How to Do Spring Break in Daytona Beach

As someone who grew up and lived in Daytona Beach for 20 years, I know a thing or two about the city. It has recently become the spring break hub once again. Being only two hours away from Gainesville, it is a perfect, beachy choice for your spring break getaway with friends. So grab your bikini and sunnies because here’s a breakdown of what you need to see, do, and eat while at the World’s Most Famous Beach.

What you need to see

1. Of course — the beach

Daytona Beach is unique because you can actually drive right on it. Tons of spring breakers drive their cars and trucks down onto the beach and throw a huge party all along it. Even some hotels and resorts on the beach will have parties for spring breakers on their pool decks. And what’s a real spring break without the beach, right?

2. The Daytona International Speedway

 he first NASCAR race was held on the beach in Daytona in 1948, so the city prides itself on being a big race culture. The Speedway was just renovated a couple years ago and looks stunning. They offer tours where you can go on the track and get a behind the scenes to look at everything. I’ve done it before and it’s so much fun.

3. Beach Street and a Daytona Tortugas baseball game

Beach Street is considered to be known as downtown Daytona and the historic district. It’s a beautiful street with palm trees everywhere. There are a ton of unique stores and restaurants here. Tourists love to go into Angell and Phelps Chocolate Factory. They offer a little tour of how they make their chocolate and you get to sample some as well. Daytona Beach also has their own Minor League baseball team, the Daytona Tortugas. Their stadium is located right along Beach Street. I definitely recommend going to one of their games if you’re a sports fan!

4. The Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse

This lighthouse is in Ponce Inlet, a city just south of Daytona. It is the tallest in the state of Florida, and one of the tallest in the U.S. Visitors can climb the stairs inside all the way up to the balcony circling the top. It’s a pretty good workout, but worth it once you see the view from the top.

What you need to do

1. Go to the Main Street Pier, Boardwalk and Ocean Walk Shoppes.

These three attractions are all next to each other and a must-do on every spring breakers list. The pier is huge and has restaurants on it such as Joe’s Crab Shack. The boardwalk also has an arcade and even a small amusement park. The Ocean Walk Shoppes are a multi-level, open-air shopping mall with stores, restaurants, and a movie theater.

2. Visit Daytona Lagoon

This water park right near the beach has been there since I was a kid and I still love it. They have a ton of different slides and a wave pool, just to name a few things. In addition to the water park, there is an arcade, laser tag, mini golf and go-karting.

3. Shop ‘til you drop

In the past few years, Daytona has really grown, and there are so many shopping options. The newest places are the Tanger Outlets (near the highway) and One Daytona (a shopping and dining area right across from the Speedway).

4. Go to Razzle’s and 509 Lounge

Of course, during your break, you need to go out on the town a few nights. Razzle’s is probably the most popular dance club in Daytona Beach, and they play all the newest music. Most times that I’ve gone, they have a pretty great DJ working. 509 is more of a bar, but it’s a pretty cute and intimate environment. Both of those places are on Seabreeze Boulevard right across from the beach.

Where to eat

1. Grind Gastropub and Kona Tiki Bar

This is one restaurant, but in the front is the Grind and in the back is the tiki bar. The food and drinks there are excellent, and they usually have a live band performing out back.

2. Donnie’s Donuts

This local donut shop is right near the beach and has the most unique and creative donuts. They create new donuts all the time, but some classic favorites are their savory maple bacon flavor and their fruity pebble topping flavor!

3. Starlite Diner

This iconic 1948-era diner right near the beach is very popular with locals and tourists. They have all your classic diner foods in a really cool environment.

4. Daytona Taproom

This restaurant/bar is on the same street as Razzles and 509, and is known for having a large array of burgers and beers. Although I’ve never eaten there myself, everyone tells me they have the best burgers in all of Daytona Beach.

5. Kale Cafe and Wild Rabbit Bistro

Both of these local spots have healthy and organic foods made from scratch -  known for their vegetarian and vegan menus.

6. Ronin Sushi and Bar

This sushi restaurant in downtown Daytona has a very moody, low-lit environment that makes it feel very hip. The sushi there is delicious, and it's a cool, sleek place to dine.

Hopefully you can make it to Daytona Beach this year for your spring break. I can promise you that there is so much to see and do in this historic city, and it keeps growing more and more every year!