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Discover Daytona Beach: Top Attractions & Activities for an Unforgettable Getaway

vacation in daytona beach florida

Daytona Beach, where sun, sand, and endless adventure await! Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned local, exploring the vibrant offerings of this iconic Florida destination promises an exhilarating experience. With a rich tapestry of attractions and activities, Daytona Beach beckons travelers from near and far to discover its unique charm.

In this article, we’ll delve into the top attractions and must-see sights that define Daytona Beach’s allure. From pristine beaches to thrilling adventures and everything in between, we’ve curated a list that captures the essence of this dynamic coastal city. Whether you’re seeking family-friendly fun, adrenaline-pumping experiences, or serene relaxation, there’s something here for everyone

So, pack your sunscreen, grab your shades, and join us as we go on an unforgettable journey through Daytona Beach’s most iconic landmarks, hidden gems, and beloved hotspots. From the moment you arrive, you’ll discover why Daytona Beach truly is “The Place to Be.”

Let’s dive in and explore the wonders that await in this vibrant seaside paradise!

Daytona Beaches

Daytona Beaches

beaches in daytona beach
  1. Sun Splash Park

Sun Splash Park is a state-of-the-art 3,500-square-foot splash pad that features 42 water jets shooting water four- to six-feet in the air from a decorative play surface overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Location: 611 S Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32118, USA
  • Admission: Get info
  • Hours: 7am -11 pm

    Features

    • Slides
    • River Tube Ride
    • Pools

2. Bicentennial Park Beach  

Bicentennial Park Beach is a 37-acre park located between the Halifax River and the Atlantic Ocean, and boasts a variety of amenities. Visitors can conveniently park across the street from the ocean on the park’s east side, allowing easy access to the sun and surf.

  • Location: 1800 Ocean Shore Blvd, Ormond Beach, FL 32176
  • Admission: Free
  • Hours: Sunrise to sunset

Features:

  • Baseball field
  • Basketball court
  • Canoe/ kayak
  • Dog park
  • Fishing dock
  • Pavilion
  • Swimming
  • Tennis court

3. Al Weeks Sr. North Shore Park

Nestled in Ormond Beach, FL, Al Weeks Sr. North Shore Park beckons with its scenic beachfront setting, offering stunning ocean views and a serene atmosphere—a perfect haven for visitors seeking relaxation amidst the beauty of nature.

  • Location: 1631 Ocean Shore Blvd, Ormond Beach, FL 32176
  • Admission: Free
  • Hours: 6 am-11 pm

Features:

  • Parking
  • Beach access
  • Restroom, showers
  • Picnic area
  • Dune walkovers
  • Grills

4. Mary McLeod Bethune Beach Park

Mary McLeod Bethune Beach Park is situated 3.5 miles south of New Smyrna Beach and 1 mile north of the Apollo Beach entrance to Canaveral National Seashore Park. This county park, accessible to individuals with disabilities, pays tribute to the African American legacy of Mary McLeod Bethune, who founded Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach.

  • Location: 6656 S Atlantic Ave, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169
  • Admission: Free

Features:

  • Handicapped accessible parks
  • Basketball court
  • Volleyball court
  • Restrooms
  • Pavilions
  • Picnic area
  • Fishing pier
  • River
  • Viewing manatees, dolphins and pelicans

5. Lighthouse Point Park Beach

Ponce Inlet is renowned for its exceptional surf conditions, relaxed atmosphere, and uncrowned shores. Extending nearly four miles to the inlet’s mouth, it’s impossible to resist the allure of the tranquil waters, pristine sands, and breathtaking sunrises and sunsets that grace Ponce Inlet’s acclaimed beachfront.

