Daytona Beach is home to a beautiful 23-mile stretch of white sandy beach, Daytona International Speedway, the Museum of Arts and Science, the Daytona Beach Broadwalk and the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse & Museum.
Best things to do in Daytona Beach, Florida with kids on a day trip or weekend getaway include the Marine Science Center, the Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory and Congo River Golf. Visitors can also enjoy great restaurants, RV parks and hotels.
1. Daytona Beach Boardwalk
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Built in 1938, the Daytona Beach Broadwalk on North Ocean Avenu earned this name because of the width of the walkway and the fact that it was made of concrete and not wooden boards. Today most people simply call it the Boardwalk. It is lined with many bars, hotels, restaurants, shops, and the City Walk shopping and entertainment complex.
If you are wondering what to see in Daytona Beach, the Daytona Beach Boardwalk also features many forms of entertainment and attractions. There are arcades with games, indoor and outdoor amusement rides like a roller coaster, a Ferris wheel, and many more. There is a bandshell on the boardwalk, and free concerts often take place here during the summer.
12 North Ocean Avenue, Daytona Beach, FL 32118, 386-253-0254
2. MOAS - Museum of Arts and Sciences
© MOAS - Museum of Arts and Sciences
With more than 30,000 objects, the Museum of Arts and Science (MOAS) is one of the largest museums in central Florida. Some of its exhibits include Cuban art, Chinese art, Early American furniture and art, displays related to Florida history, and a large collection of Americana including quilts, teddy bears, two private train cars, and many other pieces of memorabilia.
Opened in 2008, the Charles and Linda William’s Children’s Museum is a 9,000 square foot facility with many hands-on science exhibits. The museum offers many education outreach programs such as group tours and summer camps. If you are looking for fun things to do in Daytona Beach with kids, the museum also has a planetarium and auditorium.
352 South Nova Road, Daytona Beach, Florida, Phone: 386-255-0285
3. The Beach
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The Beach at Daytona is a 23-mile stretch of white sandy beach and one of the top places to visit. It is known for its hard-packed sand that allows cars to drive in certain restricted areas of the beach, and the beach was used for car and motorcycle racing as early as 1902. Starting in 1936, it became the location for the Daytona Beach Road Course; this ended in 1958 with the creation of the Daytona International Speedway.
Today, the beach is known for being family-friendly and having beachfront parks with picnic areas, pavilions, boardwalks, and restrooms. Some of the most popular beachfront parks include the Michael Crotty Bicentennial Park, the Lighthouse Point Park, and the Smyrna Dunes Park.
4. Daytona International Speedway Tours
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Take a tour of Daytona International Speedway, a world famous speedway, the home of the annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series motor race. There are many choices of tours that last from 30 minutes to three hours.
The Speedway Tour includes a ride through the speedway’s infield where visitors can take a close look at the famous speedway, while the VIP Tour includes a trip around the track and a visit to the International Speedway Corporation Archives and Research Center where guests can see the large collection of racing artifacts, trophies, race cars, driver memorabilia, and much more.
1801 West International Speedway Boulevard, Daytona Beach, Florida, Phone: 800-748-7467
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5. Lighthouse Point Park
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Lighthouse Point Park is a public park located on South Atlantic Avenue in Ponce Inlet just south of Daytona Beach and Daytona Beach Shores. It is a 52-acre park located at the southern tip of Ponce Inlet and has many appealing activities, amenities, and facilities such as swimming, fishing, pavilions, an observation deck, nature trails, and much more.
The park is known for its natural beauty and wildlife. If you are wondering what to do in Daytona Beach with active kids, this is a great spot.
Visitors can see dolphins along the shoreline, and in the sandy areas there are many different kinds of animals such as armadillos, gopher tortoises, possums, raccoons, and several types of birds like birds of prey and shore birds.
5000 South Atlantic Avenue, Ponce Inlet, FL 32127
6. Ponce de Leon Lighthouse & Museum
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ThePonce de Leon Lighthouse & Museum is a historic lighthouse on the Ponce de Leon Inlet. Standing 175 feet (53 meters) high, it is the tallest lighthouse in Florida and one of the tallest in the United States. The first lighthouse was built in 1835 to prevent shipwrecks from taking place along the coast; the current lighthouse was completed in 1887 on what was then called Mosquito Inlet.
