Drive on the beach, fish in the ocean, or spend a day exploring race car history. The Daytona area offers a variety of experiences for visitors. Here, in no particular order, are some of the area’s top things to do.
The Beach—“The World’s Most Famous,” they call it here, and one feature that makes it unique is that you can drive your car on designated areas of the 23-mile, white-sand stretch. For beach and driving regulations, see www.daytonabeach.com.
Daytona International Speedway—Race fans can’t wait for the Daytona 500/Speedweeks 2011. By then, the track will be open again after a repaving project that halted some normal winter-time activities. 1801 W. International Speedway Boulevard, 800.PIT.SHOP or www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex—Tour NASA's facilities, hop aboard the Shuttle Launch Experience, experience new attractions like Angry Birds Space Encounter, or check out the Space Shuttle Atlantis. 51 miles south of Daytona; 36 miles south of New Smyrna Beach. SR 405 and Range Road, Cape Canaveral, 321.449.4444
Daytona Lagoon—Choose from a bevy of activities at this year-round attraction, including a water park, the Phoenix thrill ride, 27 holes of miniature golf, Lazer Tag, a rock wall and a carousel. 601 Earl St., 386.254.5020
Ocean Walk Shoppes—This six-level, oceanfront complex is anchored by a 10-screen movie theater and is easily noticeable by its bright, geometric shape. It also overlooks the historic Daytona Beach Bandshell. 250 N. A1A Highway, 386.258.9544
Museum of Arts & Sciences (MOAS)—An impressive collection of 30,000-plus objects includes American and Cuban art, Coca-Cola entrepreneur Chapman Root’s collection of Americana and a planetarium. There's also a children's museum and a sculpture garden. 352 S. Nova Road, 386.255.0285
Slingshot—Launch 300 feet into the air at nearly 100 miles per hour on this extreme, adrenaline-pumping thrill ride. Try to stop your heart from pounding out of your chest when you strap into the basket attached to two rainbow-colored towers. Hang on and prepare for flight. 49 Ocean Ave. at the Boardwalk, 386.254.8626
Ponce de Leon Lighthouse—Located on Ponce Inlet, just south of Daytona Beach, this beacon offers a bird's-eye-view of the inlet, the encompassing intracoastal area and the Atlantic Ocean. Built in 1887, the 176-foot-tall lighthouse is surrounded by the original keeper's dwellings and outbuildings, which house such artifacts as a five-ton Fresnel lens. 4391 S. Peninsula Dr., Ponce Inlet, 386.761.1821