For over a century, since the first railroad tracks were laid along the east coast of Florida, people have been flocking to Daytona Beach to escape the northern winters, enjoy the beautiful year-round weather, and stroll the hard-packed white sandy beaches. Before long, automobile manufacturers started testing new vehicles along those beaches, which led to a new form of competition: auto racing. Today, most people know Daytona Beach as a place for family beach vacations, spring break trips, and NASCAR events, the area's main draws. Plus, because it's only a couple hours' drive from Orlando, it's an easy daytrip to head over to Walt Disney World Resort or Universal Orlando for a day of rollercoaster theme park fun. That said, there's much more to the Daytona Beach area than what's on the surface. Look a little deeper, and you'll find some unique and interesting experiences you can enjoy. 1 | Jackie Robinson Ballpark | In 1946 while playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Jackie Robinson took the field at this ballpark, making it the first integrated spring training game in Major League Baseball history. A year later, after spending a season in the minor leagues, he would make his regular season debut with the big-league club, officially breaking baseball's color barrier. Today, Jackie Robinson Ballpark honors his legacy with a life-size statue at the stadium entrance, and it serves as the home of the Daytona Tortugas, a minor league affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. During baseball season, taking in a ball game here is a fun and affordable treat for your family. Stadium tours are also available throughout the year.Where: 105 E. Orange Ave, Jackie Robinson Ballpark, Daytona Beach, FL 32114 | Who: 386-257-3172 VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS Check Out These Related Articles Savor 10 of the Most Romantic Restaurants in Orlando Top 13 Spots Near Orlando to Get Your Shop On! The 13 Best Places to Jet Ski Near Orlando 2 | Dolphin and Manatee Paddleboard Tours | Stand-up paddle boarding is a great way to enjoy the calm inland waters around Daytona Beach without needing a lot of experience. In fact, beginners of all ages have been known to handle a paddle board in minutes with just a little instruction. Stand-up paddle boarding is also a healthy low-impact activity that provides fitness benefits and improves balance. Plus, there are tour operators in the Daytona Beach area that specialize in guiding their guests to waters where they can see manatees and dolphins.Where: 115 E Orange Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32114 | Who: 386-882-8422 VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS 3 | Driving The Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail | Just a few miles north of Daytona Beach sits The Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail, a 34-mile double loop that takes you along the Atlantic coast on A1A, through several miles of old-Florida forest, and along both sides of the Halifax River. The “Loop” is a favorite trek for bicyclists, as well as sightseers in motorcycles and cars. The journey takes you through miles of untouched natural beauty, where the trees lining the road form a wooded canopy. As you drive along A1A with the windows down, you can hear the crashing of the waves and feel the salty ocean breeze on your face. And passing through Tomoka State Park, don't be surprised if you see people fishing and crabbing in the river.Where: Ormond Beach, FL 32176 | Who: 386-299-2441 VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS 4 | Haunted St. Augustine | About an hour's drive north of Daytona Beach, St. Augustine, Florida was established in 1565, making it the oldest still-standing city in the U.S. So it stands to reason that it's also considered one of the most haunted. From apparitions at the Castillo de San Marcos, a 17th-century coquina limestone fort, to a phantom innkeeper who carries a lantern back and forth along the balcony of an old hotel at night, strange sightings have been reported from St. Augustine for generations. Today, more than a dozen ghost tours operate in this paranormal capital. And while most are guided walking tours, there is one where guests ride in a vintage hearse!Where: 27 San Marco Ave, St. Augustine, FL 32084 | Who: 904-826-3663 VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS 5 | Washington Oaks Gardens State Park | Located about 45 minutes north of Daytona Beach, Washington Oaks Gardens offers a lush natural environment that bridges a barrier island from the Matanzas River on the west to the Atlantic Ocean on the east. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll through a formal garden that includes roses, camellias, and azaleas, all sheltered by a hammock of stately oak trees. You can also explore the park's unique shoreline with its coquina limestone outcroppings, a rarity in Florida. And because the park is recognized by the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, it is known as a birdwatcher's paradise.Where: 6400 N Ocean Shore Blvd, Palm Coast, FL 32137 | Who: 386-446-6780 VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS 6 | José Gaspar Treasure Company | A trip to Daytona Beach isn't complete without taking home a few kitschy souvenirs, and while A1A is practically lined with gift shops, the José Gaspar Treasure Company takes kitsch to new heights! It was named after the legendary Florida pirate, José Gaspar – a.k.a Gasparilla – who is rumored to have attacked more than 400 ships in a 38-year career. Today, this unique shop, which is located in Flagler Beach about a half hour's drive north of Daytona Beach, carries a variety of pirate-themed gifts and souvenirs, as well as seashells, shark teeth, wind chimes, and much more!Where: 2119 N Ocean Shore Blvd, Flagler Beach, FL 32136 | Who: 386-439-3061VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS View this post on Instagram A post shared by West Volusia Tourism (@visitwestvolusia) BONUS | Stetson Mansion | Speaking of treasure... if you're on the hunt for a great historical sight to visit, make sure to take the short drive inland from Daytona Beach to DeLand, Florida and visit the Stetson Mansion! Built in 1886 and designed by popular architect George T. Pearson for the hat manufacturer John B. Stetson, famous as the inventor of the cowboy hat. Still a private residence, the Stetson Mansion is open to the public, offering guests the opportunity to step into one of Florida's first luxury homes. Where: 1031 Camphor Ln, DeLand, FL 32720 | Who: 386-873-0167 VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS Use this handy map to help you find all these great locations! Book Your Exploria Resorts Stay Today Grand Seas Daytona Beach is the perfect setting for creating unique vacation experiences and unforgettable memories. The resort is conveniently located right on Daytona Beach, minutes from shopping, restaurants, and more. So hurry! Check out these resort destination offers and book your stay today! All featured content is current as of the publishing date of this article and is for informational purposes only. Exploria Resorts is in no way affiliated with the proprietors and/or attractions featured nor endorses any stated services. If you would like to take the opportunity to visit any of the places featured, we encourage and advise you to visit the respective websites for the most up-to-date hours of operation, pricing, and information. 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