After four years of living in Daytona Beach, I feel like I’m finally starting to get the hang of where to go and where not to go during each season or event. For example, during the NASCAR races, it’s best to stay further east, away from the Speedway and ONE DAYTONA. During Bike Week, it’s the opposite! With all that said, I’ve found that there are plenty of “touristy” things around town that I love even when it means bumping into a lot of visitors!
Things for Locals and Tourists to do in Daytona Beach, Volusia County Area
The beach is the most obvious place to start. We try to go early and leave around lunchtime to avoid the biggest crowds. With three kids and a lot of beach gear, parking near a shower feels like a must, so we enjoy Sun Splash Park (611 S. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach), Frank Rendon Park (2705 S. Atlantic Ave., Daytona) and Andy Romano Park (839 S. Atlantic Ave., Ormond). As a Volusia County resident, the pass to drive on the beach is definitely worth the price and ease of access, especially if your car has 4-wheel drive. We won’t talk about the two times I was stuck on the beach in my 2-wheel drive van…
Don’t forget to visit the local beach shops while beachside, too! Salty Dog Surf Shop (100 S. Atlantic Ave.) in Daytona Beach almost always has their mascot labradoodle, Salty, in store to pet while browsing. My girls like to call the Maui Nix Surf Shop (635 N. Atlantic Ave.) mascot the, “little man with the big belly!” The shops along the boardwalk and near the Bandshell (205 N. Atlantic Ave.) are fun to check out, too.
One last stop beachside before heading to the mainland is mini golf or “Adventure Golf!” Pirates Cove in Ormond Beach (226 Cardinal Dr.) and Pirates Island in Daytona Beach Shores (3420 S. Atlantic Ave.) are filled with tourists but often have deals for locals. Congo River Golf in Daytona Beach Shores (2100 S. Atlantic Ave.) will also let you hold baby gators before or after your round of putt putt!
Heading over the bridge, ONE DAYTONA (1 Daytona Blvd.), across from the Speedway, has a great combination of local and chain stores and food options, plus lots of entertaining events throughout the year. I like to enjoy my Donnie’s Donuts with a side of the hum of race cars doing laps on the track. I have not actually attended a NASCAR race and yet, but I’ve been in the Daytona International Speedway for a 5K put on by The Running Elements, a school choice fair put on by the district offices, and more. Of course, you can attend an actual race there, a tour of the speedway, or a boat or RV show outside the stadium.
The Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau website (DaytonaBeach.com) has several lists of “Trails” for visitors to see while in town, like the Mural Trail that I have taken many selfies along. We locals need to take advantage of the great places and activities that may be advertised for tourists of Daytona Beach for ourselves, too! And as they say, #LoveDaytonaBeach!
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