Here are three reasons – besides NASCAR and the average-80-degree-weather – to take a closer look at Daytona. From our partners at TripBeat.
When you’re in Florida, seafood is always the order of the day. The dock and weekend live music at Aunt Catfish’s on the River might help draw in newcomers, but it’s the tasty food that makes the family-owned spot a local institution. Don’t miss the cinnamon rolls for dessert. They’ve been whipping them up for more than 45 years and selling an average of 1,500 a day.
Garlic lovers flock to both locations of The Crab Stop for its garlic crab and shrimp served with garlic bread plus a full cup of melted butter for drizzling. And if you’re craving authentic Mexican fare, head over to Tia Cori’s Tacos, where you’ll find $5 margaritas, on-point Mexican food (you know it’s authentic when a beef-tongue quesadilla is on the menu), and daily Happy Hour specials.
Dolphins, manatees and sea turtles are just a few examples of the diverse marine life that can be found in Daytona Beach. You can hop on The Manatee for an intracoastal cruise to catch a glimpse of these gentle giants (manatees can weigh up to 1,300 pounds). For an up-close view and a little exercise, consider booking a dolphin-and-manatee adventure tour on a stand-up paddleboard with Three Brothers Boards.
Outdoorsy types can head to De Leon Springs State Park to see a 600-year-old cypress tree and look for otters, bald eagles and sandhill cranes on the 4.2-mile Wild Persimmon Hiking Trail. The park’s paddleboat trail also provides access to the 22,000-acre Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge. It’s also worth driving 10 miles south of Daytona Beach to Ponce Inlet for a visit to the Marine Science Center, where you can observe healing sea turtles in the rehabilitation rooms and pet cownose rays in a touch pool.
As one of the earliest European settlements on the continent (Ponce de León touched down near here in 1513), it’s no surprise that Florida is steeped in antique curiosities. A historic site comes with a stellar view at Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse & Museum. There you can climb to the top of the 175-foot lighthouse, the tallest in the state.
Another must-see? The Halifax Historical Museum, housed in a 1910 Beaux-Arts Merchants Bank building complete with original teller windows. And for a little more action, baseball fans and history buffs can catch a game at Jackie Robinson Ballpark, the site of the first integrated pro baseball game, in 1947. There’s a statue of Hall of Famer Robinson near the park’s southern entrance.
Florida Travel and Life Readers can book a 7-Night Vacation Rental at 25% Off* at www.tripbeat.com/floridatravellife. By now, you should be inspired to book a Daytona trip, start looking for spacious 2 plus bedroom suites featuring spacious home-like accommodations. Or use your discount to book several smaller units, such as Studio or 1-Bedroom Suite. Start your vacation search at tripbeat.com/floridatravellife or call (1) 844-367-643