Daytona Beach travel guide

Daytona Beach Tourism | Daytona Beach Guide

You're Going to Love Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach is one of America's favorite coastal destinations. Every year, over 9 million visitors head to the town's many attractions, seeking adrenaline rushes, sunshine, and family activities, and nobody leaves disappointed.

If you have any interest at all in NASCAR, Daytona is somewhere you just have to visit. Head to the Motorsports Hall of Fame before taking your seat in the bleachers for the Daytona 500 at the International Speedway.

If you don't have a burning passion for motorsports, Daytona Beach is also one of the finest beach resorts in the USA. There's enough beach space to accommodate millions of sunbathers, every kind of watersport you could imagine and a promenade packed with great bars and restaurants like the Oyster Pub and Caribbean Jack's.

Bundle in the fact that Daytona is within an hour of Universal Studios and Disneyworld, and you've got a superb family destination. So pack your beach towel and get ready for a treat during your next Florida getaway.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Daytona Beach

Elite Motorsports

Daytona Beach is one of the world's great motorsports centers. Every year, 160,000 people or more cram into the International Speedway to watch the Daytona 500, and the track constantly hosts other major contests, so if you love cars, it's a great place to visit.

Miles and Miles of Sandy Beaches

Daytona is also famous for its long seafront promenade. Miles of sand stretches along the town's sand island, with attractions and restaurants all along the length of the Daytona Beach Boardwalk. If you want to snorkel, swim, sunbathe or play beach volleyball, there's no better venue.

Close to Major Family Attractions

Daytona Beach is an appealing destination on its own, but it is made even more attractive by being an hour away from Orlando. Just drive down I-4; you'll be at Disney World or Universal Studios in no time.

Fantastic Beach Vacation Weather

The climate is undeniably another of Daytona Beach's attractions. The resort enjoys 230 days of sunshine every year and with an average high of 69 degrees, almost every week brings sunbathing conditions.

A Selection of Museums and Galleries to Enjoy

There are also more sophisticated attractions in Daytona than NASCAR and the beach. Head to the Museum of Arts and Sciences with its collection of Cuban art and Coca-Cola memorabilia, or visit the Southeast Museum of Photography, which hosts works by photographers like Alfred Stieglitz and Gordon Parks. Both are cultural delights.

What to do in Daytona Beach

1. Daytona Speedway: Home to the Daytona 500

If you are a fan of all types of motorsports such as Stock Cars, Sports Cars, Aviation, and Power Boating, you'll be in speedway heaven. The Daytona International Speedway is home to the Daytona 500, and the Speedway's newest attraction is the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. Marvel at 230 bronze sculptures depicting all the inductees of the Hall of Fame. For an entire scope of the facility, take the Speedway Tour, facilitated by open-air trams that coast along 3 and 4 turns in a 31-degree high bank that takes you to the "World Center of Racing."

2. Daytona Beach Boardwalk: Entertainment and Restaurants on the Beach

The Daytona Beach Boardwalk is home to a variety of entertainment venues and restaurants located directly on the beach. Take your family on a venture at the Joyland Amusement Park: get a rush swooshing down a 40-foot-tall slide or twist, turn, and splash sliding down the 760-foot-high Wild River Log Flume. Float under zero gravity on the Space Shuttle ride, and end a fun day with a pizza, pasta, or sub dinner at the Boardwalk's Pizza King.

3. Lighthouse Point Park: Explore Wildlife While You Hike

Drive south of Daytona Beach to the town of Ponce Inlet to discover this park. Located in Volusia County, the Lighthouse Point Park is a 52-acre camping ground. It's home to wildlife such as raccoons, possums, skunks, armadillos, and other shore birds. Take in nature and sneak a glimpse of dolphins and gopher tortoises that visit the shoreline. Try fishing, go hiking on nature trails, spend the day swimming, or view wildlife from an observation deck or tower. For larger groups, the park offers pavilions as rest stops throughout the park.

4. Museum of Arts and Sciences: Home to the Planetarium

Tour the Museum of Arts and Sciences and be mesmerized at the collections on display. At the Planetarium, relax on a reclining seat and take in the 360-degree view of the universe across a 40-foot hemispherical dome. The dome's three-dimensional perspective and state-of-the-art surround sound will make you feel like you are on the International Space Station, floating in the vast galaxy or flying across Saturn's rings. Visit the East or West Wing to see the Cuban or Greek Mythology exhibits on display. Check out the museum's off-site exhibit, too: located on 175 acres of land, the Gamble Place consists of a habitat for wildlife, ancient cypress trees, and azalea blossoms. Explore the cottage and Citrus Packing house built in 1907

5. Daytona Lagoon Waterpark: A Plethora of 12 Water Rides and a Mega Arcade

Go on a full day's adventure at the Daytona Lagoon Waterpark. Team up and zap your kids in a lazer tag challenge, then zip down a thrilling 70-foot Zip Rail suspended over the park's Mega Arcade. Go Grand Prix go-kart racing or miniature golfing. The park offers cabana rentals so you can relax and have lunch before your next venture.

