While the beautiful sands and refreshing ocean waters of Daytona Beach, Florida, may arguably be the most well-known in the world, there are a surprising number of additional entertainment options throughout this destination. Visitors are finding a new energy that’s part of the vibe here, from the beachfront to the arts scene to the speedway, and they are loving every bit of it.
Daytona Beach is located on Florida’s east coast, midway between St. Augustine and the Kennedy Space Center (only an hour’s drive from each) and just an hour east of Orlando. Its iconic beaches and racing history have long been attracting visitors. Today, there is even more to enjoy in the many Entertainment Districts and neighborhoods throughout the destination. Each has a personality of its own and a host of ways to enjoy this diverse destination.
The Riverfront Esplanade (Magnolia Avenue & Beach Street, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114) is a centerpiece of the popular Historic Beach Street District. It spans a mile of the Intracoastal Waterway and offers the perfect setting for waterfront shopping and dining. Sites like the statue honoring civil rights and women’s rights champion Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune or the Florida Wild sculpture by artist Paul Baliker highlight the walkway, as do a variety of murals. This is also the home to the Jackie Robinson Ballpark and Statue (105 East Orange Avenue, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114; 386-257-3172). Now home to the minor league Daytona Tortugas, it was here that Jackie Robinson played in the first integrated Major League Baseball spring training game in 1946. The new Galerie Elan (230 South Beach Street, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114; 386-871-9906) is adding even more to this dynamic district. It is a cooperative representing 75 artists who have a wide array of styles, media and perspectives and joins other galleries and shops. Eateries like McK’s Tavern & Brewery (218 South Beach Street, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114; 386-238-3321) and Madeline’s Wine Bar (200 North Beach Street, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114; 386-492-7914) are great places to relax and enjoy the neighborhood vibe.
The Ormond Beach Main Street District is known for its casual and fine dining options as well as a live music scene. This is a popular dining district with neighborhood favorites like Rose Villa Southern Table & Bar (43 West Granada Boulevard, Ormond Beach, Florida 32176; 386-615-7673), Rosie’s Café (136 West Granada Boulevard, Ormond Beach, Florida 32174; 386-673-0044) and Ormond Garage (48 West Granada Boulevard, Ormond Beach, Florida 32174; 386-492-7981) being joined by newly opened Millie’s North (330 S Atlantic Avenue, Ormond Beach Florida 32176; 386-238-9756. The art scene is at the forefront here, too. The 10,000-square-foot Ormond Memorial Art Museum & Gardens (78 East Granada Boulevard, Ormond Beach, Florida 32176; 386-676-3347), features changing exhibits of works of prominent Florida and international artists, lush tropical gardens and peaceful nature trails. The eclectic mix of fine art at Ocean Art Gallery (197 East Granada Boulevard @ Granada Plaza, Ormond Beach, Florida 32176; 386-317-9400) and Thays Art Gallery and Studio (67 West Granada Boulevard, Ormond Beach, Florida 32174; 386-871-4991) are sure to please contemporary art lovers, too.
New lodging options are adding variety while favorites like the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach (918 North Atlantic Avenue, Daytona Beach, Florida 32118; 386-947-7300) keep the four-star service coming with its 200 guest rooms, Hard Rock Spa and oceanfront dining options. It was joined last year by the Max Beach Resort (1901 South Atlantic Avenue, Daytona Beach, Florida 32118; 386-999-2555) in Daytona Beach Shores, which offers spacious vacation rentals. Next up will be the Renaissance by Marriott Daytona Beach Oceanfront (640 North Atlantic Avenue, Daytona Beach, Florida 32118; 386-239-9800), slated to open in early 2024 with a stunning design, impressive amenities and oceanfront views. The full list of lodging options includes an amazing variety of choices.
Of course, the most well-known attractions are still crowd pleasers, and no trip would be complete without enjoying time along Daytona Beach’s iconic boardwalk (12 South Ocean Avenue, Daytona Beach, Florida, 32118; 386-253-0254) and pier (200 Main Street, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114). A favorite area for family friendly fun, there are restaurants, arcade and water park rides and, of course, concerts at the famous Daytona Beach Bandshell (70 Boardwalk Avenue, Daytona Beach, Florida 32118; 386-671-8250).
If you go
The outstanding service into the Daytona Beach International Airport (700 Catalina Drive, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114; 386-248-8030) makes air travel an extremely convenient way to visit. Visitors can fly non-stop from select cities year-round, and from additional airports seasonally. A new low-cost service began offering direct flights to additional markets this summer.
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