Abandoned in 1970, the lighthouse was restored to service in 1982. The museum consists of the lighthouse, three keepers’ dwellings, and several historic objects such as the 1867 lens installed in 1887.
4931 South Peninsula Drive, Ponce Inlet, FL 32127, 386-761-1821
7. Marine Science Center
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The Marine Science Center features many interactive exhibits that help visitors learn about the marine habitat and marine wildlife. Some of the exhibits include a 5,000-gallon artificial reef aquarium, a stingray touch pool, the Mary Keller Seabird Rehabilitation Sanctuary, the Nature Trail, and a bird observation tower.
The seabird rehabilitation center has treated and cared for over 4,500 wounded and sick birds since it opened in 2004. If you are wondering what to see in Daytona Beach, Florida, the Marine Science Center is a great place to visit with the whole family. The Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Department opened in 2002 and has cared for thousands of sea turtles, freshwater turtles, gopher tortoises, and other reptiles.
100 Lighthouse Drive, Ponce Inlet, FL 32127, 386-304-5545
8. Beach Street
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Beach Street is a historic shopping street between Bay Street and Orange Avenue in the downtown area of Daytona Beach, and the nearby Halifax River gives the riverfront restaurants and shops a special atmosphere. The restaurants offer a wide variety of cuisines such as American, French, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, and many others.
Shops sell antiques, art, books, clothes, jewelry, and much more. In addition to the restaurants and shops, there are many service providers such as salons, health care, and automotive services.
Beach Street is also an entertainment area with many attractions like the Cinematique Theater, the Halifax Harbor Marina, the Halifax History Museum, and theater performances at the News-Journal Center.
9. Three Brothers Boards
© Three Brothers Boards
Three Brothers Boards is a paddleboard company located on South Beach Street in Daytona Beach. They sell handmade exotic wood stand-up paddleboards as well as paddleboard accessories. The company also offers a variety of Stand Up Paddle Board Tours in the Daytona Beach and Halifax River areas. Experienced professionals lead all of the tours, and only the best equipment is used.
The Dolphin and Manatee Adventure Tour starts with a lesson for beginning paddleboarders, and guests are able to have close up encounters with dolphins and manatees. The Three Brothers SUP Nature Tour leads guests through bird sanctuaries and mangrove forests to see wildlife like manatees and redfish.
212 South Beach Street #100, Daytona Beach, Florida, Phone: 386-310-4927
10. Pure Life Surf School
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If you are looking for great Daytona Beach activities, Pure Life Surf School offers surfing lessons, surf camps and stand up paddleboard lessons. Private or group lessons are offered for any age group, and all instructors are professional, experienced, and trained and certified in CPR and first aid.
In addition to learning how to surf, guests are taught about the ocean and correct surfing etiquette. Surf camps are held for children and the company guarantees a ratio of no more than four students per instructor. The stand up paddleboard tours take place in the Halifax River so that guests can enjoy the mangrove trails and the wildlife.
2705 S Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach Shores, FL 32118, 386-492-7873
11. Richard Petty Driving Experience
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Richard Petty Driving Experience is a company that offers drivers the opportunity to drive a racecar around the world-famous Daytona International Speedway. Guests can drive a 600HP NASCAR racecar around the 2.5-mile speedway, the home of the Daytona 500.
Another option is the Ride-along Experience, where guests ride instead of drive around the track, and a professional and experienced racecar driver drives the car. The company also offers a Junior Ride-Along @ Daytona International Speedway for young adults. The number of laps depends on the option chosen.
1801 West International Speedway Boulevard, Daytona Beach, Florida, Phone: 800-237-3889
12. Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory
© Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory
Founded in Michigan in 1925 by Riddell Angell and Cora Phelps, Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory moved to Daytona Beach at the beginning of World War II. Today, the company still uses its original recipes to make its chocolates. The company offers free 20-minute guided tours of the factory where visitors can watch the chocolate making process, and visitors are also given free samples.
Some of the company’s chocolate products are unique: they make chocolates in interesting shapes like alligators, conch shells, dolphins, sand dollars, and many more. If you are looking for date ideas in Daytona Beach, visit this fun attraction.
