Even though it’s a popular spring break destination and home of the Indy 500 racing events, Daytona Beach is also a great family vacation destination and offers a wealth of options for watersport enthusiasts. This Florida beach venue caters to race fans, resort-goers, sunseekers, spring break revelers, surfers, golfers and even those who want to explore some nature and cultural attractions around the city. Head to the pier to enjoy some scenic views, explore historical museums, or just pack a picnic and head out for a day on the coast.
Daytona Beach has been nicknamed the “World’s Most Famous Beach” by man locals and avid travelers. It’s home to 23 miles of gorgeous white sandy beaches, and driving on 18 of these miles is permitted. Drivers are allowed to drive about 10 miles per hour on the beach, so don’t be surprised to find a lineup of cars and vehicles near the ocean on any given day. Still, five miles of the beach are reserved for beach-goers only and are vehicle free.
Besides the cars and racing events on the beach, you’ll find plenty of activities to enjoy along the coast. Car cruises, kite flying, fishing, beauty contests, boardwalk activities, sail boarding and even free concerts are a few popular Daytona Beach activities. If you do happen to visit this are during racing season, you can watch the NASCAR races and other events at the Daytona International Speedway. The Mardi Gras Fun Center, Pirate’s Island Adventures Golf, Ponce de Leon Lighthouse and the Sky Coaster Giant Swing are just a few popular attractions and sites to explore on Daytona Beach.
The beach itself has an ocean park atmosphere and is always buzzing with activity. It’s open year round and sits at 500 feet wide at low tide. You can pick up water floats, umbrellas, lounge chairs and even bicycles for rent from local vendors on any given day, so don’t be afraid to pack light! You’ll also find numerous concession stands around the beach, selling everything from American hot dogs to ice cream and other tasty snacks.
When it comes to accommodations, Daytona Beach offers everything from quaint bed and breakfasts to large, Oceanside resorts. Many hotels, resorts, inns, cottages and B&Bs are located right on the beach or within walking distance to the pier and other beach attractions. If you stay further inland, you’ll have easy access to downtown Daytona Beach, some of the area’s best restaurants, shopping venues and entertainment hotspots. Don’t forget that you can also book a Daytona Beach vacation rental property, sometimes a more affordable option for those who are staying in the area on an extended stay.
Daytona Beach Weather and Best Time to Visit
The warm, tropical climate year-round is one of the biggest draws to Daytona Beach. Average summer temperatures typically reach the mid to high-90s, and late-afternoon thunderstorms are quite common during the summer months. Winters are relatively mild, with lows dropping to the upper 60s on most days. Peak season is during the spring break season, during Indy 500 racing events, and the late winter and early spring months when travelers from colder parts of the country and world head to sunny Florida for a beach vacation.
You’ll find that hotel and resort rates increase significantly during peak season, so your best bet is to book as far in advance as possible. Low season is during the middle of summer when temperatures are scorching and it’s often safer to stay indoors. Still, you can find a number of great vacation packages and low rates, making summer and early Fall season a great time to visit Daytona Beach on a budget.
Experience Daytona Beach
While spring break revelers will fill up the beaches for most parts of March and April, you can still find plenty of fun destinations to explore when heading to Daytona Beach with the family. Miniature golf courses, beachside amusement parks, mazes, local cruise ship operators and go kart tracks are a few popular activities for families heading to the beach. All of the attractions are open year round, so you’ll never be at a loss on what to do!
Since no cars are allowed on the beach at night, a popular activity for visitors after dark is just a stroll on the beach. Several taverns and beach clubs located near the coast also host special events and live music on select nights of the week. If you’re a biker, you’ll find plenty of fellow biking enthusiasts during your visit. Bikeweek and Biketoberfest events bring thousands of bikers into town, but you’ll also find that many bikers head here just to show off their wheels and make their way around the famous “Loop”.
If you’re visiting Daytona Beach between April 15 and October 31, you’ll be visiting during sea turtle season. Sea turtles emerge from the surf at night and the hatchlings emerge from these ocean “nests” within a few months after hatching. You can usually see many of these small creatures making their way around the fragile dune areas, and the local government works hard to protect these dunes so that the sea turtles hatchlings can make their way to their new homes.
Golf enthusiasts will be happy to find dozens of golf clubs and golf courses located further inland from Daytona Beach. Several popular golf destinations are located in Ormond Beach, Port Orange, Flagler Beach and New Smyrna Beach nearby. The LPGA International events take place on Champions Drive, right in Daytona Beach.
Boating and fishing opportunities abound, and you’ll find both river and ocean boating and fishing options throughout the year. Whether you’re interested in a yachting adventure, speedboat rides, a scenic cruise or want to rent a boat and head out on the water yourself, you’ll find several boat, deep sea river fishing and cruise operators throughout the area.
You can find a number of historic and cultural attractions that tell the story of Daytona Beach in the downtown area. The Halifax Historical Museum and the Seaside Music Theater are just two popular cultural attractions to add to your itinerary.
Daytona Beach is famous for its Indy 500 events and other racing events at the Daytona Speedway, but is also a great family-friendly destination for a beach vacation. Unlike many other beaches on the Florida coast, cars are permitted in designated areas of the beach all day. Spend your days shopping, exploring cultural attractions, enjoying water activities or watching a race. You'll also find plenty of options for eco tourism and can relax at a spa in town during your trip.