Explore Daytona Beach

BECAUSE of its history of car racing along the ocean’s edge and the elegant resorts that catered to the sport’s early champagne-set of the 1920s, Daytona Beach is often referred to as “The World’s Most Famous Beach”. And continuing a tradition begun a century ago when buggies, bicycles, and cars took advantage of the hard-packed beach sands to roll their wheels, cars and motorcycles continue to drive and park on the beach today.

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Besides being MTV’s first Spring Break reality show, and known for bike week and of course for Daytona International Speedway, there is much more to this great beach town.

Daytona’s 23 miles of stunning beaches stretch from Ormond Beach to the north and Ponce Inlet on the southern end; where you’ll find the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse in Florida and the second tallest in the US.

When your day at the beach is done, be sure to check out the great local bars and restaurants, many offering live entertainment. In addition to great drinking, eating, and entertainment choices along this extraordinary A1A route, you’ll find great shopping, art galleries and museums, a long list of festivals and events (including many free options) and much, much more!

And at the end of the day whether you’re looking for a condo/resort, motel/inn, bed & breakfast, vacation rental, pet friendly, campground/RV park, or an LGBT property to call home during your stay, you’ll discover why visitors from around the corner and around the world recognize Daytona Beach as an inviting and friendly destination for all. If you’re interested in reading more about the recent happenings, here’s a link to our Daytona Beach Journal (blog) page.


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DAYTONA BEACH-SWIMMER SCULPTURE 2The Red Diving Girl made her first appearance in the Jantzen swimwear catalog in 1920, soon after, decals of her image appeared on cars and windshields across the country and by the end of the decade her image became an international symbol; because the image is still part of the Jantzen logo, it’s one of the longest-lived apparel icons in advertising history. Interestingly, we found that in 1924 the registrar of motor vehicles in Boston determined that the silhouette of a bathing girl was too distracting and banned the decals from cars in “the interest of safety”. As the legend goes, in 1959 a mannequin company transformed the iconic logo into a 19.5 foot fiberglass figure to be used in advertising; only 6 of these figures were ever made. One of the six made her way to Miami then in 1965, made her way from Miami to the “World’s Most Famous Beach” where she’s been maintaining perfect form ever since. If you decide to visit her, you’ll find her “hanging” out at 8 N Ocean Ave, Daytona Beach, 32118.


World's Most Famous Beach

From James Lilliefors’ book titled “America’s Boardwalks from Coney Island to California” we learned that at the first meet in 1903, a car owned by auto-maker Olds set an American speed record at 54.38 mph. The success of the 1903 time trials launched a tradition which drew car manufacturers and enthusiasts from around the world to Florida’s Atlantic coast where the sand and coquina shell beaches at Daytona and Ormond became a showcase for the world’s fastest cars drawing hundreds of spectators who lined the beaches for a chance to witness a world record run. By the late 1920s, as the engines became bigger, cars became faster, and records routinely fell, the time trials swelled in popularity and earned Daytona Beach an international reputation as “The World’s Most Famous Beach”. A title, as evidenced by this pic, that has stuck to Daytona Beach for nearly 100 years. And if you want to snap a pic here too, make your way to the corner of E Int’l Speedway Blvd. & Atlantic Ave., 32118.


10-23-halloween-dog-250-optHow about one from HauntedPlaces.org? In Daytona Beach one day in 1940, a little brown dog romped into a Beach Street cab company and history was made. The cabbies built him a dog house and “Brownie” as they called him, slept in the house at night and wandered around Beach Street during the day. Soon he became a local celebrity and donations flooded in from all over the country to help cover his costs. When Brownie died in 1954 he was buried in Riverfront Park with more than 70 people in attendance including the mayor who delivered the eulogy. On Brownie’s grave stone is an etching of him with the words “THE TOWN DOG and A GOOD DOG below”. Over the years the stone was lost to overgrowth and all but forgotten but when the park was undergoing renovations in the early 1990s it was uncovered and a small topiary in the shape of a dog was planted next to it. In 2007 there was even a Brownie Festival, complete with a Brownie look-alike contest. Of course not everyone thinks Brownie is truly gone – a few folks claim they’ve seen and felt Brownie’s presence in the area near his Riverfront Park grave site; here are the GPS coordinates if you decide to check it out (29.208930630204552, -81.01710900664335). With apologies to Brownie and Daytona Beach, we shot this pic in Jax Beach at last year’s costumed dog parade and thought it made a spooky fun addition to this story!


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