6. Walt Disney World Resort: "The Happiest Place on Earth"

This is the largest and most frequented vacation park in the world, and for a good reason - it boasts four different theme parks and a never-ending program of fun for the whole family. The Magic Kingdom exudes classical Disney, while Epcot celebrates a diversity of cultures from around the globe. Hollywood Studios makes movie-making magic come to life, and Animal Kingdom is the place to celebrate the natural world. And of course, your favorite characters are found at every stop along the way.

1. Daytona Speedway: Home to the Daytona 500

If you are a fan of all types of motorsports such as Stock Cars, Sports Cars, Aviation, and Power Boating, you'll be in speedway heaven. The Daytona International Speedway is home to the Daytona 500, and the Speedway's newest attraction is the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. Marvel at 230 bronze sculptures depicting all the inductees of the Hall of Fame. For an entire scope of the facility, take the Speedway Tour, facilitated by open-air trams that coast along 3 and 4 turns in a 31-degree high bank that takes you to the "World Center of Racing."

2. Daytona Beach Boardwalk: Entertainment and Restaurants on the Beach

The Daytona Beach Boardwalk is home to a variety of entertainment venues and restaurants located directly on the beach. Take your family on a venture at the Joyland Amusement Park: get a rush swooshing down a 40-foot-tall slide or twist, turn, and splash sliding down the 760-foot-high Wild River Log Flume. Float under zero gravity on the Space Shuttle ride, and end a fun day with a pizza, pasta, or sub dinner at the Boardwalk's Pizza King.

3. Lighthouse Point Park: Explore Wildlife While You Hike

Drive south of Daytona Beach to the town of Ponce Inlet to discover this park. Located in Volusia County, the Lighthouse Point Park is a 52-acre camping ground. It's home to wildlife such as raccoons, possums, skunks, armadillos, and other shore birds. Take in nature and sneak a glimpse of dolphins and gopher tortoises that visit the shoreline. Try fishing, go hiking on nature trails, spend the day swimming, or view wildlife from an observation deck or tower. For larger groups, the park offers pavilions as rest stops throughout the park.

4. Museum of Arts and Sciences: Home to the Planetarium

Tour the Museum of Arts and Sciences and be mesmerized at the collections on display. At the Planetarium, relax on a reclining seat and take in the 360-degree view of the universe across a 40-foot hemispherical dome. The dome's three-dimensional perspective and state-of-the-art surround sound will make you feel like you are on the International Space Station, floating in the vast galaxy or flying across Saturn's rings. Visit the East or West Wing to see the Cuban or Greek Mythology exhibits on display. Check out the museum's off-site exhibit, too: located on 175 acres of land, the Gamble Place consists of a habitat for wildlife, ancient cypress trees, and azalea blossoms. Explore the cottage and Citrus Packing house built in 1907

5. Daytona Lagoon Waterpark: A Plethora of 12 Water Rides and a Mega Arcade

Go on a full day's adventure at the Daytona Lagoon Waterpark. Team up and zap your kids in a lazer tag challenge, then zip down a thrilling 70-foot Zip Rail suspended over the park's Mega Arcade. Go Grand Prix go-kart racing or miniature golfing. The park offers cabana rentals so you can relax and have lunch before your next venture.

6. Walt Disney World Resort: "The Happiest Place on Earth"

This is the largest and most frequented vacation park in the world, and for a good reason - it boasts four different theme parks and a never-ending program of fun for the whole family. The Magic Kingdom exudes classical Disney, while Epcot celebrates a diversity of cultures from around the globe. Hollywood Studios makes movie-making magic come to life, and Animal Kingdom is the place to celebrate the natural world. And of course, your favorite characters are found at every stop along the way.

Where to Eat in Daytona Beach

If you need to eat out in Daytona Beach, you'll always have plenty of choice as the whole world is represented. From the fine Indian dining at Neelam, to the Japanese delicacies at Sapporo Japanese Steakhouse, there are plenty of Asian cuisine options, but the real star in Daytona is Italian food. Restaurants like Rossellini's, Anna's Trattoria and Carrabas cook authentic meatballs, pizza and pasta, often featuring freshly caught Florida seafood.

When to visit Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach in January
Estimated hotel price
£52
1 night at 3-star hotel
Daytona Beach in January
Estimated hotel price
£52
1 night at 3-star hotel

When you go to Daytona depends on what you intend to see or do there. For instance, if you just want to watch NASCAR, visiting for the Speedweeks in February makes sense. For Spring Break parties, a visit in early March will be ideal. But for most families, avoiding the crowds with an April or May visit will work better. Summer can be humid and too hot for some visitors, but with water parks and the ocean on hand to cool off in, it can also be a great time to visit. Festive breaks at Christmas are another popular option, with regular sunshine and temperatures in the 60s and 70s.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Daytona Beach

Plane

Daytona Beach International Airport is served by US Airways and Delta, so there may well be a connection from an airport near you. If you fly into Daytona, the airport is centrally located. The cheapest way into town is via the number 18 or 19 buses run by VOTRAN, which costs $1.75.

