Beyond the beach, a series of bridges connects to a re-emerging historical downtown and a rich assortment of ecological sites. Skirting the Atlantic Ocean, the Tomoka and Halifax rivers, state parks, and an endless array of creeks and marshes create amazing opportunities to get a feel of Old Florida. Local outfitters rent kayaks, canoes or boats for a leisurely cruise along Spruce Creek, a slowmoving waterway lined with hardwood forests, cypress swamps and coastal marshes. Savor the natural wonder and joy in discoveries off the beaten path. An abundance of flora and fauna found in various habitats provides a fertile background for hiking, bird watching, canoeing and other outdoor activities.
Just north of town, the 30-mile Ormond Scenic Loop & Trail is considered one of the area’s natural treasures. With its gorgeous canopied road and winding waterways, this quintessentially Floridian landscape beckons to cyclists and other recreation-minded guests and locals, who blanket the area during the weekends. The Loop is home to the Fairchild Oak in Bulow Creek State Park, one of the largest live oaks in the South. Witness to more than 400 years of history, the tree is surrounded by the ruins of plantations that once thrived throughout the area.
If you’re game for exploring a little farther afi eld, you’ll fi nd plenty of options, from sailing trips or deep-sea fi shing adventures off the Daytona Beach coast to eco-tours through the Indian River Lagoon or making the climb to the top of the historic 175-foot-tall Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, which has been standing sentinel here since 1887.