Ormond Beach may not be as well known as its southerly neighbor of Daytona, but this pleasant city on Florida's eastern coast is a treasure trove of beaches, parks, shops, and recreational activities. Ormond Beach is perhaps most recognized as the home of Tomoka State Park, which includes a former Native American settlement and provides a glimpse of the local ecosystem. In addition to this natural highlight, the city also has many smaller parks and beaches, plus plenty of local businesses focused on getting visitors out on the water, be it on a paddleboard or boat. Rounding out the town are a few historical sites and a number of museums and local cafes and eateries.
1.Addison Blockhouse Historic State Park
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Addison Blockhouse Historic State Park provides guests with a unique look at the 19th-century history of Florida, focusing in particular on the Seminole wars. The park is home to the former plantation home of John Addison, a building that found its heyday in the early 1800s. The house was destroyed by fire during the wars and then used as a defense site against attacks by the Seminoles. Today, the rock structure is a ruin that sits in flatwoods located to the left of the beautiful Tomoka River. Despite its dilapidated state, the blockhouse nonetheless creates a picturesque view within the natural park setting.
2099 N Beach Street, Ormond Beach, FL 32174, Phone: 386-676-4075
2.Andy Romano Beachfront Park
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Andy Romano Beachfront Park gives outdoor fun seekers the best of both worlds by offering them a chance to enjoy the recreational facilities of a park right alongside the sand and surf of the beach. Andy Romano contains a total of 4 acres of territory that hits right up against the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The park is equipped with a number of convenient facilities, including parking, restrooms, and a picnic area with covered pavilions. The little ones can have a blast here at the park’s splash pad and playground or take a dip in the waves while friends and relatives relax on the sand.
839 S. Atlantic Ave., Ormond Beach, FL 32176, Phone: 386-676-3250
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The city of Ormond Beach owes its name to the sandy shores lining its coast. Located a short distance north of the more famous Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach is a tranquil treat compared to the raucous atmosphere of its neighbor. This setting is aided by the fact that the shoreline lacks hotels and high rises, which gives it a more down-to-earth feel. What one can find on Ormond Beach is an abundance of coquina shells, soft sand, and lapping waves. Lifeguard stations are scattered along the beach to make swimming safe, while the dunes protect the city from the Atlantic Ocean’s rolling tides.
4.Bulow Creek State Park
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Bulow Creek State Park covers a 5,600-acre territory full of interesting wildlife and flora. About 20% of the park includes submerged lands, which makes it a unique example of an East Florida ecosystem. The gem of Bulow is the Fairchild Oak, a gorgeous southern live oak and one of the largest members of this tree family. The park sits next to the site of the old Bulow Plantation, an estate that was viciously destroyed during the Second Seminole War, which took place in 1836. Bulow Creek State Park is a hiker haven, with its 7-mile-long Bulow Woods Trail leading out to Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park for a dose of historical interest.
3351 Old Dixie Highway, Ormond Beach, FL 32174, Phone: 386-676-4050
5.Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum and Gardens
© Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum and Gardens
Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum and Gardens is much more than simply a space to display beauty; rather it serves as a community gathering place for members of the neighborhood and guests in town for a short trip. Founded in 1946, the museum shows off works of art made by local Floridian and international artists in a constant rotation of temporary and permanent exhibits. Outside, Ormond Beach Memorial Gardens serve as a monument to the veterans of World War II and other wars, who fought bravely to uphold the value of freedom. In addition to its exhibition halls, the museum also provides a place for lectures, master classes, and other educational programs.
78 E Granada Blvd, Ormond Beach, FL 32176, Phone: 386-676-3347
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Ormond Beach’s Central Park is actually an amalgamation of four separate parks, which total 149.1 acres in area. In addition to the park’s numerous green and natural spaces, it also has many areas for gathering together friends and family, such as picnic pavilions and gazebos. Central Park also includes a large lake, with opportunities for fishing and swimming as well as a canoe and kayak launch. Outdoor tennis and basketball courts and jogging and bicycle paths make the area a space for fitness and recreation, with a playground providing a play space for the little ones. Finally, Central Park is home to a full-sized labyrinth and Ormond Beach’s Environmental Discovery Center.
601 Fleming Avenue, Ormond Beach, FL 32174, Phone: 386-676-3250
7.La Gourmandise French Bakery & Pastry
© La Gourmandise French Bakery & Pastry
French chef duo the Jenners bring the flavors and atmosphere of France to Ormond Beach in their café, La Gourmandise. The café has graced the streets of the city since 1984, offering a full slate of delicious breads and pastries to its patrons. The specialists at La Gourmandise take their baking seriously; although they have a wide selection of tarts, cakes, quiches, and breads, each one is made with great care and in keeping with the storied French culinary tradition. Locals and visitors alike value the bakery for its glass display case full of quality treats and for the warm service from its staff.
