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Here are our Top 4 "Must See" Daytona Beach Attractions:
Ponce de Leon Lighthouse & Museum at at Ponce Inlet
The Ponce de Leon Inlet lighthouse and museum are located 12 miles to the south of Daytona Beach Shores in Ponce Inlet, Florida. The beaches around the town are clean and not crowded, so a trip to the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse is a peaceful break from the busy town of Daytona Beach and popular Daytona Beach Attractions such as the Daytona International Raceway Tour with many viewers.
Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse is 175 feet tall, making it the second tallest lighthouse in the US. Only Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in NC at 207 feet is taller. More Information and History on the Ponce de leon Light at this Lighthouse Friends page
My Wife and I always enjoy touring lighthouses and reading their history. I enjoy taking lighthouse pictures and sharing them on this Site -- and always want to climb to the top for the great view! The Ponce de Leon Inlet lighthouse is open for climbing seven days a week. (June 2009)
You can stop to catch your breath at each of the four windows. Take a photo at each and you will have a visual reminder of what it was like to climb the 203 steps (we counted!) to the top.
From the top, you have a panoramic view of the sandy beaches, the Atlantic Ocean, and the nearby interesting drawbridge with much boat activity. The view will make you forget all about the climb.
Photo Tip - Have a piece of the lighthouse open viewing deck railing showing at the bottom of your photos from the top to emphasize how high you had climbed! -- (See #3 on our new "5 Vacation Photo Tips" page)
Each of the three Light Keeper's dwellings has been restored. They are all now active museums. The original Fresnel lens from Cape Canaveral's lighthouse is one of the items on display. The heavy large and complex multi-part Fresnel lenses are very interesting. The Ponce De Leon Lighthouse is one of our top pick interesting and fun Daytona Beach Attractions.
The Daytona International Raceway Attraction Tour
Stock car racing fans can find a lot of things to do in Daytona Beach. They flock to the Daytona Beach International Speedway for the major auto racing events. It can be hard to get lodging during the Daytona 500 race and some of the more popular Nascar races. At the times their are no races going on at the raceway, the town of Daytona Beach Florida is not very crowded, nor is the wide sandy Beach -- which is what we found when we were there the last time in late May.
This is a good time to take a interesting guided tour of the Daytona Speedway. Watching the races on TV is fun, but my Wife and I had never "done" the live race experience. Touring the Daytona Speeedway race track was very interesting and is definately a "Must See" Daytona Beach Attraction experience which we both enjoyed!
We rode a tram out through the service area and in front of the grandstands area plus down pit road with a few stops for pictures. The tram took us up on the 31 degree banks on the Daytona Speedway racing track so we could feel the lean. It "feels" different than when you are watching the Daytona 500 race on TV!
The huge screen movie inside with some of the history of the Daytona International Speedway and a few of the famous drivers and Daytona races was fun and interesting.
You definately don't want to miss the Daytona Speedway Tour! The Daytona International Raceway Tour will probably end up being one of your top Daytona Beach Attractions! See this link for more Info on the Daytona International Speedway Race Track Tours.
Marine Science Center
Since you have to go back to Ponce Inlet for the Marine Science Center, you might want to visit it on the same day you visit the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse. (You may need almost a day if you spend a lot of time looking at both museums.) Or you can save the Marine Science Center visit for the rare rainy day in Daytona Beach.
Located on 100 Lighthouse Drive, the Marine Science Center is open Tuesday through Sunday except on some national holidays. (June 2009) It is not an ordinary "Museum" tourist attraction.
The Marine Science Center is a working rehabilitation center for birds and sea turtles. The cost of admission helps to support the rehabilitative services. The Marine Science Center is a interesting and unusual Daytona Beach Attraction. See this link for more Info on the Marine Science Center. It is number 3 on our list of "Must See" Daytona Beach attractions.
"The" Beach at Daytona Beach Florida - Wide Sandy Ocean Beach -- Photo taken from Daytona Resort Condo Balcony!
In addition to visiting all of the Daytona Beach attractions, we spent a fair amount of time on the sunny sandy beach -- especially my Wife who likes to sit or lay in the sun by the ocean and read!
We try to schedule our vacations to east coast Florida Beaches in late May or early June when the beaches are warm and sunny, but before the Summer crowds have started to arrive at our two favorite Eastern Florida Beaches -- Cocoa Beach and Daytona Beach.
Early June is a time when the days are warm enough to get into the ocean waves and surf, but it is usually not hot, and the evenings are still relatively cool in Daytona Beach. You almost always have a cool breeze off of the Atlantic Ocean when on the east coast beaches of Florida.
No matter when you decide to travel to Daytona Beach, FL, you must spend at least a few hours just sitting on the warm ocean sand and enjoying the relaxing and peaceful sounds of the Atlantic Ocean waves and surf. We always try to take a beach walk at sunrise and another at sunset. (Also both are great times for taking pictures! -- Watch for a an album of Daytona Beach Photos & Screensavers to come.)
Enjoy your Vacation to Daytona Beach Florida and Daytona Beach Attractions! Send us your Favorite Daytona Attractions -- and your Top Pick Daytona Waterfront Restaurants! Everyone enjoys Daytona Beach pictures if you have some to share! Use this Sites Contact Form page and I will send you an e-mail address to send your photo attachments to. (Let us know if we can "credit" you for your pictures with your first name and town.)
Tip Early in your stay, pick up a copy of the small free SEE Space Coast Magazine (booklet)+ MAP. Detailed listing of Daytona Beach Attractions, Dining, Shopping, Golfing, Fishing, Parks, Nightlife - AND -
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Our "Top Pick" Florida Cocoa Beaches Guide Book - Great resource!
The Unofficial Guide to Florida
by Pam Brandon
Includes reviews on Florida beaches + Attraction ratings and rankings by age group.
Guide has received high reviews at Amazon
Unofficial Guide to Florida with Kids
(4 1/2 Star Rating)
More choices on our "Top Pick" Florida Guide Books page
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Safe Travels. See you on a Daytona Beach FL Vacation soon! Gene
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