Daytona Beach, Florida

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Daytona Beach, FL
About the Area

Beachside & Mainland

North - Ormond-by-the-Sea and Ormond Beach are located at the north end of the Daytona Beach area. The Ormond Beach area was once home to the Rockefellers and the Flaglers, as well as the early automotive pioneers who tested their inventions on the hard-packed beach. Today Ormond Beach features attractions like the Casements and Tomoka State Park. Visitors seeking a quieter part of the beach can find it in the Ormond Beach area. In fact, beach driving is not allowed at the northern end of Ormond Beach or in Ormond-by-the-Sea.

Central - Daytona Beach, made famous as the "World Center of Racing" and home of NASCAR, is the best known of the seven area communities. Although the wide stretch of white sandy beach is still the biggest attraction here, the Ocean Center convention complex, the new Daytona Beach International Airport, the new Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) golf course, and the Halifax Harbor Marina hail the renaissance which has been taking place in Daytona Beach over the last several years. Historical sites like the Main Street Pier, the Oceanfront Boardwalk and the Clocktower in Oceanfront Park add to the appeal of this exciting city.

South - Daytona Beach Shores was formed in 1960 by a group of moteliers who called themselves "2,000 Cottages." This relatively new city was incorporated in 1967, and stretches for 5 1/2-miles along the Atlantic Ocean. At the southern tip of the peninsula is the scenic fishing village of Ponce Inlet. Local charter fishing boats are located here, along with several of the area's best seafood restaurants.


North -
Ormond Beach extends across the Halifax River from the Beachside and is the very first Daytona Beach area community reached when traveling south on Interstate 95.

Central -
Holly Hill is bordered by the Halifax River on the east side, Ormond Beach on the north side, and Daytona Beach to the south. According to the Halifax Historical Society, Holly Hill was given its name by William Fleming, a farmer whose land had many holly trees on the west bank of the Halifax River. Also located in the central part of the area are parts of Daytona Beach and South Daytona. Each of these communities has giant oaks and other foliage traditional to Southern river landscapes.

South -
Port Orange is the fastest growing city in the Daytona Beach area. Located primarily between the Intracoastal Waterway and Interstate 95 in the southwest region of the area, it is home to Sugar Mill Gardens, exclusive Spruce Creek Fly-In, The Gamble Place at the Spruce Creek Environmental Preserve and many scenic parks and pathways.

A Brief History

Vacationers have been flocking to the Daytona Beach area for more than a century. During the late 1800s, the area caught the attention and imagination of many wealthy northern tycoons who found the land favorable for investment. One such mogul, Mathias Day, founding father of what was then called Daytona, built the first hotel, the Palmetto House, in 1874.

The trend continued with other entrepreneurs endeavoring to build a city of commerce and vision. Commodore Charles Bourgoyne began by building a community center in Daytona Beach in the early 1900s. Bourgoyne organized concerts along the riverfront actively promoting the town's events to travelers. Later, John D. Rockefeller, discovered Ormond Beach's immaculate golf courses and made his winter home at The Casements.

Automobile racing became a regular pastime along the hard-packed beaches at the turn of the 20th Century. Ormond Beach became known as the "birthplace of speed" due to the various land speed records set there. In 1947, the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing was founded in Daytona Beach. Motorsports gained new ground in 1959 with the opening of the Daytona International Speedway, which continues to satisfy hundreds of thousands of speed-hungry fans each year.

Today, the Daytona Beach area entertains approximately 8 million visitors each year. Visitors come from around the world to relax and recreate on one of the most beautiful, family-friendly beaches in Florida.

For more information about the history of the Daytona Beach area visit the Halifax Historical Museum located in downtown Daytona Beach.

A Proud Heritage
Bethune-Cookman College

"I had no furniture. I begged for dry goods boxes and made benches and stools; begged a basin and other things I needed and in 1904 five little girls here started school." - Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune


Known to many as the "World Center of Racing" and the "World's Most Famous Beach," Daytona Beach plays host to an increasing number of visitors who are discovering the area's rich African-American history.

African-Americans were among Daytona Beach's earliest settlers. A large colony of freed slaves was established in 1866 by Esther Hill and John Milton Hawks in an area just south of modern-day Daytona Beach. That area, called Freemanville, now includes the towns of Ponce Inlet and Port Orange. Hawk and his wife, both physicians, had been staunch abolitionists in their time and had spent the Civil War years caring for black Union soldiers. It was primarily these soldiers and their families, numbering as many as 1,500, who settled in this area following the Civil War.

Through their leadership and determination, other African-Americans such as Jackie Robinson, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, and Dr. Howard Thurman have left their legacies for you to discover in the Daytona Beach area. Their names, as well as their accomplishments, remain an important part of the area's proud heritage.

What's Nearby





Walt Disney World

I-4 West


Kennedy Space Center

I-95 or U.S.1 South


St. Johns River Country (DeLand area)

Hwy 92 West


St. Augustine

I-95 or U.S. 1 North


Silver Springs

S.R. 40 West


Sea World

I-4 West


Universal Studios Florida

I-4 West


Cypress Gardens

I-4 West, then U.S. 27 South


Safety Tips

The Daytona Beach area is proud of its well-deserved reputation as a safe place for visitors. The following are some common sense safety tips that will help to ensure a safe, secure vacation stay.

  • For emergency assistance of any kind, dial -911- from any phone.
  • When traveling in the area, always be alert and trust your instincts. Upon arrival, get your bearings, and note locations of well-traveled, well-lit areas where you could obtain assistance if necessary. Use area maps and travel main roads.
  • Carry a minimal amount of cash. Use travelers checks and credit cards whenever possible. Record their identification numbers, and keep that record in a separate, safe place.
  • Always carry purses, wallets, hotel keys and car keys securely. Do not leave purses on chairs, under tables or on bathroom hooks.
  • Be observant, and always report any suspicious activity to Law Enforcement, Security Officers, or Hotel and Business Managers.
  • Always lock your car, whether parked or traveling. When parked, keep valuables out of sight. At night, park in well-lit areas.
  • Keep hotel room windows and doors locked. Know who is at the door before you open it. Do not invite strangers to your room.
  • Keep extra cash and valuables locked in a safe place such as a hotel safe deposit box or a room safe.
  • Upon checking into a hotel or motel, locate fire exits, elevators, and the nearest phone. Plan the best way to exit in case of any emergency or fire.
  • Make sure children know the name and address of where you are staying. Remind children of places they can go to get help should they become separated from you.
  • Pedestrian traffic should cross roadways at intersections. Wait for pedestrian walk lights before crossing.
  • Florida law requires safety belts for all front seat passengers, regardless of age. Children under the age of 3 are required to be in a safety car seat. Children ages 4-5 must either be in a safety seat or wear a seat belt.

In the unlikely event you are confronted by an assailant, do not resist demands for your valuables

Some Content Courtesy of the Daytona Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau

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These pages prepared by Copyright 1999-2006 by Vision Technology Management, LLC. All images contained on this site are copyrighted to individual graphics artists/companies, and may not be used in any form without prior licensing. Send questions or comments using this form.  Please see our Privacy Policy  and Hotel Booking Terms and Conditions Last modified:07/05/2006  Also see our other travel site Southeast Getaway