  • Location: 5000 S Atlantic Ave, Ponce Inlet, FL 32127
  • Admission: $10 per vehicle, or $20 annual inlet park pass
  • Hours: 6 am to 7:30 pm

Features:

  • Restrooms
  • Boardwalks
  • Pavilions
  • Nature trail
  • Observation tower
  • Dog-friendly swimming beach

Hiking & Biking in Daytona Beach

hiking in daytona beach

Discover the natural treasures surrounding Daytona Beach with over 70 miles of trails, perfect for hiking and biking adventurers. Whether you’re exploring lush botanical diversity or enjoying a scenic ride along the coast, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Some of these places are:

  1. Bulow Creek State Park

Bulow Creek spans 5,600 acres, with over 1,500 acres submerged. It boasts one of the largest remaining stands of southern live oak forest on Florida’s east coast, featuring the impressive Fairchild Oak. This iconic tree, over 400 years old, has stood witness to Bulow Creek’s rich history, including the devastation of nearby Bulow Plantation during the Second Seminole War in 1836.

  • Location: 3351 Old Dixie Highway, Ormond Beach FL 32174
  • Admission: Free entry. Pavilion rentals are $40 per day, plus tax.
  • Hours: Open from 8 a.m. until sundown

Features:

  • Fairchild Oak, one of Florida’s largest live oak trees
  • 8-mile Bulow Creek Trail, paralleling a freshwater creek near the sea.
  • Ruins of one of Florida’s oldest sugar mills at Bulow Plantation Ruins State Park.
  • Primordial forest along the 5.2-mile Bulow Woods Trail.

2. Buncombe Hill Hiking Trail (Tiger Bay State Forest)

Buncombe Hill Hiking Trail is a 3.1-kilometer loop trail nestled near Daytona Beach, Florida. Regarded as an easy route, it typically takes around 33 minutes to complete. Perfect for bird watching, hiking, and mountain biking, this trail offers solitude amidst nature’s beauty. Open year-round, it promises scenic views regardless of the season. Feel free to bring your furry friend along; just remember to keep them leashed.

  • Location: 4316 W International Speedway Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL 3212
  • Admission: Day Pass $2, Annual Pass $45
  • Hours: Sunrise to sunset

Features:

  • Trail winds through hill and valley terrain
  • Old cemeteries
  • Wagon roads
  • Plantation sites
  • Wildlife species
  • Various plant life

3. Ocala National Forest

Located between famous theme parks and sandy beaches, the Ocala National Forest draws visitors worldwide. With over 600 lakes and rivers, it’s a hub for swimming, fishing, snorkeling, canoeing, and boating. From migratory birds to rare plants, it’s a haven where people and animals escape to Florida’s wild places. Opportunities abound to enjoy Mother Nature every day of the year.

  • Location: Ocala National Forest, Florida 32179, USA
  • Admission: Area Pass ($60 per person), Day Pass ($50 per vehicle)
  • Hours: Mon-Sat 7:00 am-4:00 pm

Features:

  • 387,000 acres
  • 600 swamps
  • Lakes
  • Rivers
  • Springs
  • Camping sites
  • Trails
  • Wildlife species
  • Various plant life

4. Ormond Memorial Gardens (Ormond Beach)

Ormond Memorial Gardens situated on about 2.5 acres originally formed from a former sand dune, the gardens embody a harmonious blend of natural terrain and purposeful design. Delicate ponds grace the landscape, carved from natural depressions, while nearby, visitors can ascend steps near a tranquil waterfall to experience what feels like the highest elevation in Ormond Beach.

  • Location: 78 E Granada Blvd, Ormond Beach, FL 32176
  • Admission: Donation of $2
  • Hours: Sunrise to sunset

Features:

  • Gazebo pavilion
  • Parking
  • Walk/ Jog bike path

5. Pershing Highway Interpretive Trail (Tiger Bay State Forest) 

Perishing Highway is a 3.7-km trail near Deland, Florida. Typically regarded as an easy route, it typically takes about 40 minutes to complete. This trail is ideal for hiking, running, and walking, and you’re unlikely to encounter many other people during your journey.

