Its 23-miles of sparkling white sandy beaches and beautiful blue-green waters make Daytona Beach an irresistible playground for kids of all ages. The popular family vacation spot pretty much makes child's play out of having fun.
And, if you and your family can manage to tear yourselves away from the beach, you'll discover the Daytona Beach area is full of fun activities and attractions.
When is the Best Time to Go?
If you are planning to visit the Daytona Beach area on vacation, one of the hardest things to do is choose when to visit. Other than the weather, special events and promotions tend to have the most influence on beach crowds.
While Daytona Beach is trying to shed its wild spring break reputation for a more family-friendly image, if you're vacationing with impressionable children, you will want to avoid the weeks around spring break, Bike Week and Biketoberfest. These events tend toward unruly crowds that drink heavily and push the envelope in behavior and dress. Traffic also tends to be heaviest during these events, as well as around the major races at Daytona International Speedway.
What is Daytona Beach's Weather Like?
Although the weather can be unpredictable, knowing what the average temperatures and rainfall in Daytona Beach are during certain months gives you a head start. While sunbathing is not out of the question just about any time of the year, there may be certain times that the Atlantic Ocean may be too cold to take a dip. The average water temperature in the Atlantic Ocean is 70°.
When is Hurricane Season?
The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30, with the highest storm probability is from August through October.
Getting To and Around Daytona Beach
Daytona Beach is conveniently located on Florida's Central East Coast, about 50 miles and an hour's drive from many popular theme parks and other favorite tourist destinations.
Daytona Beach is easily accessible via I-4 from the west or I-95 from the north or south. Other major roads leading into the area include U.S. Hwy 1; U.S. Hwy 92; and, Hwy A1A, which runs north and south along the Atlantic coastline.
Daytona International Airport is served by several major airlines with service from more than 150 destinations worldwide.
If you'll be visiting Daytona Beach without your own transportation, Votran serves Volusia County with local bus service. Download MYSTOP, a live bus tracker app on your phone or computer to plan your route, track your bus in real time and receive alerts about possible delays.
When booking your stay in Daytona Beach, it pays to check whether the hotel offers complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport and beach.
It's All About the Beach
Today Daytona Beach stretches 23 miles to Ormond Beach on the north and New Smyrna Beach on the south. The sand is up to 500 feet wide at low tide. While visitors may no longer drive on the entire length of the beach, 16 miles of beach are open for vehicles to drive and park on the hard, white sand.
Refer to these printable beach maps for vehicle access ramps, on- and off-beach parking locations, traffic-free zones and more information:
Driving On the Beach
One of the most popular things visitors to Daytona Beach want to do is drive on the beach. How cool would it be to roll your car windows down and take in the breezy salt air and hear the waves crashing on the shore? And, you can't beat the convenience of parking just steps from where you'll be sunbathing,
Visitors may access the beach in their vehicles sunrise to sunset November 1 through April 30 and from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. May 1 through October 31. There is a daily fee for on-the-beach access for your vehicle of $10 per day. Residents may pay an annual fee of $25 for unlimited beach access, but non-residents will pay $100 for the same privilege. Vehicles with a handicapped ID are admitted to the beach free.
Please follow these driving rules:
- Please follow the signs that clearly mark the traffic lane.
- The speed limit on the beach is 10 m.p.h. and is strictly enforced.
- Always drive with your headlights on and at least one front window completely open.
- Texting while driving is strictly prohibited.
- Cut the music down. Music that can be heard from more than 50 feet of the source is illegal.
- Parking is to the west (away from the water) of the traffic lanes.
- Overnight parking or camping is not allowed on the beach.
Be aware that during high tides or inclement weather, driving on the beach may be restricted or be closed to vehicles.
Pedestrians On the Beach
Pedestrians and bicyclists are always admitted free 24/7 depending on tides and access ramps opening.
Daytona Beach does offer traffic-free zones with nearby off-beach parking. If you're visiting the beach with small children, consider this option for their safety.
To ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable beach experience, please follow these rules:
- Alcohol is not allowed on the beach.
- Glass containers are not allowed on the beach.
- Fireworks are not allowed on the beach.
- Please do not throw objects such as balls or frisbees across the traffic lane.
Vehicles with a handicapped ID are admitted to the beach free and are allowed to park east of the established traffic lanes when tides permit.
Refer to the above-mentioned beach maps for handicap on- and off-beach parking information. "Handicap Parking Only" spaces are provided at all lifeguard stations with the exception of the North County Lifeguard Station in north Ormond Beach.
