you’re after gift stores, antique shops or quirky boutiques, you’ll find plenty to keep you happy. The downtown riverfront area is a popular place to browse and brunch, with more than 60 shops, restaurants and attractions offering an attractive setting to while away an hour or two. There are farmers’ markets selling fresh local produce, while Daytona Flea and Farmers Market offers a mix of snack bars and vendor booths where you can pick up jewellery, antiques and clothing.
Holidays to Florida are filled with possibilities offering an abundance of outdoor pursuits mixed with lazy beach days. With Orlando a manageable 93 kilometres south of Daytona Beach, twin-centre breaks could also be an option, providing the chance to experience the thrills and spills of the theme parks before embracing the laid-back fun of the coast.