Travelers are caught off guard when they travel to the vast area of Daytona Beach, with its extended acreage, a homey laid-back beach lifestyle and atmosphere, numerous attractions and miles of pristine beaches that they can really sink their teeth into. This laid-back yet thriving area has a vast and furious collection of activities, as well as coastal activities of all varieties, to please every type of traveler. While a majority of tourists orbit the beaches, there are a wide variety of sedate to heart-pounding activities so nature-lovers, culturists, adventure enthusiasts and H20 aficionados and more can really cut their teeth both on and off the water. Here are some of the top Must-Do activities in Daytona Beach to help you plan your itinerary in the popular Central Florida beach paradise that’s just an hour from Orlando, the theme-park capital of the world:
Launch 300 feet in the air at 100 mph at Daytona’s heart-pounding Slingshot attraction on the Boardwalk, a popular entertainment epicenter.
Cruise aboard the Manatee for a 2-hour scenic and narrated Intracoastal tour of local waterways and wildlife, including manatees, egrets, herons, pelicans, bald eagles and a 90-percent chance of spotting playful dolphins. Operates year-round with 3 daily departures and reservations required. Two-hour Hot Summer Sunset cruises depart at 7 p.m. June-September only.
Stroll the Main Street Pier, dubbed Daytona’s highway over ocean, which offers rides like the thrilling 180-foot Space Needle, outstanding views, pier fishing, and food and spirits for everyone.
Satisfy your need for speed and experience the real-life, high-octane racing excitement by riding shotgun at 160 mph at the Richard Petty Driving Experience—or feel the thrill of taking a few solo laps. Men and women love this opportunity of a lifetime. Check out the website ahead of time and make reservations if needed so you don’t miss your chance during your visit.
Check out Daytona USA, a $20-million-dollar racing museum featuring celebrated racecars and interactive displays.
Visit the Museum of Arts and Sciences, Daytona’s primary cultural facility, with its beautiful art displays, historical information, planetarium and tons of interactive elements for the kids.
Tee up at more than 25 top-rated links, including pro-designed courses at nearby LPGA International.
Make a pass through the original, world-famous Ron Jon Surf Shop for equipment, flip flops, towels, apparel, board shorts and bikinis, and plenty of super Daytona souvenirs.
Join an offshore excursion for sea trout and mackerel, or try freshwater fishing in the calm Intracoastal.
Visit Daytona’s year-round family fun center, Daytona Lagoon, a water park with the Phoenix thrill ride, laser tag, a carousel, rock wall and 27 holes of miniature golf all bundled into one place.
Rent a motorcycle and cruise Scenic A1A Highway north along the dunes or a quiet two-lane road for a memorable ride.
Catch dinner and a film at Cinematique, and then explore Downtown Daytona Beach and its diverse nightlife options for adults only and for families.
Spend some time at one of Daytona’s historic sites or museums for enlightening facts about the Timucuan Indian civilization and the lively colonial, steamboat and railroad eras that paved the way to present-day Daytona.
Try spotting endangered North Atlantic Right Whales among the calving grounds right off the Daytona coast. If you’re lucky, you may spot a mama whale with her calf in the distance. Ask the gracious locals about the best locations and times for whale spotting.
Take a moonlit stroll and you may see one of nature’s greatest splendors come to life. From May 15 through October, sea turtles emerge from the surf at night to lay their eggs in the dunes of a specially designated preserve. Two months later, about a hundred baby turtles hatch and crawl to the ocean, which could enhance a romantic night’s stroll with one of nature’s most amazing spectacles.