You know the Daytona Beach oceanfront scene, right? Driving on the beach, surfing, doing the video arcades, reveling in hot days and a hotter nightlife, and collapsing in one of the modern, bustling resorts on the beach.
But how about this Daytona Beach: cool temperatures, secluded beach spots, historic secrets and water sports, both eco and derring-do? If you haven't met this Daytona Beach persona, fall's the perfect time to become acquainted.
Fall into Daytona Beach
Come fall, the thermometer and barometer inch down just enough to make spending an entire day on the beach breezy and comfortable. School's back in session, meaning the crowd census also inches downward. So, you don't have to wake up at the crack of dawn to stake your beach claim.
Drenched in adventure
Take advantage of Eagle Yachts Sailing Experience, a participatory sailing trip. Even if you've never been on a boat in your life, you can say you sailed this 36-foot sailboat.
Three Brothers Boards offers stand-up paddleboard river tours, paddle surfing lessons, rentals and eco-tours in Daytona Beach.
Daytona Beach Surfing School offers private and semi-private group lessons as well as a summer surf camp. Surfboards and wetsuits are provided.
But to discovers some of the secrets of Daytona Beach, get into eco-mode with Central Florida Nature Adventures, offering guided kayak tours on some of Daytona Beach's most beautiful waterways. Great for beginners to experienced paddlers, birders and serious photographers.
Secrets from the past
There are more Daytona Beach secrets to be discovered right on the beach, which is steeped in the history of auto and motorcycle racing. In fact, right on Daytona Beach's famous beach Boardwalk, embedded plaques lay out a timeline for the history of racing, which revved up right there on the hard-packed sands.
Back then, the two-mile race course started at the North Turn in Daytona Beach Shores. Today Racing's North Turn Beach Bar & Grille commemorates the historic site with beachfront dining, racing photographs and memorabilia and dishes such as the Russ Truelove prime rib sandwich. You never know when you might find a NASCAR star sitting down to lunch at this popular spot.
Another bite of culinary-related history occupies the circa-1925 Daytona Beach Pier. Views don't get any better than at Joe's Crab Shack Restaurant or the Roof Top Bar, which sits atop the restaurant.
Also on the beach, the coquina rock Daytona Beach Bandshell dates back to 1937. It withstands time and trends, rising humbly as a monument to Daytona's past in the midst of monuments to newer, modern times (namely the contemporary resorts that give the beach its reputation for vacationing bests). Today, the Bandshell hosts free concerts every Friday and Saturday night from late May through late September, each concert followed by a fireworks show from Main Street Pier on Saturday nights.
Secrets in present tense
Away from the Boardwalk and Pier, Daytona Beach harbors more secrets for those with a sense of adventure seeking a sense of place. To escape the crowds and the "discovered" Daytona Beach, head south.
Tucked among the resorts of Daytona Beach Shores, Sunglow Pier is the antithesis of the main Daytona Beach Pier, with more of a hometown feel including hand-painted signs advertising local businesses, warped floorboards and Crabby Joe's Deck & Grill. Come to this happy place decorated with Caribbean-style accents and airbrushed ocean scenes for fish and grits at breakfast time or crab cakes for lunch and dinner. Also located at Crabby Joe’s is Paddleboard Daytona/New Smyrna Beach, offering scenic tours on the Atlantic or a tour of one of the area’s beautiful inland waterways.
For deeper seclusion with a taste of nature in your beach time, Lighthouse Point Beach's boardwalk leads through varying habitat to the Marine Science Center, a state-of-the-art environmental education facility where you can visit injured sea turtles rehabbing. Farther south in New Smyrna Beach, on the other side of Ponce Inlet, Canaveral National Seashore is a pristine, federally protected stretch of shoreline.
Now that we've given you some clues to what's different from the Daytona Beach you thought you knew, uncover more by visiting daytonabeach.com or call 800-854-1234.