Train

Daytona doesn't have its own Amtrak station, but is served by an Amtrak AutoTrain service from Lorton, Virginia which runs to Orlando's Sanford station. Although it's slower than flying, the AutoTrain can be a cheaper route to Daytona, particularly if you are coming from the Washington DC area.

Car

Anyone driving to Daytona Beach from the north can take I-95, which links the city with all major Eastern Seaboard urban areas. I-4 is the road to take if you are driving from other parts of Florida.

Bus

Greyhound is the major intercity bus operator in Daytona Beach, and they have their local bus station at 138 S Ridgewood Avenue. If you are traveling from other parts of the USA, you'll probably have to transfer from Orlando or Jacksonville to the Daytona bus.

Airports near Daytona Beach

Airlines serving Daytona Beach

Lufthansa
Good (1,393 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (2,468 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (3,904 reviews)
KLM
Good (293 reviews)
Air France
Good (301 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,075 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (2,663 reviews)
British Airways
Good (945 reviews)
SWISS
Excellent (360 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (938 reviews)
Iberia
Good (672 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (645 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (667 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (201 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (376 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (74 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (308 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (206 reviews)
Finnair
Good (455 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (160 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Daytona Beach

Where you choose to stay in Daytona Beach depends on why you are visiting. If you are there for an event at the Speedway, hotels near the venue like the Best Western International Speedway or the Days Inn provide comfortable, convenient accommodation. However, if the beach is the main attraction, hotels like the Courtyard Daytona Beach or Harbor Beach Resort will be more suitable. They are all excellent, large family hotels, but for a more intimate vacation, you could try Coquina Inn B&B or River Lily Inn - both of which offer family-run lodging and excellent breakfasts.

Popular neighbourhoods in Daytona Beach

The Speedway – Hundreds of thousands of motorsports fans flock to Daytona's International Speedway for events all year round (but even more during Daytona's Speedweeks, held in February). The Speedway itself is located a few miles inland, near the airport, and is surrounded by family attractions like Go-Karts and the Daytona 500 Experience. If you're a racing fan, there's hardly any reason to go anywhere else.

Downtown Daytona Beach – If you want to be close to attractions like the Museum of Arts and Sciences, the Veterans Museum and the Daytona Tortugas stadium, Downtown Daytona is the place to stay. It's a good base to head to the speedway or nearby beaches, but doesn't have a beach of its own. For that, you'll have to head across to the island.

Marine Terrace – Daytona Beach itself is located on a narrow spit of land facing onto the Atlantic Ocean. There are various neighborhoods along Atlantic Avenue, where most of the leading seafront hotels can be found, including Marine Terrace, which may have the best stretch of sand in the resort.

Where to stay in popular areas of Daytona Beach

Most booked hotels in Daytona Beach

Courtyard by Marriott Daytona Beach Speedway/Airport
Excellent (8.8, Excellent reviews)
£91+
Hampton Inn Daytona Beach/Beachfront
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
£114+
Daytona Beach Regency by Diamond Resorts
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
£119+
Quality Inn Daytona Speedway I-95
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
£72+
The Shores Resort & Spa
Excellent (8, Excellent reviews)
£142+
Hilton Garden Inn Daytona Beach Oceanfront
Excellent (8, Excellent reviews)
£96+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Daytona Beach

Public Transportation

Daytona's public transit system is run by VOTRAN (the Volusia County bus service), which offers an excellent way to travel up and down the seafront. If you intend to do some beach hopping, a $3 day pass represents excellent value.

Taxis

There's no shortage of taxi companies in Daytona Beach, with some of the most reliable including Yellow Cab, All Florida Cab and Daytona Limos (for a slightly more upmarket service). Typical rates are around $2.20 for the meter drop and first tenth of a mile, then $2 for every mile after that. Uber is also active in Daytona, and charge a basic meter drop of $1.50, then $1.15 per mile, with a minimum fare of $5.85.

Car

In a city so dedicated to automobiles, it seems strange not to have a car, and you'll find rental outlets like Thrifty, Enterprise and Avis in the area. The city is very easy to navigate. Atlantic Avenue will get you to all parts of the beach, while International Speedway Boulevard runs to the racetrack (both roads can become congested with traffic though, so check updates to avoid being stuck).

The Cost of Living in Daytona Beach

Shopping Streets

Daytona Beach is a great place to shop, and its retail scene is centered around a number of large malls. At Bellair Plaza, you'll find midrange stores like Publix and Walgreens. For a more upmarket retail experience, head to Riverfront Marketplace, which features independent stores like Carousel Antiques and Amaya's Boutique. However, for a more unusual shopping experience, head to the Daytona Beach Flea Market on Bellevue Ave, where you could find anything.

Groceries and Other

If you need to shop for groceries, Daytona has a large number of Publix supermarkets, along with Aldi, Winn-Dixie and a Walmart Supercenter, so finding food and drink shouldn't be a problem. However, grocery prices are relatively high, with a gallon of milk costing $4 and 12 eggs costing $2.70.

Cheap meal
£9.48
A pair of jeans
£30.89
Single public transport ticket
£1.14
Cappuccino
£2.67