Daytona Beach, Florida Vacation! Any Tips?

Rather than reviving and hijacking this thread, I decided to start another one similar to it.

Lessee, some details…

My boyfriend, DoperGuy, and I are going on vacation to Florida and desperately need ideas for what to do while there. We’ll be staying with DoperGuy’s family near Daytona Beach, but are totally willing to travel if something is worth it.

We have a rental car already lined up, so we are free to travel on our own. We’re two young twenty-somethings without kids. We’ll be leaving this Friday, July 29, and returning on Monday, August 8.

So far, we have the typical destinations lined up:
[li]Disney[/li][li]Universal Studios[/li][li]Gator Land[/li][li]Sea World[/li][li]Silver Springs (suggested in the link above)[/li][li]The Beach, of course (here’s hopin’ we don’t wind up shark bait :eek:) [/li][/ul]

Any other ideas to add?

We’re also taking a side trip to Atlanta, Georgia for a day or two, so any tips for that city would also be appreciated. I’ve never been there and know very little about the area.

Thanks as always

Why not drop by Daytona USA and check out the museum? I think you can even get track tours.

I know if I got the chance to go to Daytona, I’d want to visit the World Center of Racing. But maybe that’s just me.

(Lived in Daytona for 5 years)

Let me say you are very brave for going to Florida as a tourist this time of year. If the crowds don’t kill you the heat and humidity will.

Not a whole lot to see and do in Daytona. If your not a Nascar fan skip the museum and tour and save about $60. If you are still a little curious park at Daytona USA, go into the building (don’t pay for the museum or tour) and walk out the back side of the building. You can walk right up to the track side and get a good view from there.

The beach is nice but they have cut back on the areas where you can actually drive on the beach. Depending on whether that’s your thing or not you can find nice beach with/without cars.

Drive south on A1A from Daytona and you’ll dead end at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse. They have a nice museum there and you can climb to the top of the lighthouse for great views.

Drive north on A1A for about an hour enjoying the scenic drive and arrive in St. Augustine. You can tour Fort Mantanza and walk down the touristy streets of old St.Augustine with lots of little shops with antiques, gifts, fudge, ice cream.

Drive south on I-95 out of Daytona and go to the Space Center. Lot’s of fun.

Ask your family for directions to DeLeon Springs State Park. Very close to Daytona it’s a great place to go to in the morning since they have a little griddle house located inside the old sugar mill. You can go here for breakfast and sit at little tables that have a hot griddle built into the center where you make your own pancakes.

Orlando is a whole nother story. Heat, crowds, big attractions, big money.

And I don’t know if Atlanta is a side trip. At 6 hours away it’s more like traveling cross country. Maybe go up to Savannah (remember Forest Gump sitting on the bench). At 3 hours away it’s more historic/scenic/quaint than Atlanta.

Atlanta is a bit of a drive from Daytona Beach…about ten hours. Are you sure you want to go that far out of your way?

I recommend Universal CityWalk. You have to pay for parking, but you get all the great music, shops, and restaurants.

Wet 'n Wild is a fun waterpark that’s located on I Drive, aka International Drive I Drive also has a Ripley’s Museum and Wonderworks.

We thank you for visiting and paying our taxes! Enjoy your stay!

IHMO - the Kennedy Space Center is a worthwhile trip. Some pretty neat-o stuff there.

I second a day-trip and maybe an overnight stay to St. Augustine.

Ivylass, our extended family is considering a day trip out to one of the Orlando waterparks. Is Wet 'n Wild your reco? We were also considering Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Bay (the Disney duo). WnW is near Universal, right? Or am I thinking of Sea World?

DoperChic I am assuming you’ll be driving through Atlanta on your way to/form Daytona Beach. Other than that, Atlanta is not exactly a side trip being, as it has already been pointed out, quite a ways from Daytona. You should go to St. Augustine though. Really neat place to walk around and tour.

If you decide go to St. Augustine, skip Gator Land and visit the Alligator Farm instead. It’s no longer a cheesy roadside attraction and has become a wildlife showcase of alligators, crocodiles, ghana, etc. Supposedly they have one of every gator like species and they’re so well-respected the Florida Wildlife Commision gives them gators they need to place.

Also, the beaches up that way (Crescent, Anastasia State Park) are much nicer than Daytona and worth a visit. And, hey, I’m heading to Crescent beach for the week this Saturday. I’ll wave at y’all…

I’ll second Hampshire’s comment on driving south on A1A to Ponce Inlet and add that the beach is much less crowded the farther south you go. I don’t know whether you can drive on the beach anywhere in that area, but I can tell you that I’ve never seen a car on the sand there. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and it feels like you have the whole beach to yourself.