The Daytona Beach, FL area is so much more than merely a beach or a speedway, although those two things alone draw in plenty of visitors each year. Take, for example, the Marine Science Center at Lighthouse Park in Ponce Inlet. Here you can meet guests of the center’s sea turtle and seabird rehab programs; take a look at the aquarium with its huge artificial reef; stroll the boardwalk; climb the observation tower; and enjoy the many exhibits and natural scenery. Admission is only $5 for adults; $4 for seniors; $2 for kids 12 and under; and FREE for tots under 3.
The 175-foot Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is Florida’s tallest lighthouse and a National Historic Landmark. Dating back to 1887, it’s one of the most complete lighthouse restorations in the country. Admission is $5 for ages 12 and older; $1.50 under 12.
The Southeast Museum of Photography is Florida’s only museum dedicated exclusively to photography. Opened in 1992, it’s a part of the Daytona State College campus and is located directly on International Speedway Boulevard. Admission is FREE.
Just south of Daytona in Ormond Beach, the Ormond Memorial Museum and Gardens shows the work of prominent Florida and international artists in a series of changing exhibits while the gardens include five pools, beautiful aquatic plants, as well as native and non-native plants and trees. Strolling the gardens is FREE. For museum entry, a $2 donation is requested for adults; seniors and children are FREE.
Your whole family can have a blast at Daytona Lagoon. This water park features a dozen water rides, plus a gigantic wave pool and a tubing river. And the braver of your bunch will love Kraken’s Conquest, a newly added 4-lane racer slide. For those who prefer terra firma, they can pick from Grand Prix go-kart racing; miniature golf; laser tag; a carousel; an arcade; and The Phoenix, an Xtreme swing ride that moves at speeds up to 50 mph! Everything non-water is open year-round and the water park awaits visitors March through September. Right now Fridays offer unlimited play from 5pm until closing for only $12.99 per person. Phone: (386) 254-5020.
Right across the street at the Ocean Walk Shoppes, you can check out Harley-Davidson’s apparel shop; feast at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company; and enjoy a treat at Cold Stone Creamery.
Did I mention shopping? Daytona has two Beall’s Outlet, the sister store to Alabama’s Burke’s Outlet. The discount deals at this place are nothing short of remarkable. One is in Bellair Plaza and the other is in Volusia Square Shopping Center.
Fido will love the FREE Riviera Oaks Dog Park in Holly Hill. So puppy-friendly, it’s even divided into areas for larger and smaller pooches; provides rest rooms and water fountains for its human guests and auto-fill water dishes for the four-legged visitors.
What else is around? Miles of fabulous beaches. Speedway racing. Sky-diving. Hot-air ballooning. Eco tours. Fishing. Food, food, and more food. Tons of great places to stay. And that’s just an inkling of all Daytona has to offer. Check it all out at: www.DaytonaBeach.com and www.Volusia.com.