For a long time, Daytona Beach’s reputation sat firmly in the over-18 world: Spring Break, bikers, and NASCAR tailgating dominated the beach’s public face. But lately families have been re-discovering Daytona Beach, and finding there is no shortage of family fun on the World’s Most Famous Beach. From beachside amusement parks to surfing off a pier, here are some amazing ways to discover Daytona Beach fun for families.
The Daytona Boardwalk & Pier is a slice of Americana right on Daytona Beach’s sparkling oceanfront. Choose from amusement park attractions such as go-karts, arcades, and even a ferris wheel soaring high above the ocean. You’ll also find the sweet shops, pizzerias and gift shops every good beach boardwalk needs. In the summer, the Daytona Beach Boardwalk hosts Saturday night fireworks. There is also a pier stretching into the ocean, with a Joe’s Crab Shack for dining over the Atlantic. Get details at their website.
Right along the Boardwalk you’ll find the Daytona Beach Bandshell, a historic beachside bandshell which looks like it was lifted right out of a classic American beach movie. Built from coquina, a coastal rock formed by seashells, in 1937, the Daytona Beach Bandshell offers free concerts and festivals throughout the year, with a Saturday night concert series all summer.
Daytona Lagoon offers an exciting water park and adventure experience right in the heart of Daytona Beach. Located just across A1A from the Daytona Beach Bandshell in the Ocean Walk complex, Daytona Lagoon features a wave pool, water slides, and kid’s play areas, plus go-karts, rock-climbing walls, laser tag, miniature golf, and an arcade. While Hurricane Matthew slowed the park’s operations down, Daytona Lagoon is slated to reopen in Spring 2017 with even more fun for families. Visit their website for updates before your trip.
Get a glimpse of the night sky on a rainy afternoon: visit MOAS, Daytona Beach’s own Museum of Arts and Sciences, for planetarium shows and laser concerts. Even the little ones can get in on the planetary action, with toddler-sized shows such as The Little Star That Could. The rest of the museum is no slouch, either. You’ll find the largest collection of Cuban art outside of Cuba, a train station and railroad exhibit in the Root Family Museum, and the Charles and Linda William’s Children’s Museum, amongst many other features. View the long list of offerings at the MOAS website.
Dine over the ocean, and maybe cast a line or two, at Sunglow Pier. The less-assuming of Daytona Beach’s two piers, Sunglow has family dining with spectacular ocean views at Crabby Joe’s, plus rod rentals and bait for ocean-fishing. Located in the less busy southern area of Daytona Beach Shores, Sunglow offers a more relaxed experience if you’re looking to escape the bustle of central Daytona Beach.
Of course, you’re at the beach, so don’t forget to spend some time enjoying the shoreline! Kick back on the beach or take a bike-ride on Daytona’s white sands. Daytona Beach was once the site of motor racing because of its wide, flat, hard-packed beaches. While cars are still allowed (no racing!) on some sections of the beach, you can take the family to a 12-mile stretch of beach where there’s only room for family fun, and take advantage of all that sand! Rent a bike for a relaxing trip up the strand, or stretch out in a beach chair to soak up the sun. Rent a paddleboard from Oceanside Paddle Sports and discover a new way to enjoy the ocean. You’ll find kiosks throughout the resort areas with beach rentals of all sorts.
While Spring Break and Bike Week are still major parts of the Daytona Beach calendar, more and more families are discovering the all-American, retro feel of this historic beach. With airlines adding non-stop flights to Daytona Beach International Airport, it’s easier to visit than ever.
Plan your family Daytona Beach trip right now — start with our Destinations tab, where you can explore our studio, one and two-bedroom condos at Grand Seas by Exploria Resorts in Daytona Beach, or for a more relaxed beachtown vibe, stay just down A1A at New Smyrna Waves by Exploria Resorts, in New Smyrna Beach. Both offer oceanfront pools, stunning beach views, direct beach access, and plenty of room for the entire family.