By Lauren Tjaden
Where: The Halifax Heritage Byway, located in Volusia County, is anchored in Daytona Beach, but also explores Ormond Beach, Holly Hill, Daytona Beach Shores, Ponce Inlet, and Wilbur-by-the-Sea.
Length: 35 miles
How to get around: Cars and motorcycles are the usual modes of transportation, but sidewalks and bicycling lanes are available on many segments of the corridor. Additionally, the area offers paths like the Sweetheart Trail, which winds through Daytona Beach’s Riverfront area, brimming with one-of-a-kind eateries and boutiques.
Best time to visit: Fall through spring promises refreshing weather and a full calendar of exciting events, including Biketoberfest (October), Bike Week (March), the Daytona 500 (February), and the Halifax Arts Festival (November).
Fun fact: You’ve heard of drive-in movies, but Daytona Beach brings the concept to a whole new level with its Drive-In Christian Church. Nestled on Halifax Heritage Byway’s Beachside Loop along South Atlantic Avenue in Daytona Beach Shores, the church holds services each Sunday by broadcasting to a sea of parked cars and streaming the services online.
For more info: Check out the Halifax Heritage Byway’s Facebook page.
Comprised of three loops-- In-Town, Riverside, and Oceanside-- the Halifax Heritage Byway holds bragging rights as Florida’s newest scenic highway, weaving a rich tapestry of history, heritage and scenic beauty. It winds through areas where some of central Florida’s earliest pioneer settlements were established; traverses beachside retreats not only heralded as vacation hotspots, but as the birthplace of speed; and showcases roads where the 1920s boom-time era development exploded.
You’ll want to see it all, and plan for some stops along the way. One must-do is the Ponce Inlet Light and Museum, Florida’s tallest lighthouse, situated in the Town of Ponce Inlet at the byway’s southern-most point. Climb its 203 steps to the gallery deck and you’ll be rewarded by sweeping views of the Atlantic and Inlet.
Make sure to save time to dig your toes into the smooth, hard-packed sands of Daytona Beach, heralded since the 1920s as the “World’s Most Famous Beach.” Famed initially for high-speed automobile testing, and later, racing, the beach also became widely known for the 1960s teen-style beach movies filmed there and spring break escapades. You can drive your car on the beach, right out to your parking spot by the waves.
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