Planning a Trip to Daytona Beach? Here Are a Few Things You Should Know
The shimmering white-sand beaches and gorgeous blue-green waters make Daytona Beach an attractive vacation spot for people of all ages. But that’s not all it has to offer. If you can bear the thought of pulling yourself from the beach, you’ll realize that this place is brimming with interesting activities and attractions to keep you entertained throughout your stay.
Right now, Daytona Beach is trying to distance itself from its reputation as a wild spring break hotspot and appeal more to families. Still, if you’re taking the kids on a trip, you might want to avoid certain times of the year, which we’ll go over in more detail in the following section of the article.
Suffice to say that Daytona Beach can be the perfect place to unwind, spend some quality time with the family, take in the scenery and explore the rich history. Here are a few things you should know to make the most of your trip.
When Is the Best Time to Visit?
As we already mentioned, Daytona Beach is working to improve its image as a family-friendly destination, but there are some events like Bike Week, Biketoberfest, and, of course, spring break that you’ll want to avoid. Unruly crowds, heavy drinking, and outlandish attire are all hallmarks of these types of events, so it’s best to plan around them.
You could go to the beach all throughout the year, but summers tend to be very hot, humid with more frequent thunderstorms. In August and October, the Atlantic hurricane season is at its peak, with the highest chances for storms.
Daytona Beach doesn’t have a definite off-season because it hosts events all year, but you can get lower prices in January after the holidays and in September when kids return to school.
How to Get Around
Unless you want to spend your whole vacation at the hotel and boardwalk, you’ll need a car to explore more of the beach or go on day trips. Nearly all of Florida’s major theme parks and other tourist attractions are within a reasonable drive of Daytona Beach, which lies on the state’s Central East Coast.
It’s also quite easy to get to. You can take the I-4 if you’re coming from the west and the I-95 if you’re coming from the north or south. Additional main routes into the area are US Highway 1, US Highway 92, and Highway A1A.
If you’d prefer flying, know that several major airlines serve Daytona Beach International Airport. The best part is that the airport is only 5 miles from the beach and about 2 miles from the Speedway.
There’s also a bus system, but we still recommend bringing your car or renting one here since it’s by far the most convenient mode of transportation. Unless it’s spring break or a race day, traffic is usually light, but finding a parking spot close to the beach might be difficult during high season.
You’ve probably heard that you can drive on the beach here. This has been a polarizing issue for some time now and will probably continue to be so. Driving on the beach is tradition here – from buggies and horses in the early days to roaring engines in the more recent past.
Now there are only a few dozen miles where driving is still allowed. You’ll see that some areas like Emilia Avenue, Seabreeze Boulevard, and Beach Blogo are marked as traffic-free zones. This is for safety reasons.
You also have to be careful where you park, and you need to follow the rules. You can’t go faster than 10 mph, your lights need to be on, the windows rolled down, and, even though you’re driving slow, texting is strictly prohibited. If you get into an accident, it’s best to look for experienced Daytona Beach injury lawyers who can give you legal advice and protect your interests.
Where to Eat and Drink
Whether you’re in the mood for seafood, sweets, or a vegetarian meal, Daytona Beach has something for you. However, a few iconic places are especially popular because of their originality.
One example is Cruisin’ Café, where you can enjoy your meal in a race car. Every table in this restaurant is named after a Daytona 500 race winner. Captivating racing photos, car panels, and memorabilia adorn the walls, documenting the sport’s rich history. You’ll also find pool tables, darts, video games, DJ, and Karaoke. It’s an American-style restaurant that serves burgers, pizzas, and steaks, but you’ll also find lots of healthy choices, and there’s a kids menu.
If you’d prefer a more beach-themed atmosphere, then head to Joe’s Crab Shack on the Daytona Beach Pier. Here you’ll find American comfort dishes with an emphasis on crab buckets and stuffed shrimp. The name says it all. What makes this restaurant stand out is the location and The Roof bar located on top of Joe’s Crab Shack. If you go up there, you’ll get a view all the way to Ponce Inlet.
There are numerous restaurants on the shore and inland serving a wide range of cuisines. While some are nationally famous restaurants selling traditional dishes, there are also numerous independent establishments serving fresh and tasty fare.
The local scene is also seeing the addition of several new microbreweries and wine bars that offer delightful pairings and tastings.
Where to Stay
There are nearly 200 properties in the Daytona Beach region with over 12,000 guest rooms, so there are plenty of options to choose from. There is something for every taste and budget. Maybe you like hotels. Or perhaps you’d prefer a nice beach cottage or renting a condo. Or a campsite? You’ll find it!
Those that have a taste for the finer things in life might want to consider The Shores Resort & Spa – a luxury boutique resort with attractive amenities and rooms decorated in Italian marble. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something more affordable, the Hawaiian Inn offers good value with its large rooms and beachfront location.
In terms of location, the best place to stay is downtown since you’ll be close to everything, but if you want a more tranquil setting away from all the tourists, Daytona Beach Shores offers all that and is only about ten minutes by car from downtown Daytona Beach.