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OFF THE BEATEN PATH IN DAYTONA BEACH
 
(2023 - Fall/Winter Issue)

Writer: MADELAINE LAFRAMBOISE



With outdoor thrills, world-renowned sporting events (think the Daytona 500 and home of the LPGA Tour), Daytona Beach has been a rite of passage for many snowbirds who wish to snag some fun by the legendary 37-kilometre sandy shoreline.

But Daytona Beach has so much more. Dive into the past while embracing the natural beauty of the present as you find your groove at these two local gems.

A BEACON OF FUN

Head to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse for the ultimate 360-degree views of Ponce de Leon Inlet. The heritage landmark, which was established in 1887, is the tallest in Florida and has a fascinating piece of history. At the on-site museum, you can learn insights into the life of lighthouse keepers and the critical role this beacon played in guiding ships safely along the coast. At 53 metres high, get your steps in as you ascend the 203 steps inside the tower’s spiral staircase. At the observation deck, prepare for panoramic views of the surroundings and take plenty of selfies. Its location at the southern tip of the Daytona Beach peninsula offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal Waterway, and surrounding landscapes.

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES 

There’s a green bounty that dates back millennia. Known as the Tomoka State Park, this Florida classic is a birder’s paradise. It also happens to be where the Timucuan Native Americans once lived, living off the fish-filled lagoons from which ancient shell mounds still stand as a testament to their heritage. These days, wild critters call this state park home. 

Pack a picnic and set aside ample time to explore its trails, wildlife observation points, and river activities. Rent a canoe or kayak for a chance to see over 170 species of local and migratory birds. Birdwatching enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise, with a chance to spot herons, ospreys, and even bald eagles. Bottlenose dolphins occasionally surface in the brackish Tomoka River, and then there are the American alligators, the endangered West Indian manatee, and the elusive, rarely seen bobcat. Amid this untouched natural beauty, you can easily explore the park’s diverse ecosystems, from the wetlands and saltwater marshes to the hardwood hammocks—all hallmarks of the state’s unique biodiversity.

There’s so much more to Daytona Beach when you explore these gems rich in history and nature. Whether you’re drawn to a maritime past or yearn for an outdoor escape, Daytona Beach promises an unforgettable experience that will stay with you long after you’ve left its shores.

TRAVEL PLANNER

For more travel information about Daytona Beach visit daytonabeach.com

 
 
 
 
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