Hotel at a Glance: Best Western Aku Tiki Inn
The Best Western Aku Tiki Inn is located right on the hard-packed sands of Daytona Beach. The lobby and reception areas incorporate the scenery in their tiki decor, with dark bamboo furnishings and hibiscus plants. Guest rooms feature private balconies or patios, some of which overlook the hotel’s enormous heated pool and the Atlantic Ocean.
- Rise and shine with a complimentary hot breakfast buffet each morning.
- Grab a bite at the onsite Trader’s Restaurant, or choose an efficiency room to prep meals in your own kitchenette.
- Free perks: fresh cookies in the lobby and a nightly reception with wine, beer, and drinks
- Notable accolades: TripAdvisor’s 2015 Certificate of Excellence
- Head to the beach: You can rent a bicycle or just enjoy a stroll on the shore.
- Tee off: The front desk can help you book a round of golf at one of Daytona’s numerous championship courses, including LPGA International and Halifax Plantation.
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.