  • Location: 4316 W International Speedway Blvd. Daytona Beach, FL 32124-2007
  • Admission: Free
  • Hours: Sunrise to sunset

Features:

  • Brick highway
  • 4-mile trail

6. Ponce Preserve (Ponce Inlet)

Ponce Preserve, spanning approximately 41 acres from the Atlantic Ocean to the Halifax River, features diverse terrain including ocean dunes, palmetto patches, and wetlands. The Green Mound State Archaeological Site, nestled within the park, showcases ancient Indian history. Native plants such as Florida lantana, southern red cedar, and oak trees flourish here, while birdwatchers can explore the Preserve as part of the Great Florida Birding Trail’s East Section.

  • Location: 4401 South Peninsula Drive, Ponce Inlet, FL, 32127
  • Admission: $135 per day ($35 for fee, $100 refundable deposit)
  • Hours: Sunrise to sunset

Features:

  • Boardwalk
  • Fishing
  • Kayak/ Canoe
  • ADA Accessible
  • Parking
  • Pavillion
  • Picnic areas
  • Picnic shelters
  • Playground
  • Trails

7. Smyrna Dunes Park (New Smyrna Beach)

Smyrna Dunes Park sprawls across 184 acres along the southern shoreline of Ponce de Leon Inlet. The park boasts over 2 miles of expansive, elevated boardwalk constructed with recycled lumber, offering both comfort and durability. From numerous scenic overlooks, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian River, and Ponce de Leon Inlet. Notable park amenities include a 300-foot handicapped-accessible fishing pier and designated dog-friendly swimming beach areas nestled along the park’s river shore.

  • Location: 2995 N Peninsula Ave, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169
  • Admission: $10 per vehicle, $20 annual inlet parks pass. Free for Handicapped and Disabled Veteran registered vehicles.
  • Hours: Sunrise to sunset

Features:

  • 184 acres
  • Boardwalk
  • River
  • Ponce de Leon Inlet
  • Parks
  • Fishing piers
  • Beach
  • Restrooms
  • Picnic areas
  • Hiking

Golf Courses in Daytona Beach

golf daytona beach

Lose yourself in a golfer’s paradise amidst the sunshine and coastal breeze of Daytona Beach. With an excess of pristine courses designed by renowned architects, Daytona Beach offers an exceptional golfing experience for golfers of all levels. From championship layouts to scenic executive courses, each golf course in this vibrant coastal city promises stunning views and challenging play. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just beginning, the collection of courses available ensures an unforgettable day on the links. So, tee up and prepare to discover the golf courses that make Daytona Beach a premier destination for golf lovers.

  1. The Preserve at Turnbull Bay 

The Preserve at Turnbull Bay golf course in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, offers a challenging 18-hole, par 72, 6600-yard course nestled within a nature preserve on Turnbull Bay and the Turnbull Bay Estates community. With Seashore Paspalum Greens ensuring a smooth roll year-round and lush Bermuda grass on the tees, rough, and fairways, golfers of all ages and skill levels will find their game tested. The course’s unique layout provides diverse scenery while maintaining the area’s natural beauty and local wildlife sightings. Open to the public and members year-round.

  • Location- 2600 Turnbull Estates Drive, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168

Features:

  • Quiet
  • GPS in all carts
  • Wildlife, trees, and water
  • Bermuda fairways
  • 15 covered top racer range bays with touchscreen monitors
  • Snack bar

2. Daytona Beach Golf Club 

The South Course at Daytona Beach Golf Club, designed by renowned architect Donald Ross in 1921, is a cherished part of the Florida Historic Golf Trail. Featuring Ross’s signature turtle-backed greens, this classic layout presents a challenge for golfers, requiring precision on approach shots and careful putting. Notably, golf legends such as Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Jimmy Demaret, and Byron Nelson played here in 1946, with Demaret setting a course record of 63 during a historic exhibition. 