359 West Granada Boulevard, Ormond Beach, FL 32174, Phone: 386-672-5594
8.Tomoka River Paddling Trail
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In addition to access to the Atlantic Ocean, the gorgeous city of Ormond Beach also includes a number of smaller, but equally noteworthy, bodies of water. One of these is the Tomoka River, a stunning river that is canopied by palms and other tall trees. This river has been designated by the state as a paddling trail, specifically meant to be enjoyed and observed from a boat’s-eye view. The river runs around Tomoka State Park, which was formerly the site of Nocoroco, a village of the Timucuan Indian people. The remnants of this site are some of the region’s most important archaeological treasures.
9.Ormond Beach Environmental Discovery Center
© Ormond Beach Environmental Discovery Center
One of the most striking features of Ormond Beach is its abundant wildlife and verdant ecosystems, and the Ormond Beach Environmental Discovery Center shows them off in their full glory. The center focuses on Central Park, which is where it is located, highlighting its flora and fauna on a 2,000-square-foot campus. The EDC presents visitors with a number of informative exhibits and classes, all of which focus on the natural sciences and their relationship to the Ormond Beach community. The outside area includes a pond with fish and turtles, a special treat for young patrons, as well as a porch from which to take in the scenery.
601 Division Avenue, Ormond Beach, FL 32174, Phone: 386-615-7081
10.Ormond Brewing Company
© Ormond Brewing Company
Ormond Brewing Company is a beer lover’s paradise, as it brings a host of craft ales to this city and the surrounding area. Ormond Brewing Company runs the gamut of delicious brews, with samplings of light and dark beers, as well as those infused with fruit and other flavors. The taproom always has 18 brews on tap, sometimes featuring a guest beer from another local brewhouse. Food is not served, but guests are encouraged to bring their own as they enjoy the taproom and outdoor beer garden. Local food trucks often stop by, and special events, such as open mic nights and concerts, are regularly on the calendar at Ormond Brewing Company.
301 Division Ave, Ormond Beach, FL 32174, Phone: 386-256-3904
© The Casements
The Casements, a gorgeous mansion in the heart of Ormond Beach, has a shining reputation as the “jewel” of the community. This historic building, which has since been restored to its full splendor and sits right on the banks of the Halifax River, was once the winter house of magnate John D. Rockefeller. Today, it stands as the cultural center of the Ormond Beach community, an official Florida Heritage Site and listed on the National Historic Register. The Casements includes several exhibits of cultural and historical memorabilia, which are open to curious visitors, who can explore the mansion and its grounds on a guided tour.
25 Riverside Drive, Ormond Beach, Florida 32176, Phone: 386-676-3216
12.Ormond Wine Co.
© Ormond Wine Co.
Ormond Wine Co. is a sophisticated yet cozy setting in which to enjoy a glass of red or white and the company of close family and friends. The bar and shop has the feel of an ancient wine cellar, with rustic brick and stucco accents bringing a particular Old World charm. Ormond Wine Co. considers itself a place for tasting, as its offerings include not only wine, but also delicious delicacies and artisan beers. Beyond standard tastings, the venue offers a wine club subscription, enomatic tasting, where guests can automatically dispense a few sips of wine straight from the bottle, and other special events.
1108 West Granada Blvd., Ormond Beach, FL 32174, Phone: 386-615-1001
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Surfari takes the fun of stand-up paddleboarding (also known as SUP) and makes it accessible to novices who have yet to take to the waves. The Surfari school is a full-service facility that is devoted to creating new SUP lovers through a comprehensive introduction to the sport. Surfari is an all-inclusive experience; lessons come with an hour of instruction and time out on the water independently, plus all the necessary amenities such as gear and access to storage in the shop. The shop offers camps, group lessons, and private and semi-private options. Alternatively, those looking for equipment rental on a trip to the area can also find what they need here.
52 Bovard Ave. Ormond Beach, FL 32176, Phone: 386-615-6754
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The teachers and staff at Surfs SUP are true stand-up paddleboard enthusiasts who see the sport as the perfect combination of relaxation and fitness on the beautiful open water. At Surfs SUP, guests can come to learn about this up-and-coming sport and enjoy the opportunities it offers one to sightsee, fish, do yoga, and engage in other activities on the boards. Surfs SUP has group and individual SUP lessons, SUP and surf camps for an extended experience, SUP races, and the unique Paddle FIT stability and mobility program. Adults and kids alike can join in the fun, while equipment rentals are available for those who already know the ropes.
2 John Anderson Drive, Ormond Beach, FL 32176, Phone: 386-308-9888
15.Sweet Marlay’s Coffee
© Sweet Marlay’s Coffee
Sweet Marlay’s Coffee is a one-of-a-kind coffee shop that brings a passion for coffee to the masses with its unique menu and specialty bean blends. The owners of Sweet Marlay’s have crafted their own signature blends, which are roasted by a similarly down-to-earth roasting company, keeping the entire operation close to home. All the ingredients used at the café, including in its homemade pastries and snacks, are fair trade and organic, as the proprietors put their heart and soul into the business. The café is a cozy setting for enjoying a cuppa and taking in the calm atmosphere of the beach on a comfortable Cape Cod chair.
