Oceanfront Resort Overlooking Intracoastal Waterway
The 3,000-mile-long Intracoastal Waterway—which runs most of the length of the Eastern Seaboard—was created to direct boat traffic away from the battering currents of the Atlantic coast. Today, though, visitors venture down the network of estuaries and channels to take in the surrounding natural beauty. On the stretch that passes Florida’s Daytona Beach, you can see mangroves and wetlands, historical waterfront homes and lighthouses, and frolicking manatees. And at some points, the waterway blends almost seamlessly with surrounding creeks and rivers. The Daytona Beach Resort and Conference Center sits along this stretch, overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other.
Much like Daytona Beach itself, which has outgrown its former image as the spring-break capital, Daytona Beach Resort is a family-friendly destination. One of its four pools is just for kids, and some of the scheduled onsite events, such as musical-theater workshops, are targeted toward children as well. Adults find plenty to do here, too, from swimming in the outdoor heated pool to sipping cocktails at the seasonal cabana bar and getting massages at Terra Acqua, the onsite spa. Steps away are the hard-packed sands of the beach, and ocean activities such as surfing and jet skiing.
The ocean-view standard rooms draw inspiration from the nearby beach with a white-and-blue color scheme and framed photographs of palm trees. The windows overlook the beach, the Intracoastal Waterway, and Daytona skyline. At night, fire up the stove in the fully equipped kitchen or head to the oceanfront Reflections Restaurant and Bar for American-style food.
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.
Meanwhile, 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 Leon 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.
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