Hotel at a Glance: Sun Viking Lodge
The Florida sun shines on a 60-foot water slide that spills into an outdoor pool at Sun Viking Lodge. The best part? You can see the ocean from the top of the slide. The hotel is just a few feet from the beach and conveniently located near several Daytona Beach attractions.
- Take a dip in an indoor pool surrounded by tropical foliage and bathed in natural light from am atrium.
- Good for families: Spacious guest rooms can accommodate up to four guests. Some feature ocean views and full kitchens.
- Bring the kids: The resort has a kiddie pool, a playground, and Wii competitions for youngsters.
- Recent awards: TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2014
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.