Filled with family-style recreation, attractions and entertainment, the Daytona Beach area offers 23 miles of beaches and plenty of fun. The communities that comprise the Daytona Beach area include Ormond-By-The-Sea, Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, Daytona Beach Shores, Wilbur-By-The-Sea, Ponce Inlet, Holly Hill and South Daytona.
The beach itself has an ocean park atmosphere, with friendly beach vendors offering everything from hot dogs and sodas to boogie boards and bicycles. Beyond the beach, visitors will find great downtown and oceanfront shopping, dining and entertainment options, plus world-class festivals and events. From Daytona Lagoon waterpark and the All Access Speedway Tours at Daytona International Speedway -- to a wide range of museums, historical attractions and nightlife, there's always plenty to see and do.
Daytona Beach is historically known as having a beach where the hard packed sand allows motorized vehicles to drive on the beach in restricted areas. This hard packed sand made Daytona Beach a mecca for motorsports, with the old Daytona Beach Road Course having hosted races for over 50 years. This course was replaced in 1959 by the Daytona International Speedway. The city is also the headquarters for NASCAR and the Grand American Road Racing Association.
Daytona Beach is a year-round family-friendly resort area, but could also accurately be called a seasonal town, with large groups of out-of-towners descending upon the city for various events, most notably Speedweeks in early February when over 200,000 NASCAR fans come to attend the season-opening Daytona 500. Other events include the NASCAR Coke Zero 400 race in July, Bike Week in early March, Biketoberfest in late October, and the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race in January.
Though summer is high season, the rest of the year is a good time to visit as well. Daytona Beach has mild winters, with temperatures hovermg around 70 degrees. That's still warm enough for swimming (especially for visitors from more northerly locales), but for those who don't find that warm enough for the waves, you can enjoy the ocean scenery from the seat of a rented bike, moped or motorcycle.
Daytona Beach has unlimited opportunities for those who are more outdoor oriented. Featuring 23 miles of beaches, Daytona is a favorite destination for those who seek the ocean's edge and activities. In addition to those miles of sparkling white beaches, there are opportunities for every type water sport, including surfing, jet skiing, sailing, scuba diving, and fishing, as well as many nearby river and beach front parks to explore.
During normal beach daylight hours beach driving is allowed, unless there are unusual weather or tidal conditions. Visitors may park their cars seaward of the conservation zone, either facing the ocean or the dunes. There are also several parking areas adjacent to the beach. The beach is always free to pedestrians and bicyclists.
Grand Seas Resort guests can enjoy play at any of the many nearby Daytona Beach public golf courses during their stay. With 19 world class golf courses to choose from, Daytona Beach caters to golfers of any level, from novice to pro. Courses include designs by Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and others. Many offer driving ranges and practise holes or both. Rental equipment and lessons are available at most of the courses.
Owing to its long history of auto racing, Daytona Beach is NASCAR country, home to the Daytona 500. If watching the race doesn't fill your need for speed, get behind the wheel at the NASCAR-themed Richard Petty Driving Experience at Daytona International Speedway and you'll feel like an experienced stock car driver in seconds flat. This racing simulator lets you lap the speedway with 3-D IMAX special effects.
Another of Daytona's biggest attractions involves motor vehicles as well, but with half the wheels. The world's largest motorcycle gathering, Bike Week, usually coincides with the Daytona 200 race. You'll see tricked-out Harleys, ladies in backless chaps flashing crowds and non-stop street parties teeming with leather-clad, inked dudes. This week is not designed for families, so you may want to pick another vacation week for the kids. Motorcycle shows, concerts, street festivals and racing at Daytona International Speedway are just some of the Bike Week happenings.
For those looking for exciting sports activity that doesn't involve loud, fast vehicles, take in a Daytona Beach Cubs baseball game at the Jackie Robinson Stadium. This ballpark has been home to the Chicago Cubs' Class A affiliate in the Florida State League since 1993. The Cubs play 70 home games April through September.
For culture seekers, Daytona Beach offers a variety of art, historic and nature museums and galleries. Learn why Daytona Beach, in addition to its world-famous beaches and speedway, is such a unique Florida destination.
Explore the Daytona Beach area's rich and colorful history through permanent and changing exhibits, extensive archives and children's exhibits. The Museum of Arts and Sciences (6.7 mi) is the primary cultural facility for Daytona Beach and Volusia County. Other museums located in the city include the Southeast Museum of Photography (6.0 mi) and the Halifax Historical Museum (4.3 mi). The Museum of Arts and Sciences is actually a collection of museums and galleries and includes the Klancke Environmental Complex, the Cuban Museum, Root Family Museum featuring one of the largest Coca-Cola(R) collections in the world, the Dow American Gallery and the Bouchelle Center for Decorative Arts which together form what is probably one of the finest collections of furniture and decorative arts in the Southeast.
Daytona Beach and Volusia County performing arts venues will surprise those who think of the area in terms of its beaches and motor sports reputation. Visitors to Daytona Beach will enjoy an array of cultural performances usually reserved for much larger cities. The center of the communities year-round performing arts activity is The Peabody Auditorium (2.6 mi), adjacent to the Ocean Center. This historic building is home to local performances of the London Symphony Orchestra, the Daytona Beach Symphony Society, the Daytona Beach Civic Ballet, and hosts events for local schools and colleges as well as national artists and performers. Another popular Daytona Beach performing arts venue, The Bandshell (2.5 mi), a historic landmark built in 1937, hosts free outdoor, oceanfront concerts are held on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from April through October. Featured entertainment includes jazz, Dixieland, big band, blues, folk music and other musical genres appealing to a wide range of tastes and preferences.
While shopping is not the principal reason that people visit Daytona Beach, those wishing to indulge in this "sport" will find a variety of shopping venues to satisfy their cravings.
Beach Street at Riverfront Marketplace (4.9 mi) is perhaps the best place to head for something a little out of the ordinary in Daytona Beach, while Volusia Mall (4.0 mi) is one of Daytona Beach's most popular shopping malls, offering all the regular big name stores. Closest to the Grand Seas Resort, Bellair Plaza (0.1 mi) is Daytona Beach's largest shopping center. The Shoppes at Ocean Walk Village (2.4 mi), located in the heart of Daytona Beach's most famous shoreline, is a collection of upscale eateries, boutiques, a 10 screen movie theatre and an interesting selection of restaurants, including the famous Bugga Gump Shrimp Company. Shoppers at Seabreeze Boulevard Shopping & Entertainment (1.9 miles) enjoy a leisurely stroll on this beachside shopping boulevard, featuring special shops like long-time Sussman's Boutique. The area also hosts great restaurants such as Anna's Trattoria, The Oyster Pub, and Sapporo's Japanese Restaurant
Besides all the family-friendly attractions for which Daytona Beach is so well know, you will find that it's nightlife offers something late into the night every day of the week for adults of every age. A younger crowd descends on Daytona's popular nightclub near the ocean, Razzle's. Hipsters dance to the latest house, techno and old-school spins. Starch-collared gents and society ladies opt for the more conservative Clocktower Lounge where the live jazz music at the elegant piano bar makes for a clubby place to sip an old fashioned or two.
Of course, there are biker bars, too. Dirty Harry's Biker Bar is one of the most famous and caters to the Harley-obsessed crowd. The Boot Hill Saloon serves cold brews in an atmosphere of motorcycle memorabilia and logos that plaster every inch of this tavern.
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