Physically, celadon porcelain from the Ming and Qing Dynasties and a 13-foot skeleton of the giant ground sloth don’t have too much in common. But both explore how our world has evolved and how we perceive it—making both perfectly suited for display in the eclectic exhibits of the Museum of Arts & Sciences. The 100,000-square-foot museum—which perches on a 90-acre nature preserve—houses a planetarium alongside myriad exhibits that delve into art, history, and science.
The museum’s particularly impressive assembly of Cuban art draws visitors through 300 years of history with more than 200 rare maps, paintings, and ceramics. Nearby, the exhibit of Chinese art glimmers with gemstones, bronzes, and cloisonné. Visitors also peruse crafts made closer to home in the 4,000-square-foot gallery of American art, where portraits by Gilbert Stuart and landscapes by George Bonfield hang on walls, rather than on the traditional horse’s withers. In addition to its traditional art galleries, the Museum of Arts & Sciences also hosts more fragile objects inside the Helene B. Roberson Visible Storage Building, a 4,400-square-foot glass-fronted space designed to maintain exhibits in a climate-controlled state.
Younger museum-goers can gaze longingly at the 800 teddy bears on display in the Americana-focused Root Family Museum before heading to the Charles and Linda Williams Children’s Museum to explore ever-changing, hands-on science exhibits. In addition to assembling and testing model racecars, whippersnappers strum the 16 laser beams of a laser harp and try the "Pull Yourself Up" exhibit. Daily shows in the planetarium continue scientific education by unlocking the night sky’s mysteries, such as why stars don’t go out when you blow on them.
As one of the only dedicated art houses in Daytona Beach, Cinematique's all-digital theater and surround-sound system immerse theatergoers in national, international, and local independent flicks. In addition to the latest celluloid, Cinematique screens cultural events, pairs indie movies with live improv comedy, and hosts a Saturday-night showcase for local filmmakers, musicians, poets, and Oscar-statue impersonators. Through its Daytona Beach Film Festival, Cinematique supplies audiences with a vast assortment of movies, from internationally acclaimed directors to local and student filmmakers. The theater also illumes an inflatable screen with cinematic classics at free outdoor showings at Riverfront Park, commencing each film at dusk so patrons and cinephilic fruit bats can relish its crystalline picture quality.
During a round of golf in this region, it’s not uncommon for players to see the occasional alligator sunning itself on the banks of a fairway pond. The same, however, cannot be said for miniature-golf courses, unless you’re playing at Congo River Golf, where the civilized sinking of putts coexists with the visceral carnage of live-alligator feedings. More than 25 alligators wait for patrons to feed them morsels of gator food in an exhibit beside the course. Though the course offers no chance for an encounter with the ancient, scaly species, it enchants players with waterfalls, safari-themed artifacts, and towering rock faces. In addition, Congo River Golf encompasses an indoor arcade and a gemstone-mining station, where guests dig through dirt for fossils, arrowheads, and Neanderthal’s kindergarten time capsules.
Sting Rays Sports Saloon's menu is helmed by a hearty selection of classic American favorites to complement the fully stocked bar with 19 beers on tap. Bask in the salty downtown flavor while luxuriating on Sting Rays expansive outdoor patio, munching on a crisp, bacon-topped Stingrays wedge salad ($7.99) or onion rings that double as swanky beach bracelets ($6.99). Bun enthusiasts can mollify maws with an eclectic array of burgers and chicken sandwiches ($7.99–$9.99) or exhibit their love of exclamation points with a Hot Diggity Dog! ($7.99), an all-beef, meat-encased flavor tube served on a grilled hoagie roll and sprinkled with chili and cheddar for an additional charge. Tiny diners can gratify gullets with a selection of children's fare ($3.99–$5.99), and those looking to fill their hourly meat quota can sink knives into a juicy, Midwestern-raised 12-ounce ribeye steak ($14.99).
Set against the bright blue sky, Paragon Ocean Walk 10's colorful façade bursts with primary colors, its yellow awnings jutting out from a large red rotunda. The real sights are inside, however, where Sony 4K digital projectors beam the latest blockbuster movies over the stadium seating and onto the silver screen. Other luxury amenities include servings of beer and wine at the concession stands and—for private events—rooms with a view of the ocean and its classic films screened on tall ships' white sails.
Renew Yoga's certified teachers help students strengthen their cores, perfect their postures, and focus their minds in a variety of group classes. Beginners' yoga builds a strong foundation at a relaxed pace, paying special attention to proper technique, alignment, and breathing. Barkan-method warm Vinyasa simulates a summer afternoon in Calcutta with a heated room, abundance of dynamic poses, and the occasional rickshaw relay. Students of all levels can relax away stress with gentle yoga, and yin yoga encourages them to hold poses for extended periods to develop deep-tissue strength and empathy for stone gargoyles. Classes are generously scheduled throughout the week in the morning, afternoon, and evening hours.