If you’re heading to Daytona Beach for the Daytona 500, why not make a stay of it and get out and explore the area.
There are plenty of fun things to do around Volusia County that take place outside the track of the Daytona International Speedway.
One pretty typical idea would be to visit the beach. I mean it’s called Daytona Beach for a reason.
Daytona Beach offers 23 miles of white sand beaches, some of which you can drive your car on if the tide is right. Just don’t park in the soft sand or you’ll be looking for a tow to get your car out to head home.
While on the heart of Daytona Beach you’ll see the boardwalk and pier, where you can take in food and fun. There’s Screamer’s Park which is home to the Slingshot and Vomatron.
You don’t have to stick to the Daytona Beach limits either. If you drive north you can relax on Ormond Beach and if you drive south you’ll experience Daytona Beach Shores and Ponce Inlet, which is home to Florida’s tallest lighthouse and museum.
Daytona Beach is home to the Smithsonian-affiliated Museum of Arts & Sciences along with the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art, Halifax Historical Museum, Ormond Memorial Art Museum and the Southeast Museum of Photography.
If you’re in need of more history, there’s Rockefeller’s Ormond Beach home, The Casements, which you can tour, as well as the Mary McLeod Bethune Foundation home and gravesite.
While it’s not a museum, you can take a free, self-guided tour at the Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory which has been around since 1925.
Old Spanish Sugar Mill
If you’re up for a drive, head to west to De Leon Springs for a hidden gem called The Old Spanish Sugar Mill. There you can cook your own all-you-can-eat pancakes on a griddle at your table. You can choose from an array of toppings like blueberries, chocolate chips or bananas.
While at De Leon Springs State Park, you could take a ride on the Fountain of Youth boat tour which lasts an hour and takes you to the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge to see gators, turtles and native birds.
If it’s a hot day or you don’t mind cold water, take a dip in the headspring where the water is always clear and 73 degrees.
Bikes & Bars
I’m sure you know Daytona Beach is synonymous with Bike Week. If you’re into motorcycles or just want the experience you can visit Bruce Rossmeyer’s Destination Daytona in Ormond Beach. If you’re on Main Street in Daytona Beach there’s a full range of biker bars like The Bank & Blues Club, Full Moon Saloon, Dirty Harry’s Pub, Main Street Station and Froggy’s Saloon to name a few.
In what it calls the Ale Trail, Volusia County offers up 24 breweries and bars where the craft beer and artisan spirit offerings are diverse. Click here to see the map.
There are other unique ways to enjoy adult beverages in the area. There’s a Paddle Pub where up to 20 passengers pedal a pontoon boat along the waters around Daytona Beach. Or give the Cruisin Tiki a try where you can ride around on a tiki bar along the Halifax river with your own snacks and drinks.
If you bring your golf clubs, you could play on one of nearly 20 area courses, some of which are four-star courses rated by Golf Digest like LPGA International.