  • Location: 600 Wilder Boulevard, Daytona Beach, FL 32114

Feature:

South Course – Donald Ross Design:

  • Original 18 holes designed by Donald Ross
  • Sporty layout with forgiving tee shots but demanding approaches
  • Features Florida Oaks and tall pines, with water
  • Tee shots forgiving, but approaches require precision
  • Florida Oaks and tall pines add natural beauty and challenge

North Course – Slim Deathridge Design:

  • Built and designed by Slim Deathridge in 1946
  • Original routing supervised by Deathridge
  • Re-built in 1997 with redesigned greens, bunkers, and tees
  • Winds through dense Florida oak and pine
  • More water comes into play, and greens have greater crinkle
  • Offers a challenging golf experience with increased difficulty

3. New Smyrna Golf Club  

Designed in 1953 by Donald Ross, New Smyrna Golf Club holds a distinguished place in the Florida Historic Golf Trail. Rooted in the timeless principles of classic golf course architecture, this course offers a myriad of playing experiences. With its player-friendly design, New Smyrna Golf Club caters to golfers of all skill levels. Stretching 6,567 yards from the tips, it provides a challenge for low handicappers while ensuring that every player has the opportunity to enjoy their time on the course.

  • Location – 1000 Wayne Avenue, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168

Features:

  • Par-72 golf course measuring 6,543 yards from the back tees
  • Designed by Donald Ross in 1948
  • Platinum crown grass to the greens
  • Excellent course conditions year-round
  • Located near the Atlantic coast

4. The Club at Venetian Bay  

Get the ultimate golfing experience at The Club at Venetian Bay in New Smyrna Beach. With expansive practice facilities including putting and chipping greens, as well as a scenic driving range, both members and guests can enjoy amenities against the backdrop of Florida’s stunning Atlantic coastline.

  • Location- 63 North Airport Road, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168

Features:

  • Active lifestyle community: Venetian Bay Golf Club
  • 18-hole championship golf course designed by Clifton, Ezell, and Clifton
  • Amenities include practice putting green, chipping green with practice bunker, and driving range
  • Dining

5. LPGA International – Hills Course  

Experience the best of golf at LPGA International, Daytona Beach’s premier golf club featuring two distinct courses crafted by renowned designers Arthur Hills and Rees Jones. With 36 holes of world-class golf, the Golf Digest 4-Star rated Hills Course and Jones Course offer a memorable experience for golfers of all levels. Since 1994, LPGA International has been synonymous with excellence as the home course of the LPGA Tour. Hosting numerous LPGA Tour Championships and serving as the venue for the final stage of the LPGA Tour Qualifying School, LPGA International has earned its reputation as a top destination for golf lovers.

  • Location- 1000 Champions Drive, Daytona Beach, FL 32124

Features:

  • LPGA International’s Arthur Hills Signature Course
  • A par-72 layout featuring wetlands, pine corridors, small greens, and strategic water hazards, offering playability and variety for golfers of all levels
  • The Rees Jones golf course, a signature design used by tour players and spans 7,088 yards in traditional links style
  • Mounding, sand bunkers, marsh areas, lakes, and undulating greens
  • LPGA International offers world-class practice facilities and PGA/LPGA instruction.
  • The main practice area features an 80,000-square-foot Bermuda grass tee and 10 target greens

6. Halifax Plantation Golf Club 

Since 1993, Halifax Plantation Golf Club has been the heart of the Halifax Plantation Community, offering a meticulously maintained golf course, various sports facilities, and a full-service clubhouse. Surrounded by majestic oaks and tall pines, our Bill Amick-designed course is renowned for its picturesque setting and enjoyable play. Our clubhouse, with its Southern charm, serves as the social hub of the community, offering traditional dining at the Tavern restaurant and a casual atmosphere at The Pub, complete with sports programming and live music.