154 South Beach Street, Daytona Beach, Florida, Phone: 386-252-6531
13. Jackie Robinson Ballpark
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Jackie Robinson Ballpark is a historic baseball field on City Island in the Halifax River. It has historic significance because it was the site of the first integrated baseball game. Opened in 1914 as the City Island Ball Park, the stadium was rebuilt in 1962.
In 1946, Daytona Beach was the first city in Florida to allow Robinson to play a game at the stadium, thus making history; it is listed on the U.S. National Register of History Places. There is a statue of Jackie Robinson as well as a museum and historic markers at the ballpark.
105 East Orange Avenue, Daytona Beach, FL 32114, 386-257-3172
14. Congo River Golf
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Congo River Golf is a fun adventure-themed miniature golf course with many additional attractions. The miniature golf course is filled with exciting features like caves, rain forests, waterfalls, and much more. There is an interactive alligator exhibit with over 25 alligators, which is where guests are able to take part in an alligator feeding experience.
Another attraction is the Congo River Mining experience, where visitors can sift for arrowheads, fossils, gemstones, and more. The arcade room has a large variety of games for children and adults. The Exploration Game is a scavenger hunt with prizes for successful participants.
2100 South Atlantic Avenue, Daytona Beach, Florida, Phone: 386-258-6808
15. Halifax Harbor Marina
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The 550-slip marina Halifax Harbor Marina is a year-round facility for permanent docking as well as for overnight or seasonal use.
The marina is conveniently located, as it is just a short ride to the open sea and an equally short distance to all the amenities and attractions that Daytona Beach has to offer. Some of these include dining, entertainment, and shopping as well as its historic and scenic downtown area.
It is also close to the Daytona International Airport and the Daytona International Speedway. Amenities include bathhouses, cable TV, gated docks, security, and much more.
450 Basin Street, Daytona Beach, FL 32114, 386-671-3601
16. Daytona Lagoon
© Daytona Lagoon
Offering fun and excitement for all ages, Daytona Lagoon features thrilling speed slides, turns and twists over rushing water, and much more for the entire family. There are around a dozen water rides at the water park, including a lazy river, giant wave pool, the Shaka Half-Pipe “pendulum slide,” and the four-lane Kraken’s Revenge 54-foot-tall mat racer. There’s also the Paradise Grill and a family entertainment center at Daytona Lagoon with the Sky Maze, which includes a zipline and a ropes course. Other activities and attractions include bumper cars, a rock wall, miniature golf, go-kart racing, and laser tag.
601 Earl St, Daytona Beach, FL 32118, 386-254-5020
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17. Mary Bethune Home
The Mary Bethune Home was once the home of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, who was an educator, civil rights leader, and the founder of Bethune-Cookman University. A National Historic Landmark, the house is full of a variety of interesting artifacts, as well as photographs of famous visitors and United States presidents. The Mary Bethune Home is located on Bethune-Cookman University’s scenic campus and visitors can take a guided tour of the facility. This historic house has been maintained in the same state it was in during Bethune’s time at the residence, from 1913 until 1955, including the original furnishings.
640 Dr Mary McLeod Bethune Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114, 386-481-2121
18. Grave of Brownie, the Town Dog
© Grave of Brownie, the Town Dog
The Grave of Brownie, the Town Dog, is the grave of the most famous “four-legged friend” of Daytona Beach, Florida. While this beloved dog may no longer be around, the story of Brownie is still shared today to those who visit. Brownie was a stray dog living in the downtown area that was "owned by no one,” but “loved by all,” meaning the residents of the town collectively adopted him in 1939 until he sadly passed away in 1954. Brownie had his own custom dog house, dined on ice cream and steak, and even had a bank account with Florida Bank and Trust.
62-94 Orange Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
19. Sweetheart Trail
The Sweetheart Trail in Daytona Beach, Florida is a multi-use trail offering traffic-free travel with amenities, such as contemporary shaded awnings complementing the riverfront’s beauty. Running along the scenic Halifax River, this trail has long been a significant transportation corridor, as well as an economic resource for the area. The Sweetheart trail is part of the East Coast Greenway, which is a trail that runs 2,900 miles from Key West, Florida to Calais, Maine. Entering Daytona Beach, the trail goes through Sickler Park and continues to Beville Road. The Sweetheart Trail also travels near several boutique shops and unique eateries.
