A Different Daytona Beach

Get a fresh impression of Daytona Beach this fall.

You know the Daytona Beach oceanfront scene, right? Driving on the beach, Sky-Riding the Pier, 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: cool temperatures, secluded beach spots, historic secrets and water sports, both eco and derring-do? If you haven't met this Daytona 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.

Prices also drop in this sweetest of seasons. From Sept. 2 to Nov. 30, Daytona Beach hotels, restaurants and attractions band together to offer low rates as part of the Fall Getaways Program.

Drenched in adventure

The Fall Getaways Program is a great way to get your feet (and other body parts) wet on Daytona Beach's famed water sports scene. The beach isn't just for surfing anymore. Daytona Beach Parasailing, for instance, discounts its rides by $10 each during the fall program. See Daytona from the peace and perspective of 2,000 feet up in the air, if you're really daring.

Wetter still? Take advantage of Bongo Billy's Banana Boat Rides and bounce over the waves with a group of friends. Or captain your own craft and race through the surf with Daytona Beach Jet Boats.

But to discover some of the secrets of Daytona Beach, get into eco-mode with Daytona Beach Aqua Safari. Land and sea tours reveal the mysteries of this marine environment – from tiny seahorses to mammoth sea turtles – with hands-on experiences led by a marine biologist.

Secrets from the past

There are more Daytona secrets to be discovered right on the beach, which is steeped in the history of auto and motorcycle racing. In fact, right on Daytona'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 this pier restaurant, where a rum punch sipped out of a hand-carved coconut pirate and a basket of wings is THE way to celebrate sunset.

Also on the beach, the coquina rock Daytona Beach Bandstand 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).

Secrets in present tense

Away from the Boardwalk and Pier, Daytona 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. No sky rides here, but more of a hometown feel with hand-painted signs advertising local businesses, warped floorboards and Crabby Joe's Deck & Grill and Calypso Bar. 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.

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 federally protected beach that only the intrepid find.

Now that we've given you some clues to what's different from the Daytona Beach you thought you knew, uncover more by visiting www.daytonabeach.com or call 800-854-1234.

Sponsored listings by VISIT FLORIDA Partners


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