Daytona Beach Vacation

Shoreside at Daytona Beach FloridaWondering about a Daytona Beach vacation in Florida?  It’s more than “just” a beach – it’s a destination all by itself.  There’s plenty to do and see here, although obviously the beach is the star attraction.  However, there are also plenty of things to do around town and in nearby locations, if you feel like spending some time away from the shoreline.

Let’s get started, shall we?

What’s the Weather Like?

Summer weather is from May through September, and expect temperatures in the upper 80′s and 90′s, and (unfortunately) high humidity.  But you’ll be happy to know that Spring and Autumn are a bit more relaxing, with temperatures in the 70′s to low 80′s.  Thunderstorms can happen on any given Summer day, but usually they are pretty quick to come and go.

Be aware, though, that Winter can get somewhat chilly.  I know, this is Florida, but it’s also part of North Florida where it can get nippy.  Much of the time, expect mild days in the 60′s and 70′s.  There are times, though, that the highs will only be in the 40′s and 50′s.  Winter generally brings clear skies and sunny days, except when a front is coming through.

Daytona Beach Vacation – More Than Meets The Eye

When I was growing up in Central Florida, Daytona was a sleepy little wide spot in the road that had a gorgeous wide beach.  You’d see a mixture of local families, out-of-towners, surfers and of course the teens and college-age crowd.  Word got around (thanks to some judicious advertising about the “World’s Most Famous Beach”) and it took off.

Spring Break discovered this stretch of sand and sea, and it’s not quite been the same.  For awhile there, it drew a rather rowdy crowd, but it’s settled down some in that respect.

A couple other things put the town on the map forever — Bike Week and the Daytona Speedway.  (Bike Week really started in 1937, but it took about 40 years before it was famous.)

Beaching It!

The beach here is wide, wide, wide.  Lots of sand on which to spread blankets, build sand castles, and on which to take a walk.  This is one of the few beaches left in Florida that allow driving on the beach, so keep the traffic patterns in mind (not to worry, the speed limit is roughly a fast walking pace).

The water is warm most of the year, and even when it’s cold to Floridians, it’s warm to a lot of others!  The surf is generally up, with waves in the three to four feet range mostly.  There are days where you’ll see the waves higher — six feet plus — but you won’t get the kind of seas you’d see in Hawaii. Still, there is some respectable surfing in these parts (and yes, lessons are available).

Boardwalk on Daytona BeachYou can also get more active on the beach by riding a banana boat, renting a jet ski or by seeing the beach from on high by parasailing.

Walking along the shoreline will find you faced with seashells and sand dollars, but mostly they will be somewhat crunched up.  The same seas that provide fun in the surf also break up the shells.  (If you are really into shelling, check out Sanibel Island.)

There’s also a boardwalk at Daytona, complete with rides.  Definitely worth taking a stroll on it!

Things to Do in Daytona

Other outdoors activities aside from the beach, are boating, fishing and golfing.  Charter fishing is available, if you don’t have your own boat.  And speaking of boats, there is motor boating, kayaking and canoeing in and around Daytona.   There are several golf courses locally, as well as some others a little farther inland.

If fast driving is your thing, don’t overlook the Daytona Speedway (also sometimes known as the Daytona Raceway).  There are several major races held each year.  Keep in mind that  if you are going one of the major races, make your reservations really far in advance, or you might find yourself in Miami.  That’s a joke, but you might indeed have to find lodgings in Orlando if you wait til the last minute to book a place to stay.

Bike Week in March has the same caveat — get your reservations early.  It’s a 10-day event, held the first full week in March.  Or let’s put it this way — something like 500,000 people come in from all over for at least one day of the event, so you see why the hotel rooms are in short supply then!

If none of the above strikes your fancy, consider Orlando and the attractions like SeaWorld, Universal and Disney.  It’s a bit of a ride in the car — figure on an hour and a half each way — so it can make for a long day.  On the  other hand, if you’ve come to Daytona, it’s worth the drive time to see some of the attractions.

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