20. Halifax Historical Museum
© Halifax Historical Museum
Located on Beach Street in the historic Merchants Bank Building that dates back to 1910, the Halifax Historical Museum highlights the colorful and rich history of the Daytona Beach area all the way back to 5000 B.C through present day. Open Tuesday through Saturday, the museum features artifacts associated with vintage Americana, World War I and World War II, pioneer families, and the British and Spanish colonial periods. There’s also the Racing Zone at the Halifax Historical Museum, which explores early beach racing in the area to NASCAR. Other permanent exhibits include The Civil War in Florida and Native Americans Timucuans.
252 S Beach St, Daytona Beach, FL 32114, 386-255-6976
21. Dine and Cruise
© Dine and Cruise
Dine and Cruise offers a relaxing and fun ninety minutes on the water in Daytona Beach, Florida. Passengers aboard the cruise can dine as they take in the scenic Intracoastal Waterway and possibly even dolphins swimming playfully near the boat. The Dine and Cruise ticket includes not only the cruise itself, but parking, sightseeing, music, unlimited soft drinks, dinner, and dessert. There is a full bar available that provides discounted drinks and free raffle prizes are included with the cruise as well. For dinner, all entrees are served with green beans and garlic mashed potatoes, unless otherwise noted.
125 Basin St Suite 140, Daytona Beach, FL 32114, 386-402-1353
22. Daytona SlingShot
© Daytona SlingShot
The Daytona SlingShot is located at Screamer’s Park, just to the south from Daytona Beach’s Main Street Pier. In addition to the Slingshot, this thrilling and adrenaline-pumping destination also includes the Vomatron, touted as “the ride the astronauts feared,” which features two seats at the end of a massive 165-foot arm. There’s no weight or age limit for both the Vomatron and the Daytona Beach Slingshot. Guests just need to be at least 44 inches tall and be able to safely fit in the seat and properly fasten the seat belt. There’s also the Screamer’s Bar with soda, wine, and beer.
25 S Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32118, 386-944-9861
23. Lilian Place Heritage Center
© Lilian Place Heritage Center
The Lilian Place Heritage Center is a historic house built back in 1884 that was purchased in 2009 by the Heritage Preservation Trust. The oldest home on the beachside of Daytona Beach, Florida, visitors can take guided self-guided tours of the building Wednesday through Monday. Events and activities are also hosted at Lilian Place, such as Wednesday Winedown on the third Wednesday of the month and Victorian Tea on every third Tuesday afternoon. The Lilian Place Heritage Center is considered to be a prime example of the Italianate High Victorian architectural style, featuring heart-of-pine floors, wood crown moldings, and high ceilings.
1000 S Peninsula Dr, Daytona Beach, FL 32118, 386-256-4810
24. Ocean Deck Restaurant & Beach Club
© Ocean Deck Restaurant & Beach Club
A family-owned and operated local eatery, Ocean Deck Restaurant & Beach Club serves tasty food with a beach view and a relaxed atmosphere. The fresh seafood is the highlight of the menu here, featuring the famous Mahi Mahi, seared Ahi Tuna, oysters, and crab legs. However, it’s not just seafood on the menu at Ocean Deck Restaurant. There’s also wings tossed in the restaurant’s signature “Rasta Sauce,” slow cooked ribs, tender steaks, award-winning burgers, and homemade Key Lime Pie. Live music is played at Beach Club every night at the only bar to have a beach stage on the East Coast.
127 S Ocean Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32118, 386-253-5224
25. Caribbean Jack's
A popular restaurant and bar among both locals and visitors alike along Daytona Beach’s waterfront that serves “Crabby Patties” and “Gator Bites.” The menu also features some of the favorites of Florida regional seafood loved by the chef, specialty tropical drinks, and shareable desserts. Offering both outdoor and indoor seating, Caribbean Jack’s provides diners with a great view of Florida’s scenic Intracoastal Waterway. While dining on fresh seafood and regional Florida cuisine, guests can also listen to live music at night from the outdoor deck. The restaurant also offers a Happy Hour with its specialty drinks seven days a week.
721 Ballough Rd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114, 386-523-3000