If you are in heaven, as the song says you must be in Daytona Beach Florida. And where could be a better place to be in then than on the beautiful, pristine beach? The easy access from Orlando, the peaceful ambiance of mature trees dancing in the Florida sunshine, its population that is downright raving about how great it used to be, its proximity to the ocean with fantastic views of the Gulf Stream, Daytona Beach’s International Airport which is just forty minutes away, this area is just heaven.
We have been coming to Daytona Beach for years and getting married in nearby Sarasota many times. We always knew that this place was the “perfect” place to have our wedding. Not only is it scenic, beautiful, and perfect for small groups but it has a ton of other attractions too. Like taking a tour of the surrounding land as you watch the fog roll in or go fishing in the Gulf. There are dozens of campgrounds and RV parks in the area and they make it easy to enjoy a vacation right in the middle of Florida.
When we got married the only other place to have a wedding was a church, which many folks took to be the best wedding grounds in the area. They didn’t realize that Daytona Beach was closer to Sarasota and less than an hour away. The weather was overcast and raining so we decided to have a reception at the beach as our wedding ceremony. As unbelievable as it seems to have a wedding on the beach, it ended up being one of the most fun, colorful, fun events we have ever had.
The people are unbelievable, as are the accents. You can get lost in the city for a bit and find that you are in a true melting pot. Italian, German, Filipino, Chinese, and a variety of other cuisines seem to be the choice of many in the area and you can sample a diverse range of excellent food.
Daytona Beach is a popular place to stay and many inns and resorts offer free Wi-Fi for their guests. Some have beautiful ocean-side views. If you are looking for more of a challenge, go for handicap golf. Many of the world-class golf courses are in and around the area and included on the handicap listings are many of the Daytona Beach clubhouses.
When more than a week remains in the area, head for Bonita Beach where you will find Italianate ruins. The Bonita clear water is currently the best, this is the end-all of what you need to consider when choosing a place to stay and this will be the crown jewel of your vacation. A place of fantasy and water sports, it’s a beautiful place to relax and rekindle that connection you feel with nature.
Kendall’s Beach is a favorite of families and usually has a picnic lunchtime offered where the food is great and the staff are smile and helpful. Spend the whole day relaxing, building sandcastles, playing in the waves, eating cheeseburgers, and perking up and it’s just what you need to refresh yourself to get back out there on the beach where the surf starts to pick up.
If you do get too much scheduled activity and need some relaxation time, try Seabra Beach, it’s a family beach in an environment that has clear water and great views to justify the price. It is not as developed as many of the other beaches but that’s what gives it its appeal.
For the more active, there are many options besides the Beatrice Park Boardwalk. The Gulfstream Park goes for a circle of Surf program where you can surf the waves, swim with the fish, etc. And then there’s the infamous Daytona USA where you can take the “green mile” trail around inside a circle (it’s not round). This gives you a view of the sweep and the difficulty required to conquer it (side-stepping down, looking like you might walk the round and JC jugging).fin
Alaior is the closest beach to the city, it is offshore, which is a nice spot to bring the whole family. And on the close side of the Gulfstream Park is a great bike trail, plenty of parking, and offers a coffee shop.
Pensacola is about 30 miles out of the city. The city has a great beach with plenty of merchants along its Adecco Beach. You can also take the “right” off the highway (R highway) and then turn left to review the Crestline area. At the end of the review, there is a nice lookout post for the Metropolitan Preservation Ordinance.
Pensacola is known for its shrimp and oysters. There is a reputation of being controlling with whom else it “sucks”, though I am not sure if that is true.