Hotel at a Glance: Makai Beach Lodge
You can sit on the sand and watch the sun hang over the Atlantic Ocean just outside the Makai Beach Lodge. When you’re ready to head out on the water, feel free to use the hotel’s boogie boards or surfboards, available free of charge. There’s also a picnic area where you can grill out while enjoying views of the ocean.
- Take a dip in the outdoor pool, which faces the ocean. There’s a kIddie pool, too.
- Room with a view: Guest rooms overlook the Atlantic Ocean and feature free WiFi and flat-screen TVs.
- Kick back and relax in the outdoor hot tub with an oceanfront view.
- Complimentary continental breakfast served each morning.
Greater Daytona Beach, Florida: Racing Legacy and a Famed Lighthouse
The quiet town of Ormond Beach is just 6 miles north of its more famous counterpart, Daytona Beach. The two towns share a neighboring swath of sandy beach and a bit of racing history. 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.