Daytona Beach is one of Florida's top resort cities on the "Fun Coast".
With miles and miles of gorgeous white sandy shores, an iconic speedway, waterparks, museums, lighthouses, and adrenaline-boosting rides, there is a lot to love in Daytona.
What's great about Daytona Beach is that it's one of the best beaches near Kissimmee and Orlando and is just an hour away. Discover the top 15 Daytona Beach attractions you need to visit this year.
Let's dive in!
Are you looking for relaxed family fun? An intriguing time at a museum or science center? The chance to scream your guts out on the Daytona Slingshot?
No matter your preferences or budget, there's bound to be something wonderful for you on this list of Daytona Beach attractions.
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It should be no surprise to learn that Daytona Beach first gained fame for its sandy oceanfront.
In fact, in the 1900s, the spot became known as "The World's Most Famous Beach." The area gained renown because its smooth firmly-packed sands were perfect for automobile racing.
Nowadays, the racing is limited to the Daytona International Speedway. But the oceanfront is still worthy of its moniker.
With 23 miles of gorgeous white sand, it's no surprise the place has remained a paradise for beach enthusiasts.
Spread out your beach towels, set the kids to lose to build sand castles, and snack on sweet sticky ice pops. Or, if water sports are more your style, go surfing or parasailing.
Looking for other great oceanside destinations in the vicinity? Check out these 6 Amazing Florida Atlantic Beaches.
Another huge draw for visitors to Daytona Beach is the boardwalk. This spot is a mecca for family fun and entertainment.
You can take the kids to Joyland Amusement Center or the Mardi Gras Fun Center, then load up on sugar at Zeno's Boardwalk Sweet Shop. Eat at Pizza King, or buy presents at the many gift shops.
The Boardwalk also features arcade games, snack bars, restaurants, and more.
In the evening, catch a nightly street performer show. Or, if you're around between May and September, you can catch fireworks and Daytona Beach Bandshell Concerts. Fun!
Daytona Beach first became famous for high-speed automobile racing, so it's only proper that you visit the Daytona International Speedway during your visit.
Even if there are no races or you aren't a race fan, a Speedway Track Tour can be fascinating.
The 60-minute Speedway Tour often leaves visitors in awe. The facilities are massive, state-of-the-art, and full of exciting exhibits (such as in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America).
VIP Tours are also available. These are only offered on select dates and include a visit to NASCAR Archives & Research, an area filled with rare and vintage items.
You can even see images from Daytona's beach racing days during the early 1900s.
Address: 1801 W International Speedway Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL
One of the most iconic landmarks in Daytona Beach is the pier. The original pier was built out of palm logs in 1925 and is part of the reason Daytona Beach became known as "the most famous beach in the world."
The pier appeared in many beach racing photographs. In fact, some of the pier pilings were removed so the race cars could zoom underneath.
Head to the pier for delicious seafood and casual entertainment at Joe's Crab Shack.
Take a stroll, snap some photos, or fish off the east side of the pier. (Fishing here is free and doesn't require a license).
Address: 1200 Main Street, Daytona Beach, FL
If you are interested in science, history, and art, the Museum of Arts and Sciences (MOAS) is a must-see!
This incredible museum is affiliated with the Smithsonian. It showcases Cuban paintings, an astonishing collection of American art, Chinese art, and Sub-Saharan African artifacts.
You can also see a skeleton of Florida's Giant Ground Sloth, restored railroad cars, old automobiles, and Coca-Cola memorabilia.
Spend a day enjoying the museum and adjacent Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art and the Tuscawilla Preserve.
Address: 352 S Nova Rd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Looking to visit other amazing places in Florida? Check out our lists of things to do in Miami & things to do in Orlando!
Take the kids to Sky Zone Trampoline Park to cure them of their jumps and jitters. The staff is amazing, displaying what one reviewer called "cheerful alacrity."
The park features plenty of opportunities for friendly competition. Jump on the trampolines, clamber across hanging ladders and rings, climb the climbing wall, or leap into a pool of squishy blocks.
Sky Zone Trampoline Park in Daytona Beach is open daily from 9 am to 9 pm. Head over for family fun or to celebrate a birthday party.
Address: 1300 W International Speedway Blvd Suite 105, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
The Marine Science Center is another of the best Daytona Beach attractions you need to visit.
Not only will you learn about the unique ecosystems in the area, but you'll also learn about sea turtles and seabirds, feed stingrays, and gain insight into raptors.
The center offers hands-on teaching programs, exhibit galleries, a nature trail, wildlife presentations, and more.
There is also a medical facility on site where seabirds and sea turtles get treatment for injuries and illnesses.
During your visit, you can learn how these wild creatures are rehabilitated and released back into their habitats.
Visitors also learn how to get involved in conservation efforts.
The Marine Science Center is open six days a week. Check the website for details and to access the live animal presentation schedule.
Address: 100 Lighthouse Dr, Ponce Inlet, FL 32127
Fantastic family fun awaits at Congo River Mini Golf in Daytona Beach. This quirky and fun attraction offers visitors a slew of whimsical activities, including mini golf, gem mining, an arcade, an exploration game, and live gator feeding. Whoa!