  • Location- 3400 Clubhouse Drive, Ormond Beach, FL 32174

Features:

  • Tree-lined fairways
  • Designed by Bill Amick
  • Course can stretch to 7,100 yards from the tips
  • Five sets of tees
  • Water comes into play on three holes
  • Plenty of doglegs and lengthy par 4s
  • 448-yard eighth hole

Bird Watching in Daytona Beach

bird watching daytona beach

Meet the diverse winged wonders that call Daytona Beach home. From the tranquil shores to the lush inland habitats, Daytona Beach offers a bird watcher’s paradise with its rich variety of bird species. Whether you’re an avid birder or simply enjoy the beauty of nature, exploring the birding hotspots of Daytona Beach promises unforgettable encounters with winged marvels. Join us as we go through some of Daytona Beach’s bird watchers hotspots.

  1. Blue Spring State Park

Blue Spring, the largest spring on the St. Johns River, boasts crystal-clear waters at a constant 73 degrees. Serving as a designated Manatee Refuge, it hosts a thriving population of West Indian Manatees during winter.

  • Location: 2100 W. French Ave, Orange City FL 32763
  • Admission: $6 per vehicle
  • Hours: 8am- sunset

2. River Breeze Park

Riverbreeze Park offers stunning views of nature and is an ideal spot for bird-watching. Enjoy a peaceful outing surrounded by nature’s beauty. Don’t forget to bring along your picnic, fishing gear, or camera for a memorable family experience.

  • Location: 250 H.H. Burch Road, Oak Hill
  • Admission: free
  • Hours: sunrise to sunset

3. Hontoon Island State Park

Hontoon Island State Park is situated in Volusia County’s St. Johns River, this secluded island invites guests to explore nature and history in serene seclusion. Accessible solely by private boat or park ferry, visitors can witness evidence of Native American presence spanning thousands of years as they trek through the park.

  • Location: 2309 River Ridge Road, DeLand FL, 32720
  • Admission: free
  • Hours: 8 am -4 pm

4. Tomoka State Park 

Tomoka State Park preserves diverse wildlife habitats and rare species like the West Indian manatee. It’s a haven for bird watchers, boasting sightings of over 160 species, particularly during spring and fall migrations. Explore a half-mile nature trail winding through a historic hardwood hammock, once an indigo field owned by an 18th-century British landowner.

  • Location: 2099 N. Beach St. Ormond Beach FL 32174
  • Admission: $5 per vehicle
  • Hours: 8 am- sundown

5. Lyonia Preserve 

Lyonia Preserve, spanning 360 acres, is a collaborative effort between Volusia County, the Volusia County School Board, and the State of Florida. It serves as an educational hub and habitat restoration site for endangered species like the scrub jay and gopher tortoise, thriving in its restored Florida scrub habitat.

  • Location: 2150 Eustace Avenue, Deltona, FL 32725
  • Admission: free
  • Hours: sunrise to sunset

6. Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge

Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge is a top hiking destination boasting over 10 miles of trails. This sanctuary, home to rare and endangered species like the Southern bald eagle and the swallowtail kite, offers excellent opportunities to spot alligators and other wildlife in their natural habitat.

  • Location: 2045 Mud Lake Road, De Leon Springs, FL 32130
  • Admission: free
  • Hours: sunrise to sunset

As you wrap up your exploration of Daytona Beach, it’s clear that this coastal gem offers an abundance of attractions and activities to suit every traveler’s taste. From basking in the sunshine on pristine beaches to going on thrilling adventures in nature, Daytona Beach leaves a lasting impression on all who visit.

Whether you’re into water sports, adventuring in lush hiking trails, or simply soaking in the stunning views, Daytona Beach captivates with its natural beauty and vibrant atmosphere. And with its rich array of attractions, including family-friendly parks, historic landmarks, and bird-watching hotspots, there’s always something new to discover.

So, whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a long-awaited vacation, don’t miss out on the excitement and charm of Daytona Beach. Experience the best of what this iconic destination has and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Remember, when planning your trip to Daytona Beach, be sure to explore our article 10 Must-See Attractions: Daytona Beach – The Place to Be. From must-see landmarks to hidden gems, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to make the most of your time in this coastal paradise. Explore Daytona Beach attractions today and start planning your next adventure!

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