Travel Excursion Daytona Beach
June 8, 2008
Gentle ocean breezes stir on the Atlantic coastline as the golden orb of the sun rises from its midst, sending tendrils of light to fan out across the sea. A lone seagull glides over the crest of waves, calling out that dawn has risen on the calm shores of Daytona Beach.Florida's Daytona Beach is a family-frequented town that provides a balanced atmosphere of fun, racing, arts, cuisine, shopping, beach-going, historical and science attractions. In fact, the wonderful variety of activities, beach and perfect climate afford visitors a unique vacation opportunity in Volusia County. The charming downtown area attracts visitors with superb restaurants, shops and galleries that reflect the city's casual, yet artistic cultural personality.
Daytona Lagoon waterpark and fun center provides great entertainment for all ages and is located on Earl St., just a few blocks from the beach. The fun center is a family haven of excitement that offers a bevy of first-rate attractions such as 140 different games, thrilling wave pool, water slides, a large laser tag arena, a fantastic multi-level, go-cart track and a variety of additional terrific features. The full facility game park is open 364 days a year and proffers the safest waterpark in the world. Indulge your inner kid and spend an invigorating day lost in your own Neverland! For additional information, visit.
Daytona 500 Experience is clearly a famous Florida institution and nothing beats an exhilarating day at the NASCAR races. Located adjacent to the Daytona International Speedway, the 500 Experience is the official attraction of NASCAR and features amazing motor-sports attractions for fans.All of the 500 Experience attractions are fascinating; however, several of the attractions provide a comprehensive experience in the world of NASCAR racing: The Speedway Tour, Pepsi IMAX Theater, the Richard Petty Driving Experience and the Interactive Simulators. The simulators are a blast and everyone from teenagers to celebrities loves the experience of getting behind the wheel and flying top-speed around enormously high-banked curves and racing against each other in Acceleration Alley's NASCAR race.
For additional information, visit.
Daytona Beach Jet Boats, located on the Halifax River in Daytona Beach Shores, are the newest thrill rides for families or individuals. This fun, wet and wild boat ride zips and slides across the water and then spins into a 360 at top speed. The crafts are safe and the stimulating rides have guests clambering for their own jet boats. For additional information, visit
For a more sedate adventure with beautiful views and photo ops, take a scenic boat tour on the Manatee Cruise, located on Inlet Harbor Road. The relaxing, narrated tour cruises along the beautiful Indian River through wetlands and interesting mangrove shores. Guests frequently spot numerous bird species, dolphins and manatees along this stretch of Intracoastal Waterway and have the opportunity to marvel at the gorgeous waterfront homes. The cruise is fabulous and a great deal as well. For additional information, visitor call 386-304-0778.
Cracker Creek Canoeing, located on Taylor Road (about five miles East of Ponce Inlet) is a small but excellent green-conscious company that rents canoes and kayaks, as well as guided, eco-history pontoon boat tours for excursions on Spruce Creek Preserve. In addition, Cracker Creek works with the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Sciences to provide fascinating tours of the Gamble Place (Procter and Gamble), which is located adjacent to the Spruce Creek boat launch.
Spruce Creek is a natural black water stream with pristine forest, cypress swamps and coastal marshes in a stunningly beautiful and tranquil environment. Easy to paddle and navigate at a gentle pace, the creek meanders through a lush green foliage of semi-tropical plants, flowers and trees. The habitat also supports a variety of interesting birds and animals such as white herons, bald eagles, manatees, armadillos, turtles and even an alligator or two.
Take an amazing kayak or canoe journey through Spruce Creek's rare and natural habitat for an experience of a lifetime! For additional services or information on Spruce Creek and Cracker Creek canoeing, visit.
For an unparalleled guided tour of this unique preserve or additional soft adventures, such as hiking, birding and overnight camping, contact Wynn Hamilton of Nature Adventures of Daytona Beach. She is a friendly and extremely knowledgeable horticulturist and nature interpreter that provides personally designed guided tours for beginners or advanced adventure seekers. For additional information, visit.
A wonderful place for families and individuals interested in marine wildlife, rehabilitation and education is the Marine Science Center. Located at Ponce Inlet, the science center works diligently to provide rehabilitation for the region's marine wildlife, such as turtles and many species of seabirds.
