Things to do in Daytona Beach, USA

Thursday, August 15, 2013

If you think about Daytona Beach, the first things that comes into your mind is the Daytona Speedway International, place of the famous Nascar car races. However, it's not only this: it's a great place and one of the top seaside places of the entire area. This is the reason why it's definitely in my list of top travel destinations.

Diaries of an explorer


Let's start from the Daytona International Speedway, the famous Nascar race track, which is also the top attraction of Daytona Beach and one of the reasons why the city is famous in the entire world. Don't you remember the videogames in the 80s?

USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
This the stadium that you will visit
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer

The entrance costs 15$ ( children 6-12 pay 10$, under 5 free) for the Speedway Tour, that includes an audio guided tour on board of a "tram"
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
We were all exited like children: we made hundreds of pictures and this is what you can see inside. You are in one of the temples of race cars of the world! Let's start with a Nascar car,
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
 then the drivers' restrooms,
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
a picture at the Victory Lane
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
and the famous 31° high banks, impressive if you look at them so close.
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
The stadium has those characteristic coloured seats,
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
and finally we reached the pit lane.
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
 It's impressive the main part of the stadium seen from the "tram",
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
but unfortunately, after two laps, one of them granted by the guide-driver that saw us so excited, we had to leave the autodrome to visit the other part of the museum.
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
There you find the winning Daytona 500 car with the Winners Hall of Fame.
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
It was around 5pm and the museum was closing so we left the building and went to the beach. If you love fast cars, however, this is absolutely a place to visit and you don't have to miss it!

We drove through the Daytona's lagoon
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer

Before approaching to the beach, we found one of the oddest things ever seen: we could not believe in the existence of a Drive- In Christian Church ( "the free trip to heaven").
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer

Life is better here? well I have to say that it is! :-)
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer

Most of the beaches are private, but there are some points where to access: you need to park the car 200-300 meters far from the beach. However, what you are going to see is fantastic: white sand beaches
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorerUSA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
In front of you the Atlantic Ocean: what a landscape!
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorerUSA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer








USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer

What was impressive was the solidity of the sand: it seemed to be marble-made and this is the reason why the Nascar races started on the Daytona beaches and then were moved to the Daytona International Speedway. The weather was so hot that we got dried in 15 minutes without the help of a towel. It was impressive also the ocean drawings on the beach:
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer

After that we had a dinner in the Porkies True South Bbq: you can have a tasty triple meat course with different sauces at a reasonable price. Strongly recommended!
USA East Coast Road Trip, Diaries of an explorer
We chose a motel not far from the restaurant: we were like TV watchers of a police scene, when 3 police cars arrived in a couple of minutes. The motel was cheap:40$ per room without breakfast, but honestly I don't remember its name.


Travel tips:
  • The Daytona International Speedway is really a great deal! If you love fast or race cars, this is the place for you. For just 15$ you can have an unforgettable experience!
  • You have even the possibility to drive a Nascar car at speeds up to 165Mph (260 kmh): this happens during the weekends and you can choose the Ride-Alongs (135$ + tax) with a professional driver or drive directly for 8 (549$ + tax), 16 ( 1,299$ + tax) or 24 laps (2,199$ + tax). You need to book them in advance.
  • Be careful with the openings time: it closes at 5 pm and the last Speedway tour starts at 4 pm.
  • The beaches are fantastic and do not miss to relax there.
  • Do not miss the Drive-in Christian Church, something that in Europe I think it barely exists.

Where to sleep:
  • Budget accomodation: Quality Inn Daytona Speedway I-95, located in from of the famous Speedway, microwave in the rooms, breakfast included and prices around 74 Euros per double room per night.
  • Mid-range accomodation: Bahama House Daytona Beach Shores, with its coloured rooms with the Atlantic Ocean view, swimming pool, breakfast, welcome cocktail, prices around 127 Euros per double room per night.


Next stop of the USA East Coast Road Trip: Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center

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