A Family Getaway in Daytona Beach
By Carrie McLaren
Daytona Beach and families go together. Here’s a look at just a few of the fun family activities you can enjoy here.
Daytona Beach's golden-sand shoreline spans a breathtaking 23 miles. Take a swim, build a sandcastle, hunt seashells or relax under a beach umbrella. For the more adventurous, several local surf shops offer classes that will have you hangin’ 10. The beach here is also an excellent resource for any visitor who requires accommodation for sight, hearing or mobility disabilities. Can't wait? Have a preview of the beach now, via webcam.
Entertainment at Every Pace
The all-access tour of Daytona International Speedway will excite both the kids and the grownups in your family. The tram tour takes guests behind the scenes with stops in Victory Lane, the garage and the track’s surprisingly steep 31-degree-high banks.
For a more leisurely pace, amble down historic Beach Street. Watch gourmet chocolates being made at Angell & Phelps, and try a free sample. Pop in to the Daytona Magic Shop, a local family favorite with magician’s supplies and tricks simple enough for a child to master.
Hands-On Fun for Everyone
Another don't-miss culture stop for families is the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts & Science (MOAS). While adults and older children will enjoy the museum's Florida prehistory gallery and other permanent and traveling exhibits, the young ones will adore the Charles and Linda Williams Children's Museum. The region's first hands-on science center, it holds amazing interactive exhibits that demonstrate principles of science, engineering and physics.
Families with a love for exploration should check out Lighthouse Point Park in Ponce Inlet. Traverse scenic hiking trails and winding boardwalks that might even bring you up close to armadillos and Florida shore birds. Climb the 203 steps of nearby Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and take in magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway.
Early inhabitants and visitors believed local limestone springs to be the fabled Fountain of Youth, and the so-named boat ecology and history tour at DeLeon Springs State Park explores the alligators, bald eagles and wading birds that the springs attract.
To learn more about what lives under the sea, visit the Marine Science Center sea turtle and bird rehabilitation facilities, hands-on exhibits and a trail to the beach. Viewing the recovery area for massive sea turtles is a highlight of this attraction.