214 S Beach St, Daytona Beach, FL 32114, Phone: 386-310-7817
16.Bad Juju Charters
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Bad Juju Charters is a fun-loving fishing charter company based in the Ormond Beach area of Florida. The enterprise is run by Captain Jason “Jay” Hughes, who has been fishing since childhood and loves sharing that experience with both locals and newcomers to the area. Bad Juju fishing charters are spent catching redfish, tarpon, snook, and other fish varieties commonly found in the southern Florida waters. Because the trips take place inshore or near the shore, anglers of all experience levels are welcome. The 21.5-foot boat can hold up to six passengers and is outfitted with safety and storage amenities.
New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169, Phone: 352-978-7777
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While Ormond Beach is best known for its sandy shores, it also features wide stretches of beautiful marshlands and other scenic ecosystems. Fortunately, thanks to the Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail, fondly known to locals as the Loop, anyone with a car or a pair of feet can access these wondrous gifts of nature. The trail, which extends more than 30 miles, weaves among state parks, gorgeous island dunes, rivers and creeks, and historical buildings and museums. The Ormond Beach Historical Society runs a regular schedule of interesting events around the Loop, including a speaker series and historically themed bus and walking tours.
Ormond Beach, FL 32176, Phone: 386-299-2441
18.Three Chimneys Historical Site
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A trip to the American South is not complete without a dose of history, and a trip to the Three Chimneys Historical Site is the perfect opportunity to get in touch with the past. This site was originally known as the Swamp Settlement and was established by the British in the mid-18th century, becoming the first successful British sugar plantation in the whole of North America. It belonged to Richard Oswald, who helped broker the treaty that ended the Revolutionary War. The sugar-making facility at the Swamp Settlement included three chimneys, which fell into ruin but were restored in 2007 for visitors to enjoy.
715 W Granada Blvd, Ormond Beach FL 32174, Phone: 386-677-7005
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19.Captain Eric Greenstein Inshore Fishing Charters
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Captain Eric Greenstein, leader of Captain Eric Greenstein Inshore Fishing Charters, is a top-rated captain in the Ormond Beach Area. A homegrown Florida native, the captain takes guests out on customized fishing trips in the inlets around Ormond and Daytona Beach. He prides himself on offering an experience that is completely tailored to the passengers’ fishing dreams. The charters are all-inclusive, with fishing equipment, licenses, bait, and water available on the boat. Trips are available for between 4 and 8 hours and one and four anglers, and Captain Eric fillets the catch of the day on board as a finishing touch to the charter.
Cassen Park Launch, Ormond Beach, FL, 32174, Phone: 386-449-9043
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20.Tomoka State Park
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Tomoka State Park brings together the best of Ormond Beach’s natural scenery as well as many of its sites of historical significance. The park was once the location of a Timucuan settlement and now includes both land-based nature trails and a series of waterways that almost seem to have been designed for paddling. The park provides shelter for many species, including some endangered animals, and is known for its diverse bird populations. Tomoka State Park is also packed with amenities, including a picnic area, boat ramp, interpretive exhibit, and even a park store that sells snacks and supplies to park-goers.
2099 North Beach Street, Ormond Beach, FL 32174, Phone: 386-676-4050
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20 Best Things to Do in Ormond Beach, Florida
- Addison Blockhouse Historic State Park, Photo: Courtesy of SusaZoom - Fotolia.com
- Andy Romano Beachfront Park, Photo: Courtesy of Satoshi Kina - Fotolia.com
- Ormond Beach, Photo: Courtesy of Wirepec - Fotolia.com
- Bulow Creek State Park, Photo: Courtesy of Jane - Fotolia.com
- Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum and Gardens, Photo: Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum and Gardens
- Central Park, Photo: Courtesy of captiva - Fotolia.com
- La Gourmandise French Bakery & Pastry, Photo: La Gourmandise French Bakery & Pastry
- Tomoka River Paddling Trail, Photo: Courtesy of jonbilous - Fotolia.com
- Ormond Beach Environmental Discovery Center, Photo: Ormond Beach Environmental Discovery Center
- Ormond Brewing Company, Photo: Ormond Brewing Company
- The Casements, Photo: The Casements
- Ormond Wine Co., Photo: Ormond Wine Co.
- Surfari, Photo: Courtesy of upslim - Fotolia.com
- SurfsSUP, Photo: Courtesy of Dash - Fotolia.com
- Sweet Marlay’s Coffee, Photo: Sweet Marlay’s Coffee
- Bad Juju Charters, Photo: Courtesy of lunamarina - Fotolia.com
- The Loop, Photo: Courtesy of offfstock - Fotolia.com
- Three Chimneys Historical Site, Photo: Courtesy of Thomas - Fotolia.com
- Captain Eric Greenstein Inshore Fishing Charters, Photo: Courtesy of vizafoto - Fotolia.com
- Tomoka State Park, Photo: Courtesy of Lauren - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of onlymag - Fotolia.com