Daytona Beach offers so much to do, that you might have to make it a point to relax on the beach. Even then, there’s still the decision of which beach to lounge on! One decision that's easy to make is booking a Daytona Beach vacation rental. In the meantime, let us know if you have tips for our guide!

What to Do in Daytona Beach, Florida

daytona beach travel guideDaytona Beach, the “World’s Most Famous Beach,” is 23 miles long, 11 miles of which are vehicle-free. Enjoy a simpler beach with natural dunes and wild turtle nests, or a car-friendly beach where you can drive on the sand. The vehicles (and the turtles!) won’t interfere with your sunbathing, swimming, beachcombing, or sandcastle-building—cars have their own lane away from beachgoers and the low speed limit is strictly enforced. Take a pleasure drive along the ocean with the windows rolled down! You can also rent a beach cruiser bicycle or scooter, try your skills at surfing or boogie boarding, take in a birds-eye view of the Atlantic by parasailing, or relax under a wide-rimmed umbrella.

Fun Along the Water

From your Daytona Beach vacation rental beachfront condo, take advantage of the beachfront parks, such as Sun Splash Park, where you can find water fountains for big and small kids, covered picnic tables, and barbecue grills. For the serious water-lovers, there is also Daytona Lagoon Water Park, complete with fast-paced water slides, miniature golf, Grand Prix go-karts, and plenty of arcade games. And don't miss out on the Daytona Beach Aqua Safari or Daytona Beach’s boardwalk amusement area and pier, stretching a quarter mile out into the ocean!

When you take a break from the water, stroll down Beach Street in Historic Downtown Daytona Beach. Discover local restaurants and shops at the Riverfront Marketplace, tour the Angell and Phelps Chocolate Factory, dive into local history at the Halifax Historical Museum, cheer on a local team at the Jackie Robinson Ballpark, or buy local fresh produce at the Saturday farmer’s market to bring back to your Daytona Beach vacation rental.

NASCAR Heaven

Race lovers will get their fill at the Daytona 500 Experience, The Official Attraction of NASCAR: an educational theme park with an IMAX theater, transportation museum, and simulated car races. To really burn the rubber, take the wheel or ride shotgun with the thrilling Richard Petty Driving Experience! Race lovers can also visit the Daytona International Speedway, home to the Daytona 500, and kids can take a turn at the wheel at the Speed Zone go-kart park across the street. Big kids can also drag race their friends in 300 horsepower V-8 dragsters at Speedpark Motor Sports!

Golf

For the leisure sportspeople, there are plenty of top-notch golf courses to tee off from. Golfers have lots to choose from, including the Oceans West Golf Club, Daytona Beach Golf Club, Club at Pelican Bay, Indigo Lakes Golf Club, Legends of LPGA International, and the Ladies Professional Golf Association.

Fishing and Boating

Fishing folks have their choice of deep-sea, off-shore fishing or staying closer to home with in-shore or near-shore fishing. Off Duty Charters or Fishin Magician Inshore Charters can help you fish for shark, snapper, lady fish, snook, and more. Satisfy the eclectic tourist in you with the Haunts of Daytona ghost tour, a Starlite Dining Cruise on the Starlite Princess Authentic Paddle Wheel Riverboat, or dance-worthy reggae at the nightclub Ocean Deck.  Take an Eco History Boat Tour with Cracker Creek Canoeing or try a few island dance steps while watching the family-friendly Ohana Luau Dinner Show.  

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What to See in Daytona Beach

The Atlantic Ocean is all around you at Daytona Beach, and the most breathtaking view of it may be the panoramic outlook from the deck atop the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse, complete with museum.

For the science fans, there’s the Marine Science Center and the Museum of Arts and Sciences, and the race lovers can learn more about their passion at the Living Legends of Auto Racing Museum. Don’t forget the Southeast Museum of Photography.

If entertainment and architecture are more your style, visit the historic landmark The Bandshell, complete with views of the Atlantic Ocean and free concerts held April through October. The News-Journal Center on the picturesque banks of the Halifax River hosts dozens of performances and programs per year, as does The Ocean Center, Peabody Auditorium, and the Mary McLeod Bethume Performing Arts Center.

Depending on the time of year, you can catch any one of a number of race festivals and events. There’s NASCAR’s famous Daytona 500, the Daytona 200 Motorcycle Race, the Rolex 24 Race, Biketoberfest, and more.

Tuscawilla Park is a free local park with walking nature trails, picnic areas, and a disc golf course for a relaxing place to view some greenery.

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Where to Shop and Eat in Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach DiningAt your Daytona Beach vacation rental, you will likely have your own kitchen—but for those days you’re on the go or just don’t feel like cooking, there are many great eateries to choose from. For the seafood lovers, try the Charlie Horse Restaurant with all-you-can-eat snow crab legs or grouper reuben. If steak is more your taste, head over to Gene’s Steak House, and for the vegetarians, the breakfast and lunch restaurant The Dancing Avocado Kitchen has tasty selections for veggie fans and meat-lovers alike. If you prefer your meal with an ocean view, try Down the Hatch, Crabby Joe’s or The Chart House. McK’s Dublin Station is an established local pub favorite, the Aquarium Lounge and Bar has a unique underwater theme, and Redtails is a happening sports bar for the younger folks. Stavro’s Pizza on Beach Street will satisfy your pizza cravings, or you can try The Cellar for more upscale Italian. Zen Bistro offers authentic Thai dishes, and Bertie’s Luncheonette or Dimitri’s Artisan Sandwiches make an enjoyable lunch stop if you didn’t pack a picnic basket.