The science center offers excellent guided tours, a nature trail/boardwalk, classroom labs and the environmental exhibit gallery. The gallery features a variety of appealing displays, including giant shark jaws and a 5,000-gallon aquarium filled with colorful fish and marine life. For additional information, visit.
Artist and Historical Pursuits
June 8, 2008
Daytona Beach proffers a thriving arts community with the Seaside Music Theater (the American summer home of the London Symphony), the new Performing Arts Center and a remarkable arts museum.
For artists, historians and museum lovers, the jewel of Daytona Beach is the magnificent Museum of Arts and Sciences. Located on South Nova Road, MOAS is adjacent to the beautiful Tuscawilla Nature Preserve.
The museum is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute and possesses a diverse and impressive collection. MOAS features traditional art, natural history, state-of-the-art auditorium, a planetarium and a new children's wing that is almost completed. Their permanent collections, such as the Root Family Museum, the Dow Gallery of American Art, the Cuban Foundation Museum and the Center for Florida History are just a very few of the phenomenal galleries on display.
Upon entrance to MOAS, visit the Root Family collection. This gallery features the second largest collection of historical Coca-Cola memorabilia in the world. The Root family's private trains and Mrs. Root's enormous teddy bear and quilt collection are also on display.
The Dow Gallery is an exquisite collection providing a prècis of more than 300 years of American History. Fine art paintings, furniture and decorative arts in superlative condition adorn the Gallery.
If natural history draws you, visit MOAS's Center for Florida history. An enormous 13-foot skeleton of a Giant Ground Sloth takes center stage with surrounding displays of hands-on exhibits and fossils.
On long-tern loan to the museum from the Tampa Museum is the brilliant Classical World collection of 200 rare Greek and Italian ancient artifacts. Beautiful statues and vivid ceramic pieces depicting Greek culture, together with their history, bring the ancient world to life.
Daytona Beaches' Museum of Arts and Sciences is on par with the greatest museums in the nation and is the city's most prized cultural institution. Don't miss it! For additional information, visitwww.moas.org.
The historic brick Ponce De Leon Inlet Light Station, located a few miles south of Daytona Beach, stands 175 feet-tall (203 steps to the top) and is tallest lighthouse in Florida, among the tallest in the nation. The brick-red, day-mark-hued structure, completed in 1887, is still a working lighthouse equipped with a third order Fresnel lens. The Ponce Lighthouse's original first order, fixed Fresnel lens and the first order, rotating Cape Canaveral lens are on display in the world-class Ayres Davies Lens Exhibit building, located next to the lighthouse. These lenses mesmerize with brilliant concentric rings of glass prisms and provide a splendid close-up view.
Intact with its original keeper's dwellings and outbuildings in a beautifully landscaped setting, Ponce light station is a fascinating place to visit. The restored structures and grounds represent the life and history of lighthouse families on the once remote island station. Moreover, the Ponce De Leon Inlet Light Station Museum's exciting educational exhibits and programs offer visitors the most comprehensive information, maritime history and lighthouse imagery in the U.S. For additional information, visit.
The Cellar Restaurant, located on Magnolia Ave., is the finest Italian cuisine in Daytona Beach. This upscale, yet unpretentious restaurant is charmingly chic and situated in the historic home of U.S. President Warren G. Harding. The fare is superb and deserves a Michelin Guide Visit! For additional information, visit.
Hyde Park prime steakhouse, located in the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort, scintillates with luscious steaks and fresh lobster. The beach views are gorgeous and the restaurant doesn't disappoint. For additional information, visit
There are many fine hotels and B&Bs in Daytona Beach; however, the absolute winner is the marvelous Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort. This particular Hilton has the best views of Daytona Beach, great restaurants and is located next to the Daytona Oceanwalk Shoppes.
The large and elegantly decorated hotel accommodates families, couples and business travelers seamlessly. Hilton provides many fabulous services, especially for parents traveling with small children. Make sure to ask about their D-Dawgs kid activity center!
The Hilton's lovely rooms are spacious and endowed with sliding glass doors to let in the fresh marine air. Your tension will melt away on the heavenly beds, as the cool ocean breeze and background surf lull you to sleep. For additional information, visit.
Daytona Beach offers a guaranteed antidote for the common vacation doldrums. With the admirable choices of restaurants, beaches activities, shopping and cultural options, Daytona Beach earns its designation as the top family beach destination in the nation!
For additional information on Daytona Beach Florida, visit.