Sunbathe, surf, swim and even drive on this city’s lengthy strip of tightly packed sand, which is bordered by an arcade, hotel and restaurant-lined boardwalk.
Known by motorsports enthusiasts the world over, Daytona Beach is the setting for the annual Daytona 500 and numerous other racing events. Learn about the area’s racing heritage and enjoy the fun family activities of the 23-mile (37-kilometer) long beach.
The city really came to be known beginning in the early 20th century, when car and motorbike races began to be staged on its wide, sandy beach, known as Daytona Beach. In 1959, NASCAR, who are headquartered in the city, built the Daytona International Speedway to replace the beach course. Cars are still allowed to drive on certain parts of the beach today. Pay a fee to drive on the sand in designated areas; be aware that a speed limit of 10 mph (16 kmph) is in place.
The beach is not the only unusual drive-in experience available in town. Get behind the wheel and pull up to the Daytona Beach Drive-In Church, tune your radio into the requested frequency and witness a church service without leaving your vehicle.
It is also possible to visit the beach on foot too, of course. Watch locals play volleyball games, swim in the Atlantic and enjoy food at one of the beachfront bars. Avoid the designated driving areas for a quieter beach experience.
To find out more about Daytona Beach’s motorsports history, head to Halifax Historical Museum. Exhibits here include everything from antique racing-related memorabilia to Native American artifacts. Culture-loving visitors will also enjoy the acclaimed Southeast Museum of Photography and the Museum of Arts & Sciences, which features everything from a Cuban art collection to a planetarium.
Among the best times of the year to visit Daytona Beach are during the Speedweeks racing events. The Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero 400 events, also draw big crowds eager to see the action.
Find Daytona Beach in Volusia County, Florida, about 51 miles (82 kilometers) northeast of Orlando. Fly into Daytona Beach International Airport or ride buses from other major Florida cities. Buses and trolleys operate around the city.