Shoppers will be delighted at the number of options, whether they are looking for special gifts or browsing to treat themselves. Daytona has several concentrated shopping areas, ranging from the Ocean Walk Village with an enclosed pedestrian walkway to the outdoor Daytona Flea and Farmer’s Market, with miles of shopping and hundreds of vendors! There is also the Downtown Historic District, the Indian River Village Shopping Center, and Sunshine Park Mall.

Bikers will want to check out the Daytona Harley-Davidson on Beach Street and the Hot Leathers Factory Outlet on Main Street. Gator Beach and Sport will help with any last-minute beach purchases. For some local original variety, discover Arlequin Antiques, the Toy and Bear Factory, Zeno’s Boardwalk Sweetshop or the Ormond Beach Winery. Don’t forget to bring fresh local produce to your Daytona Beach vacation rental from Saturday’s farmer’s market on Canal Street.

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When to Visit Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach is temperate throughout the year, so the timing of your Daytona Beach getaway depends on your preference. The climate is subtropical, and the winter months usually see high temperatures in the 60s while the summer months see high temperatures in the 90s. Spring and autumn bring high temperatures in the 70s and 80s. Hurricane season generally starts in late summer and lasts through fall.

If you’re looking for exciting races, there are plenty in Daytona Beach throughout the year. NASCAR fans will want to cheer on the season-opening Daytona 500 in early February or the Coke Zero 400 Race in July, and the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race in January. For the cycle fans, Bike Week is in early March and Biktoberfest is in mid-October.

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What to Know About Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach developed a reputation as a big Spring Break destination for college students, but the city has made substantial efforts to reduce rowdiness and make Daytona Beach a family-friendly vacation spot year-round. For those who enjoy the sites but are not a fan of larger crowds, it’s best to avoid visiting during the race events listed above or Spring Break season (typically late March) as these are the times the population swells. Hurricane Season officially begins June 1 and ends November 31 each year, but due to Daytona Beach’s location on the Atlantic, hurricanes can happen any time of the year. Look into travel insurance and be sure to take note of the cancellation policy on your Daytona Beach vacation rental!

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What to Bring to Your Daytona Beach Rental

Given the amount of beaches and day trips available in the Daytona Beach area, be sure to bring a picnic basket with all of the picnic fixins. Check with your vacation rental host to see if one can be provided. To maximize your day trips and make them even more enjoyable, bring comfortable pairs of walking shoes, and the right footwear for those beach days.

There are plenty of places to rent or buy water toys, such as boogie boards, pails and shovels, or snorkeling gear, but bring your own if you have your favorites. Binoculars will come in handy for views of the ocean or nature walks, and your favorite books and magazines perfect a beach day with relaxing reading. Of course you will want to bring all of your sun protection necessities, like sunglasses, umbrellas, and sunscreen—and last but not least, don’t forget to pack that swimsuit.

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Local Services in Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach is full of local goods and services to make your trip more enjoyable and relaxing. Airboat rides, charter fishing, parasailing, golf courses, ecology boat tours, beachfront parks and local concerts are just some of the outdoor offerings of the Daytona Beach area. Bicycles, scooters, water toys, and more are available for rent on your beach days.

To help you get around the local area, automotive services for rent are plenty. You can rent a car, motorcycle, taxi—or for those special occasions—a limousine! There is also the local bus service, called VOTRAN, and the A1A Beachside Trolley runs from early January through Labor Day.

For those with sight, hearing, or mobility disabilities, the Daytona area is very accommodating for individuals with special needs. Beach lovers can access ramps and surf chairs at no charge, and many local venues, restaurants, and sightseeing boat rides are wheelchair accessible. There are pharmacies, medical centers, Centers for the Deaf, Centers for the Blind, equipment repair and rental companies. The VOTRAN bus line and the A1A Beachside Trolley are both handicapped-accessible.

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Getting To Daytona Beach, Florida

Daytona Beach is easily accessible by plane or car. The Daytona International Airport (DAB) serves several airlines and is next to the Daytona Speedway. Other nearby airports are Orlando International (MCO) and Jacksonville International (JAX), both about an hour away. Daytona Beach is easily accessible from interstate I-95 (north-south) and also I-4 (east-west), which connects Daytona Beach with Orlando and Tampa. You can reach Daytona by bus using the Greyhound Bus Lines, with routes that connect to Jacksonville and Orlando. The Amtrak Auto Train, which can transport your car, has a terminal in Sanford, which is 35 miles west of Daytona Beach. Daytona Beach is not a major boating port, but is accessible by private boats via the Intracoastal Waterway.

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Why Daytona Beach Vacation Rentals?

When it comes to your beach accommodation, there’s no beating the value of a Daytona Beach Vacation Rental. Why share a swimming pool with a bunch of other people when you can enjoy your own private swimming pool instead? Why pay a fortune for one night in a resort hotel when you can pay the same amount for a week in a luxury Daytona Beach resort rental? Why sacrifice the comforts of home just because you’re leaving town? When you choose the family-friendly value of Daytona Beach vacation rentals over hotels, you’re choosing a better, more memorable vacation.

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