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According to Robin Draper, Authentic Florida’s author, “I always try to keep things simple. Why complicate life? So that’s why Authentic Florida is dedicated to sharing simple and delightful pleasures for Florida living.”
The upcoming Daytona 500 is just one of many reasons to race to adventure in Daytona Beach but for those who want relaxing beach time or outdoor nature therapy, it’s all here in Volusia County.
February 26 marks the 59th running of the world-renowned Daytona 500, the 200-lap, 500-mile stock car race. The iconic auto race held at Daytona International Speedway is just one of many reasons to spend time in Volusia County.
Daytona Beach, the “World’s Most Famous Beach”
From Ormond Beach to New Smyrna Beach, and from DeLand to Cassadaga, Volusia County – including Daytona Beach – has something for everyone.
This is definitely a place to go cruising with the top down and sunglasses on, but you don’t even need a car to get into the “cruisin’ state of mind.” Here, you can climb a lighthouse, hike through an oak hammock forest, fish off a pier, walk through an historic downtown, meet a manatee or even visit a classic biker bar.
Whether walking through history or enjoying the area’s best-kept secrets, consider these three suggested day trips. Each one will help you get to know the area while offering relaxation, fun and thrills that will keep you coming back for more:
#1 DAY TRIP
The Beach, Race History, a Lighthouse and Sea Turtles
Daytona Beach is called the Original American Beach with 23 miles of Atlantic waterfront providing more than ample room to plant your feet in the sand while enjoying the salty fresh air.
Over a century ago, this hard packed sand drew early racecar drivers to test their vehicles for maximum speed, thus creating an historic racing heritage.
Fifteen world land speed records were set on the sand that soon became known as the legendary Daytona Beach Road Course and was the precursor to the Daytona International Speedway.
Starting in 1936 the course regularly hosted races for what would become NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing). Visitors can retrace the steps of this course by following the marked signs starting at Racing’s North Turn (the restaurant by the same name marks the spot) at 4511 South Atlantic in Ponce Inlet. It paralleled the beach two miles south on A1A to the end of the road making the south turn to the beach, continuing north on the sandy beach, back to A1A finishing at the north turn. (In the 1940’s it was lengthened to 4.2 miles.)
Because of this history, driving a car on the beaches where racing began the tradition is one of Daytona’s most iconic experiences. You can do the same by following these access points.