"Surf chairs" allow beach mobility in a wheelchair. Complimentary surf chairs are available at these lifeguard stations:
- Cardinal Drive (386) 676-4160
- Main Street (386) 239-6484
- Tom Rennick Park (386) 441-1544
- Lighthouse Point Park (386) 756-7491
- Flagler Avenue (386) 424-2345
The Boardwalk, Pier, Sun Splash Park and Bandshell
The revival of the attractions at Daytona Beach's Boardwalk and the refurbishment of the Daytona Beach Pier have breathed new life into the area. The expansive Boardwalk provides beach-goers a respite from the sand with amusement rides, restaurants and gift shops just steps away from the beach.
The Daytona Beach Pier is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Daytona Beach, and it's one of the most popular spots for fishing. Fishing is allowed 7 days a week off the east end of the pier (farthest from shore), from March 16 thru October 31 (7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.) and November 1 thru March 15 (7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.). There is no cost to fish and no license is required.
Sun Splash Park and the Daytona Bandshell round out the entertainment along the World's Most Famous Beach. Sun Splash Park is a great place to beat the Florida heat. The four-acre waterfront park features an interactive fountain, decorative walkways and a shaded playground; as well as restroom facilities and pavilions.
Visit during the summer and enjoy free seaside concerts at Daytona's Bandshell. The scenic amphitheater also hosts other entertainment throughout the year.
Daytona International Speedway
Having undergone an amazing extreme $400-million makeover, Daytona International Speedway has emerged a FAN-tastic place for race car fans in Florida. The project added over 101,500 brand new seats, 60 luxury suites, 17 elevators and 40 escalators and took over two years to complete.
The re-imagining of this American icon of racing features five redesigned and expanded entrances which include spacious social areas along the nearly mile-long front stretch.
Of course, an additional access package is available for the Sprint FanZone. It which puts you in the middle of the action where you'll have a chance to see your favorite driver and get an autograph, enjoy live entertainment, and more. Plus, Kids Zone, located within the FanZone will keep the young ones entertained for hours with face painting, bounce houses and more.
Of course, it's all about the racing, so beginning with the Daytona 500 in February continuing during race weekends throughout the year, see top contenders in action.
Daytona International Speedway is located approximately one mile east of I-95 on West International Speedway Boulevard (U.S. Hwy 92) in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Directions to parking and fees depend on the event, with free parking and shuttles available before and after races at some events.
Where to Stay in Daytona Beach
With more than 200 properties and 12,000 guest rooms in the Daytona Beach area, there are plenty of choices when it comes to overnight accommodations. Whether you are looking for a hotel, motel, condo rental, beach cottage or campground... there is something for every style and budget.
Click here to search for the perfect stay by category, location, amenities or keyword.
Where to Dine in Daytona Beach
Daytona Beach is sure to be able to satisfy your taste for whatever you're craving — from seafood to sweet treats or filet mignon to vegetarian.
Of course, there are a few classic eateries that will always be popular because of their uniqueness. Make a pit stop at the Cruisin’ Café, where you eat in a race car and every table in the restaurant is dedicated to a Daytona 500 race winner; or, stroll into Joe's Crab Shack, located on the Daytona Beach Pier, serving seafood and American cuisines in a casual beach-themed atmosphere.
Also, there are a wide variety of eateries both beach-side and inland that cater to various cuisines. Some are nationally-recognized restaurants serving up the familiar, but there are a good many that are independents serving fresh and flavorful fare.
Additionally, there are several new microbreweries and wine bars joining the local scene offering amazing pairings and tastings.
You can search for the dining opportunity that's perfect for your family by cuisine or category, location or keyword at www.DineAroundDaytonaBeach.com.
Things To Do in Daytona Beach
Daytona Beach hasn't earned the title of Festival Capital of Florida for nothing. The city boasts a full calendar of festivals and events throughout the year, including free summer on-the-beach concerts at the Daytona Beach Bandshell (pictured).
Not-to-miss festivals and events include:
- Daytona Spring Break - March
- Spring Turkey Run Car Show - March
- Daytona Blues Festival - October
- Wings and Waves Air Show - October
- Greek Festival - November
- Halifax Art Festival - November
- Daytona Turkey Run Car Show - November
Of course, Daytona's need for speed encompasses several race weekends at Daytona International Speedway throughout the year and also welcomes motorcyclists twice a year during Bike Week and Biketoberfest.