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Daytona Beach, Florida 72-Hour Vacation


A "Speedy" Beach Town
72 Hours in Daytona Beach


Daytona Park motor sports
Daytona Park motor sports

DAY 3

Depending on where you're staying, it's worth the five to 15-mile drive to Ormond Beach to eat breakfast at Peach Valley Café. Pleasant surroundings and friendly service lend themselves well to tasty omelets and not-to-be-missed apple fritters.

Now it's beach time! Dubbed "the world's most famous beach" in 1920, Daytona Beach continues to live up to its name with 23 miles of extra wide, clean sandy beaches. Hit the waves, position your lounge chair, dabble in the sand, stroll along the shoreline, or rent a beach buggy. Please remember not to disturb the marked fragile sea turtle nests between May 15 and Oct. 31.

Ocean Walk
Ocean Walk

For lunch, choose Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurant & Market in Ocean Walk, an oceanfront center for shopping, eating and movie-going in the heart of Daytona Beach. Named after characters in Forrest Gump, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is sure to please with family-friendly entrees. You can't help but chuckle at the creative dishes that pay homage to Forrest. Go for the "Run Chicken Run"—chilled mixed greens tossed with grilled chicken, pecans, basil, gorgonzola cheese and balsamic vinaigrette. Or how about "Boat Trash"—deep fried shrimp, slipper lobster and mahi mahi dusted with Cajun spices and served with fries?

After your lunch settles, and you refresh yourselves in your oceanside hotel room, take advantage of other water-related activities. Hop on Bongo Billy's Banana Boat Rides for a rollicking 25-minute trip along the coast. Bongo Billy's offers free pickup and return at any hotel on the beach. Soar above the beach in a parasail that takes you between 800 and 2000 feet high. Or rent a new Yamaha jet ski that bounces along the Halifax River.

Halifax Harbor Marina
Halifax Harbor Marina

Daytona Beach Surfing School specializes in teaching beginners of all ages how to ride and appreciate the waves. This water sport combines balance, timing, coordination, stamina and the ability to understand the ocean's elements. Surfboards are provided in private, semi-private or group lessons.

Cap off your vacation with a first-rate dinner in Ormond Beach at Frappes North with gourmet American cuisine.

Wind down on your last night with an outdoor concert at the historic Daytona Beach Bandshell. Access this beachfront amphitheater through Ocean Walk or via the adjacent Earl Street parking garage overpass. Built out of natural coquina rock, the bandshell's first performance rocked audiences on July 4, 1937. Nowadays, free concerts run the scales of music, from big band, jazz and blues to Latin, country and folk.

TIPS

While any time of year is a good time to visit, it's best to steer clear of crowded Speed Week and Bike Week—unless you are a race car or motorcycle enthusiast. Races generally take place in mid-February and around July 4. Bike events run the first of March and mid-October. Check the Daytona Beach Area Convention & Bureau site for each year's specific dates.

Services at Daytona International Airport expanded in early 2008. Previous flight schedules, which still remain, include Delta nonstops to Atlanta. Now, after a ten-year absence, US Airways recently began nonstop service from Daytona to Charlotte, NC. Check www.flydaytonafirst.com for updates, especially on seasonal routes.

The Daytona Beach International Festival featuring the London Symphony Orchestra is held biennially. The last event took place in April/May 2009; the next is slated for 2011. Formerly known as the Florida International Festival, the two-week fest features internationally acclaimed performers in music and dance. Outside of London, the London Symphony Orchestra has performed in Daytona Beach more than anywhere else in the world.

For more information, go to www.dbif.com.


MORE DAYTONA BEACH INFORMATION

Daytona Beach Hotels
Daytona Beach Restaurants
Daytona Beach Attractions
Travel Guide Florida
Daytona Beach Convention
and Visitors Bureau

* Images courtesy of the Daytona Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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(Updated: 08/26/10 CT)

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