Spacious Suites Overlooking Daytona Beach
To the uninitiated, it might be jarring to set a towel down along Daytona Beach: cars and motorcycles slowly cruise along the shoreline, park, and set up shop on the white sand. At nearly every other beach site in the U.S., most vehicles can't drive past the parking lot; at Daytona, cars are free to roam 23 miles of hard-packed sand—a tradition for the throngs of spring-breakers that converge on the area each year. Daytona Beach Regency's white and cerulean-blue towers rise up only steps from the shoreline of this laid-back locale. While vehicles are welcome to drive along the beach, they may not venture behind the resort.
The modern resort takes advantage of its location by opening directly onto the white sand, where it has its own private volleyball net and the Tiki Hut Pool Bar next to the outdoor pool. Inside, guests can retreat to the large, heated pool, which features a water slide.
A private balcony or terrace accent each of the one-bedroom suites, which act as a relaxing home base before and after heading out to the beach. Part of the spacious layout of each room is dedicated to a fully equipped kitchen. Elsewhere inside the hotel, vacationers can stay occupied with an indoor pool, hot tub, game room, and fitness center.
Daytona Beach, Florida: Racing Legacy and a Famed Lighthouse
At the turn of the 20th century, motorists began racing on the packed sand of Daytona Beach out of practicality: the beach had a wide, unobstructed stretch and a smooth surface ideal for high-speed sprinting. Today, stock-car racing has moved to nearby Daytona International Speedway, but it’s still possible to park your car along the oceanfront here—one of the few beaches in the world where you can do so.
Hundreds of thousands of racing fans visit Daytona International Speedway each year to watch world-class champions such as Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon. Stock-car, sports-car, and motorcycle events round out the calendar all year, highlighted by the Daytona 500 in February—the first race of the Sprint Cup Series and typically regarded as the most prestigious. On various behind-the-scenes tours, you can explore the speedway's elevated press boxes, banked infield turns, and decadent hot tubs filled with motor oil.
At Daytona Beach itself, cars toting beach gear roll across the hard-packed sand through oceanfront driving zones; there are also traffic-free areas. South of town, you can see the Ponce de León Inlet Lighthouse. There, a spiral staircase winds up to the top of a 175-foot tower, where you can overlook a 52-acre park filled with armadillos, shore birds, and native wildflowers.