Sponsored Content: Southern State of Mind partnered with Daytona Beach Visitors Bureau. Today’s post is part of a two part series, check back next week for more ways to explore Daytona Beach. #spon #ad #daytonabeachstateofmind
Greetings from the Sunshine State! We have been in Daytona Beach the past two weeks (with one week to go) for our third annual summer beach getaway and enjoying every minute of it. We are sandy, sunned and relaxed. The boys and I couldn’t wait to get down here this summer to soak up some Florida sunshine. While my parents live near us in Atlanta, they have a beach house in Daytona Beach and so graciously open their home for the boys and I to wreak havoc in their paradise for several weeks in the summer. And thanks to the Big Sweet for holding down the fort at home!
Pretty happy about our morning commute.
We have been busy little beach bums soaking in summer the past 17 days. With so much to share, I have broken our vacation into two separate posts and am sharing the first portion of our beach travels today with my
Top Ten Things to Do in Daytona Beach:
- SUNRISE WALKS- Have you ever seen the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean? It is absolutely breathtaking. It’s a tradition to go walking on the beach at sunrise as many mornings as possible when I am here. I literally can’t look away as the big orange ball fills the sky every morning, and no two sunrises are the same.
One unique thing about the beach in Daytona is that the sand is hard packed which makes it very enjoyable for beach walks. Bonus: the double stroller is super easy to push!
I honestly cannot describe how much I love the morning beach walks! It is a highlight of my time here.
This one is obvious but has to be mentioned. The beaches here are fantastic. We love when the tide is low because the kids can play and splash in the tide pools that collect. Sweet P is already a boogie boarding fanatic at age 4. We have built more sand castles than I can count. AND we have seen dolphin, turtles (a separate post on turtles coming soon), stingrays, and a manatee. This is the ultimate playground and I am so grateful that my boys love it as much as I do.
3. BEACH DRIVING
This one goes hand in hand with #3 above, but because it is so unique, it needs to have it’s own call-out. You can actually drive your car ON THE BEACH using various beach ramp access points in Daytona Beach. If you are visiting, the pass is $10/day, and if you have children, my guess is you would probably pay $1,000,000/day so that you don’t have to schlep all of the beach gear that is required for a beach day. No more shleping y’all – YOU CAN JUST DRIVE IT ALL TO THE BEACH. #lifechanging
Daytona Beach is fabulous and there are endless things to keep you busy. But I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about some great nearby spots to explore for day trips, date nights or just an afternoon. There are so many places to check out all within an hour drive. This summer, Mom offered to take the boys for a night so the Big Sweet and I decided to do a little exploring and planned a date night to Flagler Beach. It’s about a 30-45 minute drive from Daytona Beach. On our way there, we checked out The Ormond Beach Loop. This is a road that is really fun to drive- beautiful homes right on the Halifax River (Intracoastal Waterway) with canopied trees.
We also enjoyed another day trip when my sister was here (she came down for around 5 days) exploring the St. Augustine area. This is about an hour north and definitely a pretty awesome day trip if you have never been. We have seen the historic downtown area before so we decided to check out Matanzas Inlet, Marineland and a State Park instead.
Since we have been down here many times, we have done lots of exploring. Other fun areas all less than an hour or so of Daytona Beach are New Smyrna Beach, DeLeon Springs, Kennedy Space Center (sometimes you can see shuttle launches from Daytona Beach!) Blue Spring State Park for Manatees (this would be from October-March), and of course Orlando’s theme parks.
5. WATER SPORTS: There are endless options for exploring the ocean including, kayaks, SUP boards (stand up paddleboards, surfing, and boat rentals . My parents own their own kayaks so we were able to explore the Halifax River on our own but if you need to rent go see Shannon at Blue Coast Surf Shop– they are great.
6. DAYTONA TORTUGA BASEBALL GAME
The charm of a Tortuga Baseball game is the size. Living in Atlanta, going to a Braves game is daunting. The drive, the parking, the walking, the crowds. Daytona has it’s own Minor League team called The Tortugas and if you have never been to a Minor League baseball game it is definitely worth checking out. Located right in central Daytona Beach the games are at Jackie Robinson park- a very nice facility and a fun night for all ages. There are kids nights where kids can run the bases, a playground within the grounds, the tickets are affordable, and the mascot is pretty cute!
Just as there are beautiful sunrises to the east each morning… the sunsets to the west over the Halifax River are just as fantastic. There are many restaurants along the river that you can catch a view from including Our Deck Down Under, Boondocks or Inlet Harbor.
8. PONCE INLET LIGHTHOUSE & MARINE SCIENCE CENTER
Just south of Daytona Beach is a beautiful area called Ponce Inlet. This is a fun place to explore with the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, Marine Science Center, a jetty to walk/fish, a dog friendly beach, various restaurants and a park for the kiddos. The Marine Science Center is great for kids and includes a touch pool,various birds and sea creatures and a turtle rehab hospital. The Lighthouse is a fun outing, and you can actually climb to the top where the views are beautiful. It’s a great work out and an even better reward at the top! Both cost a couple of bucks to enter.
Right in the heart of Daytona Beach is the Daytona Bandshell. Every Saturday night in the summer, they feature a cover band. This year we decided to sit on the beach to enjoy the music, but there is an entire platform you can sit on to watch the concerts. This Ocean Walk area is also attached to many restaurants, a big movie theater and some arcade games. Bring your beach chairs, listen to some tunes and then watch the fireworks. Fun for all!
10. DISAPPEARING ISLAND
This one takes a huge effort, but it is so worth it. Down south of Daytona Beach is Ponce Inlet, that I mentioned in #9 above. To access this, you will need a boat or kayak since it is actually just a sandbar in the inlet. We have spotted so many manatee and dolphin here and you can put boats or kayaks right at the boat ramp nearby. Be sure to check the tide charts before you go! The best app I have found for this is called Tide Chart.
Don’t ask me how it started but Sister and I have now apparently have a jumpy picture tradition. Yay for beach days in Daytona Beach!
Have you ever been? What are must-dos?