Beachfront Hotel with Private Pool Deck
Since it was constructed in 1888, Plaza Resort & Spa’s main building has had turns as a stagecoach stop, an early aviation exhibition site, and a barracks for the Women's Army Corps during WWII. Fires and inclement weather have destroyed the hotel over the years, yet it always seems to emerge stronger than before, and a multimillion-dollar restoration has brought about its most luxurious incarnation yet. Located steps from the Atlantic Ocean, the Plaza Resort now features a 15,000-square-foot European-style spa and a sprawling oceanfront pool deck.
The Daytona Beach shoreline is famous for being open to auto traffic; however, the beach alongside the hotel is car-free and relatively quiet. The beach is just a few feet from the property; for a more private experience, feel free to kick back in one of the lounge chairs by the pool. From the private balcony connected to your oceanview room, you can watch the sun rise over the Atlantic or wait until a more reasonable hour and re-create the sunrise with a flashlight.
Downstairs, the hotel's Ocean Waters Spa has a varied menu of restorative services, including the popular green-coffee slimming body wrap, a 55-minute treatment designed to smooth cellulite and increase metabolism.
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.