Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip to Daytona Beach

August 24, 2012 2:00 PM

(Credit: Thinkstock)

With one of the most beautiful beaches in the state (and possibly the nation), Daytona Beach has long been a popular destination for visitors seeking fun in the sun. The coastline is undoubtedly the star of the city, but is by no means the only thing Daytona Beach has to offer. From the exhilarating energy of the Daytona International Speedway to the culinary adventure of the city’s food scene, Daytona Beach’s multi-faceted lifestyle makes it a fantastic option for a weekend getaway.

Getting There

For the fastest and most direct route, Interstate 95 is the highway of choice. The 266-mile drive may be covered in about 4.5 hours. For a more scenic route, U.S. 27 fits the bill. Although it adds an additional 40 miles of distance and another hour to your travel time, the views you’ll get driving through big cities and small towns alike add a little something to the road trip experience.

Along The Way

capecanaveral Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip to Daytona Beach

(Source: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
State Road 405 (Ridge Road and East Avenue Southwest)
Cape Canaveral, FL 32899
(866) 737-5235

Prices: $45 adults/$35 children 3 to 11

Snag an up-close and personal look at one of the nation’s most valuable and fascinating treasures. With the Shuttle Launch Experience, patrons may experience a simulated space shuttle launch. The U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, a moving exhibit, lists the names of NASA’s heroes. Other attractions include the Hubble Telescope Exhibit, which offers yet another look inside the national space program. For kids, the Children’s Playdome offers an environment of active physical fun.

What To Do

148014801 Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip to Daytona Beach

Source: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Daytona International Speedway
1801 W. International Speedway Blvd.
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
(800) 748-7467 tickets/(877) 306-7223 tours

Price: from $15 for adults/$10 for children

The world of NASCAR brings its high energy and excitement to Daytona Beach with the Daytona 500. At this landmark facility, buy tickets for a live race, or take an in-depth guided tour of one of the country’s most beloved raceways. The Richard Petty Driving Experience provides a thrilling chance to ride a real stock car and emulate the greats.

117856843 Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip to Daytona Beach

Source: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR

The World’s Most Famous Beach
State Road A1A
Daytona Beach, FL 32118
(386) 257-6000 ext.15953

A trip to Daytona Beach isn’t complete without spending some time on any part of the 23 miles of beach the city has to offer.  Pedestrians have access to the beach 24/7. There are even parts of the beach where driving is permitted. About a dozen county parks have access to the beach, but snag a hotel with beachfront access for the full experience. Any beach activity you can think of — swimming, sun bathing, even watching sea turtles — comes standard at this beach. Don’t leave without grabbing a frozen lemonade at one of the on-site food trucks.

Related: Greatest Kayak Tours in South Florida

mai tai tiki bar Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip to Daytona Beach


Mai Tai Bar
250 N. Atlantic Ave.
Daytona Beach, FL 32118
(386) 947-2493

Mai Tai Bar promises delicous drinks and lively atmosphere to boot. Imagine a cool, hip tiki bar near the coast of Daytona Beach, and immediately you’ll see the intrigue. Naturally, one of the bar’s most popular drinks is the Mai Tai, so be sure to grab one in any flavor while you’re there. In addition to the inventive drinks, guests may grab a quick bite, and even enjoy a beer on draft before heading back to the beach. It’s location at Ocean Walk Shoppes makes it easily accessible from anywhere in town.


wyndham daytona beach Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip to Daytona Beach


Wyndham Ocean Walk Resort
300 N. Atlantic Ave.
Daytona Beach, FL 32118
(386) 323-4800/(888) 743-2323

Price: from $159 per night

Experience the sophistication of condominium living at the Wyndham Ocean Walk Resort, a part of Wyndham’s Vacation Ownership (timeshare) Program. Guests may reserve luxury suites, complete with a full kitchen, and a separate living room and bedrooms. Accommodations range from studios to penthouses and may offer panoramic city views or breathtaking ocean views. The resort features the ever-popular lazy river, an indoor and outdoor pool, a poolside bar and grill, and direct access to the beach.

econo lodge daytona beach Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip to Daytona Beach


Econo Lodge Daytona Beach Oceanfront
1601 S. Atlantic Ave.
Daytona Beach, FL 32118
(386) 255-2221/ (877) 424-6423 toll free

Price: from $58 per night

This property offers a more modest, laid-back atmosphere and lower rates. Guests looking for a more affordable option will find great value here, and still get an opportunity to have a room with a view of the ocean. Included in the stay are a continental breakfast, access to outdoor pool and laundry facilities, and a whirlpool. Some rooms include a full kitchen and balconies.

Related: Getaway Guide to Fort Lauderdale


aunt catfish on the river Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip to Daytona Beach


Aunt Catfish on the River
4009 Halifax Dr.
Port Orange, FL 32127
(386) 767-4768

Only a 10-minute drive away, this popular Port Orange restaurant serves up an authentic Florida experience. Look forward to freshly caught seafood while enjoying an atmosphere that pays homage to Old Florida. The locally famous Sunday brunch continuously attracts large crowds. Aunt Catfish is a family owned and run establishment, putting its focus on the quality of the food.

the cellar restaurant Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip to Daytona Beach


The Cellar

220 Magnolia Ave.
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
(386) 258-0011

The Cellar offers an exquisite fine dining experience through the flavors of Italy. The building itself is a historical landmark. It’s listed on the National Historical Registry as the former home of former president Warren G. Harding. The menu stays true to authentic Italian cuisine, providing unique offerings including prosciutto and melon, gnocchi with bolognese and mushroom risotto. Review its extensive wine list for a chance to sample prosceco, the flagship sparkling wine.

For nearly 20 years, Shawanda James has been actively involved in creative writing in Miami, Florida. In addition to her work as a freelance writer, she is actively seeking publication for her debut novel and collection of poetry. Her work can be found at