Just north of Daytona Beach along Florida’s Atlantic Coast, this beachside beauty offers travelers with a first-class resort experience without the sacrifice of small-town grace. One of its earliest settlers was millionaire John. D. Rockefeller, and to this day, the Volusia County city provides its guests with elegance, relaxation, and more than easy access to much busier nearby hotspots like Orlando or Daytona.
Annual events reenacting the early days of beach racing have long been a local tradition Ormond Beach, which is why it’s been deemed the "Birthplace of Speed"—it’s also an ideal location for a myriad of water activities, as it is bordered by the Tomoka River on the west, the Atlantic Ocean on the east, and is home to numerous rivers, lakes, and springs. Culture enthusiasts will also pleasure in the historic downtown along Main Street, while outdoor lovers will fall head over heels for the array of nearby beachfront and riverfront parks. For anyone seeking peace, solace, and a much quieter coastal vacation, Ormond Beach is the place for you.
Racing, of course, is a major part of the local culture, as the need for speed is constantly celebrated with numerous annual racing events. Vacationers to the area can also enjoy swimming and sunbathing options galore, as well as, canoeing, fishing, romantic shoreline strolls, and a vast array of wildlife creatures at places such as the Tomoka State Park. Check out the Ormond Beach Farmers Market every Thursday, or the Ormond Beach Scenic Loop Ride for those looking to get a move on. Central Park is a nice nature spot to settle down at, as it consists of four parks totaling almost one hundred-fifty acres and five lakes. Gazebos, picnic pavilions, and the G.F. Althouse Nature Trail further add excitement to the area—not to mention some stellar lakeside views that are also perfect for fishing and kayaking, courtesy of the Joyce Ebbets Fishing Pier.
What’s more is that there’s a beautiful urban district on Main Street that not only includes a thriving restaurant and shopping scene, but more riverfront parks, historic landmarks, and even an art museum! Arts, culture, and history aficionados should visit The Casements, as well as the Rockefeller Gardens. Better yet, why not catch a show at the Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center? It’s a 23,000- plus-square-foot theatre that seats six hundred plus patrons in a stadium-style setting. Be sure not to miss the Celtic Festival in the spring and the Seafood Festival in the fall, as well as Florida's Largest Bike Night at the Daytona Harley-Davidson every first Saturday of the month. Hop onto that hog to hang out and enjoy live music, barbecue, beer, and ice cream specials. What could be better?
Any Florida vacation is bound to be the perfect family trip, and Ormond Beach is just one of the many spots located on the Atlantic Ocean that will make for tons of fun in the sun. By itself, it’s known for its superb beaches, its numerous local landmarks, and some perfectly-preened golf courses. A visit to the nearby Tomoka State Park, which is located right along the river, is a great daytime excursion for kiddies and adults alike. There’s also the option of spending some quality time at North Peninsula State Park, which boasts with more than two miles of sandy beaches.
For those looking to explore a bit further, plan an outing to Orlando to visit the popular theme parks, or over to Daytona Beach, which is well known for its variety of attractions. Grab breakfast over at the Dancing Avocado Kitchen in historic downtown before racing on over for a tour of the Daytona International Speedway. Indulge that sweet tooth with a look around the Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory, or browse the exhibits at the Smithsonian-affiliated Museum of Arts and Sciences. There really is too much to see in this small Central Florida town to fit into one single visit!
The area is home to a variety of accommodations that include everything from upscale resorts and moderately priced vacation rentals to more budget friendly motels. Check out the centrally located Makai Beach Lodge or Driftwood Beach Motel, which sits right across the street from the from the Pirates Cove Adventure Golf Course. The Lotus Boutique Inn and Suites offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, while the Best Western Castillo Del Sol is just a couple miles away from both the Boardwalk and Ocean Walk Entertainment Complex, which features a nice collections of fun eateries, tiny shops, a historic amphitheater, and a mostly traffic-free beach. No matter where you opt to snooze, you’re sure to find a welcoming space to sit back, relax, and enjoy.
Get there by air through commercial airlines at Daytona Beach International Airport, Orlando International Airport, or Jacksonville International Airport, or by automobile through I-95 and U.S. Highway One. A1A also serves as a good route along the beach-- perfect for those hoping to take a fantastic scenic drive.
Getting around by car is probably the simplest and most convenient means of moving around Ormond Beach, as most major roads are all wide and easy to drive on. What’s more is that the main tourism area happens to be on Atlantic Avenue, a centrally-located North/South strip of road that runs parallel to the beach. Other transportation options include Amtrak, which offers the Amtrak Auto Train service (with its southern Terminus located about 35 miles west of Ormond Beach), or the Greyhound Bus Lines, which provides bus service to nearby Daytona Beach. There’s even the Beachside Trolley that operates from January to September along Atlantic Avenue on the shore.
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