EXPLORE ORMOND BEACH
BY attracting daring racers and racing enthusiasts to its hard-packed sandy beach to set and break speed records, Ormond Beach gained worldwide recognition as the “Birthplace of Speed”. And while race cars no longer roar down the wide Ormond beachfront, today visitors will find fantastic oceanfront parks loaded with amenities that add convenience and enjoyment to the beach experience.
Ready for some water action? Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Tomoka River on the west, there are countless ways to enjoy the water here, and whether you choose the ocean surf or canoeing on the river, paddleboard surfing, kayaking, playing in the waves or simply relaxing, you’ll likely appreciate the many options that await you here.
Need a beach break? The city created a four-acre public beachfront park with loads of free parking, a children’s playground, splash pad, pavilions, grills, restrooms and a concession stand. There’s also Central Park with nearly 150 acres, five lakes, and a nature trail. The Tennis Center has eight lighted clay courts and an on-site tennis pro available for lessons, the Sports Complex has over 60 acres of athletic fields, shuffleboard courts and several playgrounds.
How about some retail therapy? Ormond Beach’s downtown stretches from the Atlantic Ocean along Granada Boulevard where you’ll find unique stores, thriving restaurants with fresh local catches and bars with great local micro brews. Sightseeing more your style? Catch the work of local and national artists at the Ormond Memorial Art Museum or visit The Casements & Rockefeller Gardens the 9,000 square foot residence that was once the winter home of JD Rockefeller, Sr. and referred to as “The Jewel of Ormond Beach”, or visit the Sugar Mill Plantation ruins.
Working up an appetite yet? Whether you choose to dine seaside with spectacular views of the ocean, riverside or in one of the wonderful downtown eateries, with more than a dozen restaurants to choose from you’re likely to find something to please everyone you’re with. And at the end of the day whether you choose a Hotel, Motel, Resort, or Vacation Rental to call home during your stay, you’ll discover why visitors from around the corner and around the globe return again and again to this great A1A destination.
There’s a link below (right above the interactive map) where you can download a copy of the Ormond Beach Vacation Guide and if you’re interested in reading more about the recent happenings, here’s a link to our Ormond Beach Journal (blog) page.
Don’t Miss This…
THE CASEMENTS: Named for the hand-cut casement windows that adorn the mansion and nicknamed “The Jewel of Ormond Beach”, The Casements was the winter home (think epic Holiday parties) of billionaire John D. Rockefeller, Sr. from 1918 until his death at age 97. Years later, unoccupied and deteriorated, the home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 and purchased by the City of Ormond Beach the following year. With the assistance of a grant, the restoration was completed in 1979. Now this multi-use facility and manicured gardens on the bank of the Halifax River provides the historic setting for classes, workshops, rentals, special events, and tours. If you decide to check it out, the address is 25 Riverside Dr, Ormond Beach,32176.
ORMOND BY THE SEA: Just north of Ormond Beach, south of the Volusia/Flagler county line and nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Halifax River is a post-card perfect stretch along A1A called Ormond By The Sea. Although the overall land area here is only about 2 square miles, it supports at least six distinct ecological zones. This is a pic of the beach or tidal zone, featuring a distinctive reddish-colored sand created by crushed coquina shells. If you decide to make your way here and explore, here’s an address that will bring you to the center of town – 1800 N Oceanshore Blvd, 32176.
Have you ever just zoned out on the beach watching birds and thought, “I wonder how many different kinds of birds there are?” Us too and according to FloridasNature.com website, Florida is home to more than 500 species of birds and has more species than any other state east of the Mississippi River making it one of the top bird watching destinations in the world. The Great Florida Birding Trail (floridabirdingtrail.com) a project of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, was completed in 2006 and offers fantastic birding resources including a highway-connected string of individual birding sites located throughout the entire state, roughly 50 sites are designated along A1A. This pic was taken on spectacular Ormond Beach and although we spent close to an hour trying to figure out what type of gull (?) this is, we’re not sure we ever did. So, if you happen to know please tell us and end our torment! UPDATE: With thanks and gratitude to Instagramers @raisingfloridaboys and @dg_nash for confirming this pic is of a Laughing Gull; mystery solved!
In the mood for a story about A1A haunts? So are we… Our first tale is from Ormond Beach and from HauntedPlaces.org we learned about something called the Tomoka Lights. According to the tale, if you drive north on Beach Street in Ormond Beach late at night, toward Tomoka State Park, you just might run into the Tomoka Lights (also known as the Ormond Lights). These are typical “ghost lights” – balls of light that appear out of nowhere, and sometimes seem to follow cars around. On the site, users can weigh in on whether they think a place is really haunted and based on the people who responded, 91% believe that it is. If you decide to come here and explore, here are the GPS coordinates shared on the website: 29.334871093000825, -81.08085853803709. Be careful though, several people have reported having car accidents and near misses in this area while searching for the lights. We shot this pic on fantabulous Ormond Beach and if you tilt the image to the left a bit, we’re pretty sure you’ll see a ghost sitting in that chair – not really though; we made up the part about the ghost.
Following are few links you made find helpful (we certainly have). If you use the links, you’ll be leaving this website and will be redirected to another. Although we’ve found the links quite useful, we’re not making endorsements or claims about the accuracy or content of the information you’ll find there. Andy Romano Beach Front Park (Video); The History of Speed in Ormond Beach; Central Park; Tennis Center; Sports Complex; Art Museum; The Casements; and Vacation Guide.