Beach walkin' breaks up a road trip
I do a long road trip from time to time, driving from Key West to Northern Virginia. Daytona Beach is a good goal to reach in the afternoon. For the three dollar twilight fee you can drive right onto the beach and have a nice long walk on the beach to break up the driving. You can't beat a nice barefoot walk in the sand to help you recover from being cooped up in the car all day.
MM 830.7 Halifax Harbor Marina
Been here twice and loved it. Last time it was $1.15/ft including everything, and diesel was $1.069/gallon. This time we were at H dock, and closer to stuff. They also have an email line for each section. TV -cable was good, and marina personnel were helpful. In the picture, the entrance channel is behind the boat and the office is behind the dinghy.
They give funny keys sort of like dog tags. They told us that if we left during the day, we could drive the boat by the fuel dock and someone would hold a net out for us to drop them into. Fortunately we didn't have to try that, as we left about 6:30 and the security guard came for them.
When they say 'walking distance...' that's only if you are on the side of the marina that is close enough to stuff to walk to it. There is still a West Marine on the property but there are NO restaurants anywhere close to C dock where we were, and the map they gave us which showed Rosarios (which was the closest off the property from where we were on C dock) was NOT where it was shown on the map. It was a long walk, and we went several blocks in the wrong direction. From their website:
Fuel & Sanitary Pump-Out
Showers & Restrooms
Concierge Style Dock Service [i.e. they send someone in a little boat to check you in instead of making you walk a couple of miles around the marina]
Picnic Area With Grills
West Marine Ship's Store On-Site
Dock Locker At Slip
On-Site Launch Ramp
Walking Distance to Downtown Restaurants & Shops [NOT]
Transient Slips Available; Reservations always welcome.
MAIN STREET: This is actually...
MAIN STREET: This is actually not the town's biggest thoroughfare; it's 'Biker Alley' just off the beach. Lots of leather shops, bars, bike accessory places, t-shirt shops, jewelry shops, cafes, etc. Bikers are friendly; tourists and non-bikers don't need to feel intimidated. Place is mobbed with street festival stuff during 'Bike Week' in March, and 'Biketoberfest' in October, but fairly quiet other times.
"Daytona is where I wanna go!!"
We had a grand time in daytona we stayed four days and three nights last time. We stayed at the Thunderbird Hotel right on the beach and went to the Daytona lagoon for my daughter 18th birthday Daytona is great
~ Daytona Beach, Florida ~
One of the most marketed destinations in Florida, Daytona Beach has tried aggressively to attract niche groups to its vacationland. In recent years I have noticed that the city seems to be making a concerted effort to lure more families and luxury travelers. To that end, I think Daytona Beach would be wise to follow Ft. Lauderdale’s lead in reinventing itself as a “family” destination, but the city’s active calendar of annual events seems to ensure that rowdy spring breakers and hardcore bikers still own this town at certain times of the year.
In recent years, developments like the massive Wyndham Oceanwalk Resort and its adjacent complex of restaurants have brought more sophistication and appeal to what has historically been the site of much spring break revelry. The Wyndham and its likewise gargantuan rival, the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort, sprawl out in front of an oceanfront amphitheatre, the Boardwalk, the Main Street Pier, and assorted amusements. The Main Street Pier, which juts 1000 feet out into the Atlantic Ocean, is the signature icon of the beach. It features a skyride that I rode as a child which runs along cables high above the pier. From here, riders get a bird’s eye view of the ocean and shoreline. For those who are hungry, the pier has a restaurant perched over where the breakers meet the shore, giving diners a commanding view of the beach action while they eat. There is also a rotating skyneedle ride adjacent to the pier.
This area of Daytona Beach is also the centerpiece of a long skyline of high-rise hotels and condos that stretches from Ormond Beach, north of the city, to Daytona Beach Shores, south of the city. A giant parking garage is located across A1A from the Oceanwalk. It is connected by a covered pedestrian bridge, providing easy access to the complex for those not staying at either resort. A water park is located behind the garage, offering yet another touristy diversion. Further south along A1A, the highway is lined with hotels, motels, restaurants, biker bars, surf shops, and tacky T-shirt and souvenir stores.
Overall, as a native Floridian who has been to a lot of beaches, Daytona seems like the kind of place that people who have never before stuck their toes in the sand might enjoy most. In other words, there are better beaches elsewhere in Florida. Nevertheless, Daytona’s hard-packed sandy stretch (which is a bit overbuilt and lacking in natural appeal) will certainly bring smiles to the masses. Just be sure to watch out for cars; Daytona Beach does allow beach driving in certain stretches –an activity enjoyed by some Floridians but reviled by many others (like me).
Aside from the beach, Daytona is best known for NASCAR racing. Now, I am not a racing enthusiast, but there are NASCAR-inspired attractions that some visitors may find appealing, not to mention the Daytona International Speedway. The speed way plays host to the Daytona 500 and the Pepsi 400, two annual events that ironically see thousands of Floridians clog Interstates 95 and 4 with stand-still traffic so that they can witness cars racing at speeds too fast for the road. I have not attended any races, but for what it’s worth I have been to the Cracker Barrel restaurant that sits right across the parking lot from this enormous stadium. International Speedway Boulevard (US Route 92) is the primary gateway to Daytona Beach from Interstate 95. I have stopped along here on many occasions to grab a bite to eat at places like Friendly’s or Uno. This busy highway not only links the interstate to the beach but also passes by the speedway, Volusia Mall, the Daytona Beach International Airport, Bethune Cookman College, and Embry Riddle University.
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Daytona Beach ~~ Ormond Beach ~~ Daytona Beach Shores
Blue Springs State Park ~~ Port Orange
New Smyrna Beach ~~ Canaveral National Seashore
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