Congo River's mini golf has been voted "best miniature golf" on multiple occasions. The track is fun and challenging, with mysterious caves, rocky summits, giant waterfalls, and tropical rainforests contributing to the ambiance.
Another one-of-a-kind experience at the Congo River is the Live Gator Feeding. Yikes! Grab a pole with food on end, then extend it to a hungry gator. There are over 25 live gators in the exhibit, so seeing them tear into their food is quite something!
To round out the fun, discover buried treasure by sifting through dirt with a sluice.
Hit up the arcade, or follow the footsteps of famous explorers David Livingstone and Henry Stanley during their adventures in the African Congo.
Address: 2100 S Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32118
If you love fishing, the Flagler Beach Fishing Pier is sure to be interesting. This great attraction is located 40 minutes north of downtown Daytona Beach.
It's a perfect spot to enjoy amazing views, delicious breezes, and salty air. The main attraction, though, is fishing!
Drop a line from Flagler Beach Fishing Pier for the chance to catch snook, trout, redfish, whiting, pompano, bluefish, flounder, and Spanish mackerel. You may even snag a king mackerel or kingfish. Fun!
Bring a long net, cooler, fishing gear, and optional lawn chair (there are benches on the pier).
The pier is over 800 feet long, with great action all along the length of the structure. No license is required for fishing here, but all visitors must pay an entrance fee.
Address: 105 S 2nd St, Flagler Beach, FL 32136
Also Read: 30 Best Beaches in the USA and Best Beach Vacations in Florida
Catching some thrills is another wonderful activity to enjoy in Daytona Beach. There are few better places to do that than Daytona Lagoon Water Park.
This excellent waterpark includes thrill slides such as Adventure Mountain, a mat race slide called Kraken's Revenge, twisty Poseidon's Pass, and the Shaka Halfpipe.
For a more chill time, there is a kid-friendly water oasis, wave pools, and more.
This spot offers a day full of fun for the entire family.
Address: 601 Earl St, Daytona Beach, FL 32118
If you love picnics and parks, the Riverfront Esplanade is definitely one of the best Daytona Beach attractions.
Formerly known as Riverfront Park, the Esplanade is the new and improved version.
Besides a mile-long running trail, the park also features a dog park with an agility course, a state-of-the-art splash pad, and an area with benches and swings.
There is plenty of parking for easy access, as well as picnic shelters, charcoal grills, shaded areas, a fishing pier, and clean bathrooms.
The Esplanade is open from 7 am to 8 pm daily.
Address: 249 N Beach St, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Take a trip through the past on an intriguing visit to the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse & Museum.
This lighthouse was built in 1887 and helped guide seamen on voyages along the Florida coast for 130 years.
The lighthouse is 175 feet tall and features many exciting exhibits for all ages.
Self-guided tours are included with the admission fee. By following the information on the map and brochure, you can learn plenty about the lighthouse, including its history, purpose, design, and features. You'll also learn all about the different exhibits.
Group tours are available for parties of 10 or more people if scheduled in advance. No extra charge is required.
This is a perfect way to enjoy a more interactive and entertaining excursion.
The lighthouse is open from 10 am to 6 pm, but the last admissions are sold at 5 pm.
Address: 4931 S Peninsula Dr, Ponce Inlet, FL 32127
Want a bucketload of adrenaline in your system? If so, there's no better Daytona Beach attraction than the Sling Shot.
This incredible ride launches you out of a misty rumbling volcano. BOOM! You are off! You'll be traveling a heart-pounding 100 mph within two seconds, zooming 365 feet straight up.
You'll experience a moment of weightlessness at the very top of the ride, then free fall toward the ground (screaming all the way).
Steel cables and a giant spring catch your fall and launch you back into the heavens. Wow!
There are packages available for this ride which include a T-shirt, a video of the experience, and the chance to do the ride all over again for a special rate.
Address: 25 S Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32118
For more zooming fun, check out the Daytona Beach Zipline Adventure. This excellent attraction features 10 zip lines and 40 aerial games to get your heart pumping.
The aerial challenges include dancing log challenges, swinging bridges, wiggly steps, and tight wires. Sight wildlife among the trees, then fly along on shriek-worthy zip lines.
This is a great way to enjoy the treetops, conquer challenges, and act like a kid again.
Amenities include shoe rentals (flip-flops aren't adequate), restrooms, free parking, and a gift shop.
Address: 1000 Orange Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Last but not least, among the best Daytona Beach attractions you need to visit is Sugar Mill Gardens.
This botanical garden includes a 19th-century sugar factory, scenic trails, beautiful butterflies, and many opportunities to learn about Florida's native flora and fauna.
On the second Wednesday of each month, you can stop by to ask the advice of a Master Gardener.
There are also plants and honey available for purchase, signed prints of the gardens for sale, and free maps in the green mailbox by the bulletin board.
Address: 950 Old Sugar Mill Rd, Port Orange, FL 32129
Now that you've learned about the top 15 Daytona Beach Attractions you need to visit, which will you put on your trip list? Will you go all-in for adrenaline with zip-line and aerial games, the Daytona Sling Shot, and the water park?
Will you expand your mind with visits to museums, marine centers, science centers, and a historic lighthouse? Or will you enjoy family fun, picnics, mini-golf, and more? Whatever you choose, you're sure to have a wonderful time!