The greater Daytona Beach area has more outdoor activities to experience than just about any other spot in Florida. If you’re planning a summertime escape for your family, you can’t go wrong with Daytona Beach. The destination was recently named one of TripAdvisor’s top 10 best family vacations in the popular website’s inaugural 2011 Travelers' Choice® Family Awards.
Families will enjoy the 23 miles of beach with beach-side favorites such as ice cream and refreshment stands and bicycle, surfboard and boogie board rentals. Beachside parks, like Sunsplash Park, are the perfect place for an ocean-side cookout while the kids romp around the playground.
Choose from several guided boat tours that will entertain kids of all ages. Once aboard, your host will help you spot fish, birds and maybe even an alligator or a manatee. Turtle Mound Scenic Boat Tours departs by reservation from a local favorite seafood restaurant, JB’s Fish Camp in New Smyrna Beach. This pontoon tour is two hours and accommodates all ages.
Experience the adventure of a kayak or canoe tour. Paddle the shady habitat of the Spruce Creek River with Cracker Creek Canoeing where you can rent kayaks, canoes or relax on the twice-daily eco-tour. Cracker Creek Canoeing is open Wednesday through Sunday.
You’ll have great stories to tell your friends back home about the one that got away. Cast a line from the Daytona Beach pier or from the Tomoka Basin. Head out to sea for a full- or half-day fishing charter with Critter Fleet in Ponce Inlet, sailing daily.
All ages enjoy fireworks. Each night from Memorial Day through Labor Day, you can view a stunning fireworks show from the beach area near the pier and the Ocean Walk Shoppes. On Saturdays, bring a folding chair for the free concerts at the historic Daytona Beach bandshell.
Getting around Daytona is easy. A new trolley route takes you from the shore to the historic downtown area. You’ll find a variety of restaurant options – including plenty of outdoor dining- along with shops and waterside parks.
The accommodations are family friendly in Daytona Beach. Book your stay in one of many hotels where your room is only steps from the beach. Small hotels, big hotels, kid suites, rooms with efficiencies – the destination has an option to fit every family.
Visit www.DaytonaBeach.com for a listing of special summer rates being offered by Daytona Beach area accommodation providers.
The summer season also offers a variety of entertainment to enhance your stay.
- Daytona Cubs Baseball. May 27-Sept. 4. Catch the Florida State League’s Daytona Beach Cubs at the historic Jackie Robinson Ballpark in downtown Daytona Beach. www.daytonacubs.com. 386.257.3172.
- Daytona Beach Juneteenth Family Festival. June 18. This annual African-American heritage festival features music, dance and vendors selling art, clothing and more. 386.671.7232.
- Coke Zero 400 Weekend. July 1- 2. The stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series head to Daytona International Speedway to celebrate the Independence Day holiday weekend. Races include the Coke Zero 400 and the Subway Jalapeno 250. www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com. 1-800-PITSHOP.
- Continental Wrestling Federation presents SuperClash. July 8. A sporting event featuring independent wrestlers from around the globe at the Ocean Center. www.oceancenter.com. 800.858.6444.
- Hippiefest – A Concert of Peace & Love. Aug. 26. The musical lineup at this 60s-themed outdoor festival includes Dave Mason, Mark Farner (formerly of Grand Funk), Rick Derringer, Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals and Gary Wright. www.peabodyauditorium.org. 386.671.3462.
This article was brought to you by the Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. To plan your trip to the Daytona Beach area, visit www.DaytonaBeach.com.